About 200 people came out late last month for the Langley Township Fire Department’s union’s, (IAFF local 4550) all-candidates meeting. (Langley Advance files)

LETTER: Retired firefighter defends union’s election involvement

In rebuttal to another letter writer’s stance on firefighter involvement in municipal politics.

Dear Editor,

So, I see now that we, the citizens of the Township of Langley – during the last days leading up to our municipal election –have self appointed guardians telling us “how it is.”

The other Langley newspaper published a letter to the editor from a prolific author regarding firefighters and voting, while in today’s Langley Advance we have yet a different guardian, in the guise of Jerry .

Both are aggrieved that the Langley firefighters union would dare to endorse particular candidates.

Scholtens immaturely informs all and sundry that he would not vote for a candidate endorsed by our firefighters and edges perilously close to libel by suggesting such candidates are “in the back pocket of the firefighters union.”

How dare you? Where is your proof of such an inflammatory statement?

Both writers to the editor of both newspapers appear to be of the mind that if a person has an opinion contrary to theirs, then the other person is wrong, perhaps lacking in morality and/or ethics.

RELATED COVERAGE: Fire safety at issue in Langley Township all-candidates meeting

Well Mr. Scholtens, here is a lesson for you.

We live in a democracy.

Have you ever heard of it? People, groups, organizations, or anyone else has a right to express their opinion.

Perhaps I am too old or hold old-fashioned ideas but I believe it is all right for folks to have a differing opinion and to express them. I am willing to listen to others. At the end of it all in this case I can go in a few different directions.

I can ignore the recommendations of those who endorse a candidate.

I can make up my own mind. I can even agree with them and put more thought into their recommendations.

Afterall, they are not holding a gun or poisoned pen to my head are they?

Now that both writers have castigated our firefighters, I am I to presume they will go after others: A chamber of commerce, police officers, First Nations bands, realtors, teachers, other professional boards.

Where does it stop Mr. Scholtens? I say it should stop here and now.

I will be open enough to say I am a retired firefighter, although not in the Langleys. I am also a Township resident and voter.

Rob Jones-Cook Sr., Walnut Grove

• Jerry Scholtens’ letter

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