Letters: Observer editorials echo too much Tom

The editorial page of the April 20 Haida Gwaii Observer is one of several recent issues to feature Black Press legislature reporter and columnist Tom Fletcher. (Haida Gwaii Observer)

I’m a big supporter of local journalism and have been a continuous subscriber and frequent contributor to the Haida Gwaii Observer for over 15 years. I appreciate the quality of the writers, the focus on local events, and the dissemination of information for locals. When the Observer was acquired by Black Press I was a bit dubious since Black Press doesn’t have any apparent connection with our communities, and the initial changes were a bit irksome — for instance, replacing local classifieds with utterly useless provincial ads.

After 15 years + as a subscriber, however, I am seriously considering canceling my subscription and washing my hands of the Observer due to the infuriating use of the editorial space by Tom Fletcher as a soapbox for his ham-fisted, generalizing, condescending, one-sided, and patronizing viewpoints. He is utterly out of touch with the concept of Indigenous reconciliation and rights, he clearly despises and has contempt for the people and valid opinions of most of his audience here on Haida Gwaii and along the coast, and he occupies around three-quarters of the editorial space in the Observer.

I honestly appreciate hearing valid, well thought-out opinions of people who I may disagree with on certain subjects. I don’t want to live in an echo-chamber and being exposed to balanced views helps us understand the issues of importance to other British Columbians.

So based on that, I am sick of him having the majority of voice for his endless tirade against people trying to protect values considered locally important. Sure I could just skip over his rants, thereby shrinking the content of the paper further, but the point is that the editorial space should be occupied by diverse opinions by well-spoken people, not just monopolized by the philosophy of the paper’s ownership in general, and that loudmouth in particular.

Chris Ashurst

Tow Hill Community, Haida Gwaii

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