EDITORIAL: No use looking local

Parksville Qualicum candidates have not championed any local issues during this campaign, preferring to stick to party line

As we near the end of the election campaign we find ourselves concerned about the lack of attention local candidates have paid to Parksville Qualicum Beach issues.

This election campaign has been run from party headquarters and that’s a shame.

The three candidates running for MLA in Parksville Qualicum are all experienced, capable people. They have much to give and we believe, if allowed to express them, they would have some great ideas about how the provincial government could improve life here and shift dollars to better priorities.

It’s clear to us Barry Avis (NDP), David Coupland (B.C. Conservatives) and Michelle Stilwell (B.C. Liberals) have been given their marching orders, a script to follow and instructions not to stray from the party mantra. How else to explain so many weeks of non-talk about local issues? They seem happy to explain how their party’s plan for the province will translate into good things here.

Aside from promises of reviews and studies (yawn), no local candidate has brought anything concrete to the table about how we may improve the economy and quality of life here. No talk about boosts for tourism, or doctors or the waterfront or transit or education. They will try to say their party’s plan for the province will spin off results locally, but that’s weak at best.

Perhaps this is sounding a tad naive, but it’s more of an expression of frustration about how our system is being used by party leaders and their masters. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can still operate in a party system and have a local candidate say his or her party will commit to linking Rathrevor Park to Community Park, or provide real help for Qualicum Beach to fight erosion, or make commitments on a host of other real, on-the-ground issues that require attention in our region.

So, where does that leave us when we go to the polls to mark our ballot? Well, sadly, it’s not about Avis, Coupland or Stilwell. It’s about which party, on a provincial scale, do you want to run the province. It’s easy to pick apart the party (B.C. Liberals) that’s been in power for 12 years and actually has a record to pick apart. If that history is important to you, than the NDP’s record in the 1990s should also be relevant, seeing as the current leader was a big part of that time in government.

— Editorial by John Harding