Armchair Mayor

By: Mel Rothenburger

Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). He continued to write columns for The Daily News until it ceased publication Jan. 11, 2014, and did regular commentary for CBC Radio.

Nine billion reasons to use cloth shopping bags

July 27, 2017 - 8:00am

KAMLOOPS — While I was contemplating Wednesday’s editorial on plastic bags, I happened to pick up a copy of the National Post and looked at the World page. (Yes, an actual copy on newsprint, not online.)

There, in the righthand column, was a story headlined “Nearly all ‘plastics made since 1950 still with us’.”

It’s a fascinating story. Written by Seth Borenstein for the Associated Press, it says more than 9.1 billion tons of plastic has been made since 1950. In fact, most plastic has been made since then because it’s a relatively new material.


The horror of having to separate our recycling

July 26, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: July 26, 2017 - 3:03pm

KAMLOOPS — Imagine, if you will, a household recycling bin. We all have them, right?

We take a pop can and toss it into the bin, because we can return them and get some money back.

Now, imagine a second bin. We take a plastic shopping bag (we shouldn’t use them, but we all do) and toss it in.

Two separate bins. It’s called separation of recyclables. Yet that second bin has a lot of people in a lather. The City of Kamloops no longer accepts plastic bags with mixed recycling, and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District will soon follow suit.

BEING MAYOR – Life at City Hall, Chapter 1

July 25, 2017 - 7:55am Updated: July 25, 2017 - 10:21am

KAMLOOPS — In 2008, I began writing a series of articles on my experiences as the Mayor of Kamloops from 1999 to 2005. With a by-election for mayor and two council seats coming up Sept. 30, I thought it might be of interest to renew this series, so I will start with the first chapter and follow it through, adding more chapters as we go. I'll update it in some places based on new events and information, so I've renamed from its original "Behind Closed Doors" to simply, "Being Mayor." It will run weekly. We begin at the beginning, with my decision to run for mayor in 1999.

Why machine politics wins election campaigns

July 22, 2017 - 7:25am

KAMLOOPS — The by-election for mayor got more interesting Friday, but the outcome more predictable.

Dr. Cindy Ross Friedman, one of the declared mayoralty candidates, sent around a media release late in the day.

Or was it a guest column, or a letter to the editor or, as she put it, “whatever you want…. I am atypical.”

This is true. And she intends to run what she regards as an atypical campaign. Unfortunately, it’s not as atypical as she might think.

Premier Horgan off to a good start on his first day

July 19, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: July 19, 2017 - 5:55pm

KAMLOOPS — Considering all the doomsday prophecies and predictions of instant failure for the NDP-Green alliance, Premier John Horgan got off to a good start yesterday.

His cabinet is roughly the same size as Christy Clark’s was, but he took a page from Justin Trudeau’s book on gender and ethnic equity, appointing 11 men and 11 women, including several visible minorities and B.C. ‘s first female First Nations cabinet minister.

The main downside of the cabinet is a lack of representation from the Interior, but then, the NDP didn’t elect many MLAs here.

Five plus one oppose Ajax – council’s position now crystal clear

July 17, 2017 - 4:00pm

KAMLOOPS — There’s now no question that the City of Kamloops is officially opposed to Ajax. Had the vote been held three weeks ago, it would have been 6-1 against the mine.

As it was, today’s vote was 4-2 in favour of a modified input letter to federal and provincial environmental officials stating an “unequivocal no” but including a list of concerns.

A humble proposal to reword council’s letter on Ajax

July 17, 2017 - 6:00am

KAMLOOPS — Here’s what the letter from Kamloops City council on Ajax SHOULD say:

July 17, 2017

Tracy James, Project Assessment Manager, BC Environmental Assessment Office

Kevin Inouye, Project Manager, Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency

Hon. Jordan Sturdy, BC Minister of Environment

Hon. Catherin McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change

RE: Proposed Ajax Mine Project – City of Kamloops Council Decision

Council should just say no to Ajax, period

July 15, 2017 - 5:00am

Kamloops City council has a big decision to make Monday, and it’s not as cut and dried as it seems.

True, the council will vote no on Ajax, because at least four out of the six members — Denis Walsh, Dieter Dudy, Tina Lange and Donovan Cavers — oppose the mine. Pat Wallace and Arjun Singh are question marks.

After that, it gets more complicated. It will be tempting to ask for conditions on the mine if the province and feds approve it despite council’s opposition.