Council encourages dialogue

It’s always good to have face-to-face meetings with the senior levels of government, and I was part of such a meeting this week.

It’s always good to have face-to-face meetings with the senior levels of government, and I was part of such a meeting this week with Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Pat Bell, MLA Donna Barnett, 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall, and the Premier’s Chief of Staff.

The three Beetle Action Coalitions met with Bell Monday in Victoria. I was there representing the Cariboo Chilcotin BAC. The three BACs represent approximately 70 per cent of the province. We had a positive, productive meeting about rural BC issues. Expect more news in January.

I heard a comment recently that the TNG delegation shouldn’t have been allowed to appear before Council. I strongly disagree. This is an open council who wants to encourage dialogue and partnerships, and we were honoured to receive such a large and passionate group of people into council chambers. This is too important of a project not to be able to discuss and find opportunities to work together for the betterment of all communities. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree.

There’s been a lot of inaccurate information and emotion out there over recent information requests from the federal review panel to Taseko about the mine. These requests do not mean the review process is over, or that the mine has been denied. Taseko has submitted a huge amount of information, and requests for clarification are to be expected. The process is working. We know this mine will have a rigorous review, and that residents of the Cariboo-Chilcotin will have their say at the panel hearings. We must let the process unfold as it should.

More than 600 people were served at the Yuletide dinner at the Ramada Convention Centre. A big thank you to Vanessa Riplinger at the CDC, the Ramada, the Rotary Club, and all of the volunteers who served, cleaned, and entertained at the dinner. It was a great way to start the Christmas season!

Kerry Cook is the Mayor of Williams Lake.