Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a town hall last Friday at Vancouver Island University. (NICHOLAS PESCOD/The News Bulletin)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Town hall tone unfortunate

Letter writers comment on the behaviour of some of the individuals at the town hall with the PM

To the editor,

Re: Pipeline opponents vocal at town hall with PM, Feb. 6.

Watching Justin Trudeau the other day trying to be patient with hecklers in the only town hall meeting in British Columbia, we were embarrassed seeing the behaviours of these individuals.

Our prime minister was attempting to explain the rationale of approving the expansion of an existing oil pipeline for the benefit of all Canadians. He did not dwell on the history of job creation for thousands of British Columbians in the oil sands either directly or indirectly.

Instead of continuing to push away development of B.C’s mineral and petroleum resources (NDP history), we should work with corporations and diversify the economy. Let’s quit complaining about fuel costs from Washington-based refineries and work towards building an environment-friendly petrochemical complex in our province. Upgrade Canada’s resources versus shipping raw products to other countries. Work with our sister provinces to build a strong, diverse and resilient economy.

Until technological development brings us true and sustained options at a reasonable cost we will be reliant on fossil fuels. Combined with improvements to internal combustion engines and alternative power sources we can all work towards a smaller human footprint on our precious Mother Earth.

That is the message our prime minister was trying to get across.

Larry and Kathleen Baker, Nanaimo

UPDATE: Pipeline opponents vocal at Justin Trudeau town hall in Nanaimo

To the editor,

It was indeed a spirited town hall, but we left early. No, the hecklers did not bother us, but obviously bothered the prime minister. So much for free speech. We left because in the first four answers the PM used the term “moving forward” at least 18 times. This is I believe a relatively new catchphrase but just what does it mean? Many politicians and TV personalities use it even though it adds nothing to the statement. After hearing it that many times we had heard enough. Please, Mr. Prime Minister, try using something else.

Ruth Williams, Cedar

To the editor,

I have been active in politics more or less my whole life and been involved in protests, marches, forums and town hall meetings but I’ve never attended a town hall like the one in Nanaimo with Justin Trudeau. I would liked to have heard more people ask their questions so we all could have an idea what the people of Nanaimo have on their minds. I also watched a consummate public figure demonstrate why he is our prime minister. For two hours, people booed, screamed, yelled at him and yet, the patience was there to try and let others speak. I don’t think I could have withstood that.

In the end, the protesters clearly said they were more important than anyone else there and would not let other people ask their questions. It was embarrassing to watch and I was very angry at the lack of respect by so many to let others speak. They were not the majority by any measure but they refused to let us talk even when we clearly demonstrated that the protesters had had enough airtime. My respect for all of those protesters went down considerably. All you did was shut down citizens who wanted to ask their questions, listen to others’ questions and generally acted very disrespectfully to us all.

Alexis Petersen, Nanaimo

To the editor,

It was very heartening to see that so many people supported Prime Minister Trudeau in the ejection of the hecklers from the town hall meeting. It is too bad that a few attention seeking knuckle draggers chose to disrupt the session but it reflects very well on the people of Nanaimo that the majority chose to air their protests in an intelligent and civil manner.

Gordon Foy, Burnaby

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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