Grower points out flaws in campground thinking

Grower takes exception to argument that agriculturalists are not involved in farmworkers campground issue

To the Editor:

I have an assignment for both Steve Arstad, the editor, and Walter Despot, Keremeos mayor.

Steve: your mission.

Go to the Similkameen River and camp for a few days.

Then phone your boss, Mr. Black, and tell him that because you’ve been squatting on the river… you are entitled to “accommodations and hygienic facilities” in Keremeos. He needs to either rent you a place to stay or build a solution.

Please report his reply.

Walter: your mission.

Go to the Similkameen River and camp for a few days.

Then phone one of the older growers that you probably know well, maybe Red Boscha or Jack Boult. Tell him you’re been squatting on the river… you are entitled to “accomodation and hygienic faclilities.” Doesn’t matter that you haven’t worked for him, aren’t currently working for him and never will work for him. You’ve squatted, he’s an orchardist, the grower is obliged to you. And, you’ll be nice, since you already live in the village you’ll be satisfied if he helps with the gas bill.

Please report the reply.

2) An analogy

People come to Kelowna and start tenting in and around the park by the bridge. Some find work at the nearby Prestige Inn, some at Canadian Tire, some at Kelly O’Brian’s and some at an orchard.

It’s a real problem – there are a whole bunch of people squatting in the park. Does Sharon Shepard (mayor of Kelowna):

a) take the position that it’s not her problem.

b) go only to to the orchardist and suggest they are responsible for supplying “accommodation and hygienic facilities”

c) go to Canadian Tire, Prestige Inn, Kelly O’Brians and the orchard, suggesting that since these people are employed by them, they are somehow responsible.

d) assess whether there is enough campsites in the Kelowna downtown area and move these squatters to designated sites.

e) call the RCMP and remove them.

f) some other idea.

Clearly, Keremeos and Area “G” have chosen  a and b (above). I’m afraid these responses are so silly no orchardist will be involved in a “squatter” solution. Perhaps that’s why none attend the meetings.

Fred Danenhower, Cawston