As most people will recall, the NDP sent out a cartoonish flyer last fall, which discussed the Canada-European Union: Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, also known simply as CETA. Since then, there has been much discussion about the issue and recently, our current MP has spent time criticizing both local constituents and the local media about the situation.
In a letter to the editor of the Trail Daily Times on January 13th, 2011, our MP criticized a local constituent suggesting he become more informed about CETA. My question is,"How can constituents become more informed when our current MP doesn't even understand CETA?" For example, the mailer claimed that “CETA threatens our water.” This old scare first arose when NAFTA came in. Nothing negative regarding water has happened under NAFTA because the claim was false to begin with, just like this one. The mailer further claimed that “CETA threatens our public health care.” This claim also first arose with NAFTA. It argued that we would be forced into a US-style health care system. Not only has it not happened, but, the US is now struggling to try to move towards a system more like ours. Besides that, no country in the world has a US-style health care system, which is precisely why the US is trying so desperately to change!
In the same letter to the editor, our MP expressed discontent about the local media's apparent failure to provide adequate coverage about CETA. Our MP asked, "Why isn’t there any mention in the mainstream press in regards to the points about CETA?” It seems the answer is because the mainstream media recognizes the cartoonish presentation in the CETA flyer as nothing more than a scare tactic commonly used by the NDP.
At best, our current MP seems ill-informed on the CETA situation and should take the time to become informed. Then he would be better able to have a reasonable discussion with constituents about the issues. I have read up on the CETA issue and I am ready to have this “informed discussion” with our MP in any public forum in the riding and respond to all of the comic book claims.
We need an MP who works in a positive and constructive manner for and with our constituents instead of a constant stream of negativity. If our current MP is not prepared to do this, he should be replaced with someone who is ready, willing and able because what we really need is action, not rhetoric.
BC Southern Interior