Diversity would have been nice

What a difference a word makes. A newsperson was taken to task last week for using the word “protesters."

What a difference a word makes.

A newsperson was taken to task last week for using the word “protesters” when referring to the people who are making a fuss over the Kinder Morgan pipeline tests on Burnaby Mountain. He was told the people were “protecting” not protesting.

***

Females didn’t fare well in local elections last week. Women on city council are down by half, and only three of the 12 rural regional district directors are women. I’m not really a feminist, but with a couple of exceptions, most of our council members and directors are middle-aged or older men. Bless their hearts, but a bit more diversity would have been nice.

***

One issue that didn’t get much attention during the campaigning was housing. If we are comfortably housed, I guess we don’t think about it. The outgoing council did issue an expression of interest looking for a non-profit group to partner in redeveloping Cariboo Lodge to help address the city’s need for affordable housing. About time, but it won’t be easy. The lodge building, like some other older buildings in the city, has an asbestos problem which will be very expensive to deal with. But, whatever the problems, the place can’t sit there deteriorating forever. I wonder if anyone knows if there is a relationship between lack of affordable housing and crime.

***

Environment Minister Mary Polak and our MLA Donna Barnett attended  Monday night’s open house to hear what is happening at the Mount Polley mine since the tailing pond breach. The Ministry of Environment and the Mount Polley Mining Corporation gave presentations. Representatives from the Ministry of Energy and Mines, Interior Health, and the Cariboo Regional District were available to answer questions. Local politicians were there, too. Who wasn’t there were very many Williams Lakers. This has me baffled. If mines are  such a big deal for our city, why aren’t more people interested in what is going on with this one?

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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