Last Thursday morning I attended Mr. Abbott’s local “elect me” presentation.
As a concerned citizen I was interested in what Mr. Abbott had to say on a variety of issues, Quite frankly, I was impressed with him.
It was unfortunate that his presence here in our Valley was not better publicized so that non-Liberal party members would have felt welcome to attend, because, after all, whoever becomes Premier will be “our Premier” for the duration of the term, and not just the “Liberal Premier”.
Regretfully, the meeting was ended abruptly by news that Mr. Abbott had to leave suddenly due to unexpected flight concerns and only one more question would be taken.
That’s when the meeting seemed to go awry, because the last question was asked by a person who had already spoken, and the question became more of a presentation as to why the government should approve (yes, you guessed it – the elephant in the room) the Jumbo development application.
So Mr. Abbott was exposed to a one-sided perspective by the proponents to which no response was permitted.
Finally Mr. Abbott conceded that he would support the approval process for the project.
In my opinion, given the circumstances, he really didn’t have much choice.
However, I would urge him to become more knowledgeable about the degree of opposition to the Jumbo development that exists.
It is vital that provincial decision makers become informed about local issues before decisions are made.
I was disappointed that the issue seemed to have been manipulated so as to exclude any response or democratic discussion.
I’m sure Mr. Abbott was unaware that even as he spoke to us, the Globe & Mail’s current poll about Jumbo had just passed the 5,000 respondents mark, with Jumbo development opponents outnumbering supporters more than four to one.
And I look forward to some local publicity about the Jumbo feature article which appeared in a national newspaper.
And so it goes – thank you.