City wins prize for ‘firsts’

As I write this the sun is shining and it is a stunningly beautiful Cariboo morning.

As I write this the sun is shining and it is a stunningly beautiful Cariboo morning. It’s hard to be grumpy, so this column is kinder than it might have been.

So far 2013 has been a lulu for politicians at all levels. Some of Prime Minister Harper’s appointed senators were accused of misbehaving  (moneywise and otherwise) and one of his cabinet ministers resigned after admitting to a no-no. Another didn’t quit although he committed a similar no-no.

Provincially we had a fantastic or fantasy throne speech, take your pick. Then there is the local scene. City council wins first prize for “firsts.”

1) Disputes between the city and regional district aren’t new, but this is the first time a row involved the courts.

2) First time in Williams Lake history city workers have gone on strike.

3) First time a First Nations group has publicly taken exception to a city council stance (Prosperity Mine).

Could be another first coming up — a new place “brand” for the city.

If there is unhappiness with the Cariboo Regional  District I haven’t heard  about it, but it’s a different story with the Cariboo Chilcotin School Board. There is much angst and some wonderment over the trustees’ recent decisions. The closing of schools seems based more on economic than educational rationale, but the reasons (excuses?) given by the board for putting grades 7 to 9 students at Columneetza and senior classes at WLSS leave many parents, teachers, students and the general public baffled.

To be fair, most of the trustees are new at the game. Maybe they simply didn’t know how to do that, or, they may have reasons they don’t care to share. Premier Clark is staring at an election, Mr. Harper, city councillors, and school  trustees are safe, no accountability in their immediate future, and with any kind of luck, their voting constituents will have short memories.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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