EDITORIAL: So far away

If a tree falls in an Ottawa forest, does anyone living in Parksville Qualicum Beach hear it, or will they even have interest?

Sometimes, it feels like the 1880s.

That was a time when it could take months for messages or policy statements or even election results to get back and forth from B.C. to the federal seat of power in Ottawa. And when these messages arrived, most people in B.C. didn’t hear them or weren’t interested.

Most likely, they were more concerned with basic survival in a tough time than they were the blatherings of the political and social elite in a land so far away it might as well be China.

Today, with a provincial election creeping closer, the economy still challenging us all and local issues always front of mind, the messages coming from Ottawa reach here much faster, but they do not exactly resonate with most residents of Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Our representative — and it doesn’t matter who it may be or which party he/she represents — does his level best to relay the messages.

Often, it seems the MPs of B.C. show up locally when it’s time for a photo opp or to dole out federal funds for a park.

To be fair, Nanaimo-Alberni Conservative MP James Lunney has always been available to us for comment. He riles people up when he talks about the Middle East, but, really, how much of what he does or what his government does captures the daily attention of anyone in Parksville Qualicum Beach who is not a political junkie?

They have done much good in our estimation, these federal Conservatives. They have strengthened our presence in the North, the last Canadian frontier. They have forged ahead with relationships and made agreements with nations (Cuba, France, etc.) that don’t exactly thrill our American cousins.

That, in itself, is something that doesn’t fit the box of U.S. subservience the opponents of the Conservatives in this country like to place Stephen Harper, et al.

In the past few days, the federal government has also announced a unique skills training program, something better than anything any provincial party has come up with, despite the talk here of its importance by all three major political parties.

Still, and back to our original point, if a tree (or policy) falls in an Ottawa forest, does anyone in B.C., hear it?

— Editorial by John Harding

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