View from Labour for May 29, 2009

During the past Provincial Election over half of the eligible voters stayed at home and didn’t vote. The only people helped by a low turnout are the incumbent MLAs. There is no hope for a change in any direction if we don’t exercise our democratic rights and vote. I understand that many are disillusioned with the system and feel they are powerless to affect change. Nothing will change if we don’t get out and vote. If you didn’t vote, please email me at and tell me why. Even if you intentionally spoil a ballot, that is a vote. However, if you don’t cast a ballot you have absolutely no right to complain about the outcome or anything the elected government does during the four year term. I voted so I will be watching the government very closely and making lots of comments.
The Single Transferable Vote once again failed---this time with less than 50%. If the first referendum was a true vote it would have passed when we voted 58% in favour last election. However it was very confusing and people didn’t want to take a chance. One day we may catch up to Europe and have run off ballots in ridings where the winner doesn’t get 50% plus one of the cast ballots. That way the eventual winner will get a majority and close races like Delta South and Caribou Chilcotin would not be all or hanging on one vote. The top two candidates would be running off this week and a clear winner would emerge.
The number of EI claimants on Vancouver Island has almost doubled in six months. That doesn’t count all those whose claims have expired and are now on nothing or welfare. It seems Stephen Harper’s Government doesn’t care about forestry towns—just the auto industry and he’s taking our money to bail out GM pensions. We don’t see anyone helping our pension funds. The problem is that the Liberals who are the heirs apparent treated us just as badly and also stole the money from the EI fund and put into general revenue to help balance budgets.
Tonight Forest Minister Pat Bell be in Port Alberni to address the BC Community Forest AGM reception at Echo Center. Just prior to the election he changed the tenure of Community Forests starting up to 20 years
this is good for the Alberni Valley Community Forest. He has also agreed to look at transferring BC Timber Sales Land to Community Forests. If he is able to do that our Valley will have a chance to increase our CF area. Looking forward to what he tells us tonight.