Letters to the Editor – Sept. 8

Two letters to the editor for Sept. 8, both discussing the Dominion Coal Blocks.

Letter to the Editor re: Fear-based campaigning

David Wilks’ letter to the editor (The Free Press, Sept. 1) marks the start of his “Fear the NDP and Vote for me” campaign.

For the record, the BC NDP supports resource industry jobs. As leader John Horgan stated “Our past and our future will be dependent on the development of natural resources” (CBC News, April 12, 2016).

The NDP is a party of working people. A healthy resource industry sector – forestry, mining, agriculture – is critical to the economic well being of this province.  In 2016, it is important for political parties to discuss and debate matters pertaining to the economy and the environment and how to manage natural resources sustainably.

Mr. Wilks needs to respect the intelligence of Kootenay East voters and end his campaign of “Be afraid. Vote for me.”

Norma BlissettCranbrook, B.C.


Letter to the Editor re: Steelworkers, Stetski and the Dominion Block

Former federal Conservative MP and now provincial BC Liberal MLA hopeful David Wilks had some choice words for MP Wayne Stetski in the Letters to the Editor section of The Free Press Sept. 1, 2016. He wants you to think Wayne doesn’t have a clue what the Dominion coal blocks are, and by virtue voting Wilks in the next provincial election will magically unlock a bunch of mining jobs in the Elk Valley.

It’s a wonderfully simple narrative about fear and jobs. It’s not true the NDP have adopted the Leap Manifesto. It’s also not true that Stetski knows nothing about the Dominion block. After all, Wayne met with the United Steelworkers on several occasions prior to the last federal election to get a workers’ perspective on the impact the Dominion block would have on mining in the valley if released. The reigning BC Liberals would never stoop so low as to consult with workers for their opinion.

Besides, Wilks had four years in Ottawa to try and pry the Dominion block from federal hands into provincial where resources rightfully belong. He didn’t get the job done. Albeit a complicated process and the feds will want significant financial compensation.

Considering Teck mothballed Coal Mountain expansion adjacent to Dominion citing economic conditions, we’re left wondering why the pressure to release Dominion now and where Wilk’s imaginary jobs will come from. With no infrastructure, mining the Dominion block is at best a ways down the road.

But nothing really has to make sense with campaign rhetoric. Simply frame your opponent as a job-killing monster and claim yourself as the economic saviour. No factual policy meat and potatoes. Just feed people fear.

Seems nothing has changed since Wilks shilled for Harper.

Alex HansonFernie B.C.