Rob Morrison’s Fall 2020 Newsletter is both disappointing and concerning.
Disappointing because it’s been over a year since the 2019 Federal election and this is only the second time we’ve heard from our MP.
I say only the second time because Canada’s House of Commons encourages regular communication between MPs and their constituents, covering the costs of designing, printing and sending out newsletters four times a year, and mini-surveys asking for constituents’ views on a variety of issues, up to ten times a year.
Why we have only received two pieces of communication when fourteen were possible can only be answered by Mr. Morrison, but I can tell you this:
1. You have to care about the people in your riding to actively communicate with them. It is a lot of work writing newsletters and questionnaires and responding to constituents’ concerns, but that’s what MPs are there to do.
2. You have to be accomplishing things in order to write about them. Constituents want and need to know what you are doing on their behalf. If the quarterly newsletters are just repeating partisan party rhetoric like this latest newsletter, I support MP’s not sending them out. If you’re not really interested in hearing constituents’ views, then don’t waste their time with mini surveys (the House of Commons calls them 10 percenters).
3. To be helpful to constituents, at least part of the communications must be non-partisan, particularly in these Covid 19 pandemic times. Individuals, families and businesses need to know what kind of help government has available to them. Non-profit societies need to know what financial support or grants are available to ensure that they have a future. While sharing this information with constituents, it is fair for MPs to also talk about what government needs to be doing differently or better, but people need to know what supports are out there for them. That is also what MPs are there to do.
That is what is most concerning about this newsletter. It arrived during Remembrance week – not one word of thanks to our veterans. Not one word about our seniors, our environment, the climate crisis, the Columbia River Treaty, the good work being done in our communities by constituents.
Instead we got a piece of Conservative propaganda that should have been paid for by the Conservative Party and not by us as taxpayers.
Members of Parliament play an extremely important role in representing all of us, regardless of how we voted, once they are elected. The key to proper representation is good two-way communication, and the current lack of meaningful communication from our MP is both disappointing and concerning.
Wayne Stetski, Former MP Kootenay-Columbia