Opinion Editorial

Pay attention to what candidates don't say

Greg Vandermeulen

As the provincial election approaches, concerned Manitobans find it easy to pay attention to what the leaders say.

They analyze each announcement, adding the latest promise to the list that will be tallied up when it comes time for voting.

But we also need to pay attention to what is not said, and to ask questions accordingly.

Take for instance a recent announcement by the PC party to add a helicopter ambulance to Brandon's emergency capabilities.

Aside from the fact that this announcement joins a few others on the "irrelevant to the rest of us" list (like paving Winnipeg back lanes) it's what he didn't say that we should pay attention to.

Hugh McFadyen made a strong case for why the helicopter would benefit the region. And you know what? He's right.

A second helicopter in Manitoba's fleet is a good plan.

But in the press release that enclosed this announcement was this statement.

"We can't change the fact that Greg Selinger closed 15 rural emergency rooms."

Actually Mr. McFadyen, many rural Manitobans are counting on you to do just that.

To be fair, McFadyen does refer to some vague long-term plans to "restore health care services" but even then he was talking about Brandon and Western Manitoba.

What about people living in areas where medical care is no longer available?

When Gary Doer began the process of closing rural emergency rooms, we heard the PC party loudly say they would do things different.

Yet their reluctance to stand up and pledge to reopen those 15 emergency rooms is puzzling.

Are there legitimate reasons to stop us from reintroducing that medical care?

Would it be too expensive? Do we not have enough doctors and nurses?

And if those reasons do exist, perhaps we gain insight into why they closed in the first place. Was the NDP right to do that?

Healthcare is important to all of us and voters in the Town of Emerson should be asking the PC when they will get an ambulance again.

There's talk of Dominion City getting a unit, but that doesn't fill the void along Hwy. 75.

Will a party leader, any party leader pledge to restore health services?

If they won't, they owe you the voter, the reason why.