In troubled times like this people take their grumpiness out on politicians, whining and snivelling about everything from gun control to the virus pandemic.
I have a grump/whine/snivel with our local city council. In 50 years as a Williams Lake resident and taxpayer, I’ve seen many city councils in action, have been happy with some, not so much with others. Last week was the first time I was a tad embarrassed.
Elected people really do have my respect and sympathy. They can’t please everyone. It’s been a trying year, no doubt our councillors are stressed, but something snapped last week.
I watched the May 5 council meeting several times on YouTube. It seems the city has a list of grievances with the Williams Lake Indian Band and kind of declared war. The first volley was to try to impede the building of a farm gate cannabis grow operation beside Indigenous Bloom ( retail marijuana ) on WLIBIR#6 which is within city limits.
I personally don’t see any problem with the project or the location. Council doesn’t like the site (South Mackenzie) because this kind of operation had been slated for the north end of town. Plus, being on reserve land, the proposed business won’t generate taxes for the city.
It is well documented that Williams Lake sits on and is surrounded by traditional Indigenous lands. Like it or not, we can’t change history. Again like it or not, archaeological values (eg Boitanio Mall/Park) are protected by the BC Heritage Conservation Act, not decided by local governments. Of course this affects development. A city committee won’t change that, municipalities don’t have power over the laws of other governments, even if they believe those laws are wrong.
The two councils were to meet last night. I hope the meeting went well.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.