Paquette a community foot soldier

Diana French pays tribute to the late Andy Paquette, discusses Enbridge and New Prosperity, and remarks on Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

Andy Paquette died earlier this month.

He came to Williams Lake in 1989 to start a new life. He didn’t speak much about his past, just that he was a recovered alcoholic and received a disability pension.

He did his best to be useful. He loved hockey and spent hours at the arena volunteering for the Mustangs and the TimberWolves. He worked with young people, warning them of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, and he volunteered to help whoever needed him, whatever the cause.

He’d been in poor health the last while. He didn’t want any fuss when he died, so he’d be mad at me for writing this, but sometimes we are so busy praising the generals we forget about the foot soldiers. I believe it’s foot soldiers like Andy who help keep a community going.


Two resource companies were in doo doo last week. After being slammed for screwing up royally on a pipeline leak in Michigan, Enbridge is now promising to do better if it’s allowed to build its controversial pipeline across the interior of B.C..

Closer to home,  Taseko Mines’  Environmental Impact Statement for the planned New Prosperity mine failed to pass muster with the federal environment  assessment people. Taseko spokesmen say not to worry; this was just a draft, the next one will be OK.

On both counts, one wonders why they didn’t do it right the first time.


Like our former prime minister Kim Campbell, and former B.C. premier Rita Johnston, Christy Clark followed a discredited male leader, and for sure it’s hard to clean up a mess.  However, one woman leader who is  punching above her weight is Elizabeth May, the lone Green Party MP. True, she has the field to herself, but whether you agree with her politics or not, it’s hard to find fault with her performance.

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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