Let’s hope advocate is outspoken

Columnist Diana French discusses seniors issues, BC Hydro, and the Williams Lake swimming pool.

A goodly crowd attended last week’s meeting with Ombudsman Kim Carter.

If Ms. Carter’s 176 recommendations are implemented, life will be better for many seniors and their families, but it would be overly optimistic to expect quick action. Governments tend not to react to such reports with much speed, but there is one difference with this one. Grey power. Is it a myth? Or a force to be reckoned with? I guess we’ll see.

Cariboo Regional District directors Joan Sorely and Bryon Kemp were among attendees. I didn’t notice any city councillors. The Clark government has agreed to appoint a seniors’ advocate. Let’s hope that person is as outspoken as children’s advocate Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.

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BC Hydro held an open house in Prince George last week to discuss its Integrated Resource Plan. As president of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, I was invited by phone to participate. The call came the day before the event which didn’t give me time to read the plan, never mind get myself to Prince George.  I would have liked to have attended because according to a number of  articles in the mainstream media recently (by Vaughn Palmer, economists Erik Andersen and Marvin Shaffer and others) what used to be B.C.’s pride and joy is not doing well. There are a number of reasons, the huge deferred debt being one, but the critics cite poor government policies. Anyone wishing to see the plan or comment can Google BC Hydro Integrated Resource Plan. If  you aren’t on the Internet you can phone.

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The consultants from  Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants Ltd. (PERC) were here over the weekend getting input on what people want  for a swimming pool. The show-and-tell sessions were held in places where crowds gathered so many had a chance to participate. The consultants will be back with a revised plan for another look.

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