While there is always more than one solution to solving a problem and certainly in the problem solving analysis, all options and opinions should be considered.
In the case of the Stickle Road issue, part of the analysis was public consultation (likely a protocol required in our provincial legislation) through the public consultation open house process.
Many people take Abraham Lincoln’s words from the Gettysburg address as a definition of democracy; “Government of the people, for the people, by the people.” The open house concept sort of supports the president’s decree.
It doesn’t seem to apply in this case.
Point in fact, the first solution by the Ministry of Transportation team was solidly rejected by the public attending and all of our community area elected officials. Back to the drawing board for the ministry, instead of accepting the advice of the majority of the people.
Another open house was again solidly rejected by those attending but suddenly a new position by our mayor and the elected MLA, Eric Foster, citing the need to compromise with the ministry.
I for one do not think we elected these folks to appease Victoria. We elected them to represent the community’s position as presented to them by a majority of the citizens.
At open house round three, there was another attempt to do anything but what the people want, again being solidly rejected by the majority. In baseball, three strikes and you’re out, but not if your employed in the bureaucracy of the Ministry of Transportation.
The elected officials’ job is to provide fiduciary oversight and leadership to the bureaucrats, not to roll over and capitulate to their arrogance.
The ministry must not have any statistical data to substantiate their claim that a light will compromise safety by creating rear end collisions otherwise they would have presented it.
As presented in many letters to this publication, there are many such lights on Highway 97 already in existence in the valley and if there is no data to support that claim then at best that statement is misleading.
These repeated rounds of open house consultation being totally ignored are another waste of taxpayers’ money.
The most economical solution paid for with taxpayers’ money, supported by a significant majority of the citizenry, simply is a light.
Unfortunately, we can only deal with elected officials’ arrogance during elections and the bureaucrats who are supposedly under their control.
So if they continue to bulldoze their solution through the process, that can only be dealt with in the future.
If I was a business owner along Stickle Road, I’d be looking for other alternatives to persuade the ministry to change their view. Perhaps a court decreed injunction might provide a more sensible review of the facts. Recent history of the HST fiasco in this province provides evidence there are ways to deal with issues with government after being misled.
The arrogant governments in Ottawa and our neighbouring province to the east recently got an awakening to voter wrath, something to consider in the future if this stupidity continues.
Duane A. Mather