In these days of instant communication by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, texting, etc. you’d think getting public opinion on any subject would be, well, instant. Apparently not.
Example #1. Early in Mayor Cook’s first term, council embarked on an extensive campaign ( Community Sustainability Planning) seeking public input for an Official Community Plan. These consultations gave council a vision of the future. When it decided to get a new placebrand, council shared that information, then advertised in its newspaper pages and webpage to seek additional public input. It also hired a consultant, appointed a committee, and conducted personal surveys. What more could it do?
Well, somehow, a whole lot of people missed it completely. One group that did venture an opinion a few months ago was told it was too late, deed done.
Example # 2. The CEAA panel conducting the environmental assessment for the latest Prosperity Mine proposal set a deadline of Sept. 28, 2012 to apply for Interested Person Status. Anyone following the process should have known this, but somehow the municipalities of Quesnel, Williams Lake, and 100 Mile, plus a number of other interested parties, missed it. The panel accepted the latecomers. I don’t know if the WL council will accept late comments on the brand business but, my point is, just what do you have to do to get the public’s attention?
Almost everyone has an opinion on the BC Liberal’s draft (daft?) plan for attracting votes from ethnic communities. Rafe Mair insists the Premier must have known about it and should resign. Sun columnist Craig McInnes says what’s the fuss, all B.C. governments have had scandals. Ujjal Dosanjh agrees but political pundit Norman Ruff says this brouhaha is “unique” in B.C. political scandalogy.
Whatever, it seems every B.C. Government wears out its welcome after two terms. This current one did well lasting for three.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.