Over the past few months I’ve been working on a number of very complex files, and I’m very appreciative of the support I’ve received from our public sector employees. I could not do my job as your MLA if I was not provided with such timely and thoughtful assistance on an ongoing basis.
Whether I need briefings on emerging topics, the attendance of senior staff at either private or public meetings, or help with individual constituent issues, I’ve found our local public service managers and staff ready and willing to help. Even more so now that I’m free from the partisan politics that parties foist on our governance structures, which can make our public service hesitant to assist individual MLAs for fear of reprisal. Few of us can imagine the pressures put on our public servants. They are the ones who have to roll with the changes created by politicians without their input, both when government changes hands and when the government attempts to redefine itself in advance of an election, as we are seeing now. They must also deal with people who are mad at the lack of common sense in government decisions, the lack of resources to assist people in need, and the lack of resources to simply do their job to the level the public expects.
The public service is also an easy scapegoat for politicians who want to distance themselves from the implications of their budget and spending decisions. I’m sure we’ll see lots of blame placed on the public service as the BC Liberals try to balance the budget on the backs of public servants next spring in advance of the May election.
Despite all of these pressures, I believe the vast majority of our public servants do everything they can to serve the public interest to the best of their ability with increasingly fewer resources. I want to publicly thank them for that and let them know that I appreciate their efforts.
Bob Simpson is the Independent MLA for Cariboo North.