LETTER: MLA Anderson, locking your door is not the answer

From reader David Beringer

I hate going to protests. I really dislike walking down the street, holding a sign or banner, trying to look at once serious On Sept. 14 I walked Baker Street again, not chanting myself, but surrounded by chants of, “Hey hey, ho ho, old growth logging’s got to go!” On and on, the mantra goes.

I attended this rally though, as I have countless others, to lend a small amount of support to those doing so much more: young people, old people, Indigenous people of all ages, non-Indigenous people, all people united in their understanding of the gravity of our situation on planet Earth: we must stop logging thousand-year old trees! We must stop police violence: pepper spraying, beatings, rough arrests, property damage and theft. All have happened at peaceful forestry blockades across the country, most recently at Fairy Creek on Vancouver Island.

MLA Anderson: locking your office door and having staff turn off the lights and (presumably) exit via a back door is not an appropriate response to peaceful constituents voicing their concerns. A posting from June on your office window, expressing sympathy for the old growth defenders is an inadequate response. You are a member of the cabinet working group on forestry, and Premier Horgan’s special advisor on youth. According to an article in the Nelson Star (April 15, 2021), this position is to “engage with young people to learn about their values and perspectives…”

There are young people risking and suffering serious harm standing up for their values in British Columbia. What are you doing for them? Where are you? Some of us are old enough to remember BC Liberal MLA Blair Suffredine. He was criticized for “representing the government to his constituents, rather than advocating for his constituents in government.” Do you want to earn the same criticism?

David Beringer