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Letters to the Editor: November 23, 2011

Respect for name At the next all-candidates forum [Candidates outline election platforms,” November 9], perhaps we could have a moderator who doesn’t make a candidate’s surname a subject of ribbing, good-natured or not.

Respect for name

At the next all-candidates forum [Candidates outline election platforms,” November 9], perhaps we could have a moderator who doesn’t make a candidate’s surname a subject of ribbing, good-natured or not.

Ted Crossley

Hammond Street

Occupy message is crystal clear

There have been many reports emanating from the media and right-wing think tanks suggesting there is no clear message being presented by the various occupy campaigns that have sprung up all over the free world [“Living on a massive overdraft,” November 16]. I beg to differ.

The message they are sending is crystal clear. The capitalistic system currently operating in most countries is not serving the majority of its constituents.

In order for a political system to be deemed a success it must meet the needs of the majority of the people. In Canada and the United States the vast majority of wealth and power is controlled by a very small percentage of the population.

The rich and powerful are getting richer and more powerful. Corporations and religious groups control the government. Pharmaceutical companies dictate health care policies. The environment is sacrificed in the name of progress. Our system of government is corrupt, deceptive and ultimately unsustainable.

The majority of the people will no longer be silent. We are mad as hell and we are not going to take it anymore. I wonder what part of this message is unclear.

Gary Olson

Stittle Road

No justice, it seems

If I had been asked about my war memories as in your November 9 issue, I would have told you of an ancient ambulance rocking madly as the German bombers unloaded, flying masonry, shattered glass in my lap from the windshield, blinding flashes, the roar of automatic guns, the sights that tear at your heart and your stomach.

Now, after a lifetime with a totally clean driver’s licence, much of my work concerned with driving, the Queen’s cowboys want to deprive me of my licence just when I need it most [“Senior drivers lobby,” May 18]. There is no justice.

Rosalind Dunham

Duncan Street

We do not walk alone

As a member of Parliament representing the most populous riding in the province, and one of the most diverse, I can’t say enough how important local government is to the effective functioning of national government, not as a substitute for people’s direct engagement with the local member of Parliament, but as a supplement—the two in tandem acting as pillars of healthy, ongoing representation, accountable to “us people, here at home.”

Locally elected leaders and I were able to accomplish much over the last three years in office together. Importantly, the 12 local governments and three aboriginal governments have worked together to ensure good regional representation within our far-flung, diversified riding. In that way, we have together acted in some ways like the reformed Senate that I envision for the whole of Canada, one that enables effective regional representation at the centre.

It’s certainly with some sadness that I say goodbye to mayors, councillors and regional district directors who will not return to office. My gratitude goes to outgoing City of Powell River Mayor Stewart Alsgard, and to the outgoing city councillor, Aaron Pinch [“Formosa edges out Alsgard,” November 23].

By the same token, it’s with a great sense of anticipation that I welcome the new elected officials.

I appreciate the virtues of “subsidiarism”—moving the responsibilities of government to the levels nearest the people, to the extent practicable—and enhancing healthy relations between electors and representatives around issues that bring them together. By active participation in our local municipal politics, voters make government accountable; and when it comes to paving local roads, zoning issues, garbage collection, and, of course, local taxes, those who took the effort to vote November 19 should take pride that they participated in this worthy endeavour.

John Weston

MP, West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding

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