COLUMN: Farewell to two great politicians

Columnist ML Burke reflects on the careers of two departing politicians: U.S. President Barack Obama and Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington.

Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington.

Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington.

The same night I watched Barack Obama’s moving farewell speech, I got an email from Vicki Huntington’s office stating she will not be running again as South Delta’s independent MLA. Wow! Double whammy. My two favourite politicians are leaving their jobs, albeit for different reasons.

I believe Obama has been the greatest president the U.S. has ever had. Aside from the fact he is African-American, what makes his two-term tenure even more remarkable is that he is bookended between two of the very worst presidents ever. George W. Bush was only guilty of extreme ineptness, but the new guy, the Orange Man, Donald Trump, is way beyond inept, adding heavy doses of immorality and dishonesty. There are so many negative things I could say but it would take up this entire column.

I’m also sad Vicki Huntington is leaving us, apparently for health reasons. Having successfully been through a few health challenges of my own, I’m going to send some of my stand-by troops of virtual good-will warriors over to her. When she is well again, I will look forward to her return to the political spotlight, in whatever form that might take: MLA, mayor, MP or senator.

Her legacy over the past eight years, or two terms, as Delta South’s MLA is considerable. Besides winning an historical second term as an independent, she spearheaded environmental protections from industry and development, helping to safeguard our important international migratory bird flyway and our sensitive Fraser River delta and marine ecosystems.

We need her unyielding passionate voice to maintain what remains of the Fraser River estuary and Agricultural Land Reserve. Her independent and intelligent voice is respected from all sides of the legislature floor. Thankfully, with the Green Party deciding to run a candidate in South Delta, we will still have a three-way contest in May.

When Vicki is well again I, for one, want her back.

ML Burke retired from the health sector to work on issues such as affordable housing. She sits on the Delta Seniors Planning Team and the BC Seniors Advocate’s Council of Advisors.