Monday June 14, 2010

Press Release

11 Things You Should Know

Myrtle McDonald shares her views on a few topics

Submitted by Myrtle McDonald

1. I trust you will read this article carefully and share it with your staff and with anyone in government or the private sector, who is trying to bring about safe fuel production and transportation. Our oceans are quickly being destroyed by pollution by oil, sewage, a plastic bag island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean as big as Texas (=BC). Many adults and children spend a day to clean up our rivers.                                                                                        Myrtle McDonald. Voice file photo

2. What are you doing to enable and promote clean up of the seashores along BC? (and better still - prevent?)

3. What are you doing to stop emptying of sewage and chemical waste into rivers and the Pacific Ocean? Do you know what the First Nations want, have to contribute?

4. What are you doing to replace oil and natural gas consumption by solar, geothermal, wind, wave and battery energy.

5. What are you doing to provide Rail for the Valley? The farmers south of Highway #1 from Yarrow through Greendale, Arnold, Vye Road and Sumas need accessible rail. They can't access the highway.

6. Why not give a boost to Rail for the Valley? Cultus Lake could also be served by a rail stop at Vedder, and tourism encouraged. Students going to 6 universities/colleges would have transportation if the Southern Railway had passenger trains 4 times a day. The right of way belongs to BC. Recently The Federal Govt granted $175,280 for a level crossing guard at Upper Prairie Road. Out of a total cost of $219,000 that leaves only $43,720 to be raised. See www.thevalleyvoice.ca/ Click Last week News and scroll down to April 29 for a picture and fine article.

I drove east from Huntingdon, on Vye Road and kept close to the Southern Railway all the way to Chilliwack. There were four underpasses and only about four level crossings that might need a gated crossing guard. There is little need for them because very few people live south of the Southern Railway. It is the people north to the highway and east from Yarrow, Cultus, Vedder to Chilliwack, and in time Hope, who need the railway. Students especially would benefit. So would people going to Abbotsford Airport, using a short bus shuttle from under the freeway (north of Huntingdon), up King Road past the campus to the airport.

Meanwhile travel on the highway from Chilliwack to Abbotsford has become a dangerous rush hour night and day. Most of the SUVs and huge trucks come from east of Chilliwack.

7. What are you doing to clean up air pollution by cars, SUV's and long distance trucks? Meanwhile the majority of Chilliwack residents suffer all year round from any or all of the following: sore eyes, excess tears, runny noses, postnasal drip, head aches, blocked ears, vertigo, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma and acute and chronic lung problems. Our glorious mountain views are hazy. The reports about air quality are unrealistic because they ignore the tiny particulates that get into the minute passages in our sinuses, middle and inner ears and lungs.

8. Solar Heating was long ago proven inexpensive. Last week I read in the Chilliwack real estate newspaper, front page, that houses are heated and cooled Solar Energy are already being built in one of our suburbs. Hooray! Please provide encouragement for low income housing heated by the sun and/or geothermal means.

As far back as 1991 I was working in Lesotho, an independent kingdom in southern Africa as a Consultant to the Home Economics and Nutrition Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, under CESO (Canadian Executives Services Organization). I visited all but one of their ten provinces. Up high in the mountains where there was no electricity, the Nurse's Station and other govt buildings had hot water, heating and electric lights from solar heating. Later I noticed that in the capital city of Maseru many homes had solar heating and electricity.

Here at Canadian Tire we can buy small solar panels to take on camping trips. We can buy solar lights for our garden patios. Honorable Barry Penner, please provide technicians to teach everyone how to do solar heating and lighting in their own homes. Why are we delaying so long to get on with proven technology? We ordinary citizens need support with "know how". That is where you are needed.

9. What are you doing about oversupply of housing for middle class and undersupply for the poor? Please notice that many of the apartment buildings and office complexes built in Chilliwack in the past two years are standing empty, along Yale Road and Young Road. See the apartments between Young Road and the new Safeway. Meanwhile there are about 200 homeless people. If three or four apartments in every apartment building were subsidized anonymously, and if there were Community Support Workers to help them with furnishing, decoration and housekeeping skills, there would be remarkable transformations. I do not agree with separate low-income-housing. That leads to ghettos and loss of self-esteem.

Besides there are many families and singles doubled up and crowded into tiny apartments so as to avoid becoming homeless because they are under-employed on part time jobs, and cannot afford more than $300 rent. This overcrowding causes loss of privacy, easy entre for thieves and druggies, depression, low marks in school, high school drop-outs and child abuse. Subsidies for sports equipment, fees for YMCA and/or the Leisure Centre and camping, are also essential. The federal subsidies are just deductions from income tax. Most of the poor who learn less than $10,000 or $20,000 a year, are therefore left out.

10. What are you doing about the rich getting richer and the poor poorer?

11. What are you doing about high salaries of CEOs and vice presidents? Most of Fraser Health dollars go to pay an excess unneeded hierarchy, while direct care cutbacks are breaking our hearts and losing support for the Liberals. Split Fraser Health into 3 separate Health regions: Fraser South, Fraser North and Fraser East. Inappropriate decisions are made for Fraser East by people in Langley who know nothing about us. Transfer the hierarchy into direct care roles, and since most of them are out of date and out of touch, provide some upgrading in their profession, if they sincerely have one, by peers who are effective in direct care, not by theoreticians whose practical knowledge is outdated.

This sort of support and proactive advocacy for the poor would overcome my growing shame of being a Canadian. I had my 89th birthday this month. Please encourage me during the next year.

Please reply to each point. You owe it to all the people of BC, to me and to yourself. Show me how you plan to accomplish the actions urgently needed, outlined above.

To contact Myrtle Macdonald e-mail here.