EDITORIAL: Asking for more

Surely new MP Gord Johns has something more to offer than continuous jabs at the former government

Liberal and NDP candidates in last fall’s federal election did a good job painting the Conservatives as the bad guys, the party the country needed to move away from, put in our rear-view mirror.

Save for about 100 ridings, they succeeded, although the NDP lost ground from the 2011 election and lost Official Opposition status to the Conservatives.

It might be easier for us to forget the Conservatives, move on, if the NDP MP for the riding that includes Parksville Qualicum Beach didn’t mention them at seemingly every opportunity.

The Ottawa office of Gord Johns has sent us a handful of news releases since being elected. One was about the MP’s first speech in the House of Commons and the other was about the opening of his constituency offices. Neither could be called issue-based.

Two others that actually dealt with issues included a slap at the Conservative Party.

Johns on gas prices: “The previous government didn’t do anything to protect consumers at the pump…”

From a news release from Johns’ Ottawa office this week in relation to the planned closure of the Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) Centre in Comox (not a direct Johns quote, but part of the news release): “The MCTS closures are part of the Conservatives’ devastating cuts to the Coast Guard in B.C.”

It’s way too early in his mandate to expect real returns from Johns for the Courtenay-Alberni riding. Regardless, the way Ottawa works, our expectations should be low for a third-party backbencher.

Still, it seems kind of petty, kind of yesterday’s news, to fall back on the campaign rhetoric of slamming the Conservatives at every turn, five months after the election. Yeah, we get all that. The Conservatives are the bad guys, yada, yada. Got all that during the campaign, thanks.

Just down the Island Highway and mere weeks after her election, NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson had already met with the chamber of commerce there and she also spoke about specific, federal-money-required projects for her Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding (sewage treatment, the Nanaimo Biological Station, passenger ferry, passenger rail service, just to name a few).

Aside from bashing the Conservatives, we’d like to hear about what arrows MP Johns has in his quiver.

— Editorial by John Harding

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