Letters: Was Money For Farm Workers Memorial Well Spent?

By March 17, 2013Letters

Dear Editor. Re: “the Golden Tree in memory of farm workers”, published in local papers – After reading this piece I have to seriously question the cognitive function and lack of common sense that went into the decision to put up a monument in commemoration of the individuals (albeit dedicated to all Farm Workers) who tragically died in a Motor Vehicle accident. This story raises a lot of questions.

This was a tragic accident with contributing safety violations by the contractors. Motor vehicle accidents happen every day with tragic results but is it appropriate to build a monument for every segment of our work force or ethnic community that might be involved? Is this $100,000.00 allocation of taxpayer-funded government spending just another case of pandering to an ethnic segment of our community to garner votes? I am so cynical and suspect of all politicians and political parties as evidenced by their recent behavior.

This story raises a lot of concerns:

1. Could the money be better spent in support of the families who suffered, through an education fund for any children involved or to better educate the vulnerable farm worker?

2. Are we setting a precedent of monuments in public parks?

3. Who will pay for the maintenance and inevitable vandalism which will occur?

4. If this monument is made of brass or stainless steel, how long before it is harvested by metal collectors?

5. Would a park bench with plaque, paid for by this community, be more appropriate to commemorate the loss of their loved ones?

Indeed, this accident was a loss of life especially for the families involved. However well meaning, in my opinion they would be better served by planting a real tree, possibly in a more appropriate location where it could be nurtured without constant fear of vandalism?

Yours truly,

T.B. Mortimer

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Mortimer is gracious in his criticism.

    From the start this thing has been a travesty. The people who jammed farm workers into a crammed, unsafe van got off scott-free, despite a list of indictable violations.

    The dead and injured farm workers would have been better served by a justice system that was actually concerned about justice. But our LEGAL system can be manipulated by money and influence.

    What penalty did the labour contractor incur that would act as any kind of a deterrent to other unscrupulous people who treat the poor with such callous disregard for their health and safety.

    The BC Government for many years has turned its eyes away from the obvious near-slave conditions of disadvantaged farm workers.

  • DeceitinDrugs says:

    I, too, question the placement of the Golden tree
    at Mill Lake as a memorial for a horrific accident,
    which occured on the freeway.

    The monument does not in any way reflect the mayhem
    and carnage of that day!

    I woulkd think a plaque, outside, the Motor Vehicle Branch,
    or near ICBC on Tretheway, where it would be a constant
    reminder to driver’s of farm vehicles………..where they
    could see it, when obtaining or renewing their licenses, at
    the very least.

    This accident that day came down to greed, trying to save every
    cent at the expense of the women’s lives and it is, also, un-
    fortunate the women were not aware of the driving laws and vehicle
    standards, which were blatantly ignored.

    My heart goes out to the families, who lost their loved ones, but,
    I think the real message will be lost, due to the location of
    the memorial tree.

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