Dec. 7, 2019

Battling the politicians in Canada — they don’t answer

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