A few months ago, MP Alex Atamanenko asked the three regional districts in his Southern Interior riding to help find suitable nominees for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal.
It’s an honour 60,000 Canadians will receive this year, marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne.
Atamanenko had 30 medals to distribute and left it up to the regional districts to decide who should get them, figuring they have their ears closest to the ground.
The criteria is pretty broad: according to the Governor General’s website, the medals are intended to “honour significant contributions and achievements.”
Note it doesn’t specify “contributions to local politics.”
Yet the Regional District of Central Kootenay couldn’t look much past the boardroom for nominees.
So far, six out of seven are current or former regional directors. Six out of seven are also men. All are worthy candidates, to be sure, but shouldn’t there be at least a few other non-politicians? And perhaps a few more women?
Things might not have been so skewed had the regional district used a process to choose its nominees other than willy nilly, first come, first serve.
It would have been much better to ask the public for nominations and then appoint a committee to select the winners.
Too late now, as the seven nominations have been endorsed by the board, and one recipient has already received his medal.
But the RDCK still has three nominations left. Don’t make it easy for them to decide: send your suggested names — even, heaven forbid, more politicians — with a brief outline of why you think they’re deserving to firstname.lastname@example.org.