THUNDER BAY – EDITORIAL – A few weeks ago, TVO’s Agenda took a look at “Life after the Spotlight” featuring Ontario politicians who have lost their seats. Thunder Bay’s Ken Boshcoff was one of the guests. The show aired two weeks ago. Mr. Boshcoff shared the link online on Facebook.
The show looked at the issues surrounding how long-term politicians handle life after politics. “Career counseling is common when one loses a job. Unless you’re a politician. A look at how difficult adjusting to “the real world” after political life can be”.
It was, perhaps a strange choice for Ken Boshcoff to be a guest.
The former city councillor, former mayor and former Member of Parliament is currently both the nominated candidate for the federal Liberals in Thunder Bay Rainy River, as well as seeking a return to City Council.
The former MP has not unveiled any vision for the future, or new ideas, he will bring to the table if voters select to return the long-time politician to City Hall. Other candidates seeking election for the first time have outlined what they plan to bring to City Hall.
It is, as the program’s participants discussed, difficult for former politicians to move past their time in “the spotlight”. In a way, maybe politicians and boxers share a common desire that there is still “one more round” in their corner?
For Boshcoff, like other politicians who have been defeated in the 2008 election, one of the issues is that with a minority government, the initial thought was likely that within a year there would be an election. That meant instead of looking to move on, defeated MPs were looking ahead to what they thought would be the next election.
Instead of struggling with defeat, perhaps for Mr. Boshcoff, the task has been getting back into the political spotlight, not getting by the past and his defeat.
Boshcoff appears to be running a civic campaign based more on name recognition than on a vision for the future. The Boshcoff campaign doesn’t even plan any election signs. Nor does the former councillor, mayor or MP have a website. Instead www.kenboshcoff.ca points to his facebook page.
“Many thanks for the requests but I won’t be doing signs this campaign. My goal is to reach out to as many people personally as is humanly possible in a 7 week campaign,” stated Boshcoff.
With all the respect due to Mr. Boshcoff, who has served our region in a political role for almost twenty years, it is likely some of the decision made all those years ago that have Thunder Bay in the position that it currently is. Moving forward will take new ideas, new visions and fresh thinking. Not “one more round”.
Those are tough words, as Mr. Boshcoff is a man who is involved in many very worthy causes in our city. His efforts with “Operation Red Nose” and the Kari Chase Foundation are but two examples of his obvious caring heart for our community.
However every candidate for Council at Large has a caring heart for Thunder Bay.
What the former Councillor, former Mayor and former MP has not told people in our city is what exactly will happen if there is the election in the spring and he were to win that election.
It is pretty certain that Mr. Boshcoff would resign his council seat and open the door either for another election, mere months after this campaign, or Council would be in the position to appoint one of the candidates.
It is an issue that voters should reflect on, making a choice for the next four years or the next four or five months.
It will be in the new ideas, new visions, and serious planning for the future that Thunder Bay’s best days will remain ahead of us. Voters deserve serious attention from all of the candidates, and from all of those who are elected.
“One more round” worked in Rocky V, but that is a movie, not Thunder Bay’s future.