I was so disappointed in the Nov. 18 issue of the Cape Breton Post that I feel compelled to write in an attempt to express a more balanced viewpoint.
That particular issue contained an editorial and two columns (the latter written by Jim Vibert and Tom Urbaniak) which were all surprisingly similar in wording. Each of the authors took personal potshots at Premier Stephen McNeil for not calling a meeting of the Legislature during the entire time of the COVID-19 crisis. They cast doubt on the premier’s explanation of his concern about the pandemic being the main reason. They say he is “hiding behind” the pandemic as the reason he is eroding democracy by not meeting in the House.
Give me a break!
As for their claims that the premier will leave a terrible legacy of the erosion of democracy in this province, I have never met Premier McNeil, but he doesn’t strike me as someone who puts his legacy above the safety and health of the people of this province. And, really, ask anyone on the street about our democracy and I imagine we are all just fine with the way things are going.
While many other countries are pointing to our area as an example of having some kind of control over an uncontrollable virus, it disappoints me that the measures Premier McNeil and Nova Scotia Chief Medical Officer Dr. Robert Strang have taken to keep as many of us alive as possible are being dismissed as something political.
Obviously, the thought that we are all in this together is wearing thin on those who would want a group of 52 MLAs plus staff to meet in a small room to discuss things that we really don’t care about right now. And when their day is done, off the folks go to spread out into their communities all across Nova Scotia. I, for one, won’t be sad if they stay home.
Like Dr. Strang and Premier McNeil, I will always choose to put the health and well-being of people above the rules. And to call up meetings of the Canadian House of Commons in 1916 after a fire and the British House of Commons during the Second World War as examples of what should be done during this crisis is a joke.
To have three articles saying the same thing in the same way on the same day in the same newspaper is not the balanced journalism I have come to expect and enjoy from Saltwire.
And to have such personal invective spewed out upon someone whose legacy will be that he led the province with a steady hand alongside our respected Chief Medical Officer is saddening. Nova Scotians are getting exactly what we expect: a leader who cares about our health and puts it above the desires of others with their own agendas.
I note, as well, that these opinions appeared just hours after Dr. Strang declared that “community spread” has appeared and a second wave is coming. May I remind all of us that the initial spread of the virus and its results in our long-term care homes has been devastating to so many of us. No one wants a repeat performance.
As for democracy in my little corner of the world – while some may say I am spreading fear by worrying about the pandemic, I offer that others are spreading fear about a seemingly eroding democracy. But, fact is, I can contact any MLA at any time I wish. And experience has proven time and time again that I will get a response.
Let’s get through this together and worry about Parliamentary Procedure once everyone is safe.