Re: Hunt elects to do both jobs, May 21.
I opened my mailbox yesterday to retrieve my copy of the Peace Arch News and, turning to the second page, I saw an article on Marvin Hunt, our newly elected Liberal MLA for Surrey-Panorama.
The story went on to describe how Hunt will not resign his Surrey councillor position, but retain it – along with his MLA post – as he thinks that he can do both jobs.
Not only is this disgraceful, but it is costing the taxpayer twice to enrich one politician. Even if he donates all of his councillor salary to charity, he will still benefit from the tax deduction. In short, there will be a continuing cost to Surrey taxpayers, so Hunt can benefit from a tax shelter.
This is a mockery of the political system. To make matters worse, Mayor Dianne Watts is supporting this.
The weak rationale – that this action is saving the taxpayers money by avoiding the cost of a byelection – is unacceptable. Where have we heard the “savings the taxpayers money” line recently?
At a time of political scandal across the nation, this is a matter of very poor judgment on the part of Hunt/Watts.
J. Conley, Surrey
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Re: Polarized politics a costly system, May 21.
Tom Fletcher’s recent column celebrated several so-called savings that have resulted from avoiding an NDP victory in the last election.
His first savings is in the massive severance payments, since most deputy ministers and senior staff would have been dumped because of their obvious loyalties to their political masters. There should be no payments for these positions; they are known as political rewards and they are hugely overpaid – $200,000-plus per year – while employed. Most people who get fired don’t get severance payments of this magnitude except for other overpaid ‘executives’ – another pampered group that makes its own rules.
Fletcher obviously thinks BC Ferries should be a for-profit corporation, although this has never stopped this ‘independent’ company from paying its CEO a million dollars per year. A similar scam is extended to all the other friends of BC Liberals, who are rewarded with huge payments for running other Crown corporations.
The promise to investigate the BC Rail scandal was not about paying elite lawyers but to find out why former premier Gordon Campbell’s pals were given a B.C. asset at knockdown prices. There would be no need for an inquiry if this gem had been kept as a public asset.
Fletcher continues to beat his run-of-river drum even though this deal – to more pals – should never have been created in the first place.
Anyone who thinks BC Liberal MLAs will act as seniors’ advocates is still drinking his Fraser Institute Kool-Aid.
One of the most negative results of the election is that we will have to put up with another four years of excuses from Fletcher, who continues to act as local spokesman for the BC Liberal party; perhaps at the next election he can take off his disguise and run for Christy openly.
Herb Spencer, Surrey
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Re: Signs aplenty of something amiss, May 16 letters.
Political signage gives me a headache!
As I was driving down the street, I passed a political candidate’s sign and thought, “Hey, I should vote for that candidate!” Then I passed a sign promoting a different candidate and thought, “No, I should really vote for that candidate!” Then I passed a third sign and I thought, “No, that candidate deserves my vote!”
I was so confused trying to decide which candidate to vote for – based, of course, on how many signs I saw from each candidate – I got a headache.
Do political parties and candidates really think we are so stupid and easily influenced as to be swayed by all that visual pollution? And let’s not forget what happens to most of the signage material; it all ends up in the landfill.
When I see a sign on private property, I assume the owner supports that candidate. Signs on public property tell me the candidate couldn’t convince anybody to host them. Then again, just because my neighbour supports a particular candidate or party, it doesn’t mean I should.
So, all in all, the fewer signs I see for a particular candidate, the more likely I am to vote for that candidate.
Jerry Steinberg, Surrey