On June 25, I attended (by videoconference) Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach’s Building a Better Normal Town Hall meeting. The two-hour-long session was facilitated by MP Bachrach and several of his employees. Approximately 60 engaged citizens called in.
The participants offered many interesting, well-thought-out, and practical suggestions.
Afterwards, I emailed MP Bachrach’s office and asked for the minutes of the meeting and any action items or next steps coming out of it. A few days later I received an email response from an assistant stating that: “It was never our plan to produce a formal report or action plan coming out of this particular meeting, so unfortunately I have nothing to share with you on that front.”
Our MP and his staff (making over $300,000 per year in combined wages) hosted a public meeting from three comfortable and well-furnished constituency and parliamentary offices. Sixty people from many communities across Northwest B.C. gave up two hours of their evening to participate and offer their experiences, ideas, and passion for our region. The result? Under four hundred words worth of vague notes provided by an anonymous attendee.
The meeting’s title was Building a Better Normal. No building was happening during the meeting, and nothing better came out of it. Sadly, this unproductive approach to politics is normal.
If we want a better future for our region, we need to create a plan, set some goals, and take real and meaningful action towards achieving them. Our local elected representatives should be leading the process. Disappointingly, this meeting had a more political and less practical purpose.