In Mr. Bennett’s response to the Steelworkers’ letter of November 15 he offered a remarkably irrelevant and speculative observation.
‘Only the NDP would start training for new mines that do not exist’, he wrote.
Speculation like this has little or no significance in a rational political discussion but since it is at least interesting to speculate, then perhaps others should have the opportunity to do so.
For example, although in the same letter Mr. Bennett claims to support, ‘ Unions and union reps [who] play an important role in the employee-employer relationship’, his right-wing, free market bias might lead EK constituents to speculate that he is in fact, like many others of his political stripe, no supporter of the labour movement.
It might also lead them to further speculate that, in the Elk Valley, he keeps this aspect of his political philosophy well hidden.
Mr. Bennett could therefore strike a blow for transparency and accountability by telling his constituents whether or not he supported or voted for the Gordon Campbell 2001-2002 anti – labour legislation which gutted or tore up legally binding contracts negotiated by, for example, the Hospital Employees’ and the BC Ferries and Marine Workers’ Unions.
Such actions were condemned by the United Nations, the International Labour Organisation and, in 2007, were judged by the Supreme Court of Canada to have violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Mr Bennett might also tell his constituents whether or not he would still vote on labour legislation the same way he did back in Gordon’s glory days.
This would certainly help to avoid any further speculation.