Why do we vote?

LETTER: Government’s lack of interest in what the people want leads to a question of why we bother to vote

Well, the Stickle Road controversy has been going on in the media for a long time, over two years now. I have been quite passionate about it, and although quiet lately, have not taken my eye off of the ball. I can’t think of a clearer example of a ministry and government trying to ‘steer’ the people they work for, in the direction that the people don’t want, demonstrating a blatant disregard for the peoples’ intelligence, desires and opinions of an issue. The government would have been better off just introducing ‘what they are going to do’ and that’s that. I think though that because the majority of the public have wanted a traffic light system at the Stickle Road intersection for so long, (at least 30 years), that they wouldn’t dare just dump their idea on the people at large.

I have saved pretty much every article and letter to the editor from the readers out there on this issue, attended all open houses put on by the Ministry Of Transportation and Infrastructure on this issue as well, and I can tell you that, the material available that contains public feedback and that of the media writers, shows no less than approximately 85 – 90 per cent in favor of the traffic light option. I have witnessed local politicians come out swinging against the MOTI’s plans, trying to defend their voters, only to give up after meeting with officials in higher circles. I have read about and seen through the social media posts of higher officials, a variety of opinions that start out supporting what the public wants, only to be swayed behind the scenes and then that position changes publicly for all to see. There is a quiet bully behind all of this, but who is it? We get a new provincial government in, and they are almost silent on the issue until pushed a little, and then the Transportation Minister, Claire Trevena, focuses on the environmental aspect of it in her response, (the most recent attempt by opposition to stop the process, thus the easiest to respond to – Kudos to Keli Westgate of the Greens for trying to make a difference), not mentioning anything about the public’s overall and overwhelming opposition to the plan throughout the entire process. It was an almost generic response that sidesteps the actual issue of how the public have been treated throughout this whole ordeal. And let’s be overly cynical for a moment in the name of truth shall we? A ‘third-party’ report means nothing these days unless produced publicly. Has this report been put out to the public? Published in a paper? On the TV news? I haven’t seen it. Why would it not be made readily visible in the media to go along with the rest of this mess? I’ll bet the report, if it is out there, doesn’t mention how the MOTI hasn’t fixed their other blunder by Vernon Toyota. It’s one thing to say the report is out there Claire, but another to produce it.

The ministry’s reasons for their options all through this have not added up in the majority opinion of the public respondents. Does it make sense to keep traffic going 90 km/h through fog on an overpass that is warping, twisting and sinking? Does it make sense to keep traffic rushing into a congested city street from a highway speed? It’s like flushing a toilet full of crap into a garden hose, it’s absurd! The MOTI wants to keep the speed up saying it will minimize crashes. That’s one opinion. I would challenge that by adding observations of distracted drivers taking every opportunity they can to use their phones. When coming into a well-lit city outskirt, the first traffic light will slow them down and have them paying more attention. There are less injuries realized at 60 vs 90 km/h. The city’s main arteries are congested and the stretch of Highway 97, (32nd St.) in front of the Prestige Inn and Vernon Square Mall is regularly backed up to Vernon Toyota with southbound traffic. A light at Stickle might help break that up, and with future expansion likely in that end of town, how can that not make sense? Really, who are they kidding? But hey, that’s typical of our politics isn’t it folks? They tell us what they want us to hear and believe when they are running in an election…but then what happens? Bingo! Here we are (have you seen the preload work there?) The MOTI claimed it was putting in a single lane road. Really? It needs to be that wide? )

There have been some absolutely amazing letters from people out there as well as stories covered in all media by writers and reporters (and even several of those have swung in favor of the people’s wishes). So….why do we vote?

Rory Ian White

Vernon

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