To the Editor,
After hearing from Councillor Lampman on social media that perhaps the meeting with John Les on June 27 might not be 'open to the Public,' I decided to attend anyway. Good thing others thought the same, since this meeting was not publicized by the Chamber of Commerce except to the B Positive social media group (after which appeared a small notice on the Mall bulletin board). It was also a good thing the public showed up since there was no noticeable DoL 'in full attendance' (I must admit spotting Councillor deStrake standing on the stairs peeking around the corner for a time; wonder that he didn't take a seat? He did have a conflab with the Mayor shortly after the meeting in the parking lot behind the Hall.)
I attended with an open mind, although expecting to hear some good ideas for economic development specific to Lillooet and small communities like our own. He did start out by saying what a great climate Lillooet had and all the water....we could grow anything here! That did get a few sniggers as we all know about how our abundant supply from our two wonderful creeks has been mismanaged.
What I heard mostly was talk about how great "fracking" (re natural gas) and its benefits to Prince Rupert, Prince George and Kelowna...hey! This isn't Lillooet, or even small communities, these are all cities; also how great "GMOs" are (after talking about how people now days want "good" food.)
Anytime anything "Lillooet specific" was brought up by the audience, it was "Oh, I can't go there" with a little laugh and "Local government has autonomy." Well, that would be all well and good if local governance listened to its constituents, which ours doesn't seem to. In fact, which many local governments don't seem to. It appears to be a new trend: Get elected, raise your hand when told, don't think for yourself, collect the stipend, and then let staff give the direction.
But no Mayor? Even more disturbing: No appearance by our own EDO? Wouldn't it seem that a meeting re: economic development would be of prime importance to him? That is his job! And the mayor is "appalled" because George Vanderwolf had the audacity to question the EDO position here in Lillooet, how much money has gone into it and just how much real benefit we have received from it? In my honest opinion, the people of this community should be "appalled" that local governance takes umbrage at a taxpayer's questions, and then tries to justify its position, but never answers the questions put forward.
Did the local government not attend because they didn't want to hear what the people had to say to John Les? Or that perhaps they might have to have some direct communication with the people paying their salary? They were too busy? I'd have a hard time believing they didn't know about a provincial government official coming here well in advance.
Business as usual.