EDITORIAL: Public input includes people

With Enbridge hearings in Victoria shutting out residents, the government is not leaving us with the impression public interest is welcome.

The key to public hearings is obviously public input.

With the Enbridge hearings in Victoria shutting out residents interested in attending the proceedings and Victoria MLA Murray Rankin being refused entry, the government is not leaving us with the impression that public interest is welcome.

The process of registering to speak is tried and true. However, relegating the great unwashed to a hotel kilometres away from where the hearings are taking place, allowing the public only to view the proceedings in a video feed from fixed cameras is not open, transparent information gathering.

We all want the sessions to run smoothly without interruptions from noisy protesters. Ugly disruptions create an oppressive atmosphere, rather than one of courtesy and respect, which enables everyone to voice their opinion without feeling threatened.

However, posting uniformed police outside the hearing room and forcing the public to view the hearings from a distance of more than two kilometres only alienates the people who it is trying to engage.

Talks held across the country have been uneventful. The most threatening event so far has been a large community gathering which formed a welcoming committee of sorts for the panel at the Bella Bella hearings. That situation delayed the process by one day.

The Enbridge pipeline proposal is controversial. For some, registering their name in advance, standing in front of a panel of strangers, explaining their concerns or expressing their approval is comfortable and acceptable. For others, voicing their concerns in an old-fashioned, free-spirited way with placards and songs is the way they want to express themselves. And for some of us, being able to see and hear the presentations for ourselves is how we become involved.

Separating the people from the process is not the way to earn trust and make sure the public interest is served.

 

Just Posted

Victoria Women’s March draws hundreds

Pink pussy hats aplenty as demonstrators took to downtown streets

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

Bob Heyes back behind Shamrocks bench for 2018 season

Art Webster, Mike Simpson, John Hamilton will also return

Oak Bay Council agenda at a glance

Regional Transportation Service, major reserve funds, and Oak Bay Heritage on tonight’s agenda

Driver escapes from crash in Sidney

Town truck and another vehicle collide, causing van to roll over

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

Cougar window shops at Banff grocery store

An RCMP officer spots a cougar outside an Alberta grocery store

VIDEO: Massive waves destroy chunks of Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail

Some viewpoints will be closed for the foreseeable future because you won’t even know they were there

Tofino and Ucluelet wowed by biggest waves in a decade

“Even in pictures you show the kids and that, unless you’re witnessing it live, it’s like no other.”

Police fear fewer fentanyl imports don’t signal the end of the overdose crisis

RCMP say it’s just as likely that criminal are getting more clever

UPDATE: Two people die in ATV accident south of Campbell River

Third person survived attempt to cross a creek

Coal dust escaping rail cars spurs B.C. petition

Local governments are on board with Shuswap resident’s request for better control of escaping particulate

Vikes women run to 6-0, win first rugby sevens tourney of season

UVic Vikes this week: Hoops teams host shoot for the cure

Lawyers slam ‘de facto expulsion’ of student guilty of sexual interference

Calgary student guilty of sexual assault of a minor allowed to finish semester

Most Read