This is in response to Craig Dutton’s letter to the editor ‘Thanks Stilwell for your hard work’ (The NEWS, July 12).
While Parksville-Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell is to be lauded for her efforts and diligence as a politician representing her community — which I might add are the same efforts and diligence virtually all MLAs of all political stripes expend in their communities — the simple fact is that many people disagree with her policies and those of her government.
These people are not the “zealots,” “bullies” or “partisan political activists” Dutton dismisses so easily in his letter, but are community members whose lives are now more challenged because of her policies and those of her government.
She doesn’t get a free ride from criticism because she is an Olympian, mother of a child with autism or a person with disabilities herself. Simply stated and widely recognized is the fact that criticism comes with the job of being a politician.
Certainly there are many in the community who feel this government has made some very poor decisions on the bus pass issue and school funding to name just two examples. As citizens of a democratic society they have a right, even an obligation, to make their voices heard.
Dutton cannot possibly believe that those who disagree with her are all bullies or partisan activists, and implying that they are tends to make his letter quite partisan and a tad bullying too.