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OPINION: What happened to majority rules?

A rally in support of rural P.E.I. and against government’s amalgamation plans was held at the provincial legislature on Tuesday.

(Submitted photo)
A rally in support of rural P.E.I. and against government’s amalgamation plans was held at the provincial legislature last week. (Submitted photo) - The Guardian

Had a democratic process been followed, the proposal would never have been sent to IRAC

BY GARY ROBBINS

GUEST OPINION

As all Islanders know, our government makes a lot of mistakes. They attack schools, religion, veterans, nursing jobs, health care, they under pay doctors and nurses, we are lacking specialists and our emergency rooms are closed. Now they are attacking us where we live – literally.

In spite of all of this, they can always afford to give themselves a raise every year (and most definitely not for a job well done). Now they are handing out Islander taxpayer dollars like candy, buying votes for the upcoming election. This should be illegal. A whole lot of promises they can’t and have no intention of keeping. This election budget is not sustainable in the long run, but it might fool some people. So, the budget is balanced, but what is the provincial debt? Have you looked at that lately? But don’t worry, you can always raise our taxes again and make up the difference, right?

They attack democracy and civil rights. They pervert laws that were meant to protect all people, to get their way. For Three Rivers. For 25 super municipalities. They know with a democratic vote they can’t win. Montague and Georgetown voted no. The unincorporated areas voted overwhelmingly against amalgamation/annexation. Out of 2,000 eligible voters, 1,174 voted no and 76 voted yes. Had a democratic process been followed, the proposal would never have been sent to IRAC, those who still wanted to amalgamate could still have gone ahead and the rest of us could have been left out of the process. Everyone happy. Instead, the Three Rivers Steering Committee and the Liberal MLAs (about 25 people) are pushing this through against the wishes of the majority. What happened to majority rules?

I find it very hard to believe that among all the Liberals on this Island, not one has the intestinal fortitude to speak out against this atrocity. We wrote to our senators, we wrote to our MPs, we wrote to anyone we thought would have a bit of common sense and ethics, but all we got back was, not my problem, I work federally not provincially. I’m having a hard time placing you card-carrying Liberals. You’re definitely not a democratic party. Please clarify, so Islanders know what we’re up against. Islanders are slow to anger but they are angry now.

I know for a fact that almost every family on this Island has had a family member or family friend who served in WWI, WWII, Korea, peacekeeping or Afghanistan or is still serving in the armed forces or RCMP. All serve solely for democracy, civil rights, human rights, the right to live as we choose – free. The right to vote for any form of government as Islanders, as Canadians. What is wrong with you Liberals? What you are doing may be legal, since you changed the laws to cover that, but it is not ethical or moral. The new Municipal Government Act will forever deny democracy to Islanders no matter which party you are.

I’m going to repeat this one more time as you seem to be slow to understand. You are elected to represent the wishes of the people, not the Liberal Party. The Three Rivers Steering Committee was chosen by you to carry out your wishes and, had they not agreed with you, I’m sure you would have had no problem replacing them as you have no loyalty to anyone but your party.

My fellow Islanders, we need to speak now, with one voice for democracy. There should never be a grey area when dealing with democracy and civil rights.

- Gary Robbins, of Martinvale, is a retired armed forces veteran and an opponent of the amalgamation process in the Three Rivers area

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