Hodge: Promises to be a nasty name-calling election campaign

With a month to go before the provincial election, things are starting to heat up on the campaign trail.

Despite the fact the NHL playoffs are just around the corner, it seems the flavour of the game currently number one in B.C. is politics.

With a month to go before the provincial election, things are starting to heat up on the campaign trail, clearly visible by the sudden appearance of political candidates everywhere.

They are popping up faster and thicker then weeds in the spring garden—and more demanding of your attention.

Already the election advertising rhetoric is rolling out full speed with the Liberals and NDP bashing each other with nasty, sketchy ads and sound-bites.

Never mind the facts —just spew it out and see what sticks in the brains of the voters. (Hmm… why is it that I recognize those wounds?)

Interesting enough it seems the Conservatives are taking a less ugly position on the rhetoric and ads, allowing the other two parties to have a feeding frenzy on each other.

That may be due to a lack of funds for advertising or it may be a calculated decision to let the other two choke each other and quietly sneak up the middle of things while they twitch and jerk.

Only time will tell.

That said, it seems my former Kelowna city council crony Graeme James has literally dropped the gloves on Liberal incumbent MLA (and former council member) Norm Letnick, publicly challenging him to a public debate on agriculture.

Grand idea, Graeme, but I doubt it will happen.

No one knows how to work harder on an election campaign than Letnick.

The fellow is relentless when it comes to door knocking and rolling out the promotional material.

But when it comes to a debate about agriculture, he can’t hold a candle to James, a long-time advocate for farmers, ranchers and growers across B.C.

•••

Meanwhile, on the municipal level it seems Kelowna city council is prepared to allow high-rise developments anywhere and at any height in town despite the protests of residents.

Two controversial developments, the Monaco and the one planned for the Hiawatha Park area, have been green-lighted to move to the next stage.

I attended the Hiawatha development’s public hearing last week, and then the subsequent council meeting earlier this week when council approved zoning amendments to allow the plan to move forward.

A variety of concerns were put before council including protests about building height exceeding zoning guidelines, high population density, and traffic concerns.

Most controversial of all, however, was the way former and current tenants of Hiawatha Trailer Park were treated by the developer during the past four or five years.

Numerous residents suggested they had not received fair value for their homes or properly communicated with by the developer.

At the end of the day only three council members voted against the proposal moving forward: Robert Hobson, Mohini Singh and Gail Given.

Sadly, the only councillor to vote against the proposal largely motivated by the treatment of the residents was Singh.

During the discussion, more than one councillor acknowledged the hurt feelings and questionable communication by the developer, but suggested their role as an elected official was, “to deal with the land issue and not the human element.”

That sticks in my throat.

I always thought an elected official was supposed to do his/her best to listen to and represent the best interests of the residents and the community.

Last time I checked, it was people who voted at the ballot boxes—not land.

Sad.

•••

Someone who hopes to ‘rise above’ the world of politics is local outdoor enthusiast Ryan Morice.

Morice plans to climb Mount Everest in the near future, but not before climbing a whole bunch of other major mountains around the world.

“It’s a dream I have held for a long time now, and I am pretty excited to start on the first leg of my journey,” the soft-spoken Morice says.

He needs to raise some significant dollars over the next year or so to assist on a couple of different well planned mountain climbing expeditions—and is willing to take a few mementos to the tops of the mountains as a way to raise some funds.

“I am considering carrying or wearing a couple of items that people give me to the top of Everest and back as part of my fundraising efforts,” he explains.

Morice has already completed five Ironman triathlons. In 2008, he scaled Mt. Rainier (14,410 feet) and in a 2009 venture to Colorado he climbed 18 14,000-foot peaks in 12 days.

“I am hoping to find a couple of key sponsors for the trip. It is not often someone attempts such a trip and perhaps I can attract a few people who like the novelty of this journey,” Ryan explains.

He has a couple of different sponsorship packages available.

For more information email me at hodgepodge2@shaw.ca and I will pass it on.

 

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