Cowichan News Leader

It’s time for me to try another experiment

Here we are, about 11 years into this project — 575 columns and some 685,000 words later — and it’s time to pack it in and move along.

I’ve decided to get more active politically and we (the editor and I) just couldn’t find a way to keep doing the column when I now function with an official politically partisan role.

I was elected president of the Cowichan Valley B.C. Liberals last week.

We’ve never hidden my personal political views or my long-term support for the B.C. Liberals but chairing the executive of our local B.C. Liberal constituency association pushed me over into being an official representative that just wouldn’t fit.

Readers could never be confident they were reading an independent, tilted to the right, political view, or the official stance of the B.C. Liberals.

I’m going to miss having this weekly platform available to throw my two-bits worth into local debates but, the truth is I’ve often felt somewhat constrained on what I could or should write about.

I have many valuable relationships with local and provincial politicians, and senior government officials, and I’ve held back from publicly venting on an issue; deciding I’d rather take up the matter directly than in ink on newsprint.

That said, there are a few issues out there in the public domain that I would like to get my last word in on.

Peter Nix, no matter how loud you may shout it, the science on climate is anything but settled.

There is new research being published in peer-reviewed journals almost every week that casts serious doubt on the alarmists’ warnings of catastrophic man-made warming.

Besides, the public debate long ago moved away from the science and onto political and economic issues — and you guys are losing that one.

There is no government in the world willing to take the drastic measures the alarmists claim are absolutely necessary to avoid disaster.

For those who fervently hope the new municipal auditor general will claw back local government spending, you don’t understand what a MAG does.

The absolute levels of local government spending are a political issue no MAG will attempt to interfere with. A MAG can and will look at whether or not tax money is being effectively used and whether the taxpayer is getting a good bang for their buck.

If you don’t like how much money is being spent, or what it is being spent on, take that up with your local elected people or vote for someone else in a little less than three years.

And don’t, please don’t, claim local government finances are being hidden from you.

Budgeting processes today are wide open to public scrutiny and it’s your own darn fault if you don’t take time to read and understand the statements published on government websites.

So, this is goodbye to you as a regular contributor of this newspaper, but you will be hearing from me from time-to-time as a guest columnist when the spirit moves me, and the editor allows.

I also intend to start my own blog very soon under the name experiment of one.

Long-time columnist Patrick Hrushowy has left the News Leader Pictorial as a regular paid contributor. We’d like to thank him for an excellent decade of work and wish him well in the future. We hope to continue sharing his observations on local affairs in a guest columnist role in the future.

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