Archives for April 2020
Thanks for reaching out.
I made the difficult decision in the third week of March to not produce the events in Oliver this year. The utmost of concern was bringing in 1500+ athletes, families and spectators to the Oliver community and potentially overwhelming the community’s health care resources that may have already been stretched with the current situation.
With such amazing support year over year from the community with volunteers, we were concerned with the potential extra exposure that this may bring the town. Our athletes have also faced training challenges with facilities being closed, with safety at the forefront when we make decisions, we just couldn’t risk the health and safety of our host community, volunteers, athletes and crew.
The Town and Parks and Rec were notified early on and obviously understand the decision, which was reinforced not too many days after it was made by BC’s medical officer of health issuing the mandate to not allow large gatherings for the foreseeable future.
You can read our full announcement here: http://www.dynamicraceevents.com/covid-19-update/
We are already planning our return to our favourite venue in 2021!
Organizer | Owner
Roderick Flavell, 62, was released by Judge Michelle Daneliuk Thursday on a recognizance according to the BC Prosecution Service.
Flavell is accused of manslaughter in the death of his 61 year old spouse Tina Seminara.
On April 8. She was rushed to hospital after being found by RCMP severely beaten at their Osoyoos home, and died nine days later.
Conditions of Flavell’s bail include obeying a nightly curfew, restrictions on alcohol consumption and limits on possession of weapons.
Flavell is due in court again July 22.
Why do we need TFW’s (Transient Fruit Workers) and Quebecois to reap our crops?
Locals will not work in the hot sun for up to 60 hours a week with no over-time pay and paid minimum wage. Somehow, those that refuse are labeled lazy. Most jobs are self explanatory, so why don’t you, yes, you that is now reading this, go make a few extra bucks out on the farm. We, as a society, expect others to do this work so that we, who all make more money than these labourers, can purchase fruit and vegetables more cheaply and keep the farms viable.
If these workers are therefore so important to our way of life, why are they treated like crap. Hard, laborious work is worth zero, but if you invest money from the comfort of your armchair, the govt will only tax half of your profits as capital gains. WTF (Where is Tne Fruit?)!?
Work is to be an offer (wages, job to be done, etc) from the employer, and a voluntary acceptance of these conditions by the employee. Unfortunately, as wage slaves, the employees agree to these conditions due to a lack of better options. Is this then the foundation of our society? Those without an education, regardless of reasons (inferior intellect, personality incompatibility, life choices, etc), are to blame, yes blame, for their own living hell, and deserve to work in this endless loop of despair so that we may have cheap products to buy as our own wages have not kept up with inflation.
We, the working class, are all in the same boat, but the ruling class keeps us continually at each others throats so that the status quo of their life of luxury is not negatively affected. Like it or not, you too feel that you are above doing this manual labour on the farm, and voluntarily do the work of the elites to ensure that you remain one of us with options, and not on the other side of the line comprised of those without.
PS Editor’s note – are you in the “ruling class”? – do you own your own home, walk with confidence and that there is gold in the basement?
I don’t have the answer or all the answers I just think we need to talk a bit more about what what is the right direction – shall it leave it here and hope for intelligent responses.
A message is broadcast, published in a newspaper, heard on radio, seen on television. etc. etc.
You get it!
For the dozens of businesses who support ODN
For the many that do not – here is the challenge.
Try Oliver Daily News – ask for a rate card and advice on how to get the biggest bang for your buck in the days ahead when the economy starts to re-bound.
Young fellow advertising his work said today – “I asked for 3 ads – you gave me 4. After the first ad I had a lot of inquiries and business that sure paid for the ad.”
Advertising does work – if you can get someone to do it for free – all the merrier – but both newspapers and web sites competing in this market need your faith, trust and “your cheque in the mail”
It works. At Oliver Daily News – I like to say no guarantees are given. Some advertisers have been supporting ODN for ten years. They know.
It must work.
Mayor Martin Johansen – Town of Oliver
Under the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Emergency Management BC (EMBC) is the lead coordinating agency in the provincial government for all emergency management and business continuity activities.
EMBC is working with local governments, First Nations, federal departments, industry, non-government organizations and volunteers to provide provincial support and information in-order to ensure the province is best positioned to effectively respond to COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Town of Oliver would like to thank Emergency Management BC for the funding provided to the Town’s Emergency Operations Centre for the following activities in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Porta Potties (for domestic farm workers and vulnerable population). Funding is for 2 months (Starting May 1 – June 30). Porta potties with hand washing stations will be installed at the Town owned lot on Main Street, Visitor Information Centre and empty lot on Station Street (adjacent to the Food Bank).
Bilingual Signage will be installed in parks, ballfields, beaches, hike & bike etc. that speaks to social distancing and where to call if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
Bylaw Enforcement (park ambassadors) hired for the month of May (7 days a week, 7 hour shifts) to patrol parks providing education on social distancing, not to gather in groups and disinfecting surfaces.
In addition and in preparation for activities related to spring freshet, sandbags have been delivered to the Public Works Yard , Firehall and the Fairview Mountain Golf Course.
Public Works are monitoring creeks daily (Wolf Club Creek, Tin Horn, Hester and Testalinden) and are ready to respond as necessary. Currently Okanagan Lake has hit the targeted low pool and is now increasing about 1 cm per day. There are no concerns for Skaha Lake, Vaseaux Lake or Osoyoos Lake at this time.
Note to Town of Oliver staff
Wolf Cub Creek
are the names most familiar to local residents
Not Wolf Club Creek, or Testalinden Creek
SPECIAL OPEN MEETING
· Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw No. 1364, 2020 was read three times and adopted. The Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw 1361 was adopted by Council April 6th, which included a 2.98% increase to the municipal portion of the property taxes. At the direction of Council, the Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw 1364, 2020 was presented for Councils consideration and reflects a zero percent increase in the municipal portion of property taxes. The changes to the Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw allows for a zero percent increase in the municipal portion of property taxes and are referenced in the report from Jim Zakall, Director of Financial Services. The Order of the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General under the Emergency Program Act, Ministerial Order No. M083 states, “Despite section 135 (3) of the Community Charter, a Council may adopt a bylaw on the same day that a bylaw has been given third reading.”
· Tax Rates Bylaw 1363, 2020 was read three times and adopted. The Tax Rates Bylaw 1363, which included a 2.98% increase to the municipal portion of taxes was brought forward for Council consideration on April 20th. Council directed staff that due to the COVID crisis they wanted the municipal portion of taxes to remain consistent with the 2019 amount. The 2020 Osoyoos Tax Rates Bylaw is in line with the revised Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw 1364, 2020 and includes a 0% increase in the municipal portion of property taxes. The due date for 2020 has been set to September 30th, with a 5% late payment penalty to be charged on any outstanding current taxes after the due date and a further 5% applied on the outstanding current balance December 31st.
Kane Blake of the Okanagan Forest Task Force says “illegal dumping is on the rise at the moment and growing fast. “The task force’s goal is simple, working to keep our forests clean and to bring public awareness to the issue of illegal dumping and it’s impact on forested areas.
Blake attributes some of the new dump sites to people hiring non reputable haulers during their spring cleaning. Another possibility is because of Covid19 many more people are home doing more cleaning and the line ups the landfill are far longer then they usually are this time of year. “We have been doing more yard work recently and spent about 35 minutes in the line up just last week.” Blake says. He says “A simple Facebook search shows lots of people looking to hire people for Dump Runs but the real question is how much of it is actually making it to the landfill.”
Blake would like to tell people if there going to hire someone to take your stuff to the landfill please keep the names and conversations as well as proof of payment. This way if your information is found in a dump site you can possibly help to prove who dumped it. “We need to start holding people accountable and not let them think this is ok to do.” Blake says.
The group is hoping to get back to clean up’s even if they are just small ones “I just hate to see our beautiful forests turning into landfills from ignorant people being too lazy to go to the landfill.” Blake says. Kane and a couple members of the task force will continue to travel the back roads and document all the spots they find.
By ROY WOOD
The Loose Bay campground for itinerant farm workers will open on Friday under new leadership after the society that formerly ran the place dissolved itself and passed responsibility to the regional district and assorted fruit growers’ associations.
Boundary Similkameen MLA Linda Larson says she is happy with the new arrangement and hopeful for the future.
“Something better should have been done (years ago) for these transient workers who come every year,” Larson said in an interview this afternoon.
“I’m comfortable that the regional district will, at least this year, do the management and administration … then maybe next year some other group could step up.”
Al Patton, who has headed up the Loose Bay Society, said in an interview the group decided on Monday to fold because it doesn’t have “the resources, the time or the ability to do all this Covid-19 stuff” and because of the increased legal liability for the small band of local citizens.
Patton said all members of the society remain committed to helping out at Loose Bay as much as they can.
Responsibility has passed to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen and the BC Fruit Growers Association and some of its affiliates, Patton said.
He said Covid-19 protocols have been developed for the campsite. They include:
- Staff and bylaw officials to ensure compliance;
- Regular cleaning of washroom facilities;
- Pamphlets for campers outlining procedures;
- Measures to accommodate self-isolation; and
- Signage will be arriving soon for the site.
As well, Patton said, the kitchen and other communal areas are closed and no will be campfires permitted. “We don’t want gathering spots.”
The camp will start with the two current staffers in place and will be added to as the numbers of campers increase.
The usual pattern, said Patton, is for there to be a rush on opening day, then a levelling off followed by a gradual increase until the first cherries come in.
Larson said she has spoken with a contact in the picker community, who will try to get the word out through their networks that “the camp will be open, but there are certain rules and protocols that have to be abided by … Hopefully they will come and go into the camp and stay there.”
She added: “I hope those already here, who are drifting around … and are out in our forestry camps like Madden Lake, (will) come down to the camp. It would make everybody a lot more comfortable.”
Larson said she has sent a request to Emergency Measures BC to “step up and help out here.”
EMBC is the branch of the solicitor general’s office given responsibility for dealing with Covid-19 in the province.
I thought for a moment that my life had been one long dream.
We have reverted back in time in so many way. To start with for the moment gas is cheap. The price on the sign is less than a dollar. Yes I know that’s a liter when I started driving it was a mere twenty-five cents a gallon.
As I looked around I was intrigued to see my daughters writing out a shopping list for the store to fill the order, they would pick up. I remember my mother making a list and phoning the old general store. The clerk filled the order and dad picked it up after work.
There have been a few thicker pages of buys lately aside from Princess Auto, or Avon which are more like catalogs. Took me back to the Sears and Eatons catalogs. Most wouldn’t believe a hundred years ago you could even buy a house from the catalog. It came on the train and you assembled yourself, just like you assemble everything from the internet sites today.
Entertainment has reverted back too movie theaters were also a place to run news reels before the entertainment. Today the news channels are running entertainment specials with a variety of talented souls. They had the traveling shows for the troops, except this time the comediennes and traveling minstrels are entertaining us confined to our homes. We watch it all on large TV screens and big sound systems. There is a facebook page out of Nova Scotia featuring a virtual kitchen party. Been to a few of those in my time, the talent varies but it is the pure honesty of the event that counts.
Over the past few years change and adaptation has been reverting back to a time that did exist. Record players, I have more than one, they’re making a comeback. I have an entire record room 45 RPM, LP’s, old seventy-eight speed and I still prefer them to CD’s or even mp3.
Then there is the outdoor cloths line, we have had one for decades. They were always better than a dryer anyway.
The only things we need now are door to door milk delivery and the Saturday Evening Pose with a Norman Rockwell cover illustration. Well I suppose we won’t go that far back but we are going to revert back to a lot of practical economical solutions as part of the new normal before this virus scare is over.
Provincial Funding to OCAC
The BC Arts Council has provided the arts council with a relief package of $5000 to cover any costs related to COVID-19, including loss of revenue from event cancellations, changes to programming and facility operations, and additional administrative costs. This funding is on top of the annual operational funding of $17,000 awarded to the arts council in early 2020 for its performance the previous year.
In addition, the BC Arts Council has advanced 50% of its operational funding for 2021, an amount totalling $8500, for any emergency measures. Because we are frugal with our events and programs, and have no paid staff, we do not anticipate using this advance. Instead it will be deposited and earmarked for 2021, as would be usual.
We thank the BC Arts Council for its prompt response to the COVID crisis, and its support for this very vulnerable economic sector.
Manitoba is set to open up
This follow the Province of Saskatchewan
We hear Quebec will open day-cares and schools
BC – will keep the tough clamp down / locked order until May 12 and maybe then we will get a hint as to our fate.
Loose Bay is opening this Friday
Java, flowers and ice cream at Eastside
The streams are beginning to flow – Hester Creek is running well
The weather is getting warmer
The blossoms are glorious
The golfers are smiling
The winter long quietness of Area 27 is over
Ladies and Gents in tank tops and shorts
Dogs walking, people strolling – a picnic in a park
Grads might be able to celebrate their final year on a banner, in a magazine or even at the school they attend.
It’s a decision folks. Do it on Canada Day, have fireworks, a free swim at a pool or lake.
Let us get out of this tight grip as soon as possible!
BC government will support the establishment in the 2020 fruit season a picker’s campsite at Loose Bay.
Alan Patton told ODN this morning that the small organization – Loose Bay Society has dissolved and the head lease holder – the Regional District will work with many interested parties and stakeholder to ensure the camp is healthy and safe.
Oliver Daily News hopes to have expanded coverage of this development in the days ahead.
The interested parties include, the BC Fruit Growers Association, provincial government departments, the RDOS and the Town of Oliver.
Friday is May 1st and the management and staff at Loose Bay will open the gates to visitors.
VICTORIA – Mitzi Dean, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, has issued the following statement on the Province’s ongoing support for women and children experiencing violence during the COVID-19 pandemic:
“Home should be a safe place for everyone, but for many, that is not the case. Women, children and non-binary people are often at a higher risk of domestic and targeted violence, and this danger has only increased during this stressful time. As this pandemic requires us to stay home and keep our distance from friends and extended family, people facing violence or abuse – many with children – need our help more than ever to find a safe place to stay.
“As of today, the Province has secured nearly 300 additional spaces in communities throughout B.C. for people leaving violent or unstable situations, with more spaces to come. These are in addition to more than 100 transition houses and safe homes that the Province funds on an ongoing basis.
“Domestic and sexual abuse is not a private matter to be kept behind closed doors.
Violence should never be tolerated – not during this pandemic and not ever.
It’s wrong, and we will be there for people who need our help and a safe place to go, day or night.”
Oliver, BC – With kids at home and the Museum and Archives closed, the Oliver & District Heritage Society has launched a brand new online learning webpage and a virtual tour to help kids, teens and adults learn while staving off boredom.
Both the new Learning Activities webpage and the virtual tour are available under the Resources section of the Oliver & District Heritage Society website. The virtual tour showcases the Museum’s “Deep Roots” exhibit and provides a deep dive into Oliver’s history. This tour is best-suited to teen and adult visitors who want to learn more about Oliver, and is available on YouTube as well as on the Heritage Society website.
The Learning Activities page features information and activities such as “I Spy” games, word searches, at-home science experiments, and photos and artifacts from the Museum and Archives collections. Topics cover the town of Fairview, water in the local environment, building a museum exhibit, and more! And while the site is still under construction, staff will be adding new content for a variety of ages over the coming months.
The ODHS is also using this temporary closure to offer free help for teachers and provide more activities on its Facebook and Instagram pages. Followers enjoy content such as craft videos, featured artifacts, a journal project, behind the scenes videos with staff, and more.
You can visit the new Learning Activities website at https://www.oliverheritage.ca/learning-activities or enjoy the virtual museum tour at https://www.oliverheritage.ca/virtual-tour.
“The Board would like to once again recognize the quick and empathetic actions district and school staff have made to respond quickly to redesigned learning during this pandemic. Staff continues to make equity a top priority and minimize as much as possible any disadvantages where we can. Education is a great equalizer and our communities and families rely on school services. Food security was a significant priority week one after spring break concluded. Supporting students and families without technology or connectivity was also a top priority so that students could engage and stay connected to their teachers remotely. Teachers, administrators, and support staff have made student connections, relationships, and reducing anxiety their first task after spring break.
Some highlights on the continuity of supports to students in the district include:
1. 191 students are regularly provided with meal gift cards or meals. This is in addition to the donations made to each community food bank by the Board of Education.
2. 197 technology devices have been sent home to students and families.
3. 36 students/families have been provided with Wi-Fi.
We have maintained partnerships with the Osoyoos Rotary Backpack Program, the Oliver Starfish Program and Desert Sun who all contribute to food security for families. Desert Sun Counselling Services is preparing meals for families in need every Thursday.
Learning packages, school supplies and other needed resources have been delivered to students and families.
Teachers and support staff are reaching out one-on-one to provide additional clarification and support.
Continued Counselling supports for students: Service through phone calls to students, phone calls to parents so they can better support their children, and video sessions. In addition, high school students are also receiving support from outside partner agencies.
Even with these supports in place, there are still students who are struggling to work and learn remotely. Schools are looking at students with the greatest needs and are considering bringing them into the schools for at least some time in a consistent way while maintaining social distancing to offer support with academic and social-emotional learning.
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
Board of Education
Late – April 2020! – March and April almost gone!!
– Fort McMurray Downtown and Fort Vermillion, Buttertown and Beaver Ranch are flooding , people are evacuated and water has to be boiled
– We are at 48 days of social/physical isolation.
– One Canadian Dollar equals 0.71 USD.
– Canadian Oil is at $8.34 barrel
– Schools have been closed since mid March and are teaching remotely on-line. This will continue for the rest of the school year and perhaps into the Fall
– There are lines / tapes inside the stores on the floors to keep people 6 feet apart and can only go down aisles in one direction.
– Bars and restaurants are open only for takeout, home delivery & pick-up.
– Parks, beaches, hiking trails and walk-in places are not currently accessible to the public.
– All major and minor league sports competitions have been cancelled as well as kids sports.
– All festivals, entertainment events and the Calgary stampede have been banned/ cancelled.
– Weddings, family celebrations and birthdays have been cancelled. Funerals limited to 15 people.
– People are doing drive-by parades to celebrate birthdays.
– Young kids can’t understand why they can only see grandparents & other extended family and friends on a screen or thru a window if someone visits in person or on online.
– Hugs and kisses are not exchanged.
– The churches are closed or online.
– We have to stay away from each other -must be more than six feet or police can fine you.
– Shortage of disposable masks and gloves in hospitals.
– There are fewer ventilators than there should be.
– People are wearing masks, some places even REQUIRE that you wear them to enter! People are even sewing their own cloth masks for sale or donation to medical facilities.
– Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, bleach, antibacterial wipes and anything Lysol or Clorox is in short supply and limited per person…. IF you can even find them!
– Stores are closing early to disinfect everything.
– Store checkouts, pharmacies and even fast food drive thru windows have added plexiglass between the employee and the customer. Have to reach around or under to pay!
– You can’t find isopropyl alcohol easily. .. the supply per person is limited.
– Australia, USA, Canada and Europe have closed their borders.
– Western Australia has been divided into 9 territories & an instant $1,500 fine issued for crossing the border without a valid reason. (Transport workers, Essential services etc)
– No one is travelling for leisure. Airports empty. Tourism has the worst crisis in history. Major airlines have laid off thousands of employees
-Live television shows are being done remotely or cancelled. Movie productions have all been cancelled or postponed for an undetermined amount of time.
-Families are home bound finding unique ways to entertain themselves and rely on social media to connect with family and friends.
I did not write this – but I wish I had.
A great facebook message. But no questions? Here are mine.
Who is at fault? – Some suggestions lately it could be aliens. You might want to blame the Chinese, the WHO – even our good friend to the south Donald Trump – quoted as saying at one point: “What’s the problem?” ….The Chinese leader is my friend he is doing a good job….
Who is in charge of the info, THE fear Machine – government – all elected to serve and protect us.
Do we do as told? YES
Do we trust them? NO or I do not.
All my curves are starting to flatten – have been locked in my cave with no food or fun.
Let us get serious – Let us talk to March and April – in lockdown.
Let us do something different in May and June, July and August.
Wow….. back to September and THE fear Machine returns, no beaches, no swimming, no hugging, no handshakes, no school, no business, no employment…… when will see that money cannot be printed to solve this problem
If you do not have a real buy and sell market – there is $0000.00 left to spend
A couple of quick questions????? Has anyone died in Oliver of Covis-19. Did anyone in Oliver get a Covis-19 virus while in Oliver?
Are the clinics, Doctor’s offices full of C19 problems? How many beds available at SOGH for the onslaught that never came?
How many people in Oliver involved in THE fear Machine – to defend statements in BC that are just NOT true or verifiable with statistics.
Where are the facts and why do we put our nose on the TV screen each day to hear more info nand numbers that really do not relate to ALL the facts about normal morbidity, where people are dying , where people are being housed in close contact.
You will not hear them from Your: MP, the MLA, the Mayor, the regional director or the dog catcher.
But you will see alternative thoughts on ODN.
To all the volunteers in Oliver and Osoyoos who do so much for their communities.
Got a note in the mail late last week saying “It’s Volunteer Week”. The note was about three people who helped that particular organization – and were relatively new to Oliver.
It was a bit of a dilemma because I know so many people -new and old that have moved to the South Okanagan in recent years- and one of their first acts is to volunteer!
The Thift Store.
The Knights of Columbus, the Masons/IODE
The Food Bank
Annual Christmas dinners for ALL
The Elks, the Legion, and the Lions/Lioness, Rotary
Oliver Parks and Recreation
Oliver Curling Club
and many that I have missed.
Thank you – Keep up the good work
On My Honour
(Celebrating 110 years of Scouting in the South Okanagan)
The exceptional volunteer work of James Harper Mitchell (1896-1982)
Mitchell began his long and storied association with Scouting as a youth member of a Boy Scout Troop in Saskatchewan in 1909. The family moved to Oliver in 1922, and 11 years later he was asked to help with the new Scout Troop in Oliver, eventually becoming Scoutmaster, and remaining in this position until 1939.
In 1939 Mitchell took on the role of District Commissioner, assisting and guiding other adults as they learned to become Cubmasters and Scoutmasters. His territory was large, bordered by Penticton, Princeton and Osoyoos, and it stayed like this until 1945 when it was split into two Districts; Okanagan South and Okanagan Boundary, the latter being where Mitchell continued as District Commissioner. By 1951, he had immersed himself in Scouting’s Gilwell Training program for adult volunteers. Here he stayed for many years, taking courses himself and acting as Chief and Assistant Chief at numerous other Gilwell Woodbadge courses for volunteers.
During these active years as a training instructor and coordinator, Mitchell continued his role as District Commissioner of Okanagan Boundary. Not done yet, he worked closely with Frank McDonald and others on proposing a significant change in how Scouting was structured in British Columbia. The result was the creation of Okanagan South Region, making expertise available to volunteers in a more timely and local fashion. All existing Scouting Districts in the Interior maintained their autonomy, but now had access to guidance within the Region. It is no surprise that Mitchell volunteered to be the first Regional Commissioner, reaching out to District Commissioners to enhance the Scouting programs being offered to youths. After two years in this position, he stepped back to the role of Trainer, in which he continued for many more years.
Perhaps while not as prominent at this time, Mitchell continued to recruit good adult volunteers for Scouting. Starting in the 1930s when he had recruited the late Carleton MacNaughton, he firmly believed that Scouting best served the youth of the area when it had high quality, well trained adults at every level.
In the course of his stellar years of volunteerism in the Scouting organization, Mitchell was honoured many times. Keep in mind that this was in addition to his time spent with family, other community organizations and his 41 years as Stipendiary Magistrate in the County of Yale. Scouting presented him with the Long Service Medal (eventually with three bars for extra years), the Medal of Merit, and the Silver Acorn (the highest honour in Scouting).
While much of the documentation from Mitchell’s first three decades in Scouting has not been rediscovered yet because of the changing District and Regional structure, sufficient archives exist such that he is recognized as one the most significant volunteers in Scouting in British Columbia over his fifty years of association with the organization. Thank you, Jim!
Gerry Lamb copyright
Photo courtesy of Penticton Museum and Archives (1958 or 1959, presenting the Bushman’s Thong achievement award to 3rd Penticton Scouts Jim Carey and Allen Patterson with Scoutmaster Irwin Hobden looking on)
The last few columns have focused on COVID-19 issues. We’ve discussed a few different topics like, stock markets, debt management, and deferring mortgage payments.
Many of you have financial questions regarding this pandemic and that’s why last time I announced a pro-bono financial advice campaign for those who need help – see more details at the bottom of the column.
For this week, I thought I would focus on the financial challenges that many Canadian families are facing and the two most common questions that I’m hearing over and over:
Question 1 – Should I be worried about my investments?
If you’re 10 or more years until retirement, you shouldn’t be worried at all. These kinds of downturns are normal, and your financial plan should account for them. If you don’t have a plan, it’s time to get one though.
If you’re less than 10 years from retirement, you should still stick to your plan but should also be making sure that your financial plan has started to “take risk off the table” as you near your retirement date. A major downturn right before your retirement date can significantly alter the length of time that your investments can support you if not properly accounted for.
If you’re already in retirement, your financial plan should provide some liquidity and short-term funds so that you aren’t required to draw down on too much of your equity holdings during this time and instead allow them to recover before being drawn on.
Regardless of what stage you are in, now is not the time to sell and lock in your losses which are only losses on paper unless you decide to sell and lock them in. If you still feel extremely unsettled, adjust your plan to ease off your risk exposure AFTER the markets recover.
Question 2 – What should I be doing to financially to survive this pandemic?
There are a couple of key things that you can do today in order to help get through this current situation. To start with, take the time to review (or build) your personal budget. See what expenses you can cut out in order to be as fiscally lean as possible right now.
Next, thoroughly review all the available government response programs right now. Make sure that you are applying for everything that may be available to you. These programs are changing daily right now so make sure to stay up to speed on the changes as they come out.
Third, free up as much cash flow as you can. Ideally, you’ve already put aside a six-month emergency fund and have the means necessary to weather this storm. But if you don’t, it’s not too late to free up all potential cash flow to build up a reserve. Just be careful when deferring debt payments in order to free up cash flow as this can have serious long-term consequences.
Do you have other questions?
There is no doubt that this is a challenging and quite scary time for many of us. The safety and health of your family should be top priority but doing so in the most fiscally responsible way is important too. Many Canadians have financial questions and they don’t know where to turn.
I mentioned in last column that I would be offering financial advice on a pro-bono basis. If you or anyone you know is struggling to make the best financial decisions during this pandemic or simply has some questions, I am available to help in any way that I can.
Although I may not be able to solve all your potential challenges, I can offer advice on how to improve your financial situation in an objective and non-judgmental way and help you make the best possible decisions. If you’d like to participate in a free 30-minute personal financial consultation via phone or video conference, please contact me.
Stay healthy, stay safe and take care!
Please contact your own advisor for specific advice about your situation.
Ever since I was little, I always loved seeing how the various elements of life would come together. Coastal storms clashing together in the sky, shedding water and shooting winds more powerful than one could fathom; small and seemingly insignificant mushrooms twirling up through the wet moss; or a brilliant flower racing to the warm, scattered desert surface to warn of the rattlesnake’s arrival. It seems to me that ecosystems always interact, no matter how rugged or volatile. In fact, this is what basic ecology would teach – that ecosystems, even the one in my sink full of dishes, are strongholds for life built with the diversity of that same life. The forest and everything in it works together, relying fully on each and every individual niche yet glorifying the whole biodiverse canvas within it.
Communities are like this; they’re diverse and changing constantly. Communities have needs, strengths, and weaknesses too. Communities see the rise and the fall of various talents and passions, yielding a nursery-ground for young inspiration. But how often do we truly recognize that inspiration? If cesspools of people are so similar to cesspools of plants in their diversity, why do we end up reinforcing one niche over the other? Exemplifying conformity, stifling individuality?
I really couldn’t tell you, to be honest. But I do know in a business-sense that when the many people that make a single organization are individually appreciated, motivated and mentored, the whole thrives in harmony. The varying talents and voices of the young horde, awaiting opportunity, are not complications to the bottom line; rather, they’re essential puzzle pieces to filling in perspective and relevance to a product or target demographic. This, if nothing else, is what I’m taking away from a weeks-to-completion BA in Not-for-Profit Leadership from Summit Pacific College. Against all our 21st century’s messages of mass production and streamline success, the key to unlocking the “true whole,” the complete potential and productivity of a community or ecosystem, is inspiring the unique functions of us all. This is what I dream to facilitate and mentor – it’s also why I take great interest in biology. Think of a vegetable garden with its varying types and needs. Each plant needs a different combination of conditions concerning drainage, soil content, sun exposure, etc. To get the absolute most out of such a diverse garden, one would need to take into consideration the unique needs of each plant to promote the highest yield possible. You couldn’t treat a young lettuce plant the same way you treated a fully mature strawberry plant in the height of the Okanagan summer heat, the lettuce would surely wilt and die!
My key concern, the very question of my heart then, is how we can truly nurture each other as equal and unique contributors in such a time as this. Between the young and the old, the local and the immigrant, the lettuce and the strawberry, what fertilizer must we implement to truly maximize the harmonious yield of Oliver’s diversity that already leaps with life and potential?
by Rebekah Thomas
Rebekah is our latest columnist to come on board. She has lived, been schooled, worked in Oliver for many years. University trained as well – the daughter of a local pastor. She has an interesting take on the world she sees from young eyes.
I have attached the Q1 stats for both Oliver and Osoyoos.
When compared to the Q1 stats of 2019, both Oliver and Osoyoos have seen a reduction in calls for service (8% decrease for Oliver and 16% decrease for Osoyoos). Subsequently both towns have seen a decrease in most crime over the same period.
The largest increase for both towns was for mischief – loss of enjoyment of property. This is different than mischief that includes property damage but for example would capture events such as neighbour disputes or other incidents where a person feels they cannot enjoy their property unfettered.
Osoyoos saw a slight increase in business break and enters with 4 more over the same time last year. A better part of these were into fenced properties and unoccupied buildings that were either vacant or under construction.
Both Oliver and Osoyoos saw an increase in cause disturbances which are events that typically result from a person being found in public while intoxicated.
There are steps the public can take to help reduce being a victim of crime.
This includes removing tools from construction sites after each shift, removing valuables from vehicles and locking your doors. There are a number of repeat offenders in the South Okanagan that continue to commit crimes of opportunity. By locking your doors and securing your valuables out of sight you take these easy opportunities away from them.
If you see something untoward, call the police.
Sgt. Jason Bayda
Sub Regional Media spokesperson
Sometimes I have to say to myself – do your want to jump off this cliff…. this could be the end.
Story below – not rated high by reporter….(my reporter) but the Town of Oliver – thinking it should/could erect banners all over town honouring the grads of 2020.
In the old days the grads would honour themselves with a paint job on a nearby rock outcropping or water storage tank.
It might last for 30 years.
In this instance all the civic banners have just been changed from winter/spring to summer and fall …ala Festival of the Many grapes.
Is the RDOS helping with this grad honour project?
What is the breakdown of persons, boys and girls that live in the Rural area vs downtown Oliver where the 47 banners would be shown?
Should the RDOS director ask for direction on utility and power poles in the Rural area for projects to promote Ag Leaders or the children of great AG Leaders……
Dave Mattes, councillor of some respect says this move could set a precedent – No kidding. Another example of council spending my tax money without permission because it makes some people look better. Silliness.
How about banners with pictures of firefighters, paramedics, cops, nurses, truck drivers etc.
Could the SD 53 maintenance staff (all employed) not build a small/big drive by display in the empty SOSS parking lot of all grads of 2020. Could the same display not be built for the FV empty theatre, the empty Oliver Library, the Oliver Rec centre? We could all walk through keeping our ten foot space.
If you have an idea that does NOT involved spending more tax dollars – give me a shout. I need a grad to talk to…..
if you read ODN give me a shout at
OLIVER COUNCIL BRIEFS
Legal advice sought on buy local policy
The town is moving toward a purchasing policy that further favours local suppliers to stimulate the local economy in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, but is seeking legal advice before proceeding.
The policy provides that local suppliers will be preferred over non-local ones, but only when other things – particularly price – are equal.
The proposal from staff at today’s council meeting recommended that the policy be waived so that local suppliers could be favoured even if their bids are higher than others.
Council seemed generally in favour of the idea. But after a caution from Mayor Martin Johansen decided to send the idea back to staff to seek legal advice.
His concern is that if a non-local company goes to the trouble and expense of preparing a bid, which is subsequently rejected in favour of a higher-priced local bid, there may be cause for a legal action against the town.
The issue will come back to council on May 11.
Tax bills will be higher despite town tax freeze
Local tax bills will be a little bit higher than last year, despite council’s recent decision to freeze property taxes at 2019 levels.
The municipal portion of the bill will not go up. But the town also collects taxes for the regional district, the library, hospitals, the school district and RCMP, which have all gone up. As a result, an average Oliver residence – assessed at $400,000 – will see an increase of about $69.
Local businesses will see their property tax bills jump by about $299 on average.
As decided at the last council meeting, the due date is July 2, as usual.
However, the former July 3, 10-per-cent penalty for late residential filing has been replaced by a one-per-cent late penalty on July 3 and a further four-per-cent ding on October 1. Business owners face five-per-cent late penalty on October 1.
SOSS grad banners get boost from town
The town will contribute up to $1,000 if it is needed for a project that will see South Okanagan Secondary School graduates’ names and photos on banners around the town.
The project, spearheaded by Councillor Petra Veintimilla, is aimed to “honour (the grads) in a different way,” since there will be no graduation ceremony and commencement this year.
The idea is to have banners with a student’s name and photo on each side hung from the town’s banner poles. They need to be double-sided because there aren’t enough poles to accommodate each of the 94 grads.
The cost is expected to be about $6,000. The grad committee is meeting next week and will be asked to contribute.
The town earlier resolved to pay for the installation and removal of the banners. Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger suggested that the town should get behind the project financially with a contribution from the grant-in-aid fund.
Councillor Dave Mattes voted against the idea, suggesting it will set a precedent and there will be requests every year. Veintimilla and Councillor Aimee Grice pointed out that the Covid-19 crisis make this an exceptional year and they have no worries about setting a precedent.
Reporter Roy Wood
I saw this headline : Worst day for cases in BC. Not showing at the moment.
A scare headline – no analysis.
Are you interested. This info not about long term care patients, not transfer of virus in general population – Prison federal, meat plants federal. – Failure to do a very good job. IHMO.
We are subjected to a constant barrage of numbers – most of which do/should concern us.
Do you work in a meat plant – beef, pork, poultry?
Do you work or know a guy/girl in a federal prison?
Why are provincial jails controlling this better?
Let us stop talking about gross figures. Let us talk about US – yes US here on ground that need a haircut.
We have been placed in our own local prison because of what….. statistics, actual figures ?? or just…….. the MEDIA fear game.
ODN is a member of the media – but prides itself in looking at a lot facts – not just listening to one person, one government, one fear, one silliness scenario.
People around the world want to get back to work before – the economy breaks down and there is anarchy.
How to do that:
1. Do it slowly – announce it today
2. Each day forward – announce more about the return
3. Who should return to normal first and last – schools/care homes
4. Which business can start up as their is limited person to person contact
5. Open the parks to groups of ten and family gatherings
6. Open churches to groups of 20 self distancing on alternate days
7. Open schools to three types: primary, elementary, secondary – operate half days in schooo
8. Open Universities and Colleges
9. Open retail main street stores
10. Can I get a haircut soon – please!!!
Who did this?
Does she live near Nk’Mip Creek bridge
Husband’s first name
She is going to kill me!!
- I remember an Osoyoos person of note that often asked……. why so many questions on ODN when we just want answers…….!! I have often found that questions are a lot more meaningful (fun) than the answers.
Announcement found this week on internet
“It is with great disappointment that we must announce THE 2020 DYNAMIC RACE EVENTS SERIES WILL NOT HAPPEN.
This decision is incredibly difficult, but after many sleepless nights, endless phone calls, consultations, discussions and sourcing of the most reliable information we could find – it is important our team provides you with some context on how/why this decision was made. We feel it would be irresponsible to ask athletes to continue training with restrictions in place, when health authorities and municipalities are encouraging people to stay solo, stay away from traditional areas to swim, bike or run.
As we all do our part to help lessen the impact of the virus, Dynamic could not in good conscience continue to plan to gather 1000-2000 athletes, volunteers, spectators and crew at our race venues.
Although nothing has yet been officially mandated as of this date, Dr. Bonnie Henry (BC’s Medical Officer of Health) has made it clear that large events are not likely able to happen this summer.
1. race participants have contacted ODN
2. efforts to make contact with Dynamic Race have not been sucessful
3. contact with Oliver Parks will be made this week
Vaseux Creek at Deer Park
Park Rill at Secrest
Wolf Cub Creek at Giant Teepee
Victoria Creek at Johnson Rd.
Nk’Mip at Sam’s Bridge
next visit to the creeks
Shuttleworth Creek, Reed, Tinhorn, Hester and Testalinda
Based on my personal view – Vaseux, Nk’mip are running well, Park Rill, Victoria and Wolf Cub creeks small flow.
Culinary and medicinal
Coming into season in late spring, all of the plant can be eaten—particularly the roots (boiled) and the seeds. It can be bitter and pine-like in taste.
Many Native American groups, including the Nez Perce, Kootenai, Cheyenne, and Salish, utilized the plant as a food and medicine.
The seeds were particularly valuable as food or used for oil
Under the name Okanagan Sunflower, it is the official flower emblem of the city of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
We also swapped over our toboggan to wheels, ran the Quads, Utv, and chainsaws.
These tasks were all achieved with social distancing and members also had cloth masks available if they chose to wear them.
For most of us, this was the first time we’ve seen each other in person since early March.
For supporting an Oliver business – ODN
Gerry Plante Construction
Paul Petersen Construction
Casorso & Company
Oliver Ready Mix
3 Bar Construction
IG Wealth Management
Okanagan Underground Services
Frank Venables Theatre
Oliver Curling Centre
Recent discussions at Oliver council — and Rick Machial’s contribution to them — have made a compelling case for the continuation of the water councillor system, which has been under attack in the two communities that have them.
In the last few weeks, the Oliver council has been doling out relief to local taxpayers suffering under the constraints of the Covid-19 crisis. The most controversial piece turned out to be a 50-per-cent rebate on first quarter water fees. Machial was the lone dissenting voice, imploring the rest of council to reconsider the idea because it would result in either elimination of needed capital projects or large fee increases down the road.
The merits of his arguments aside, Machial was making his case on behalf of the rural agriculture community, which uses more water and will suffer more from future increases.
Water councillors, two in Oliver and two in Osoyoos, were created in 1989 after the local irrigation district was dissolved and the job of supplying water transferred to the towns. They are paid about $5,000 a year, less than a third of ordinary councillors. Machial was one the first four water councillors elected and has remained in the seat ever since.
“Our role is to make sure that the people that we represent – which is all of the rural people – have a voice with respect to water. And water for farmers is their most important commodity,” he said in a recent interview.
Over the years, the other members of Oliver council came to rely on the two water councillors to occasionally provide a rural perspective on issues other than just water. As a reporter, it sometimes seemed to me that it was a seven-member council on more than water matters.
That easy familiarity came to a crashing end in fall 2018 when a legal opinion was obtained by town staff. It led to water councillors being instructed to leave the chamber after the discussion of “water matters” in the early part of the agenda. At the time, Machial wrote in a letter to ODN: “What I find very sad is that council will lose rural perspective on all matters affecting our community.”
Machial won’t speculate on the record about who was behind the purge, and says the situation was resolved quickly and water councillors are now welcome to remain for entire council meetings but only to participate in matters related to water. The second water councillor in Oliver is Parminder Sidhu. He has only been in office for 18 months and for the most has let Machial carry the ball on water matters. Sidhu defeated Andre Miller, who ran an unenthusiastic campaign in November 2018 and apparently is happy to have finished his nearly two decades of service.
In Osoyoos, the future of water councillors may be more dire. A process has been under way since last summer that could see the positions eliminated in that town. And if they are deemed expendable there, who knows what the future might be for Oliver? The situation came to head in Osoyoos in July when a water councillor was dismissed for lack of attendance at council meetings.
In a report to council, senior staff said discussions with the province had already begun on various options for getting rid of water councillors altogether. Council opted to enter talks with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) to change water-billing processes in such a way as to allow a director from Area A to represent rural water users. Presumably, those talks continue. The council dynamics in Osoyoos are dramatically different from Oliver. Long-time Water Councillor Claude Moreira and his recently-elected cohort Bob Appleby are essentially silent.
Their typical participation is to quietly assent to staff recommendations on water matters and then to unobtrusively slip out of meetings when there is a lull following their portion of the agenda. One of the most vocal moments I recall for Moreira was during the discussion in July about the elimination of his position. “I can’t support any of these options,” he said. “The rural area needs representation.” In a subsequent interview he said, “The farmers built the water system and gave it to the town. Now they want to take away the representation.”
It is an interesting question why Osoyoos seems bent of eliminating water councillors while Oliver is happy to have them at the table, albeit in a more subdued role than in decades past.
It’s tempting to assume it’s because Osoyoos sees itself as a high-end tourist town, an economic cut or two above its northern neighbor, which identifies more as a quiet and homey agricultural service centre. Maybe Osoyoos sees the presence of rural representation on its council as a bit countrified. Whatever the motivation, Osoyoos council and senior staff seem determined that this elective term will be the last for water councillors.
Given the complexity of negotiations among the town, the regional district and the province, one fears that water councillors in Oliver might face the same fate as their southern counterparts if council and staff there are successful in their efforts. Residents in the rural areas surrounding the two towns do have an interest in the decisions, particularly on water matters, made at their council tables.
Eliminating water councillors would be a loss for democracy in the South Okanagan.
Entering my fourth week of social distancing and no end in sight. I think I have got past the worse of it as I no longer seem to have endless days, I have adapted to being on my own with several phone calls daily from family and friends. After two weeks of feeling abandoned I have settled into the routine of a long walk on the lonely Hike and Bike trail every morning and an evening sojourn round the block This keeps the dog happy and me healthy.
As a kid I very soon learned never to express boredom. Living with my grandma taught me that her philosophy was “the Devil finds work for idle hands” and woe betide any of the grandchildren in her care who moaned about being bored.
By the time I was four I could read and spent many hours doing this. I had a library card at a very early age and was a regular visitor to that wonderful place of enchantment, where I could get the means of travel to magical worlds with talking animals, be with children who were capable of solving crimes and having marvellous adventures, fly with Peter Pan and Wendy and generally visit any part of the world I cared to go. I worked my way through the entire children’s section before I was ten.
However, if I ever needed a different diversion and none was at hand I could whine and moan about my sad state. It didn’t take me too long to learn that this was a mistake.
Gran was a great one for filling those boring hours and she did this in a very practical way. I very soon learned that her idea of keeping me busy was to get out some old newspapers, some rags and the Brasso. This was the cleaner that kept grandma’s brass knick knacks shining. A trip through the home was made and gran collected all her brass ornaments and put them on newspapers on the kitchen table, I would then spend half an hour dabbing the polish onto the items with a rag. By the time I had got them all treated, the cream had dried and then came the nasty job of polishing them all to a shine that satisfied gran.
This could take up to two hours of dirty, sweaty work then, as hot water was not to be wasted, I had to try and scrub myself clean in cold water and carbolic soap. No amount of whining or complaining would deter gran, once she set a task, it was completed….or else!
Even worse than the brass cleaning, was polishing the banisters. Gran’s staircase had a set of carved, wooden banister rails that went right up the steps and along the upstairs hallway. I would be given a soft rag, usually a piece of an old nightie, smeared with Mansion polish. This was a tin of creamy, wax like polish that everyone I knew used to polish their wooden surfaces. The polish was smeared all round the railings then the fun job began.
I would be given a clean piece of cloth and taking hold of both ends I had to work my way up the back of each railing, transfer the rag to the front and work my way down. The carved rail would take much back and forth action to get into every crevice of the carving.
A couple of hours of this forced labour and I was a filthy wreck and too tired for the devil to be interested in my idle hands. My own children or my grandchildren think I am joking when I relate gran’s cure for boredom but anyone from my age and background would not bat an eyelid. We were loved and cared for but never excused from hard labour, if it was required. Our parents and guardians worked hard and we were brought up with the same work ethic.
Yes, it is very wearying to try and fill our days with nothing but leisure but what a hardship to have a comfortable home, a telephone, a television, a computer and my own mini-library of books. Add to this a machine that makes a fresh cup of coffee on demand and it seems like I enjoy the life my grandma could only ever dream about.