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Likely Chamber president delivers heartfelt message

Likely resident and Likely Chamber of Commerce president Robin Hood meets at the town’s restaurant with Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett on Aug. 12. - BC Government photo
Likely resident and Likely Chamber of Commerce president Robin Hood meets at the town’s restaurant with Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett on Aug. 12.
— image credit: BC Government photo

On Aug. 4, 2014, all our lives changed.

That day, my phone rang at 4:15 a.m.

Thinking it was a partying friend I ignored the call and rolled over.

The next thing I know my wife is talking to the people in a diesel pickup truck that has been circling my house.

Since that day, every person who calls Likely their home, has witnessed every emotion known to man.

The outside world has invaded our town; the media looking for stories of disasters, and our neighbours trying to help us resume some sort of normalcy.

As the president of the Chamber of Commerce, my phone rings off the hook for interviews, as does anyone else’s who is willing to comment.

If your comments don’t include references to devastation, they soon move on to another story.

Now here we are the media gone, the stories not big enough to hold the country’s attention, but we are still living the disaster.

We are all scared because we have our lives invested in this community.

The dollar amount is irrelevant at this time because everyone is invested to their limits, and most of us are above and beyond that level.

It doesn’t matter who you are, in the town of Likely, most people are receiving some sort of benefit from Mount Polley Mine, directly or indirectly.

This community is here because of resource extraction. We kill trees every day, we kill wildlife every fall, and gold has been extracted here for more than 150 years.

We all turn a blind eye to the placer mines in our back yard, hoping that the spin offs will pad our pockets. More renters, more buyers and more people spending money downtown.

Well, this all comes with a price.

For the past couple of years the town has been booming with Polley going underground, Quesnel River Gold expanding, and Spanish Gold feeding the whole town on Thursdays.

We were excited and willing to live on a hill between three holes in the ground. Now reality has slapped us all in the face; yes there can be disasters, but no one thinking it would be while the mine was running.

We all thought it would be after they were gone.

As I go around town with government people, in a role that can sometimes be over my head, all I can be is scared for our community.

Everyone is reacting differently, and I fear our town is dividing.

The thing that sets us above other communities is we are all family.

We put up with each other’s quirks and continue to wave as we pass on the road. Please be willing to listen to other opinions.

Everyone has one.

We can agree to disagree, but all we have is each other.

There’s no argument, this is a big deal, but on a bright side this ecosystem has healed from mans’ greed in the past, and I believe that God willing we will be able to resume our lives and lifestyles in the town that we all, and I mean “all,” love.

Robin Hood is the president of the Likely Chamber of Commerce.

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