Williams Lake hasn’t been getting good press in the main stream media recently.
The chlorine incident wasn’t a plus, nor was the police affair, and while we’re no longer number one on the crime parade, we’re at the bottom of a list when it comes to livable Canadian cities.
These kinds of lists are fine if you’re at the top, but 189 out of 190 is pretty dismal.
The MoneySense list is an opinion, and it lumps all the cities together, regardless of size or circumstances. As we who live here know, Williams Lake has a lot going for it, but apparently what we do have (i.e.: proximity to a huge outdoor recreation area) doesn’t count.
Well, it could be worse. We could be dead last.
I attended two meetings this month that weren’t particularly joyful either. The first was a talk on the Social Aspects of Economic Growth by Dr. Glenn Schmidt from UNBC, who told us what to expect if the New Prosperity mine happens. Although I was aware of some of the issues (thanks to the Internet) there is always something new. I was surprised to hear that problems start in most communities during the construction stage, which would bring an influx of single men. I thought much of the construction would be done by locals, but apparently this has not been the case in other cities.
Dr. Schmidt’s talk dealt with impacts on the city, nothing about the social impacts the mine would have on the Xeni Gwet’in or other communities. Next meeting was a workshop with a team of scientists who have been studying the impacts of climate change on forests and forest resources in the San Jose watershed. The changes will affect our water supply. If we want the city to be livable, never mind more livable, we’d better be paying attention to both issues.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.