by John Twigg, Leader, B.C. First Party
Congratulations to the Times-Colonist editorialists for identifying what should be one of the major issues in the current B.C. election, namely the depopulation and struggles of small and remote communities (editorial April 21, 2017).
That happens to be one of the major themes in my platform as a candidate in the North Island constituency which I am proposing to address. In part, by reviving the B.C. Government Agent and Provincial Treasury Branch systems, which would greatly assist communities such as Gold River and Tahsis, to retain their populations.
Another issue is road maintenance, which has been poor everywhere under the B.C. Liberals but especially so in NDP-held ridings. This is a prime reason why the Clark regime should be ousted (among many others, including inept management and corrupt party financing).
Those two issues were both factors in the deaths of four First Nations leaders from Gold River earlier this year in a car accident (they were driving to Campbell River in a snow storm to get groceries) and they have been problems in many other ways for many other people, for example impinging on tourism, and hampering health care.
More generally this problem of rural depopulation reflects a basic flaw in the current election campaign, which tends to focus on surficial media incidents such as a “touching” moment in a leaders’ debate but ignores many of the major fundamental and structural challenges facing the B.C. public interest.
For more details see www.bcfirst.ca .