To the editor:
Local reporters have missed something that fails the smell test at our Kelowna International Airport.
They duly reported that the city is planning to build a mega-million dollar security and customs centre at the airport.
But, no one said boo when 20 security and customs people were laid off this year because the need for security had apparently decreased.
So which is it? Has the need for security decreased at our international airport generating surplus staff?
Or has it increased to the point of needing a $5-million upgrade?
A skeptical person might see this as an attempt to get rid of higher paid staff and replace them with low wage earners.
The security contract is awarded to the lowest bid, and a new contractor is taking over soon.
People who were near retirement have lost their pensions, so someone (Is it the city?) is saving money on the backs of loyal and trusted people.
A more cynical viewpoint would see the confusion among remaining security staff—i.e. the responsibilities of five managers are now carried by one—as a golden opportunity for criminal elements to expand their smuggling activities.
Flights between Mexico and Kelowna are increasing dramatically giving the rich and powerful an opportunity to establish our city as a drug smuggler’s hub.
So, a new low bid security contractor takes over and low paid workers replace former trusted staff, giving criminals the opportunity to get their people in.
The City of Kelowna pretends it is saving money, while assuaging our fears with an expensive new security building!
We already know that bikers are firmly established in this town and the daylight professional gunning down of gang leaders in our city can be seen as a measure of the value of this territory to rich, powerful and violent people.
The illegal drug trade is the single largest industry in B.C., with the marijuana trade alone competing for top spot.
So what better way to convince the good citizens of Kelowna that our power brokers are on top of the game than by building a multi-million dollar edifice to security.
Unfortunately, getting rid of a big chunk of the existing security staff creates a hole in that story large enough to drive a truckload of drugs though.