EDITORIAL: hard-working MP

Can Gord Johns, as a third-party MP, bring federal funds to Parksville Qualicum Beach?

It certainly looks like there are no issues about work ethic. How effective he can be in our party system is another story.

Gord Johns has been the Member of Parliament for the riding that includes Parksville Qualicum Beach for one year now. He won the seat as a member of the New Democratic Party, which was reduced to third-party status after the last federal election behind the ruling Liberals and the Conservatives.

Johns makes $170,400/year as an MP. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s annual salary is double that, $340,800.

To most of us, likely more than 90 per cent of us, Johns is pulling in more than twice what his constituents make in a year. But that’s what the job pays. Deserve is a goofy word. Should pro athletes make more than $6 million a year?

We get the impression Johns would be working as hard as he does now if he was making $40,000 as an MP. He is visible both at home and in Ottawa, tackling a number of files and meeting with quite a cross section of constituents.

The real question is: to what end? Is Johns spinning his wheels?

We don’t believe for a moment that the rise of Trudeau has ushered in a new system of government. He is continuing with the former government’s plan on climate change and he is also sticking with former prime minister Stephen Harper’s plan to cut the increases in healthcare money transfers from Ottawa to three per cent from six per cent a year.

Harper was vilified for stuff like that. Trudeau gets a free ride from the public. Go figure.

The point is this: Trudeau has not really shown he is fundamentally changing the way the government works. That means the party in power makes all the rules and decides where the money goes.

Where does that leave a third-party MP like Johns? Begging at the table for crumbs?

To his credit, Johns has shown he can work across party lines. That’s Ottawa-speak for ‘he’s smart, cares about his riding and can put away party politics for the good of Canadians.’

The people of Parksville Qualicum Beach send millions of dollars to Ottawa every year. Can Johns get some of that money back here as he sits in the back rows with with the rest of the NDP? Parksville’s water treatment project could use a better federal boost. And Johns says he will fight for money for a homeless shelter here.

Yes, it appears Johns is working hard. It would be nice to see that hard work turn into a return of our tax dollars to Parksville Qualicum Beach.

— Editorial by John Harding

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