I received a wonderful letter of support this week from two UBCO professors. They sent it in to both newspapers and Castanet but it hasn’t appeared yet. Thought I would share it with you today.
3 November 2011
To the Editor:
The mystery of what happened to the dinosaurs is solved – they stalk the land yet and hope now to influence the Kelowna municipal election. We are invited to ignore the achievements of the last three years of municipal governance and advance to the past via ousting the most progressive members of City Council. How extraordinary.
Currently, the citizens of Kelowna enjoy a Council, under the mayor, which, in the majority, has actually been prepared to listen carefully to a broad segment of the city’s population and not just respond obediently to the whims of a few developers. We’ve heard members of Council asking tough questions about what kind of growth is right for Kelowna and making tough decisions, sometimes the decision to say “no”. The narrow, reactionary response we are seeing from one very small segment of the business community is not even representative much less in the interests of that community. As the forward thinking endorsement of Bernard Street revitalizations has shown, mainstream thinking in Kelowna’s business class shrewdly and accurately understands that “what’s good for business is good for Kelowna” makes far less sense than “what’s good for Kelowna is good for business”.
More broadly, we are presented with some defining choices in this election. Do we define the greatness of a city by the number of absentee owners of million dollar condos? Do we define it by the heights of our buildings? Or do we define it instead by the lengths of our trails, the numbers of our parks, the frequency of our public transit service? Do we think that facilitating investment is the route to making a city great or that making a city great is the route to attracting investment? Do we view the arts and heritage with suspicion as the diversions of an elite and cut them back as cost-cutting measures or do we view them with pride as the heart and soul of the city and one of its revenue generating enhancements to boot? Do we view the poor and homeless as problems or do we view poverty and homelessness as problems?
In the end we have, by inadvertence, been done a favour by the much publicized announcement of that hit list of progressive Councillors, Rule, Reid-Nagy, Craig and Hodge – the preposterous and offensive recommendation that we should remedy Council by getting rid of the two women, the young guy and an independent and unbeholden voice. If they weren’t already on our list of who to vote for they are up at the top of it are now. We are citizens and we want change – let the dinosaurs go back to the swamps.