Letters

Madam Speaker deserves our respect

Editor:

In regards to the recent press coverage about the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Richmond East MLA Linda Reid, the media and general public needs to give this vital democratic position the respect it deserves.

MLA Reid has spent nearly half of her life in politics, making immense sacrifices for the betterment of the residents and communities of Richmond and all of B.C. While politicians know what they are signing up for, I find it troubling that we expect our elected officials to be responsible for making the laws of our land, sacrifice countless hours of personal life, and live in the public spotlight, with modest financial remuneration, and be expected to do this endeavour alone.

Some are nitpicking about overdue improvements to the B.C. Legislature for much needed upgrades and to her office for required security enhancements.

More recently the speaker has been in the spotlight for taking her husband, at the public expense, on a trip to Africa for a Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, hosted by an association, “enabling the Commonwealth’s political leaders to share their varied experiences… and contribute to the unending task of finding new and better ways to raise standards of governance” across democracy around the globe.

I find it troubling that the media and public lambaste a duly elected official, and our speaker of the B.C. Legislature for traveling a nearly 40-hour return trip in business class with her spouse. This is a benefit I think this position is entitled to and deserves.

To always travel around our province, nation or planet with-out a partner or companion is just not realistic or fair and some allowance should be made for them to travel occasionally with their significant other at the tax payers expensive, since the work they do benefits us all.

In future fairness to the Speaker and all MLAs, a policy must be established which realistically looks at companionship as a right, not a perk. As we all know behind every good politician is a man or woman who greatly assist’s them in running our government’s for the greater good of all citizens.

Loren K. Slye

Retired firefighter and active community volunteer

Richmond

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