Have you ever wondered how to make things better?

For yourself? For others?

I know it is something that many people think about as they ponder life in general, job security, the home they have — if they’re lucky enough to have one — peace of mind and joy.

These are troubling times for many; look around you.

I mean really look.

Stop and look when you go to pick up your prescription, pay for your groceries, get gas, go to one of the stores in your town. 

Stop and look when you want to purchase something you do not have, or better yet you need and did not budget for.

How about if you need a dentist, or your eyes are not working so well.

Can you hear properly?

Are your children getting the nutrition they need to grow a healthy body and mind?

Have you ever thought about the people serving you in our pharmacies, stores, restaurants and offices?

Have you ever wondered how they’re doing — if they have enough to look after themselves and their families?

Ask and I suspect you’ll find many work two and three jobs just to keep their heads above water.

But I am not telling some of the readers anything new — this is their life I am talking about.

Because this is an election year in British Columbia and because politicians at every level need to be held accountable for the many tactics that are used to get your vote, I am asking that everyone be careful who you vote for and what you are voting for.

Elected officials will promise you what you need and what you think they can deliver, but always know they are answering to someone else as well.

Make sure you are aware of who is controlling them before you cast a vote.

Voter turnout in our region has been low almost every time there has been an election of any kind at almost any level.

You can change that.

Here in Osoyoos look around you and decide what needs to change? What needs are not being met here?

Think.

Take a look at your town: are your Mayor and Council representing your best interests? If not, speak up — you are what keeps the squeaky wheel turning.

We have an opportunity here to make changes, good and respectable changes.

We all pay taxes in one form or another so we do have a vested interest in how things are run and what decisions are made and what is truly best for all our citizens.

We are a tourist destination — but what exactly does that mean and who really benefits?

If tourism is a billion-dollar business in B.C., where is the money going and who exactly reaps the rewards?

Are the needs of the community you live in being met? Or are the needs of an industry being put before the very citizens who live and work here year-round?

We need more than is being offered.

We are not asking for more condos, better boat moorings, bigger play areas, more revitalization of older buildings in need of complete tear downs.

We need subsidized housing.

We need emergency services.

We need full-time jobs for the folks here so they at least have benefits.

Tourism is great for our community, but it needs a little balance.

Bring it on, I say, but not at the expense of the people who are the heart and soul of this or any other small town.

I urge you all to really look at how things are being done, how they could be done better and decide what you want for your community and your province.

Your vote is that important.

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