There’s a point when you would hope a Member of Parliament understands that their very well paid job includes fighting for government services for those who are truly in need and realize when they come off sounding like an uncaring elitist.
Full disclosure. Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes beat me for the Conservative Party nomination. It was a nasty, dirty and personal campaign (glad to answer any questions on it) so I usually stay away from commenting on him as it looks like sour grapes but I can’t let this one go.
Apparently under the Community Access Program, the federal government funds internet services in 15 locations in Mayes’ riding which is now being eliminated. I’m no bleeding heart when it comes to government cut-backs but I can’t see how taking away funding from shelters and youth centres is a priority in any way. Let me know when real fat is being trimmed first.
To top it off, Mayes adds to it with this Marie Antoinette statement that these at-risk kids, low-income earners and homeless can just walk into an internet cafe:
“There are Internet cafes, it’s not that expensive (to get Internet capability). You have to set priorities with the limited dollars you have.” (see here)
I know who the clients are at the Vernon’s Upper Room Mission. They include people with mental health problems who are certainly not going to be welcome in an internet cafe and others who can’t afford food or the basic needs, so extra cash isn’t exactly burning a hole in their pocket.
Mayes should get his $160,000-year butt down to these places and talk with the staff and end-users before he spouts off making the Conservative Party look bad.
Also: For an idea of what Mayes thinks are the only things important enough to speak about in Parliament (see here)