Now that the city elections are over I dare to remind people of the platform I ran on some nine years ago in my run for mayor.
Williams Lake was facing an economic slow down.
My message was that the community was not doing enough to market a very valuable asset.
The asset that I saw, that was not being marketed aggressively, was Williams Lake’s western heritage.
I suggested during my campaign that Williams Lake market itself as a destination, a feed centre, if you like a capital for all western activities in the Cariboo Chilcotin.
An example, if a tourist arrives by plane, booked in a local hotel, and as part of that stay is also bused to Barkerville, or a Riske Creek rodeo, or a Little Britches Rodeo at 100 Mile House.
First Nations bands such as Soda Creek, Sugar Cane, and even Redstone that have events can also then be part of the fare at the Williams Lake cafeteria of year-round western events that occur in this area.
The people of the north coast community of Lax Kw’alaams have raised some eyebrows by going out on a limb and marketing their forest product in China. Having an office in China is expected to stimulate the economy of this community by several millions of dollars.
By setting up a Cariboo Chilcotin office in China to attract tourists as well as marketing other products of the Cariboo Chilcotin jobs would be created and the economy of the greater area would be stimulated.
I think there is a stigma that some people hold to, and that is, who wants Williams Lake to be called a Cow Town?
And I wonder what is so bad about that.
Fort Worth Texas, with a population of more than 700,000, is United States 16th largest city, and the fifth largest city in the state of Texas, and makes millions attracting tourists to share in that community’s western heritage, and blatantly calls itself a cow town.
I suggested that Williams Lake name itself Canada’s Capital of Western Heritage.
Am I alone?