Voting is the number one, bare minimum way to have your voice heard by government. (File photo)

Voting is the number one, bare minimum way to have your voice heard by government. (File photo)

Jocelyn’s Jottings: Want to make change? Here are some suggestions

As a citizen you have a voice, you just have to know who to talk to

Have you ever been unhappy with the government? Don’t like how things are going? Want something specific to change?

I don’t think storming the legislature or parliament will do you any good so here are some alternative suggestions.

First and foremost, participate in every election, municipal, school district, provincial, federal, byelections, all of them. And bring a friend.

Our party system and first-past-the-post elections here in Canada aren’t perfect, but your vote matters. In the 2020 provincial election the Liberal candidate for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky won by a measly 60 votes.

Province-wide, voter turnout was somewhere between 52 per cent and 55 per cent. Those uncast ballots could have made a big difference.

Want to do more? It depends what you want to get done as different levels of government handle different things, but a good place to air your grievances or share your ideas is with your representatives.

Talk to a city councillor, their contact information is available on the city’s website, if you are concerned about city issues such as bylaw enforcement, property taxes or sidewalks, among other things. Council is also able to make requests of the provincial government, like they did when requesting that Mt. Begbie be protected.

Worried about childcare, highways or health care? You should talk to your MLA. The MLA in Revelstoke Doug Clovechok.

He recently brought forward a petition from Revelstoke citizens requesting that Mt. Begbie be protected, a few months later the province issued a moratorium on recreational development in the area.

Not getting anywhere with him? Reach out to a neighbouring MLA who is a member of a different party or one who has spoken about your issue in the past. Find a list of the MLAs at leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members. You probably won’t be able to get through to a minister, but you might hear back from the critic.

Concerned about national parks, pipelines or criminal law among other things? You should reach out to the federal government, via your MP. Rob Morrison.

Warning, any change and/or discussion within government will take time. Meanwhile, look for people and organizations who would also be on board with your cause. They say that the squeaky wheel get’s the grease, but the government is a large vehicle with many wheels–the louder the squeaks are, the more likely they are to be heard.

Gather evidence that there is a large group asking for these changes, whether it be a petition, a letter writing campaign or other virtual means. Find experts that have evidence that support your cause. Find economists that can find how this change, though it might require investing in one area, would provide savings in another.

Another way to inform or recruit people is to amplify your voice. Take to social media. Stand on street corners, contact your media to do a story.

Things still moving too slowly? It might be time to disrupt the status quo. Plan a sit in. Plan a rally. Go on strike. We are privileged to live in a place where violence is not likely needed for our voices to be heard.

All of that still not working? It might be time to put your name on that ballot. Governance in Canada needs diversity.

Of course there is always the option of volunteering or working with organizations that address the issues, day-to-day, person-by-person, on the ground. You can change the world for one person and that is making a difference as well.


 

@JDoll_Revy
jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Column

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Council will be considering on March 10, 2021 approval of the placing of a notice warning of building bylaw infractions on a local property. (File photo)
City of Salmon Arm takes action on reported building bylaw infractions

If final approval given by council, notice will alert prospective buyers to outstanding issues

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, Tuesday, June, 12, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Okanagan-Shuswap real estate market continues hot start to 2021

Sales in February were up more than 100 per cent over last year, reports the Association of Interior Realtors

The owner of this property at 2240 Highway 97B SE would like to subdivide the property to create a residence for her son so they can keep the farm going for the next generation. (City of Salmon Arm image)
Salmon Arm farm owner requests subdivision of land for family member

Creating two lots would mean son could help keep the farm productive

The Salmon Arm Fire Department responds to a report of thick smoke coming the backyard of a residence off Fifth Avenuse SE on the morning of March 3. Fire chief Brad Shirley notes that burning yard waste on lots under .99 of an acre is not permitted. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Salmon Arm residents reminded not to be tempted to burn yard waste

Firefighters respond to a call in city March 3 involving wet leaves, yard waste best taken to dump

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

A protest has been planned for March 5, 2020 over Penticton council’s decision to reject an application from BC Housing to keep an emergency winter shelter open over a year longer than originally planned. (Jesse Day - Western News)
‘Bring your tent’: Protest planned in Penticton’s Gyro Park over winter shelter closure

Protesters plan to show council ‘what the result of their decision will look like’

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
EDITORIAL: Heightened tension over face masks

Incidents of anger and conflicts over mandated masks happening too frequently

John Hordyk said it isn’t fair to just look at COVID-19 deaths as many survivors are experiencing long-term impacts, himself included. (Photo by Rachel Muise)
Not getting better: Revelstoke man diagnosed with post-COVID-19 syndrome

‘I hope the damage isn’t long term, but it could be permanent’

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki responded to BC Housing minster David Eby’s remarks that the city has put themselves at risk of creating a tent city Wednesday, March 3, 2020. (Western News file photo)
Penticton mayor calls out BC Housing minister for ‘irresponsible fear-mongering’

Council recently rejected BC Housing’s request to keep a winter shelter open longer than first planned

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

Most Read