Stilwell criticisms: still waiting for improvements

I’d like to comment on a recent editorial by John Harding regarding ‘criticism’ of our local MLA Michelle Stilwell.

I’d like to comment on a recent editorial by John Harding regarding ‘criticism’ of our local MLA Michelle Stilwell.

It would have been informative for the readers to have had examples of the criticisms that are directed at our MLA. All the editorial did was leave me reflecting on my concerns of her track record here at home.

Does Stilwell have an “Olympic leave of absence” from the Legislature and party, with another MLA sitting in her portfolio full time taking calls and requests?

Is she still earning full ministerial pay while she is away training and participating for months, if not years?

I’m not familiar with that type of leave in any work setting I’ve been employed.

And what of this coming fall — there is an election coming up next year in May, isn’t there? My understanding of this province’s political system is that there is no sitting of MLAs nor bills being made or debated before the election campaigns roll.

So essentially, what outstanding project has our local MLA accomplished for us here in this riding?

I had very high hopes, being an ex-athlete myself, and corresponding with Stilwell prior to her election, that we would be on the receiving end of an improved cycling and alternative transport / wheelchair corridor and connectivity infrastructure. These are mandates embedded within the Ministry of Transportation and official community plan (OCP) process, choices “not left up to the developer,” less focus on the fossil-fuel-road system, taking several pages from Victoria/CRD, Comox and even Vancouver.

Stilwell lamented to me back then she had to use the Inland Highway for training practice and would strive for local improvements.

Over these past few years, the area has been inundated with relentless housing projects but no clear and concrete safe cycling routes for commuters, nor tourists, nor students.

Wembley Road seems to be the only mention with a fading painted line, unkempt gravel accumulations and shoulder-to-shoulder sharing with construction vehicles and big trucks.

Fern Road connection? A stand-alone and inadequately formed and marked, unsafe in three crucial sections.

None of the housing projects in regional district Electoral Area G have an adequate route set aside or through, to meet cyclists and alternative/wheelchair needs.

These concerns of mine stem back before Stilwell was elected and I sat in a public meeting where lip service was given to “reducing our carbon” but never a path made to make it happen.

We are falling far behind other Vancouver Island communities.

I’m feeling that many have had their votes wasted last time around anticipating hope and action.

Peter Bolten
Parksville

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