First City Council meeting in a month and we had a pretty action packed agenda. Here are some notable items:
Mayor Peter Milobar announces his bid for the Kamloops North Thompson BC Liberal Party Nomination.
I've always wondered why people run for provincial or federal elected office. I have a lot of time and respect for our current local MLA duo and for our MP. My Dad even tried twice to get elected an MLA.
But, at city council, we look for reasons to agree and to work together. That's in the culture of most local governments. In Victoria and Ottawa, it seems they look for reasons to disagree. At least, thats how it often seems. I've shared these sentiments, from time to time, with our local MLAs - so hopefully its no surprise to them how I view this.
Just recently, two of my council colleagues, Mayor Peter Milobar and Councillor Donovan Cavers, have announced bids to get into provincial politics. Peter first has a tough nomination election against another very solid candidate, Stephen Puhallo. And, Donovan will have a tougher battle trying to be the first Green ever elected in Kamloops in a provincial election.
Councillor Donovan Cavers announced as BC Green Party Candidate for the Kamloops South Thompson Riding.
So, although I wish them the very very best, I can't help but have a bittersweet feeling. Council is potentially losing contributing members. And they are going into a pretty tough place for people who are more use to working together than working against folks.
And another person dear to me, former city councillor Nancy Bepple, recently posted a new shiny profile picture on facebook. All excited, I commented "Nancy 2018", thinking this was the early steps in a bit to get back on city council. And then Nancy also announces for the provincial NDP.
Former councillor Nancy Bepple's Shiny Facebook Photo
I am also hoping that, if elected, they will bring more cross partisan styles to their work. I've seen the three of them do this for a long time locally.
I know gardening season is fast upon us again in Kamloops. And as the swing vote on banning certain ingredients in pesticides for cosmetic use, I feel a special responsibility to help citizens garden well under the new bylaw. First step, sharing this page on the city website.
I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine in the media week before last. This person was certain I was not going to support the Ajax Mine Application.
I am not sure where this opinion has come from. I have maintained my neutrality about the proposal, waiting for the application for environmental application to submitted. I have committed to taking a position after I have reviewed and analyzed the application.
It's probably a good idea to point you towards the stance on Ajax I wrote for the 2014 Civic Election.
As mentioned there, I have set a very high bar for my support for Ajax. I have a strong concern about impacts to human health, for example. I have supported initiatives like a ban on cosmetic pesticide use. So, I can understand why some might think I am already against Ajax.
This might ultimately turn out to be the case. But, I am trying to be very open minded to the possibility that I could support the mine application as well.
I don't know if I will be able to carefully read the full +/- 18 000 page application in the next 75 days. That is why I am starting an Ajax mine reading club. I am hoping to coordinate gatherings of people with a bit of time to read and summarize / analyze and who have an open mind about the application.
Here is the full application:
And here are plain language summaries of the application, created and posted by the mining company:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
It feels a little disproportionate to quote Dr King in writing about the recent referendum on a proposed performing arts centre in Kamloops. On the evening of Saturday Nov 7th, however, I was desperately searching for ways to describe how I felt about some of the reactions I was reading on the Internet about the failure of the proposal to pass in the referendum.
There was a lot of finger pointing and offence taking at those who voted no in the referendum. There was a lot of minimizing any rationale for voting no. There was talk of misinformation being spread.
I understand the time, energy, and money that those who supported the performing arts centre proposal put into the project. I personally strongly supported the project although as some local pundits have opined, I perhaps should have done more to campaign for it. I understand the strong emotions that come with a loss of something many dearly wanted. Thank you to everyone who stood strongly in support.
Sweepingly dehumanizing the reasons of those who did not support the proposal, though, gets us exactly nowhere moving forward. My fervent hope is that many were captured by the heat of the moment. If we are ever to get to a plan b, those who of us who supported the failed proposal need to value and better understand the reasons why many of our fellow citizens did not support it. And we have to work to earn more of their support. I don’t see any other way.
So, I also want to extend my thanks and my hand of friendship to those who voted no. I’ve appreciated the opportunity to respectfully ask some of you how a performing arts centre might gain your support in the future. I feel that might have been a question asked too soon in some cases. Simply put, I am keenly interested in being part of continued efforts to build what I feel would be an incredible community amenity.
Another word for love, in some cases, might be respect. The performing arts centre issue is not the only one where I would encourage everyone to respect others. The Ajax mine proposal is likely coming to a head in 2016. And we will be tested as a community. My strong view is that we are better together, living with respect for each other, even / especially when we have a great diversity of views.