Democracy lives for B.C. residents

Just as the fight against global terrorism hasn’t ended because Osama bin Laden was shot and killed, the opportunities for democracy to work its magic haven’t ended with the close of another federal election.

With little chance to take a deep breath and reflect on the new political landscape here and in Ottawa, Capital Region residents must now turn their attention to a couple of other pressing matters.

One is the harmonized sales tax. The B.C. government is out to seal the deal, sending ministers to host conference-call “town hall” meetings around the province to hear suggestions and opinions about the oft-maligned harmonized tax and give its own justification for keeping the HST intact.

The telephone meetings have proven popular so far, showing that people around the province are engaged in the information-gathering process — in democracy.

Even people who chose not to vote Monday will be affected by the collective decision made by the public on the future of the HST.

The other democratic action available to us is completing the 2011 Canadian census.

While some randomly selected people will be compelled by law to answer a Statistics Canada survey, most of us can choose whether we fill out the census forms arriving in our mail.

Before you turf the envelope into the recycling bin, remember that census data paints an important social and demographic picture of communities for planners, from municipal on up to the federal level.

That information goes a long way toward determining where money is spent on health care and public works infrastructure, public safety and other community amenities such as libraries.

Census data also helps the academic world contribute valuable research on demographic and social trends in our cities and towns.

Whether or not you voted Monday, remember that your opinion and contributions matter to us all.

 

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