By George Evens. Councillors T. Luck & J. Jewell alluded to inaction by our MLA being MIA which is essentially a reflection of performance while in office. Like today, Mr. Hawes is quick to jump upon any allegation and offer his version . Indeed, for countless years it has been the “Public” versus “party line” as our MLA towed the party line regardless of fact and we would witness his taking the side of developers, gravel industry, hospital cutbacks and always, to my recollection, try to justify his opinion to the public.
So much so, Mission perpetuated the current dilemma all these years, one of a divisive Community, lacking innovation and visionary development, particularly of major projects like downtown/waterfront, often divided along political party lines.
Mr. Hawes was instrumental in the formation and execution of the CRMG party until a difference of opinion witnessed his departure. Now, suddenly he appears back on the political horizon and the obvious politicking emerges, as we read his attempt to achieve public attention, this time debating even the simplest of issues, actually wasting public time as he profoundly strokes his own ego and interpretation of facts. One must remember his absence in public view was likely intentional, except when he desired to make his point known or some self-interest goal.
So, Mission today sits as a divided community, as demonstrated a short time ago by a retained Consultants describing Mission as rife with “silos” and to another perspective largely functioning with cliques dominating most organizations, again often along political party-lines, a by-product of political rule for many years stifling visionary or new progress, such as downtown truck traffic and the foolhardy notion to not progress with a bypass but to accept lower speed zone and a costly but most useless walkway around to the Junction Centre.
Mission, while able to boast lovely scenery is too often wrongly categorized by some interest groups as a wonderful place to live. Granted, certain aspect of living bring benefits to a segment of society who may avail themselves of living in gated communities, well-do-do neighbourhoods or likewise in a well-appointed and services facility like may be at a Carrington residence. But Mission also has its immense population living in a divisive context.
Recently, a Letter alluded to noise of certain dragsters at the Mission Raceway, a factual issue but the individual was met with a segment of society admonishing and bullying the writer, telling to move, to shut up and out of the other side of mouths extolling virtues of persons attending the track, that finally resulted in the Publisher apprising me the postings were all deleted as most were unacceptable. This is only symptomatic of the divisive community I allude to but goes to the point clearly.
We reached 30% voter turnout at the last election so in fact 70% were apathetic and indifferent, another factor supporting the divisive nature perpetuated by self-interest and a clearly lack of political will to create an inclusive community.
While the examples abound, such as lack of funding for the Fraser Valley Humane Society a fact established when Mr. Hawes was Mayor back in 1995 but perpetuated by successive Councils. Conversely, the Seniors’ of Mission, one of the only communities in BC not featuring an independent activity centre structure for use by Seniors’ is another ignored group.
So, listening to Mr. Hawes try to justify his ideas and continued negativity as expressed, in part, in his rebuttal to Councillors Luck & Jewell is, in my opinion, lacking the awareness, vision and innovation needed to continue getting Mission on the pathway to prosperity for all.
In closing, the talk about downtown cannot be done, as tried by Mr. Hawes, to use the “red-herrings” of Ministry traffic engineers not agreeing, or need for costly multi-tier parking downtown and intentionally ignoring the obvious need for a bypass. He further exacerbates his lack of insight claiming “problem solved” with cessation eventually of Ruskin Dam truck traffic, as this truck traffic, indeed and fact existed back to 1992 when I moved here and has exacerbated over the years, thus the alleged Ruskin Dam traffic is an anomaly blip and nowhere near the cause nor eventual solution to truck traffic, which only will be achieved by the needed long overdue bypass, that successive Government inaction and notably that of our MLA being MIA has perpetuated to date.
The impressive plan for downtown evolved from public input and leaders direction that needs to be continued carefully and not dismissed as implied by Mr. Hawes or integrated into a referendum which would be a further stall tactic, at best. It seems the concept is mostly in place, now progress must continue but frankly, we need some astute new leadership, not “retreading politicians” nor trying to make a new leader out of a discredited Mayor.
Finally, trying to demean the 35,000 people who did not attend workshops or cloak oneself in this large lack of indifference generated, Mission needs to do some major soul-searching and everyone needs to exercise introspection and realize their role in the development of an inclusive community not perpetuate self-interests. Thus, in part, to achieve this goal, we need an innovative and visionary leadership, not as witnessed to date and years gone by, recycling old politicians, no, we need inspired and adept leaders who will inspire the masses and in time we will become the desired inclusive, caring, compassionate and progressive community we can be.