Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Skeena-Bulkley Valley: MSM wakes up

Thanks to the intrepid work of Frank Frink at A Creative Revolution*, the MSM is finally awakening from their golden slumbers on the issue of Conservative "government liaison" appointments, specifically in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Speaking of Conservative MP Dick Harris' announcement of the appointment of Houston Mayor Sharon Smith as "go-to person" in S-BV, Barbara Yaffe at the Vancouver Sun writes:

"Throwing in the waste bin the principles that make representative government in Canada function, Harris explained on a local radio show the other week: "To have access to the ministers, realistically, you have to be part of the government. You want to contact the Prime Minister's Office or even the prime minister when you need to, it helps immensely to be part of the government."

And that's from someone who's generally a Harper apologist. Also, they're fuming up in the riding in question, as evidenced by this editorial in the Northern View (Prince Rupert/the Charlottes):

"Apparently if you didn’t elect one of their candidates, the Conservative government doesn’t really care what you have to say.

"At least that was the impression I was left with after reading a news release from B.C. Conservative Caucus chair Dick Harris, which urged people with “concerns or issues with the Federal Government” to contact Sharon Smith, who will be running for the party in the next federal election. Apparently, according to Harris, Smith will provide residents with direct contact to the federal government, which we have not had since 2004, and will “represent constituents of her riding.”

"That is quite possibly the most arrogant, ignorant and blatantly misleading thing that I have ever heard from any government or government official. Ever." [...]

"And perhaps even more importantly, in what strange and twisted reality does the Conservative Party of Canada or any other political party have the power to appoint someone as our representative on a federal level? They don’t have that power now, they never had that power and they never will have that power! Only the people of the riding have that power, and for the Conservatives to even think they can tell us who we are to talk to is both insulting and a massive slap in the face to the entire democratic process..."

And I fear this is just the tip of the iceberg.

*and all those tenacious bloggers who kept the story on the radar (list here), especially blogging a dead horse who was the first to flag this outrageous story.

UPDATE: MP Nathan Cullen (Skeena-Bulkley Valley) speaks in the Interior News, FF has it here.