Every time I write a blog, I know that some will agree, others will disagree … and, in fact, during our discussions a whole range of differing views, ideas, positions and beliefs will emerge … sometimes with humour, other times with passion and/or even anger.
That is our right, that is our result, that is our reward …. for living in a free country, where we can speak our minds without fear or intimidation.
WE do have limits: hate speech, threats, libel and slander cross the line for most of us … but even then, deciding what and where to set those limits can engender wide-ranging and never-ending discussion and debate.
BUT there should be ONE standard upon which we should ALL agree: VIOLENCE has no part in trying to determine the ideas, rules and beliefs that govern our society.
Not in Canada!
The attack on innocent Canadian citizens and residents praying in a mosque in Quebec City was really an attack on ALL of us … and our freedoms.
The ultimate target was not only Muslims … but our right in Canada to openly express our beliefs … not just religious ones, but personal, moral, political and ideological.
So we should ALL mourn the victims.
Those killed: Azzedine Soufiane, 57. the Imam; Khaled Belkacemi, 60, professor of Agricultural and Food Sciences; Aboubaker Thabti, 44, pharmacist aide; Abdelkrim Hassane, 41, computer programmer; Mamadou Barry, 42, IT specialist; and, Ibrahima Barry, 39, civil servant.
And 17 others were injured … not to mention the pain and suffering that has been inflicted on all of their families, children, friends and associates.
I have no doubt I may have disagreed with many of those people on a whole myriad of topics and beliefs and policies and politics …just as I do on here.
But HATE? Violence? Terror?
NOT in MY Canada.
And I hope NOT in YOURS.
We are ONE with our Muslim neighbours … or, at least, we should be.
Premier Christy Clark and her Liberal government may feel a bit smug …. what with BC’s job creation numbers, unemployment rate … and the fact that so many British Columbians can’t even name BC’s NDP leader, even if shown a photo.
But they are also no doubt aware … since the last provincial election …of what has been happening across Canada, the US, Britain Europe.
There is a public mood for CHANGE.
Out with the old and in with the new …even if voters aren’t so convinced or enthusiastic about what the new might bring.
Politicians just have not delivered what they have promised … sometimes in fact the contrary … and many people ARE mad as hell and not prepared to take it anymore.
BC voters will have a chance to show that May 9 when we next head to the polls.
And I am detecting a fairly widespread feeling that it may be time for a change: many voters believe the Liberals have just been in office too long … and don’t feel the middle class is adequately sharing in the benefits … compared to big business, investors, generous donor realtors and organizations, favored ethnic groups/communities and Liberal friends and supporters.
Dangerous stuff when a party has been in power almost 15 years.
And of course, recent news events haven’t helped either: whether surrounding the Premier’s annual $50,000 stipend from the Liberal Part (on top of her $195,000 annual salary); growing concerns over large corporate donations to the party; studies showing a huge gap remains between high, middle and low income earners; while BC remains behind other provinces in providing child care; and, is still the only province that charges its citizens (ever-increasing) Medical Service Premiums … at a terribly unfair taxation rate too boot.
Also, don’t even mention BC Hydro to many voters! From Smart Meters (that hiked MY charges) to Site C dam to suspect private power deals and overall finances/rising debt that seem so concerning Moody’s Investor Services says it is becoming a RISK to BC’s AAA credit rating.
“But projects like Site C are pushing up B.C. Hydro’s debt levels, and adding to concerns about the province’s overall “high debt burden” compared to its peers, Moody’s also wrote in its credit opinion. B.C. Hydro’s debt has increased from $8.1 billion in 2008 to a projected $18.1 billion last year, and there is a further $20 billion expected in the future for infrastructure projects, a $2-billion annual upgrade program and the Site C dam,” said a report in The Times Colonist just a few days ago.
Is that a record a party should want to run on?
On the plus side for the Liberals, as we will no doubt hear often in the next few months, more than 1.9 million jobs have been added in the province since 2011, the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.8% and 2.4 million now have jobs.
As I’ve pointed out several times … the challenge for the NDP in the coming election (once more) will be to come up with a solid job-creation plan … not just all kinds of ways to spend money.
But the Liberals should not sleep easy.
There is a mood out there across the land among voters who see wealth around them …but don’t feel they are sharing in or benefitting from it.
Tags: British Columbia