Face to face meetings appreciated

Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting, Mayor Kerry Cook said of her recent trip to Ottawa to promote the New Prosperity Mine Project.

  • Feb. 14, 2014 6:00 p.m.

Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting, Mayor Kerry Cook said of her recent trip to Ottawa with a delegation promoting the New Prosperity Mine Project.

“I was able to represent the community and outline the social and economic impact with regards to New Prosperity Mine and the importance of that project,” Cook said Tuesday at city hall.

Last week Cook, along with Cariboo business people, Chambers of Commerce representatives, MLA Donna Barnett and former chief Ervin Charleyboy went to Ottawa and attended  a “full slate” of meetings organized by MPs Dick Harris and Cathy McLeod.

“We started early in the morning meeting with the B.C. caucus and had an opportunity to share and talk about the project,” Cook said.

Delegates met with the parliamentary secretaries of the Minister of Environment and Minister of Employment and Social Development.

Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce president Jason Ryll echoed Cook, saying the trip to Ottawa enabled the group to get its point across.

“We wanted to have the other side of the argument heard, that there is a lot of silent support for the mine,” Ryll explained.

“The silent supporters are the businesses in town, the residents who are living here and looking for more opportunities and economic development.”

Additionally the delegation met with the representatives of the Canadian of Chamber of Commerce, including president and CEO Perrin Beatty.

“Obviously we made the business case for the reason the mine should go ahead,” Ryll said.

“They were very receptive, they were very eager to hear what’s going on with our chamber members and the business community in general that are very supportive of seeing responsible economic development happen.”

On Tuesday the Williams Lake and District Chamber of commerce received a copy of a letter Beatty wrote to Minister of Environment Leona Agulkkaq about his meeting with the delegation.

“In the letter he tells the minister since the members of the delegation couldn’t meet with her, he wanted to make sure their views are provided on the importance of the project,” WLDC executive director Claudia Blair said Wednesday.

“Beatty said the business leaders he met with are concerned that the process suffered from wide-spread misinformation on the benefits and costs of the project are going to cost the project,” Blair said.

Ryll also said everyone in the delegation paid for the trip out of their own pockets to go to Ottawa.