Some tough decisions made

I had a great time last week selling copies of the Reach A Reader edition of the Tribune.

I had a great time last week selling copies of the Reach A Reader edition of the Tribune to help raise funds for Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy.

I’m always happy to be part of Reach A Reader, because as an educator, I know how important literacy is. Being able to read is a skill you will need and use for your entire lifetime – in education, in employment, and in everyday life. Literacy is the key that opens so many doors. A big thank you to CCPL for all the work you do in our community!

School District 27 trustees had to make some difficult decisions about school closures in light of upcoming funding shortfalls, and I’m happy to see they listened to parents, students, and other stakeholders with the eventual closures and configurations that were approved. I’m pleased with the secondary school configuration as well.

I know there are a lot of disappointed students and parents. With funding cuts come unpleasant change, but I am confident we will all adjust as we focus on good education. I’m grateful we have concerned citizens who are willing to let their names stand for the demanding position of school board trustee.

Earlier this month, the province’s three Beetle Action Coalitions released a discussion paper as part of the Rural BC project. It recommends that rural communities, First Nations, and other stakeholders work in partnership with the provincial government to develop a new long-term strategy for social and economic development throughout rural B.C. Together, the BACs represent approximately 70% of the province, and as it says in the paper’s title, the pathway to prosperity runs through B.C.’s rural places. We need to send that message strongly and often to Victoria.

Strong commodity prices are critical to Williams Lake’s industries, both present and future, and it’s good to see lumber, gold, and copper continued their rise in 2012. Lumber rose $60 to $322 per board foot over 2011, copper increased nearly 30 cents to $3.65 a pound, and gold nearly $100 per ounce to $1,700. Let’s hope the trend continues in 2013.

Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.