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LETTER – MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard’s newsletter an unnecessary expense for taxpayers

16,000 newsletters sent to constituents, at an estimated $2 per letter

Dear editor,

If you voted in the 2017 provincial election you most likely received a stamped addressed letter recently from our MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard. I received my letter and immediately had a number of questions, so I called to the constituency office to speak with the MLA.

She was not there and so I asked the receptionist my many questions.

Where the money came from to pay for this letter and the enclosed colored pamphlet?

What database did they use to acquire the names and addresses to send these letters?

How many letters were sent out?

How much did this cost?

And why did Ronna Rae think this was a productive and cost-effective way to communicate with constituents?

I asked for a return call from Ronna-Rae but have not heard anything. This is not surprising as I called over a year ago asking for a return phone call on another matter, and still have heard nothing from Ronna-Rae.

The receptionist did provide me with some answers to my questions though. The money to pay for these letters came from the taxpayer-funded MLA constituency account and the database came from Elections BC.

Now in my case my husband and my last names are different and so when I asked how they matched two names with the one address I was told that they manually went through the list of names and addresses and combined them together. The number of letters sent out were between 15 and 16 thousand. I estimate they would cost about $2 each, thus making the total somewhere between $30,000-32,000 of taxpayer dollars.

During this pandemic where many businesses are declaring bankruptcy, thousands of people have lost their jobs and, governments are spending billions of borrowed dollars, is sending out these letters to only the 2017 voters an efficient way of spending our money? Or is Ronna-Rae Leonard using taxpayers’ dollars to promote her political agenda to the people who voted in 2017, just in case John Horgan calls an early election?

Dianne Lineker,

Courtenay

Comox Valley Record

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