I promised myself that I wouldn't get too caught up in politics this year on the blog but sometimes there are issues that are just too important. It's difficult to ignore the reality that our region has been hit particularly hard in recent months after the price of oil tanked. According to Statistics Canada, unemployment has risen 40% since January 2015. And of course, being the political hot potato that it is, it didn't take long for the political talking heads to start tongue-wagging. Everyone from the Prime Minister to the Premier to the Leader of the Provincial Opposition has been in the news as of late voicing concern, angst, possible solutions (for better or worse) or some way of mitigating the effects of this on our region. One voice seems to be missing from the discourse however and this concerns me. I read the news religiously after work and have yet to hear a word from our MP, David Yurdiga.
Rather than freak out on the guy on my blog or on Facebook, which, yes, I have done in the past of sorts. I decided instead to send him an email. I'm very interested to hear back from him and hold out hopes that he will actually respond (hey, I'm still an optimist). Here's what I sent him.....
Dear Mr. Yurdiga,
I am contacting you as I have become increasingly concerned due to your apparent silence in the face of rising unemployment in the riding of Fort McMurray-Cold Lake. According to Stats Canada, unemployment in our region has risen by an astonishing 40% since January 2015. While I realize that no politician, political party or government can control the significant drop in the price of oil, I am disappointed by the fact that you seem to have very little to say about the matter in terms of support for your constituents or an action plan of some fashion to cushion the effects of this downturn.
I follow many media sources and while our Prime Minister, Premier and Leader of the Provincial Opposition have all spoken on this matter, it would appear that your voice is missing from the discourse. Why is that? I've heard more from Brad Wall. Why should I stand up for you on election day and vote for you when you don't seem very motivated to stand up and support those who put you in Parliament? I do hope I'm wrong but at this point in time I really can't help feeling disappointment and the nagging impression that you really don't seem to care. I realize that this is complex issue but your voice seems to be missing. During the election campaign your campaign literature I received consistently mentioned the importance of the economy and keeping Albertans working. So what's changed? Was it all just political rhetoric? Speaking for a mere 8 minutes in Parliament as you reportedly did during the last Parliament just doesn't cut it, especially on an issue of this level of importance.
I should add that while the letter seems to suggest that I voted for him, I didn't. By my own admission, I've done a few stupid things in my life but voting for Yurdiga certainly wasn't one of them. At any rate, I'm very interested to see if he will actually take the time to respond and what that response will be.