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Letter: Dismay at Squamish Voices

'Who has the stomach to be involved in local politics and politics in general?'
Mayor Karen Elliott. File photo/The Squamish Chief
I was more than a little bit dismayed when I saw on social media that our mayor Karen Elliott was being accused of being in a conflict of interest with developers in town.

Then this past week, I received a full-colour brochure by someone called Squamish Voices with a mugshot of Elliott and Doug Race, a city councillor, suggesting Elliott and Race were giving tax breaks to a billionaire ocean front developer. Who are Squamish Voices? Has anybody done any fact-checking about who they are, who they represent?

It brings up a larger question of who has the stomach to be involved in local politics and politics in general?

Has anyone noticed that the mayor has one vote in council?

The mayor can’t issue an executive order and make sweeping changes to our city bylaws. City bylaws are laws like legislation in our provincial legislature and in our federal parliament.

And yet the blame seems to fall on her shoulders, until Doug Race was pulled into it.  

Federal Liberal Member of Parliament and Minister of Infrastructure Catherine McKenna has announced that she will not be running for re-election in the next federal election. Why is this relevant you ask? McKenna was the minister of environment and the heavy lifter in getting a carbon tax in every province and territory in Canada.

She faced vitriol of hate on social media and elsewhere, so much so that she eventually needed security detail. Even her constituency office wasn’t safe. In August 2020, a vulgar, misogynistic slur was spray-painted over a picture of her face.

Squamish isn’t there yet, but this next municipal election will, I’m sure, bring slander and likely more brochures delivered right to your mailbox from Squamish Voices.

Did you know that the mayor holds drop-in “conversations with the mayor” once a month? I recommend attending one of those and getting your questions answered.

Or, writing an email or a letter. Even a phone call.

Our municipal government is a representation of us.

The more women and the more diversity on the council, the better the decisions. I believe many of the people who enter politics do it because they want to make a positive change. I may not always agree with what they do, but I owe it to them to vote and to talk to them or write to them and chase the facts. How about you?

Kathryn Weiler