Plain Rhetoric

By: Bill McQuarrie

Three leaders place their own interests over those of their constituents

June 13, 2017 - 8:44am

KAMLOOPS — Three different political events these past few weeks have me wondering where we went wrong and where are we headed.

We have the Donald Trump and James Comey battles and the looming Russiagate. This followed quickly by British PM Theresa May and her post election (Brexit) disaster. And then there is our Premier’s current minority government state of affairs.

All three share a troubling and growing trend. A trend that seems to pay scant if any attention to the needs, concerns or rights of the people they have been elected to govern.

Dear Christy: Resign

June 6, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Dear Christy:

I was sorry to hear of your loss and know how difficult these times can be.  Rejection, disapproval and being avoided can be difficult things to deal with, even in the best of times.

During such trying times, I’d like to be able bolster your spirits and comment on how well you’ve handled everything.  You know, something like a pat on the back along with some reassuring words about how unfairly you’ve been treated by the voters.  

Three seats are no mandate for the BC Green Party

May 30, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Note: This column was written prior to Monday's announcement of an agreement between the BC Green Party and the BC NDP.

Three seats do not a government make and while I’m delighted the Green Party made such huge strides, I’m concerned they may think they are actually government. They’re not, but could and should be part of a robust system of checks and balances. Let me explain.

Prince George proves free downtown parking can work

May 23, 2017 - 8:58am

KAMLOOPS — Let’s ban parking meters from downtown! Okay, now that I have your attention let me add, I’m serious.

Parking generates approximate $1.2 million in revenue for the City. Serious money indeed, and it might even cover the city’s payroll for four or possibly five days out of the year. But it is also a source of frustration for many and missed sales for downtown merchants.  

Milobar could have headed off by-election talk months ago

May 16, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — The last time I wrote about Peter Milobar and his penchant for secrecy, he seemed to think my comments and thoughts were about a conspiracy... A cabal of clandestine decision makers, engaged in some conspiratorial planning of the city’s future.

I was never sure how secrecy and conspiracy got intertwined but for him they did and now I find myself again writing about his tendency for not being open with those who have elected him.  

Climate change like a cancer grows

May 9, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Last week I wrote about the choices we have between denial or acceptance of climate change. In the comments that followed, those unable or unwilling to accept climate change focused on the economic case as opposed to specific anti-science arguments. A few more readers zeroed in on their distrust of big government, especially when it came to carbon taxes.

Perhaps in some respects, the denial or distrust approach is not unreasonable as the fear of lost jobs or higher taxes is a powerful motivator.  

On climate change, why take the chance deniers are right?

May 2, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: May 2, 2017 - 6:35am

KAMLOOPS — Not too long ago, I got into a discussion with someone who was still unable to accept the concept of climate change.  

He was willing, although somewhat reluctantly, to agree that our climate has been “a bit different lately,” but unwilling to agree those changes were the result of human activity.

Real questions behind BC's rosy job numbers

April 25, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Jobs, jobs, jobs. It is a phrase we hear dozens of times as the provincial election kicks into high gear.

Premier Clark claims that since 2011 the province is leading the nation when it comes to job growth, with 191,500 new jobs in BC. But are the numbers true?

Well, the truth of the matter is yes, Ms. Clark is statistically accurate and her figures are backed up by both Statistics Canada and BC Stats.  

Real investment in health, education would pay off over the long term

April 18, 2017 - 8:00am

KAMLOOPS — Suppose, just for a moment, that BC decided to hire and pay a salary to doctors willing to locate to communities outside of the Lower Mainland. For sake of argument, let’s say we committed to pay 200 doctors, $150,000 a year to set up practice in the Interior.  Add in another 25 per cent for benefits and the total annual cost to we, the taxpayer, would be $37,500,000 a year.

Apart from health, education is another vital part of our community as it creates future wealth by training the next generation of workers.