This week, the Kimberley Refugee Resettlement group is happily welcoming another refugee family to the East Kootenay — continuing a long tradition in this part of the world of providing safe places and a transition to a new life for those fleeing war and oppression.
Meanwhile in the U.S., Donald Trump Jr. proved the nut doesn’t fall far from the nut by comparing refugees to a bowl of Skittles.
I kid you not. This dope — suffering from one of the yoogest cases of afluenza the world has ever seen — tweeted this, “If I had a bowl of Skittles and I told you just three would kill you, would you take a handful? That’s our Syrian refugee problem.”
Wow. There’s a lot I could say, but I’m going to let this week’s King of Twitter, one Max Im A Koopa take this one.
“You’re not supposed to eat the refugees @DonaldJTrumpJr. We’ve been over this.”
That same day Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke eloquently at the UN about more acceptance and support of refugees, though those with a cynical bent would say he was lobbying hard for Canada gaining a temporary seat on the Security Council. Winning that would certainly polish his legacy, though he’s only less than a year into his first mandate so it may be too early to talk legacy.
Know who’s not just a year into their mandate? The BC Liberals. With an election looming in the spring, we in British Columbia are entering that magical season where incumbent governments begin handing out the goodies. Just last week it was announced with great fanfare that the promised four per cent hike in MSP was not going to happen. Yay! Look at all the money we’ve saved you! Except you didn’t save so much as just delay an increase that is sure to happen some time in the future — say a week or so after next spring’s election.
Also with increases to BC Hydro, Fortis Gas and ICBC, how much further ahead are we really? The answer we are looking for is…. not at all. With most wage increases in the zero per cent range — the lucky get 1.5 per cent — the average wage earner is falling behind, pelted with increases in the four to five per cent range. No, we are not better off.
That’s the message John Horgan and the NDP are bringing this campaign. It just remains to be seen if they can fight the perception that it’s the NDP that means higher taxes. That’s going to be an uphill battle, especially with the province next door as an example of the NDP in action.
The BC Liberals are 15 years into their mandate and I find it rather interesting that the normal fatigue one would see with a government after that length of time doesn’t seem to apply here. Now there was a leadership change mid-way through, a boon for the BC Liberals as Gordon Campbell fatigue was definitely setting in. But you don’t get the sense that people are that sick of Christy Clark, not like last year during the federal election when Stephen Harper fatigue was at an all time high.
The Anyone But Harper sentiment was strong, and it was a tidal wave the Conservatives had no hope of overcoming. The Anyone But The BC Liberals sentiment may be a gentle wave lapping the shores of Saltspring Island but it doesn’t appear to be spreading across the province to any great degree. Thus far, there is no appreciable sense of Clark-fatigue, and it perplexes me a bit. Fifteen years is a long time for any government.
I’m going to have to chew on a bowl of poisonous Skittles and ponder this.
Carolyn Grant is Editor of the Kimberley Bulletin