EDITORIAL: Time to vote

New faces will grace the council and board tables of local government

Change is a powerful word in politics. There will be change in the faces around the tables that govern our tax dollars after Saturday’s municipal election.

Much of that change has been forced by events. In Parksville, the sitting mayor and four of six councillors decided not to run again for the same positions. That is serious change.

The local school board will have new faces, too. After a tumultuous three years that culminated in school closures, the two members of the board who represented Parksville/Qualicum Beach/French Creek are not running again. At least 40 per cent, possibly 60 per cent, of the five-member school board will consist of new members. That’s big change.

Nanoose Bay will have a new rep to send to the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors. Also, the incumbents are facing challengers in both Errington/Coombs and Deep Bay/Bowser. That unwieldy, City of Nanaimo-dominated, 17-member board changes considerably after each election when the municipalities select their representatives to join the directly-elected rural directors.

Qualicum Beach will have at least one new face at the table.

While change can be a powerful motivator, we wonder if it hasn’t become more of a slogan than a reality. Has the United States of America changed much after six years of Barack Obama? Change and hope were his buzzwords.

That said, the beauty of municipal politics is its closeness. Whomever you vote for Saturday is your neighbour. That’s pretty cool. You can face the people, see them in the grocery store or gas station, who are responsible for spending thousands of your tax dollars every year.

When the federal election comes along next year and candidates here toe party lines on foreign policy issues, we will long for the relevance of municipal politics.

We salute all of the people who have had the courage of their convictions and put their names forward for election. Do we wish more of the candidates had actual vision, some concrete policies and ideas, rather than promising the empty “I will listen to you”? Yes, we do, but we still recognize the commitment made by these candidates, the risks they have taken, the comfort zones they have left.

The least we can do, as taxpayers and their neighbours, is cast a vote on Saturday.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

(File photo)
The Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville 2020 annual report now ready for public feedback

Documents can be viewed online; comments or questions to be submitted before noon on July 5, 2021

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased in Parksville

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

Emergency vehicles are parked outside of the Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
Port Alberni RCMP investigate stabbing on Fourth Avenue

Two men were found with ‘significant’ injuries near Wintergreen Apartments

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

Most Read