EDITORIAL: Diverse issues

Consensus building in this province is a difficult proposition. Not quite an exercise in futility, but it’s in the neighbourhood.

Consensus building in this province is a difficult proposition. Not quite an exercise in futility, but it’s in the neighbourhood.

Think of the varied forms of land we have. The regions of this province look very different from each other and have different challenges.

A Prince George winter looks nothing like January in Victoria. Nelson and Trail could not be more different than Chilliwack and Abbotsford.

The climate can shape people’s views on many subjects. It has a real effect on the economy and what can and cannot be done to create and sustain jobs and services.

The diversity of this province — both its land and people — is never more evident than it is every year at the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference. To a city councillor from, say, Williams Lake, Vancouver and Victoria politicians must sound like they are from a distant land speaking an unfamiliar language when they talk about homelessness issues.

While this kind of diversity makes us a unique and enviable province, it also presents problems for politicians, especially the ones who are sent to Victoria as MLAs. It poses problems for political parties, too.

The NDP, for example, has a long history of support from trade unions. Huge forestry or mining or oil and gas projects can mean a lot of union jobs. But the NDP all has a strong faction that is, for the lack of a better term, green, people who do not support mega projects that scar the land.

The B.C. Liberals have different challenges, but with a similar theme of geographical/philosophical diversity.

Perhaps it’s just the age-old city/country debate, but it seems more complex than that in B.C.

It is, in a way, like trying to keep a country together, this B.C. consensus building exercise. The issues and people of New Brunswick, for example, are much different than those in Saskatchewan.

What is a party, a leader, an MLA to do? The easy answer is to keep tabs on what is being said on Main Street in your constituency and vote accordingly. But that’s naive — our powerful party system gets in the way of that form of simplicity and if you are a member of the governing party you have a wider responsibility for the entire province, not just your hometown.

There is no simple answer. Perhaps it is just a matter of holding on for a never-ending, bumpy ride. But we should never lose sight of the fact that this diversity should do more to make us a great place than it does to drive us apart.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Parksville Qualicum Beach crime report: Thieves pilfer laptops, tools, big-screen TV, cash and more

Oceanside RCMP received 256 complaints between Sept. 29 and Oct. 5.

BC Ferries crew member taken to hospital after getting struck by bow doors

Two sailings between Horseshoe Bay and Departure Bay were cancelled

Controversial SD69 discussions continue regarding field trips requiring air travel

Some Qualicum district students believe motion takes away too much from experience at school

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read