Getting McBride back on track

by EVAN MATTHEWS, editor

I feel bad for everyone in McBride right now.

My understanding is McBride has always been a hard working and blue collar type of town, and right now, it seems as though bureaucracy and a lack of organization is getting in the way of any type of progress.

The citizens are struggling. There aren’t many career-like jobs left in McBride, many of the young people are leaving for opportunity elsewhere, and it doesn’t appear as though a plethora of opportunity will be showing up in McBride tomorrow.

Naturally, people look to their elected officials for answers in times like these, and right now, the people of McBride just aren’t getting the answers they’re looking for.

A fresh council came in after the last election, and since, it’s been a complete turnover. Councillors have resigned, staffers have left or been let go, and for all the change that people of McBride ex-pected after the election, the reality is that they’ve received much of the same.

This isn’t to say the (newly) elected officials aren’t trying to do their best or their hardest. I believe they are, and for those who recently resigned, I think they did, too.

But what can residents do if an elected official’s best effort just isn’t good enough?

How can we expect a group of five individuals — your neighbours, peers and friends — (council) to restore order to a town that has been struggling for years?

I don’t know if it’s a totally fair expectation.

 

In my brief time working in journalism, and covering politics, typically councils are a reflection of the electorate. Councils with engaged communities, from what I’ve seen, have an easier time getting things done because the community is involved and on board, as opposed to say communities expe-riencing turmoil.

 

In my brief time working in journalism, and covering politics, typically councils are a reflection of the electorate. Councils with engaged communities, from what I’ve seen, have an easier time getting things done because the community is involved and on board, as opposed to communities experiencing turmoil.

Again, this isn’t to say McBride’s community isn’t involved enough, only locals know, and a local I am not.

However, one thing I have noticed in McBride is a significant difference in opinion, and an inability to get on the same page.

Often with political issues there are two or three main perspectives, like, how do we create jobs? How do we dig ourselves out of our financial situation?

Yet, it doesn’t seem to matter who you talk to or what you’re talking about when it comes to McBride, but it seems as though every single person has a different idea or opinion.

When I interviewed former councilor Sharon Reichert, she used the word “fractured” to describe many of the relationships in McBride, as in cracks exist within the network making up McBride’s community.

No matter what happens with Council moving forward, some accountability should fall on residents to help eliminate those cracks and bring the community together.

There is a need to respect other’s ideas, to work at understanding one another, and to recognize when a positive solution trumps pride and ego.

Council represents the community; it shouldn’t be there, solely, for the community to blame when things do not go perfectly.

Whether it’s a few leaders that rally the community together, or the body of the community recog-nizing a need to mobilize, McBride needs more than five minds and bodies on its issues in order to get “back on track.”