Letters to the Editor: Vladimir Harper; Proper Representation; No more FPTP

Letters from readers from the Oct. 15, 2015 edition of The Free Press.

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Letter to the Editor re: Vladimir Harper (AKA Stephen Harper)

Mr. Harper is always touting how bad Putin is, I think to deflect criticism. Here are some of the things he has done to Canadians: Lowered corporate tax rates which allows more excuses for cutting social and cultural services.

He raised the retirement age to 67 and refuses to top up CPP for the 11 million Canadians who have no work place pension plans. He cut services and increased wait times for surgery by cutting 31 billion dollars from health care in 10 years. Bill C51 was also rammed through – so-called antiterrorism legislation that actually takes away Canadian rights and freedoms. He prevents more out of work Canadians from qualifying for EI and used the surplus funds to balance the Federal Budget.

Harper repeatedly extends the deadline for addressing climate change, muzzles Federal Government scientists and cancelled 3,000 environmental assessments. He introduced Bill C-377 which creates costly and time wasting financial paperwork and breaks privacy laws and has forced several unions back to work with the passage of Bills C-46, C-33, C-39 and C-4.

He has shut down the opposition by proroguing parliament twice and spent $363 million a year on PR and advertising while auditing charity groups that dare to criticize his government. He has unravelled the Canadian social fabric by pushing through brutal legislation (omnibus Bills 1 and 2) buried in hundreds of pieces of legislation and held back child care grant money for several months and then tried to bribe parents with taxable grants. He enticed foreign workers but denied them citizenship and ignored exploitive employment practices. Bill C-525 makes it much harder for unions to organize.

Harper broke election rules by robo-calling voters sending them to the wrong polling stations – violated election spending limits, one conservative went to jail for this and has turned a blind eye to senators submitting questionable and even outrageous expenses, but just until they got caught.

I believe this man is a threat to our democracy.

Bob IrwinFernie, BC

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Letter to the Editor re: Proper Representation

So NDP Candidate Wayne Stetski wants change. Well let’s look at what change meant to the citizens of Cranbrook when they voted for change almost four years ago and elected Wayne Stetski as their Mayor. After three years as mayor, in the 2014 election he received only seven more votes than in the 2011 election; 2185 to 2192. He was soundly defeated. In fact, five of the newly elected councillors also received more votes than Wayne did running for mayor. It seems the citizens of Cranbrook were tired of Mr. Stetski and wanted a change. At the ballot box they made their point loud and clear. Wayne Stetski must go.

As Mayor, Stetski raised taxes over 12 per cent and raised utility rates 10 per cent. He sadly neglected major issues such as roads and infrastructure and the problem with Idlewild Dam, while squandering taxpayers’ dollars on frivolous projects. Wayne Stetski alienated himself from the business community resulting in barriers to business and very little economic growth and activity.

Under his miserable leadership, every one of his councillors who ran in the 2014 election was also soundly defeated. Not much success in leadership and direction shown there. His claim to fame was attending over 300 events a year. Many of these had nothing to do with the running of the City’s affairs. I suggest Wayne Stetski should have paid more attention to what the citizens of Cranbrook wanted and less attention to his photo ops.

Wayne Stetski as mayor proved to be a prime example of poor performance, poor leadership, and no results. Is this the person you want representing you in Ottawa? Think about this when you are voting for change because as evidenced during his term in Cranbrook, you will absolutely get less than you bargained for!

Igor GallyamovVia email

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Letter to the Editor re: No more first-past-the-post

The fact remains, in our Kootenay-Columbia riding, a vote for anyone other than the NDP is a vote for Stephen Harper.

Our electoral system is based solely on the first-past-the-post, not proportional representation. The vast majority of us want a government left of the Conservatives. In our riding only the NDP have a chance of beating the Conservatives, and being the first-past-the-post.

Even though my heart is with the Greens and my head is with the Liberals, I will be voting NDP because I cannot stand the thought of my Canada turning into a fear-mongering, anti-immigrant, anti-feminist, non-inclusive, anti-science state that panders to the super rich.

Robin GoldsburyVia email