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“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker


I have just struggled through Cheryl Ashlie's column (MacDuff’s Call: A political novice with a sizeable ego), in the Sept. 22 edition of The Maple Ridge News.

To say the least, Ashlie's comments are naive and show just how totally out of touch she has become with political reality.

Ashlie lauds the decision of Darryl Plecas to accept John Horgan's invitation to become the Speaker of the House, a move described by almost everyone else as self-serving and a betrayal of the trust of the constituents who voted for him.

Ashlie claims Plecas' turncoat move will help provide good governance but in making this claim, she fails to explain how he will achieve this lofty goal.

I cannot recall a single instance of a Speaker not enjoying the support and respect of all members of the legislature. In Plecas' case, he will surely not enjoy any support or respect from Liberal MLAs. While NDP MLAs might pay lip service to supporting him. many of them will probably also hold him in contempt.

Following the May 9 election, Plecas threatened to throw a tantrum if Christy Clark didn't resign as party leader. We cynics think that was intended as an open invitation to Horgan to approach Plecas in regards to the Speaker's post which until then was potentially going to put a big dent in the NDP/Green majority.

Plecas knew exactly what he was doing and anyone who thinks the decision didn't involve greed and self-interest is deluded.

Ashlie claims Plecas has integrity.



If Ashlie actually believes that, I will never again be able to take anything she says seriously. Try running that integrity claim past his Abbotsford-South constituents. I don't think many of them view him as anything other than a self-motivated person who is entirely lacking in political integrity.

SANDY Macdougall ... aka The Sidewinder ... is a retired newspaper reporter. He was elected for three consecutive terms to Maple Ridge municipal council in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and also ran for the Progressive Conservatives in Kim Campbell's ill-fated federal election campaign.


  1. Funny how folks label her SIDEWINDER. Google 'sidewinder' and it now goes straight to her.
    Guess Liberals hope to bury the TRUE RCMP OPERATION SIDEWINDER REPORT (a RCMP whistle blower's story) . Liberals hoped to bury that story 20 years ago.
    And now the real OPERATION SIDEWINDER will be washed away on the Internet, many url pages behind SANDY Macdougall... aka The (New) Sidewinde?. "Clever move Liberals", but some have saved the whole SIDEWINDER REPORT.

    1. I'm not totally sure what you are referring to, however the blogger Sandy Macdougall (AKA The Sidewinder) has been using The Sidewinder for editorial comment since the later 1970's. It has nothing to do with the Liberals ... the RCMP ... or any reports


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