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  • Why would Horgan expect young people to listen to him?!

    Margaret Steele

    He demands they “behave” on the virus front but earns their disrespect by allowing abuse of the natural world.



    Let me start by saying clearly – leave the public announcements about the pandemic to Minister Dix and Doctor Henry. They have been doing an exceptional job of providing clear, factual information and explanations to us for over a year. I trust them. They address us respectfully, as the responsible adults that we are.

    I am a senior. I watched the press conference on March 29th and am annoyed at the accusations you hurled at the young people, specifically the 20 to 39 year olds you blame for the exponential increase in COVID transmissions. That is unfair and if I were in that age group, I would not be listening to you or following your advice. It is this very group of young people who are facing into the escalating threat of climate change and the widespread destruction of our forest ecosystems. These same young people you are now calling out for their behaviour have been pleading with you for months and months to fulfill your promise to stop old growth logging. You have been deaf to their pleas. And yet you expect them to look to you for leadership? To trust you?

    Scientists tell us the underlying cause of the pandemic is our abuse of the natural world: mistreatment of animals, destruction of wildlife habitat, including overlogging. Thousands of people, including people in all demographics, have petitioned you, stood outside your office in all sorts of weather, rallied outside the legislature, calling on you to show leadership in the protection and restoration of the natural world. And yet you are silent and speak not to them, to us, but instead accept the invitation as key note speaker at the COFI convention. When will you speak to the young people, the 20-to-39-year-old’s to reassure them that the natural world they are inheriting will be safe for them to enjoy a full life and raise children?

    I am old now. I, like you, lived my younger years in the sweet spot of time, without the heart-wrenching fear of seeing the last tree fall, the last caribou die, the last salmon gone, the last wolf slaughtered. I am alarmed at the legacy we are leaving behind for those very same young people you blame for, as you said, “putting the rest of us in a challenging position.” It isn’t about us and them. It is about all of us sticking together, in it together, exactly as Minister Dix and Doctor Henry have been patiently and kindly saying for months.

    Please leave Minister Dix and Doctor Henry to deal with the pandemic and put your attention where it is most needed—to changing legislation to protect and restore our ecosystems and to protect species at risk. You owe us that now that you have orchestrated an unnecessary election to eliminate the agreement with the Green Party, the only party that truly seems to understand the threats we are facing.


    Margaret Steele

    Grand Forks, home of the threatened Kettle Granby Grizzly and 241 other blue- and red-listed species.


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    What a ridiculous pair of issues you twin together, implying one justifies the other. Old growth forest protection is critical. But to suggest the Premier has lost all credibility with all people 20-39 bc of current differing priorities is simplistic to say the least.

    I ache for the plight of young people who are starved for social connection and normalization at a crucial time of their lives. In their desperation, and declining mental well-being, many of them are breaking the rules and are regular super spreaders. I know of many who are. I also know many who aren’t, but not as many. When I pass restaurants with many, many groups of ‘20 somethings’ crammed at a restaurant table, I find it very hard to believe they live together. (Of course there are super spreaders of all ages doing the same thing, but I observe most to be in their 20s - 30’s). Alcohol is often involved and inhibitions become muted, as does judgement.

    It is an important message to this demographic to please heed the restrictions at this very risky time. To claim that this single issue, of forest protection, is justification for ‘all’ 20 - 39 year olds to tune out the Premier is a huge generalization. 

    I restate my view that forest protection is critical - I was raised on Vancouver Island and know what is at risk. Governing is a complex business; setting priorities during a state of emergency adds but one more layer of complexity. Please don’t try to simplify it by welding a large group of our population to a single issue, and then stating that the entire demographic has a right to disrespect the leadership of the duly elected, and very popular, Premier of our province as a result.



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    Thank you, Margaret, for an excellent letter to John Horgan. As a fellow senior, I'd like to add a couple of points:

    1. The age group 20 to 39 years is also the group that by necessity is more mobile than other groups.  They are on every frontline in health facilities, in retail and grocery stores, in policing and fire brigades and in parenting taking kids to and from school.  It is that age group that holds the rest of society together.  
    2. Horgan's castigation of the young in public has shown all of us that we have a premier without elementary leadership skills.  The man is confrontational and divisive, both qualities rendering him unfit for the job he holds. 
    Edited by Anthony Britneff
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