Defending tree fruits lands man in hot water

For the last number of years I have stated my concerns with the tree fruit industry in the Okanagan.

To the editor:

For the last number of years I have written letters to the editor of our local papers here in Kelowna stating my concerns with the tree fruit industry in the Okanagan. In so many of those letters I have encouraged the public to help support B.C. farmers and to buy B.C.-grown.

I guess that’s what got me in hot water in the first place—that I went public with my letters.

If I’m being made a scapegoat and consequently being fired because I questioned BC Tree Fruits for importing Washington State apples and pears when our local fruit was available, then there is something terribly wrong in this world.

Since the age of 18, I have never missed an opportunity to cast my ballot and vote in either a civic, provincial or federal elections and I will continue to do so here in Kelowna on Nov. 19.

It’s been over five weeks since I was suspended and fired by my employer after 37 years, and I will continue to fight to get my job re-instated.

The chief negotiator and legal representative with the tree fruit industry once called me “business illiterate” but I can tell you one thing, I am not industry illiterate. I have written to my MP Ron Cannon, MLA Steve Thomson, NDP Leader Adrian Dix and NDP agricultural critic Lana Popham stating my concerns and also calling for an audit or Royal Commission into the state of the tree fruit industry here in B.C. and I will continue to do anything necessary to continue this fight.

As I have said numerous times before, I may have lost this battle but the war is far from being over.

Jeff Bryde,

Kelowna