September 30, 2015
I am writing this from Hotel Le Soleil on Hornby Street not far from the Vancouver Convention Centre where hundreds of elected officials from all over British Columbia have convened to participate in study sessions, meet provincial politicians, share ideas, and debate issues of common interest to all municipalities.
The common interests usually have to do with how we are to accomplish the reasons for which you elected us almost one year ago: how do we make our home towns safer, more financially stable, affordable, and more attractive as places to live and raise our families?
Not every town or rural homeland has the same issues. Some are concerned with stability of the dikes; others want to get guns off the streets. Virtually all of us want to ensure that we have jobs, schools, seniors’ homes, and health care. All of this takes money and you don’t have to guess where the money is found.
I know we have challenges in Chetwynd but I am also sincerely thankful that we have our own home-grown challenges and not those of almost anyone else anywhere in beautiful British Columbia. Indeed, we are blessed in Chetwynd with solidly based employment opportunities, accessible education facilities, health-care facilities that more and more match our local needs, and most of the amenities that support our much-admired life style.
I will admit that there are more hills to climb, more rivers to cross but we’ll take on those challenges as we encounter them.
Your Chetwynd delegation had a pleasant surprise at Wednesday’s lunch. I was actually considering not attending the lunch but then decided at the last moment to attend. Imagine my surprise when an award was announced for the construction of our new Town Hall. It was a pleasure to represent the citizens of Chetwynd as we received the award for your beautiful new Town Hall.
Tuesday morning was also a special time for the Chetwynd delegation. Councillors Pfanner and Galbraith represented you credibly as they presented a report to the convention on the building and staffing of your Chetwynd Medical Clinic and Wellness Centre. You can be proud of them. And we should also note here the contribution of the crew of Chet TV for putting together a 3-minute video to give the assembly a visual of the facility.
The UBCM convention would not be complete without the face-to-face encounters with Government Ministers and their staffs. We had to split up our delegation to be able to take in all the appointments with Health, Forestry, Communities, Environment, and with Northern Health. In most cases we were not assaulting the Government with weighty demands. Our messages could be characterized more as updates on projects already in the pipe, thank yous for assistance already provided (as in funding for sewer upgrades), and prior warnings of requests that will be coming.
And this also I learned well: people from all over the Province admire what we have here; let’s not take our blessings for granted.
Merlin Nichols, Mayor