From the Parksville Qualicum News

Two Recent Letters to the Editor

I see that MP John Duncan is trying to defend the Conservative government’s record in the recent session of Parliament (The NEWS, June 23), but he hasn’t actually answered the important questions for his constituents.

Why did he vote to reduce coast guard services, including closing the station at Ucluelet?

Why did he vote against an NDP motion to help communities deal with the safety and pollution problems caused by derelict vessels?

Why did he vote in favour of the Bill C-51 surveillance law despite widespread objections about its limitations on our rights and freedoms?

Let’s remember that as chief whip for the federal government, Duncan not only cast his own vote on these matters, he enforced the vote amongst all the Conservative MPs.

Duncan hopes to represent our community after the next federal election. So the real question is: will he ever listen to our concerns before he votes on our behalf?

Brian Glennie


Back in October 2011, B.C. shipbuilders were chosen for an $8-billion federal contract to design and construct Canadian Navy and Coast Guard vessels, while Nova Scotia shipyards got a contract more than three times that size to build more naval vessels.

The premiers concerned were ecstatic when the announcements were made; B.C.’s Christy Clark donned her familiar hard hat and headed to yet another photo-op, declaring how hard her government had worked to get this lucrative contract bringing thousands of new jobs, and entice skilled workers to return home from Alberta’s oil-patch. Nova Scotia’s Darrell Dexter said it was like winning the Olympics every day for the next 30 years.

Almost four years later with very little visible progress, federal government documents have now come to light stating the naval shipbuilding program is in jeopardy; doubts are being cast if the two supply vessels will ever be built in Vancouver due to unavailability of appropriate facilities, expertise and a qualified labour force; apparently there are risks with the design and production plans that would make the vessels unaffordable.

Looks like yet another military procurement that has proven to be more talk and less action where Ottawa is concerned, and maybe another nail in the Harper Government’s coffin. Yet the Conservative Party touts itself as the only one to trust in the upcoming election, because of its experience and expertise in running the country for the past decade ?

Bernie Smith