LETTER: In era of fake news, anything goes

Re: Qualicum Beach mayor asks Trudeau about housing strategy (The NEWS, Feb. 6).

Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek is quoted in your story as being embarrassed by the hecklers whom he found “so disrespectful” for heckling the prime minister; he and I may agree about the heckling, but possibly not for the same reasons.

May I preface comments about juvenescent Justin Trudeau’s visit to the Lion’s Den in Nanaimo on Groundhog Day, by stating that I’m a retired deep-sea tanker master with no political party affiliation whatsoever. There are many policies of Ottawa’s Liberal government that I totally disagree with, but the federal approval of Kinder Morgan’s Trans-Mountain Pipeline expansion is one I wholeheartedly support.

I watched television coverage from Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island University campus with interest, trepidation and anguish, especially when anti-pipeline and anti-tanker protesters ranted vociferously that they were there on behalf of “all” British Columbians.

I fully support anyone’s right to protest, but will never agree that those who make the most noise speak on everyone’s behalf. That is simply nonsense, and I would like to believe that there is a significant silent majority of British Columbians who agree with what the PM has said about balancing economic and environmental concerns regarding the pipeline expansion and increased tanker traffic.

While not everyone has been brainwashed by a few misguided and misinformed self-appointed saviours, they must be given credit for harnessing social and mainstream media to efficiently spread their erroneous, misleading message of doom and gloom, and the “inevitability” of catastrophic oil spills. It’s sad to say, but anything goes in this era of fake news, that’s for damned sure.

Bernie Smith

Parksville

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