An open letter to MHAs

Published on May 15, 2016

Members of the House of Assembly: I urge more than a cursory glance, I'll try to be brief. Arguably the major draw for most of you to support the budget is your salary and your party affiliation. Your career.

Now before you deny it, do yourself a favour and pause to reflect on this seriously! It's perfectly understandable to swallow the unfavourable for the sake of a job. We look the other way, we cut corners, we sigh and carry on when our income is at risk. It's a sad reality and we can't fault you for it. I would argue a point of ethics and integrity, but I promised to attempt brevity; another time perhaps.  Instead let's focus on that bottom line, the income, the career, the bread on the table.

Certainly by staying the course, following the status quo and supporting the budget you could guarantee a juicy salary (and perks) for four years, right? Let's ignore the impending revolution for now for this hypothetical. That's half a million dollars over a few years and all you have to do is tow the party line.

Well what about what happens next? I can say with certainty that any politician fool enough to support the budget would never take office, which means no chance at the pension for first-time holders of office.

What about outside of politics, then? Having made nearly the entire population of the province your enemy, how many job opportunities will be lost? How many will shred your resume just to avoid the public backlash? Even if you do find a new career, what will it be like to live in the province you played a role in crippling? What if you need medical help in a crippled health care system? Or have children attending a broken school system? How will it feel to walk through the cities that are shadows of themselves in your wake?

Let's look at the more positive perspective, standing with your people and voting No. The House shares the opinion of the people, no confidence, and an election begins. Certainly your seat isn't guaranteed, but I would think that any MHA that such integrity and strength of character is in a strong starting position. Actions speak louder than words, and a no-confidence vote for the House means a gain of confidence in our MHAs.

Even if unsuccessful in the election, the exposure and good press from taking a stand would be a long-standing benefit to any career.

Shane Snook, Flat Bay