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Posted: September 25, 2019

Victoria soils self with snubbish blunder

e-KNOW Editorial

By Ian Cobb

Sometimes editorials write themselves.

On Monday afternoon (Sept. 23), I learned about a series of important-sounding open houses being held by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) designed to review and update established Motor Vehicle Closed Areas and Motor Vehicle Hunting Closed Areas in the East Kootenay “to make them function better for wildlife, public and enforcement objectives.”

I learned of it through a Facebook post by Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka, who listed remaining open houses in his riding.

Figuring there would be similar open houses in Kimberley and the Columbia Valley, I went in search, visiting the FLNRORD website and Googling for any references. I found nothing, even though open houses had already begun in Elkford and Invermere.

Commentary on social media quickly showed anger is boiling in the region over this mind-bendingly sloppy oversight by our provincial government, whether it be FLNRORD or some headset-wearing, cubicle-dwelling trained seal in charge of getting the word out.

The lack of notice for a series of open houses being held throughout a large rural area, focussing squarely on an issue near and dear to most residents in the region – backcountry access – is weak, to say the least. Pathetic, to be less polite. And bizarre as hell, considering the whole idea of a public open house is to include the public. Yet, how is the public to know if government doesn’t actually tell them the meetings are being held?

This absence of proper notice has Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok’s ire.

“Your own community mayors and regional district directors were not informed of these meetings either (PS they are all in Vancouver for UBCM this week). We were all shocked; no one in good faith can approve of this backdoor approach. I do find it blatantly suspicious that the very people who should be attending these open house sessions were not informed of their existence; running sessions with little to no notice is unacceptable.”

He concluded the meetings should be run in the day and evenings “with lots of notice for the residents and your locally elected officials to participate in, otherwise, what are we all here for?”

Indeed.

The floor is yours BC Government/FLNRORD, or whomever is responsible for making this process seem greasy and secretive.

Optics are everything in politics. If it looks greasy; it is. Explain yourselves please. Further silence should and will be considered snotty and worthy of an employee review by yours truly – B.C. TAXPAYERS (see also: you’re freaking bosses).

Victoria’s rude exclusionary behaviour seems to grow whenever there is a NDP government in power. Is this another example of Victoria shoving aside rural B.C. so an urban agenda can be achieved?

Sure seems like it right now.

– Ian Cobb is owner/editor of e-KNOW.


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