Right in the centre - October 24 is coming soon


By Ken Waddell

Neepawa Banner & Press

The Oct. 24 date is looming. It’s already Sept. 7, so in 47 days or so, it will be all over.

The die will be cast as to who our councillors will be. The pattern of governing will be in place for the next four years. The group of people who will set the course for our towns and municipalities will be set in place. Those groups of people and the decisions they make will affect our daily lives as much, or more, than Pallister, Trudeau or Trump. What those three higher up guys do is important, but our daily lives will be more affected by our mayors, reeves and councillors.

Are we going to get the councils we want? It has been often said that people get the governments they deserve, but do we get the governments we want? History has proven that the ones who often get to govern are the ones who simply show up. In 1917, the Russian revolution was lead, albeit in a haphazard manner, by a guy who had been living in exile. His name was Lenin and he worked hard to get back into Russia and he changed the world. He wasn’t the best, nor the smartest, certainly not the richest, but he was willing, available and ruthless. Russia has never really recovered from Lenin.

So as we sit back and relax after harvest, gardening and camping and before hockey season or other activities capture our time and attention, where do we want to be as a community in four years? Do we want to stay the same? Will we even be able to stay the same? Who will make our decisions for us? It has been said many times that if you don’t get involved in politics, you are doomed to be governed by those who do.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau made a conscious decision to get involved. He and a few friends very deliberately took over the Liberal Party of Canada and set Canada on a course that some revere and others revile. Regardless, he changed the face of Canada and his son and his associates are still doing that. All that proves is that people make a difference.

How about local examples? Rivers has a rec centre, a water treatment plant and a waste water treatment system, all less than 10 years old. Why? Because the councils of the day went after them. 

Every community, regardless of size, can shape their future. Kelwood is building a new rink. Neepawa a new wastewater treatment facility. Neepawa’s medical clinic is expanding again. Minnedosa’s medical clinic is opening soon. Sometimes innovation is council driven, sometimes it is just council blessed.

The point is, we all have responsibility to get off our butts and do more than complain. You can run for council, you can encourage a good person to run for council. You can donate a bit of money to a campaign. You could get out and pass out pamphlets. You could go out and vote, half don’t. What I have no patience with is complaining without some action on the part of the complainers.

Check with your municipal office about nomination deadlines. Read the notices in the papers. All our communities are fragile, at the same time, being full of opportunity. We can sit back and watch them crumble or we can seize the opportunity that every day offers. It’s up to us really. Four years from now, don’t be moaning and grumbling about the outcome if you haven’t made any contribution to the process.