Residents lose trust in council, media over serious issues

NANAIMO: It is distressing to listen to and read the disrespect shown to people of Nanaimo by our leaders and our news media.

To the Editor,

It is distressing to listen to and read the disrespect shown to people of Nanaimo by our leaders and our news media which almost always unfailingly upholds the status quo.

Everything from Snuneymuxw First Nation Chief Doug White’s attempts to address his people’s concerns with treaty violations and the Protection Island folk and general public’s dismay with the Nanaimo Port Authority giving a 30-year lease of our boat basin, to people’s objection to smart meters and city council’s plan to demolish Colliery Dam Park  have been dismissed contemptuously by our leaders and now both major Nanaimo newspapers.

We, the people, don’t trust them anymore. About anything. They don’t have our best interests at heart, like they’re supposed to.

In the News Bulletin’s editorial of Nov. 8 (Canadians big on U.S. vote), we are chided for paying more attention to the U.S. elections than our own – and get a big parental finger-wag that we should get caught up with as much “fever” in the election “show” here.

Sometimes silence means a lot more than apathy.

It can mean total discouragement with an entrenched old boys’ network of cronyism, such as we seem to have in Nanaimo. It doesn’t help to have our newspapers do nothing more than reflect the same message: we, the people are wrong. We are told to sit down and shut up. The failure to communicate is our fault.

Perhaps all our clever leaders and media intelligentsia fail to notice the underlying message of all this protesting. Bit by bit, the public has grown distrustful.

Too many times council has made terrible and expensive decisions with how it chooses to use our taxes.

Yes, we paid a lot of attention to the U.S. elections. Barack Obama won because the voiceless – women, gay people, the youth, the poor and the minorities have at last been heard. We are the new majority.

So perhaps these pompous, old, rich men that call the shots around here should shut up and start paying attention to that.

Justyna Katelnikoff

Nanaimo