I was wondering when Liberal MLA Michelle Stilwell would hold up her Paralympic gold medals to try and use them as political currency. Sure enough, in a recent B.C. Liberal photo published by The NEWS on Nov. 1, she is doing exactly that.
Stilwell’s athletic achievements might make her a local sports hero to some, but to a growing number of Islanders, including Persons With Disabilities, working or otherwise, such symbolism is hardly inspiring. Indeed, it is cynical political posturing.
On the other hand, when I hear the usual B.C. Liberal Party bafflegab about “a clear vision for the future”, “passion for her constituency,” “tireless advocate” and “ensuring that (our) views and needs are heard” it is oddly fitting.
Such talk provokes dark laughter from those of us experiencing a more bleak but reality-based world than the one inhabited by Stilwell and her boss Premier Christy Clark.
We have seen clawbacks to bus passes, reduced government services access, absence of a living minimum wage, increasing tariffs on energy, increasing homelessness, corporate influence on public policy, unfair tax structures, school closures, fuel spills and exponential raw log exports on Vancouver Island.
It appears in B.C. we are living in a kleptocracy bent on completely dismantling the public domain.The current government has become increasingly toxic and it is up to us the electorate to resist the squeeze play.
What I really want from Stilwell is that she take responsibility for her part in the grinding poverty the disabled in B.C. face, rather than dismissing criticism as “personal attacks” that come “with the territory.”
Good news. Sue Powell, long-time Parksville city councillor, will enter the ring for NDP MLA nomination to run against Stilwell.
Powell is a candidate with actual experience as a social worker and years experience in local politics, not a novice politician like Stilwell, whose seeming claim to fame is as a motivational speaker and an athlete.