An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE BAGGAGE OF PAST DEEDS weighs heavy on the shoulders of political parties that once formed government. Kamloops MLAs Todd Stone and Peter Milobar and their fellow BC Liberals are being reminded of that these days.
The Liberals have been hammering the NDP government over the shortage of family doctors.
That, of course, has been an issue for years. The Liberals tried to address it with primary care clinics and nurse practitioners and it seemed to help for awhile. Sadly, the problem is again in the forefront.
Every time the Liberals talk about it, though, Premier John Horgan, the NDP and their social-media supporters are only too happy to point out the Liberals were in power for 16 years and didn’t erase the shortage.
The Liberals, though, can hardly be blamed for criticizing the status quo. In our parliamentary system, it’s the job of the Official Opposition to demand action from the government regardless of what happened when the tables were turned.
I’m surprised Milobar and Stone haven’t pulled the old cancer clinic card, the one in which then-premier Mike Harcourt promised Kamloops a full-scale cancer clinic in 1991, then gave it to Kelowna. And Horgan’s own promise of the same thing hasn’t materialized.
At any rate, it’s true the Liberals didn’t fix the problem they’re now accusing the NDP of not fixing. But, more importantly, what’s the answer?
The Liberals and New Democrats toss numbers at each other trying to prove who’s right.
At the end of the day, though, we’re left with this reality: neither the government nor opposition parties have answers. The Liberals don’t seem to have a plan other than to lambaste the NDP. In response, Health Minister Adrian Dix reels off statistics designed to show the government isn’t to blame.
All parties need to forget about past failures and focus on present-day solutions. So far, though, that approach is nowhere in sight.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.