To the Editor,
I attended the recent presentation on water issues that the District of Lillooet made at the REC Centre. I felt a bit uncomfortable at first because I was the only St’at’imc person there. I felt like a speck of cinnamon on the side of a marshmallow! But that aside, I thought it was a good way to spend an evening.
To begin with, there was a 20-minute delay because the support staff had problems with their digital projector. That happens sometimes but really, things like this need to be prepared more thoroughly. When the District CAO did get things under control, the mayor announced the District had secured additional funding for various public works, but that was met with no acclaim. People were anxious to get started. The mayor said TRUE Consulting employees would be around later in the year to take questions from the public.
When the CAO wouldn’t take questions during his presentation, that got an immediate reaction from the 60 or so people in the gym. Several people started yammering at once and after a minute or two, the CAO pulled out a whistle and blew it to restore order. Well, that brought me back 30 years and I almost started doing laps around the gym. However, the whistle blowing offended pretty much everyone else and seven or eight people flounced out in a huff.
After it was settled that the District would go through their presentation and then go through it again while taking questions from the public, things got underway. We sat through the 50 or so slides that had been prepared and after that was done, the question period began. To be honest, it was like reading the last three years of the Letters section of the BRLN. Claims and facts were thrown back and forth, accusations were made and denied, and all this while I sat and watched.
As my English Lit prof often said, “The sign of a good presentation is a lively discussion period afterwards.” Judging by the emotion I saw there that night, it was a good presentation. What I hope people went away with is the opportunity to break down all the information into their components and critically analyze them for validity. This is an excellent way of sharpening one’s thinking, avoiding biases and making effective arguments. I hope I can attend the next session as well.