Letter to the Editor – Provincial Election

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Dear Editor,

Well, here we are again. Another election cycle has passed. And nothing has happened at the local or provincial level to warrant our attention in that time, right?

I hope you’ll excuse my feeble attempt at humour in the first paragraph, for ,indeed, much has occurred to draw the attention of those who understand the impact of political events on the life and well-being of their community.

At the provincial level, among other things, an autocratic, tight-fisted government has promised to hear the voice of the people, and simultaneously crushed that very voice through denial of real consultation on real issues. I have led the way in illuminating this reality since the surprise announcement in August 2020 of the coming construction of a large new correctional centre in Kemptville, ostensibly without letting even our municipal council know of this plan previous to the surprise announcement.

At the municipal level, among other things, our municipal council chose en masse to roll over before the provincial juggernaut, refusing to engage in any meaningful leadership against the provincial assault on the rights and integrity of the citizens of North Grenville. They maintain they had no previous warning of the possibility of such a project. And they have parroted provincial arguments for the project.

Well, those matters, and others, have been discussed over the last few years. Now is the time for action. We will see now who is serious about the ideas they have expressed, and who is not. Who is willing to stand for her or his community and its values and integrity – and who is not.

Starting with myself, as I have had much to say on numerous issues. As it happens, I have known for many months now that the avenue of personal political action in the service of my beloved community would never again be open to me. A deadly illness has become present in my life. I probably will not be here when the election takes place. And those who know me know I HATE to miss elections.

But what about you? I know there are many bright, motivated citizens who would be honest representatives of the will of our community. There are some who have the courage to stand up against the odds. And fight. If that sounds like you, please consider coming forward with courage and integrity and firmness of intent.

As you do so, know that you carry my respect and admiration with you. Stand up. Speak out. Help put the interests of your community on the decision-making map, both locally and provincially.

Jim Bertram

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