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Citizens should fight for democracy

Dear Editor,

As Canada Day passed this year, I was left with growing concern about the threat to the democratic principles I have always believed were the cornerstone and the heart of Canadian society, regardless of political stripe. Jason Kenney gleefully handed out earplugs in the Legislature to avoid hearing legitimate debate on the unlawful Bill 9 – which breaks the legally-binding contracts with public service workers – and then lying about it, while members of Rocky View County (RVC) council censored their colleagues for respectfully raising concerns about the blatant hijacking of process on several significant issues so they cannot do their jobs for their constituents or raise public awareness of what is transpiring.

This goes to the heart of free speech and the duty and process all politicians must follow to ensure that democracy is upheld, and is seen to be upheld by the public – the public must be informed about apparent misuses of power and the undermining of a proper process for governing. Those who are criticized have equal opportunity to explain themselves and the public can decide. This is not a gentlemen’s society at a private club – this is the governing of our public system, and open criticism and frank discussion is an integral part of it.

I have looked at the accusations from the reeve and his gang and reviewed the May 7 letter, and, quite frankly, they seem quite bogus – while Boehlke, in the Cochrane Times, was far ruder when he suggested "the more you give these people, the more they take," and they should go to some communist country if they don’t like it. The one acting like an uncontrolled dictator, ignoring process and shutting down public access, seems to be Boehlke and his circle.

When the three individuals who are being attacked and bullied made a motion to have the Minister of Municipal Affairs conduct an investigation to bring some fairness and clarity to the issue, the ruling faction voted it down with no discussion. The question arises as to what they may be trying to hide. How is the public supposed to have any confidence in the current situation?

In the era of Trump and the real threat to democratic principles that is now rampant, it is time for citizens to stand and ask for a public investigation into what is going on, and to instigate strong measures to make sure the policy and processes implemented by our elected representatives are above board and open to scrutiny and criticism.

The truth matters, and it is left to the citizens to stand up and fight for their democracy as it always has been – or it will be gone.

Shannon Bailey
Division 2


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