LETTERS: The truth shall set you free

I’ve been around long enough to discern fact from fiction so, I’m not afraid of an NDP government.

By repeating a half-truth or outright fallacy often enough it’s repetitious nature will often convince the casual listener of it’s validity. Such is true regarding Conservative claims about the NDP years in B.C.

I’m old enough to remember the years prior to the NDP election. At the time, as a psychiatric aide at Riverview Mental Hospital, I witnessed patients coming for evaluations waiting as much as six weeks to see a psychiatrist all the while residing in a ward with committed patients. Nurses did as well as could be expected with limited resources.

And Lord help you if you wanted better schooling for your children, needed treatment at hospitals, were disabled or a young single parent barely existing on social service.

Growth was important, but, while “flying Phil” was spending countless millions on pet road projects the myopic vision of that government lost focus of critical needs.

The election of the NDP in B.C., thankfully, went a long way to address the inequities. It had it’s costs, however, after years of prior neglect one could not expect a different outcome. B.C. certainly did not fall apart as a result of NDP elections, nor was it a disaster as hyped by the Conservatives. The fact is, on the whole, the NDP accomplished a lot of good including having the vision to begin a viable rapid transit system and save our farmland from rapacious and reckless development.

Currently the Conservatives can also be accused of a similar myopic vision. Oil an gas companies are given millions in subsidies while our veterans have unresolved problems and our native communities education and health care remain badly underfunded.

Even our scientists, who offered a “check and balance” against bad practices, have had cuts and are no longer allowed to express an opinion publicly.

And it’s not difficult to imagine that if you have insufficient meat inspectors or allow some industries — railways for example — to police themselves or set their own rules, serious situations may occur.

Now, the Conservatives are running a campaign of divisive rhetoric, unfounded fears and many claims that fail under scrutiny. But I’ve been around long enough to discern fact from fiction so, I’m not afraid of an NDP government. A fresh approach could be beneficial and the world will keep on spinning.

Jeff Bedard

Penticton