Dec. 7, 2019
They get paid by us. Pretend they fight for us. But they can’t even respond to a serious issue in their municipality, province or country.
 
I have been trying to get answers concerning our health care system, given the sudden close down of a local medical clinic forcing 2,000 to be without a family physician.
 
I have contacted the local health board and wrote the provincial and federal ministers. I copied the local municipal councils and the MPs on my letters to the ministers. 
 
Here is the roll cal : 12 Local elected municipal politicians, five in Qualicum Beach and seven in Parksville. 
 
Only two have responded: Mayor Mayne in Parksville and Councillor Harrison in Qualicum Beach . That’s two out of twelve. Harrison provided an intelligent response to the issue. Mayor Mayne is working on some matters to try to solve the problem. The clinic served people in both these municipalities. 
 
42 MPs. One, I had wrong address – the other 41?
 
Only six have responded! Weiner, Sing, May, Kwan, Davies, and Julian. But none addressed the issue. Most are just getting so much mail! And the matter concerns federal legislation, something right in the jurisdiction of these MPs. 
 
The provincial minister? He had an employee respond. 
 
Federal minister? She got a department branch to answer, no names, no signatures. Still fighting that. 
 
So where is responsibility and accountability of those whom we elected?
 
The local MP Gord Johns has an automatated response system so I got that kind of answer but nothing on the issue itself.
 
MLA Michelle Stilwell’s office assistant tried to help although I am unsure if she really understood the whole thing. Then after my battle hit the Vancouver Sun, I get a call from Ms Stilwell herself to have a chat. 
 
I have asked the local MP and the MLA if they support my request to the federal minister to review whether the province is in compliance with the conditions of the Canada Health which oversees $4 billion to the province annually. I wait for their reply. 
 
My sense is that MLAs and MPs are now active social workers, their legislative work a minor aggravation other than filling the seats for their parties. Municipal councillors? Well, there are all those committee meetings, right?
 

COMMENTS

There are a myriad of communication methods that could be cumulatively overwhelming.

Trying to keep up with Twitter and Facebook etc. is a mug's game. However, not giving a substantive reply, or even acknowledgement of receipt to letters, phone calls, and emails is unforgivable. 

Every politician has taxpayer-paid staff to assist in reviewing all incoming correspondence and forwarding the important ones directly to the intended recipient for response, or direction as to response. There is no reason that serious issues cannot be responded to properly. Anyone who cannot do so is incompetent to be in an elected office.

I agree with Brian that the public should be able to see politicians' workload logs and schedules. Many would be astounded at how much work a few do – and how little work many do.

– Gary Korpan

There’s a sad and bitter irony here. The caseload for politicians seems equal to that of our GPs.

In this day and age of electronic communication it is umpteen times faster today to dispatch 5 emails to your local MLA, MP or Councillor, than it was yesterday to put a stamp on a letter, let alone write it.

Could there be a triage system put in place for our elected people whereby matters of urgency could in some manner be prioritized?  

Each and every day I give thanks for having ‘served’ during the time I did as opposed to this current age. 

Paraphrasing Gilbert & Sullivan, from the Pirates of Penzance, “A politician’s lot is not a happy one”!

– Graeme Roberts

 

Dec. 4, 2019

They are sure making great Intellectuals these days. Pity the poor students who have to put up with this ignorant so called expert witness. And suppose to have some Constitutional Moxy to boot.

Chosen by the Democrats as an expert witness in the rushed, kangaroo Impeachment hearings, this biased, Constitutional Expert from Stanford University is named Pamela Karlan. Talk about objectivity!!!!

Here’s lawyer John Hinderaker of Powerline Website:

‘But the Democrats’ worst witness was Stanford professor Pamela Karlan. Karlan reportedly was considered for a Supreme Court appointment by Barack Obama, but rejected as too radical. She also was reported to be on Hillary Clinton’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Karlan came across as an obsessive Trump-hater. She testified that on one occasion, she was walking down a sidewalk and came to a Trump hotel. She said that she crossed the street so she wouldn’t have to pass in front of the Trump property. That’s some objective “expert” witness!’

Just brimming with Intellect don’t you think? 

But she wasn’t finished. There was more venom to come. 

She used Trump’s son’s name to lambast the President. In words like this: "You know that’s as close as he will get to royalty is by naming a son Barron," she snorted. 

How low can you go? Pretty low, and for a so-called intellectual that’s pretty low. 

Melania Trump broke her silence and said: "A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it."

Paul Johnson in his excellent book ‘The Intellectuals‘ says after describing the lives of several intellectuals over 341 pages: – "Beware Intellectuals. Not merely should they be kept well away from the levers of power, they should also be objects of particular suspicion when they seek to offer collective advice."

Oh, the cap fits and Pamela Karlan must wear it!

 
Nov. 23, 2019

“I can see clearly now . . “ remember the song?  It gets funnier and funnier every day.

Oh oh I must not laugh. There is just so much fodder one can hardly sleep. 

I mean not only could you not make this stuff up you would be hard pressed to find comedy turning to farce so quickly as has happened here. 

Here we have an obsessively politically correct “new” Federal Government falling all over itself in presenting a new bloated cabinet with cozy friends and ideological soul mates getting all the hot spots in that once important now irrelevant august body. 

But to top it off and to show the world just how correct we are we now have a Ministry of Middle Class Prosperity – this as this same government destroys middle-class jobs in the energy industry through Bills 48 and 69. Can you believe the gall – one definition of this word being – “an abnormal growth formed on plants and trees especially oaks in response to the presence of insect larvae mites or fungi.”

It’s an abnormal growth alright – on the body politic! Inflicted by a tone deaf governing class which knows not what the country’s wants and needs are. 

What over-paid consultant thought this up? What friend of the Princeling brought this concept to the table? Who is running this adolescent aberration of a government? The new Minister for this silly Department it is reported is at a loss to define what Middle Class means. I wonder when a definition is provided, if one is ever provided, will the minister fall under the definition?

The Press of course are having a field day with the National Post highlighting on their front page yesterday just what is in store for the country as other similar new ministries will have to be announced to keep up with the latest social fads of Twitter and their ilk.  

Then on policy we find the results of the Government’s failed policy on national pipelines as Quebec struggles with a shortage of propane.

Can you believe it? The irony of it all!

Quebec no sooner declares its opposition to pipelines coming from Alberta than a mere four -day-old rail strike sees the province brought to its knees on the lack of propane supply. How embarrassing this must be for Quebec and the federal government ? No, no, this is not embarrassing – they don’t know the difference – that’s the tragedy! 

From comedy to farce to tragedy. 

For the rest of us it is a tragedy to see all that volume of propane and the capacity to transport it by safer means other than railways being strangled by misguided and incompetent leaders. Premier Jason Kenny was right to point out that there is such a easy fix — a simple tried-and-true technology – a pipeline from the west to the east.

Something that under the Constitution of the country the federal government is supposed discharge. The relevant section of the Constitution reads:  . . . “it is hereby declared that (notwithstanding anything in this Act) the exclusive Legislative Authority of the Parliament of Canada extends to all Matters coming within the Classes of Subjects next hereinafter enumerated; that is to say  91(2) The Regulation of Trade and Commerce.”

 This working week is over, can we take another one like this?

 

Nov. 21, 2019

Oh, My, what can one say?

This is everything critics like me thought would happen but hoped we were wrong. More quantity, 36 Ministers, but little appreciation for the country’s issues. 

Here we have a very serious problem in the west and the Prime Minister’s opening statement introducing the new Cabinet completely ignores that reality..:

“On election day, Canadians chose to continue moving forward. From coast to coast to coast, people chose to invest in their families and communities, create good middle-class jobs, and fight climate change while keeping our economy strong and growing. Canadians sent the message that they want us to work together to make progress on the issues that matter most, from making their lives more affordable and strengthening the health care system, to protecting the environment, keeping our communities safe, and moving forward on reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. People expect Parliamentarians to work together to deliver these results, and that’s exactly what this team will do.”

What a slap in the face to Alberta and Saskatchewan and North Eastern British Columbia. To the energy industry and people who work in it. And all those Canadians everywhere in Canada who depend on that industry, not one word!

And appointing Jim Carr as the Prairie Representative in the Cabinet is really a lame effort. Carr presided over the Natural Resources Department when the first moves were being made to undermine the oil and gas industry. I attended a conference where he spoke and his comments were totally oblivious to what the industry was telling him at the time. The result was the energy killing Bills 48 and 69. And do you think that with ten Quebecers in the Cabinet anything will be done to change the equalization program? To amend these two bills? With his good friend and completely underwhelming Seamus O’ Reagan now in charge of Natural Resources change that favours the industry or quells the west’s frustration is, if anything, more remote than ever.  

There is no real signal here that out dear Princeling has learned a thing.

And the country languishes.

Douglas Murray, globally known writer and social commentator in an interview with National Post’s Barbara Kay said of Canada when queried by Kay on the culture wars :

“Canada doesn’t look good (internationally) at the moment. It’s repeatedly throwing up more hostile battles in this area than your population size would demand. In Canada it looks from outside like there’s an adult deficit. A serious lack of adults.’

If one had to describe the political leadership of this country it is difficult to think of a more valid comment.

 

 

Nov. 15, 2019

So says our intrepid Parliamentary Budget Officer.

We waltzed through an election with hardly a peep on the fiscal situation, our growing debt and hence continuing deficits. If one raised such boring things, “the silence” ensued. 

You see we seem to have, it’s now world wide really, this idea that, as our Prime Minister said during his first election campaign, the deficit, debt, etc. will look after itself. 

And it has alright. 

And isn’t it ironic ? We have, in the last few days, the socialist party, the NDP, meeting with the minority Liberals to demand more and more spending, like a Pharmacare program costing billions of extra money, in return for their support.

No one can utter the words anymore: “We can’t afford it!” There is almost a grin on the faces of people if you say such things. 

Well, here is the PMO saying: “PBO has downgraded its outlook for growth in the Canadian economy in the second half of 2019 reflecting, in part, increased trade tension and related uncertainty. Real GDP growth is projected to be 1.7 per cent in 2020 and 1.6 per cent in 2021. This is, respectively, 0.3 percentage points and 0.2 percentage points lower than we projected in our June 2019 election proposal costing (EPC) baseline. The downward revision stems from weaker export performance, reduced contributions from inventory investment and lower provincial government spending in Alberta.”

And the PMO even mentions lower government spending in Alberta. But if you listen to Easterners, Alberta is overplaying its importance. Not so says PMO. 

But this is because of what was said one sentence earlier when the office talked about lower export performance, and inventory investment!

Why? Can’t get that oil to market! Why? Too few pipelines! 

Why? federal government won’t take on Quebec (too many seats) to get Energy Easy going so eastern Canadians can taste that Alberta oil, gotta taste that American and Saudi, North Sea, Nigerian stuff. And can’t get to west coast, because B.C. obstructs, and because of : Bills 48, Bill 69 : Stopping tanker traffic on wet coast and building extra walls of regulation for new projects. 

 All is coming home to roost.

Oh! And after going through a great song and dance about numbers and all of it on a base of the status quo, the Budget Officer at the end says: “This does not take into account the promises of the recent election (ha ha ha, can’t you just roll over in laughter or disgust?)

He says: “However, based on commitments made during the electoral campaign, it is expected that budgetary deficits over the medium term will be higher than our status quo projection, reducing the probability of balancing the budget by 2024-25, as well as reducing the probability that the debt-to-GDP ratio will be lower than 30.9 per cent in that year.”

Would you like to know how much our debt will increase by 2024/2025? A cool $102 Billion according to the PMO. 

So, Alberta counts a lot, folks, and with present trends of spending and policy decisions already in place, fait accompli, do you want to bet on our financial picture getting better any time soon?