Inside Cooper’s grocery store Saturday afternoon, there was a wide range of reactions expressed when people were asked about the upcoming election. Some were indifferent, some were angry, others used some colourful language while others did have issues they wanted to see addressed.
George Winingder said his main issue was the preservation of our democratic principles, which he felt were being eroded. He wasn’t the only one to feel that way.
Norm Langlois, manager of the Hill Crest Hotel, said he didn’t like the way Stephen Harper tried to control the media.
“I want to see him more open in the way he governs,” he said.
Langlois also said he had issues with the way Canada seemed to be “going to war all the time.”
“I see us as a peacekeeping nation and I don’t see them as peacekeeping missions,” he said.
Healthcare was at the forefront of several people’s minds. While it is under provincial jurisdiction, the Canada Health Act is federal legislation and the Federal government does have a financial role.
One elderly woman who did not want her name printed said she wanted to see more support for seniors and healthcare.
“I just had my husband in care for six years and they took 80 per cent of his income,” she said.
Mayor David Raven, interviewed by phone, said he wanted to see good representation for Revelstoke’s needs and wants from whoever is elected.
“I’d like to see them address many municipal needs in this election,” he said. “Not only the financial and health and protection interests of our citizens but also infrastructure and other programs that are necessary to maintain the lifestyles we are expecting in these municipalities.”
He mentioned tax relief, health care and environmental protection as key issues but singled out infrastructure infrastructure funding as a key priority, particularly improving the Trans-Canada Highway around Revelstoke.
“We’ll keep lobbying that until its four lanes from border to border,” he said. “It’s just absolutely imperative now to have that. The hold-ups last year with avalanches and other issues had a major impact on the economy of Revelstoke… It’s just not acceptable to leave it the way it is.”
His sentiments were echoed by John Devitt, the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce.
“We need that done and the federal government has a large piece of that responsibility,” he said, adding the chamber would also like to see more done to improve air and passenger rail service to town.
The most cynical take on the election amongst people interviewed came from Linda and Doug Flynn of Smithers, B.C.
“I think it’s a waste of our money,” said Linda. “They know what people want, they promise to fix it and then they don’t do anything. To be a good politician, you have to be a good liar.”
The couple were eating lunch at the Chalet Bakery while waiting for the Trans-Canada Highway to re-open following a lengthy closure resulting from a crash near Golden. They did say the highways needed improving but Linda said she probably won’t vote.
“I hate all the bickering back and forth,” she said. “They’re like a bunch of children playing games.”
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