North Okanagan—Shuswap MP Mel Arnold. (Contributed)

North Okanagan—Shuswap MP Mel Arnold. (Contributed)

MP out of sync with reality

A response to MP Mel Arnold’s recent newsletter

Open letter to MP Mel Arnold:

I am writing in response to your newsletter “A message from your MP” that I found in my mailbox.

Usually, I don’t write letters to MPs anymore, nor do I read those addressed to the constituency – it’s not worth my time.

But for some reason your “Summer Update” made it to my dinner table rather than in the recycling bin. I was – no, I still am – appalled by this callous flyer.

We are in the midst of one of the worst forest fire seasons in the Interior and this letter provides “Ideas for Summer Fun.”

You suggest visiting a park, such as Silver Star Provincial Park. What is there to see with all the smoke?

The world is on fire, not just B.C. – Siberia, Greece, Turkey, China, California. Where there is no fire there are droughts. Or floods. People are dying. And you have the audacity to suggest to “Dine out.”

Sure, you are the representative for North Okanagan and Shuswap, not of Sichuan province.

But, as I sure hope, you are aware that people have had to leave their homes or are on evacuation alert in your constituency. Not a word about this, not even condolences.

The next pandemic is dry and hot and politicians will have to do more than to “Try a new brew.”

Granted, you and the Conservative Party are in the opposition with limited political power. Yet, instead of demanding even more subsidies for oil and gas (“Remove the carbon tax on gasoline, diesel fuel, and natural gas used by Canadian farmers”), you could hold the Liberals accountable for wasting some $4.8 billion a year in subsidies for oil and gas.

We are on the brink of catastrophe from climate breakdown, as even conservative politicians such as the UK’s Tory climate chief Alok Sharma have warned.

You will appreciate this assessment by taking a trip and talking to the communities in the Interior affected by wildfire, drought or both.

We have not had any substantial rain in the past two months. The air is difficult to breath. 47.9 C in Lytton this June was a temperature record for Canada.

This is not just one bad summer.

Last year was the hottest year on record. The last decade was the hottest decade. Climate change is here, even if the Conservative Party refuses to acknowledge this.

READ MORE: Conservative Party members vote down resolution to enshrine reality of climate change

In times of crisis people looking for leadership, not for platitudes or avoidance. Imagine Sir Winston Churchill on the brink of defeat against Nazi Germany rallying his people to “legalize single-event sports betting” (Conservative Bill C-218) and selling this as “delivering results for our community.”

Your newsletter is out of sync with the reality many in B.C.’s Interior face and will continue to face.

Definitely “wrong track” to answer the survey attached to your newsletter.

Cornelius Suchy


Editor’s note: Mel Arnold is the MP for the North Okangan-Shuswap. The MP for the Kootenay-Columbia riding, which includes Revelstoke, is Rob Morrison, also a member of the Conservative Party of Canada.