ZYTARUK: Time to get cracking, Surrey MLAs

Let the governing begin. Right proper good governing, that is

So let it be written…

Well, get on with it.

Tears have dried, the confetti and balloons are swept. The time has long passed for rejoicing and lamentations.

The banquet hall is silent. The party’s over.

Let the governing begin.

Right proper good governing, that is.

When I wrote this column, we did not yet know who would be elected on Tuesday night and who would not.

So here’s to clinging to the desperate hope that the right guys for the job won last night and will hold true to their word as they form the provincial government. Here’s also to hoping the vanquished – that is, those who were elected as MLAs, but not to government – will rise to the critically important task of being an effective official opposition.

Sure, an election was held last night. That’s great and all. But other than that, all is the same as it was last night.

Things need fixing.

Today, like yesterday, too many people in Surrey cannot find adequate affordable housing for themselves and their families. The rental stock is not there, rents are way too high, and salaries are way too low. More people are finding it harder to feed themselves and their children.

This must change, today.

The cost of housing is absurd. Something needs to give before a good part of the Lower Mainland becomes little more than a ghost-town playground for wealthy foreigners as local folk, who don’t have a hope in heck of owning their own pad, move on to somewhere else where they might reasonably pursue that dream.

Hospitals are plugged up beyond capacity. Too many people don’t have a family doctor. Too many people are lining up for stuff. There are too many lines. Too much traffic gridlock.

This also must change.

Schools are plugged, too. Not enough classrooms; too many kids are in too many portables and too many parents are paying too many dubious student fees which, in a just world, would be covered by their taxes.

University education? Unbelievably expensive.

People are taxed, billed and shilled up the Wazoodle here in B.C.

Hydro bills, natural gas heating bills, gas taxes at the pumps, bills, bills, bills.

Medical Services Plan premiums, Insurance Corporation of B.C. premiums, whatever insurance premiums. Nothing ever seems to go down in price.

It’s funny – not ha-ha kind of funny, but instead sad funny – how, listed among synonyms for the word premium, you’ll find words like prize, bonus, gift and reward. An increasingly lighter wallet doesn’t feel like any of those, does it?

So here’s my point. While I congratulate each and every MLA who got elected last night, it’s also my most sincere wish that each and every one of you confirmed politicians woke up this morning feeling the weight of the world on your shoulders.

I mean, like Atlas would have, if he were real.

You, on the other hand, have a lot of real people counting on you to find prompt solutions to address their very real needs, both in your riding, and on the provincial stage.

You asked for it, you won last night, you’re heading to Victoria now.

The party’s over. It’s time to get real.

Your real work began today.

So get cracking, MLAs, and I’m not talking about your breakfast eggs.

So let it be done.

Tom Zytaruk is a staff reporter with the Now-Leader. He can be reached at tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

Surrey Now Leader

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