You catch more flies with honey

Earlier this summer Mr. Joe Sawchuk responded to a letter I wrote accusing him of bias with a diatribe

Earlier this summer Mr. Joe Sawchuk responded to a letter I wrote accusing him of bias with a diatribe attacking my understanding of government and claiming that his cherry picked statistics prove his infallibility. At that time I chose not to reply. I find myself forced to respond to his most recent effort attacking other writers who protested yet another letter in which Mr. Sawchuk used carefully selected numbers to attack the loathsome New Democrats and praise the BC Liberal government he supports.

To do so I must first repeat my argument regarding the “has been” nature of previous New Democratic governments, which (as I said at the time) applies equally to every party. Mr. Sawchuck refuses to understand that every government is made up of many individuals, each of whom performs at various levels of honesty and/or competence. Regardless of the overall record of any government there is always a minister who, regardless of party, is building something worthwhile that serves as a lasting contribution to the welfare of us all.

For a specific example I offer Bill Hartley, Minister of Public works under the Barrett administration. During his tenure Mr. Hartley built hundreds of seniors centres and recreational facilities across this province in places where there were none, from Oak Bay and Esquimalt to Revelstoke and Prince Rupert. He also finished the causeway in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, around which the local tourist economy depends. Regardless of how the Barrett government performed overall it is fair to say that Bill Hartley was a truly great public servant who left a remarkable legacy. To call him a “has been” merely because he is no longer in office is truly ignorant. The same argument could be used about Cecil Bennett and the nationalization of the ferry and power systems. No government can be rationally called “has been” as long as the good work they accomplished endures. As I said before, Mr. Sawchuk is blinded by partisan bias.

Mr. Sawchuck’s reply to my letter was disrespectful and suggested I know nothing of government. I am prepared to wager that I in fact have served in more elected positions, worked more election campaigns and put in more volunteer hours than he has. What dues has he paid to justify the denigration of the genuinely held beliefs of others, which is what he did with me and subsequent citizens moved to protest his venomous tirades?

Frankly, I am appalled by the lack of respect Mr. Sawchuk shows others. In his most recent letter he refuses to use his target’s full name and feels comfortable pouring scorn on his critics. Once again he relies on cherry-picked statistics to justify his frequent explosions of bile, because he does not realize that research based on bias cannot produce honest results. Ask any scientist. Perhaps if this publication simply stopped printing Mr. Sawchuk until his respect for others improves he might learn that his mother was right when she told him that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Science has proved that, too.


David Lowther

Mesachie Lake