Place at the table

To the editor:
As a former resident of Rainy River District, a frequent visitor to the district, and a subscriber to the Fort Frances Times, I would like to point out a couple of facts to the Conservative candidate from Fort Frances in the upcoming provincial election.
Ms. Beyak seems to pin a great deal of hope for her election by saying elect me, or any other Conservative candidate from the north. A Conservative member will give us a “place at the table” (Fort Frances Times, April 14/99). Do this and everything will be fine.
This “place at the table” idea appears to be quite a popular theme among Conservative candidates in the north.
The Conservative candidates seem to conveniently forget that the history of the Harris government has shown on many occasions that the voters of Northern Ontario could send an entire slate of Conservative members to Queen’s Park, and the important decisions would still be made by Mike, Ernie, and a select group of unelected, highly-paid, ultra right-wing advisors who pirate their political and economic philosophies from right-wing Republican governors in the U.S.A.
I would remind Ms. Beyak, or any other Conservative hopeful, that the only thing that they can be assured of at the Mike Harris table will be the expectation to bob their heads on cue. And if they are really well behaved, they may be called upon to ask a Cabinet member a pre-arranged question, which would give the bobbing heads exposure and allow the Cabinet minister to look good.
Ask Tony Skarica, Bill Murdoch, and Gary Carr (all Conservative back-benchers who appear to have a social and democratic conscience) what happens to them when they voice opposition to Mikey’s agenda?
Could Ms. Beyak take being stifled and still bring the true concerns of the north to “Mikey’s table” in the same manner as a hard-working and effective opposition member could? I think not!!!
On a final note, perhaps Ms. Beyak would like to explain how she can justify wanting to represent a government which has added $24 billion to Ontario’s debt load in order to finance a tax cut which greatly benefits the top six percent of the wage earners in the province.
Marvin Viehbeck
Thunder Bay, Ont.