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Mayor’s Column – July 2, 2014

Meet the Mayor

July 2, 2014

By now you are probably somewhat or fully knowledgeable about the laws and processes of Alternative Approval. But maybe not.

Maybe you’ve heard that Fort Nelson rejected the clinic proposal by double the required vote. Maybe Fort Nelson has raised some flags for you. But maybe not.

But just in case it has; just in case you’re not absolutely certain that Chetwynd has a good thing in the planning stages and is getting all its ducks lined up, let’s do a little comparing.

Fort Nelson projected a price of $7 million (that’s a big chunk of change); Chetwynd is projecting $1.6 million.

In Fort Nelson the tax bill would take a hit; in Chetwynd you will not see the Clinic and Wellness Centre on your tax bill.

In Chetwynd the doctors support the project; in Fort Nelson they are very much opposed and, according to my sources, will not use it if it is built.

In Chetwynd the doctors rent the present facility; the clinic in Fort Nelson is owned by the senior physician.

In Chetwynd the clinic you attend is inadequate and inefficient; I’ve been told by my Fort Nelson sources that their present clinic is fully adequate for the job it is doing.

In Chetwynd, Council and Mayor have tried to be totally open with our efforts to bring this necessary project to timely completion. We’ve kept you informed at every step, we’ve explained Alternative Approval and, we think, we have seen a positive response to this point. I can’t speak to the processes in Fort Nelson but something didn’t go right. July 18 will tell the story of Chetwynd. That’s your last opportunity to register your opposition – supposing you are opposed. But if you are opposed, can you explain your reasons?

Do you have questions still unanswered? Administration at District Office is at your service. Really! It’s in the job description! Ask about financing; ask about need; ask about size; ask about timing; ask about the potential use of the old facility; ask about potential tenants; ask how to donate to the cause; ask about anything. Just ask. (By the way, we’ve already answered all these questions at the open house and in the news papers.) Chances are, you won’t come up with a question that we haven’t already asked ourselves and thoroughly answered in some form or another. But maybe you will. Try us. We’re open, friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to be of service.

As Mayor, I really have gone all out for this project. You should have no trouble recognizing my point of view. But that’s OK. That’s as it should be. I want my position to be clear.

But in spite of my supporting the idea, my believing in the idea, and my very much wanting to see the project completed and operational, guess what? You still have the final say. You get to call the shots with your vote.

Thank you for not signing the counter petition.


Merlin Nichols, Mayor