EDITORIAL: Over the top MLA

Scott Fraser's hyperbole, questioning the value of biosphere region and a call for Michelle Stilwell to help the homeless

NDP MLA Scott Fraser, who represents many in our region, turned the hyperbole dial up more than a few notches in the past week.

“Gord is the best candidate I have ever seen in the federal arena,” Fraser said after the federal election victory for NDP candidate Gord Johns.

“I have never seen revelations so damning of a government,” Fraser said about the recent e-mails controversy in Victoria.

Apparently, Fraser doesn’t get out much. Or he’s like one of those sports announcers who labels someone different ‘the best player in the league’ every few days.

Sure, Johns was a good candidate. And yes, this e-mail situation is disturbing, to say the least.

However, we will dig into another sports announcing circle, Monday Night Football’s pre-game show, for our reaction to Fraser’s pronouncements: “C’mon man!”

• The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region is nothing more than a make-work project for academics and something cool for elitists to grasp so they can say something intelligent about UNESCO in relation to where they live.

We see no environmental protection function, no economic boost, no real reason for tax dollars being spent on this project. Having meetings (no, let’s call them roundtables, that’s way more important-sounding) of residents and business people (no, let’s call them stakeholders) with no apparent end-game or purpose, other than more roundtables with stakeholders, is energy well wasted.

There, we said it. Prove us wrong.

• Roughly two months ago, community organizations came to Parksville city council to announce a plan to change the way the region’s homeless are served. It included the use of the former B.C. Ambulance Service building on Hirst Avenue, which was purchased by the Parksville and District Association for Community Living (PDACL). There was talk of 10 homeless shelter beds and four-five transitional rooms for those waiting to get housing in what is said to be the community with one of the lowest vacancy rates in the province.

Scrap all that. PDACL says it needs the space and won’t be offering it to the Crisis Care Society for those much-needed measures to help the homeless. It’s time for MLA and cabinet minister Michelle Stilwell to step into this issue. Winter is coming. And our MLA should know government grant criteria — exactly what kind of beds may or may not be funded under this or that program — doesn’t mean anything to a homeless person who needs help.

— Editorial by John Hardin

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