We don’t know what we have until it is all gone

Who is served by a law that will likely increase the frequency of accidents

To the editor;

Like many others, I have always held to the belief our political leaders — however flawed — are morally bound to safeguard the interests of the population they govern.

Our present government must consider itself exempt from this moral responsibility and many citizens appear blind or indifferent to this problem.

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone, as transportation minister, has increased the speed limit on several highways to 120 km/hr.

He has done so against the recommendations of various informed groups, including the RCMP and ICBC.

We can now expect many drivers to exceed this new limit and travel at 130 km/hr.

Does this mean that, in a few years, Stone will once again raise the speed limit? Who is served by a law that will likely increase the frequency and lethality of accidents?

We might also ask Stone how the public interest is served by reducing ferry service to some coastal communities.

I think many would agree  the public would be better served by reducing the wages of BC Ferry management so some vital services can be maintained.

This is not rocket science.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake, as minister of health, remains silent about the proposed KGHM Ajax proposal.

Like others, he is “waiting for the results of the environmental assessment.”

Apparently, not even the well-researched document distributed by Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment has prompted Lake to be more active in the discussion.

Whose interests are served by his silence?

I expect as minister of health, Lake could be somewhat more vocal and involved in asking questions and demanding answers about the health impacts.

Does he not recognize the difference between “neutrality” and “indifference”?

There are certainly other recent examples of our provincial government acting in ways that seem quite contrary to our public good. There are also glaring instances of our government failing to act in ways that are clearly in the interests of all British Columbians.

For example, the Union of B.C. Municipalities passed a resolution last fall asking the provincial government to modernize the Mineral Tenure Act.

Even with a clear blueprint about how the act could be changed to serve the citizens of B.C. and the mining industry, the government has basically ignored requests for change.

Letters sent to politicians expressing the importance of making changes have been met with silence or, worse, responses that entirely (and deliberately?) miss the point.

I find it quite astonishing that potentially harmful legislation can be passed with the stroke of a pen, while advancing change that is clearly in the public interest requires Herculean efforts to even be noticed.

How is the general population served by such a system?

How can our leaders be held to account for decisions that are contrary to the public good or for indecisiveness that allows harm to their constituents?

Many citizens have no doubt become entirely disenchanted with the political system and choose to not participate.

They see no point in voting, writing letters or protesting political incompetence.

Sadly, it is their silence that undermines our democracy and allows some politicians to ignore the well-being of those they were elected to serve.

Like the song says, “You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”

Andrew Bezooyen