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.

Who will be the mayor when dust settles on provincial election?

March 25, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: March 25, 2017 - 7:37am

KAMLOOPS — With little more than a couple of weeks before the writ is dropped and we enter the Campaign Proper, mystery still surrounds one of the more intriguing local aspects of the upcoming election — who will be mayor when the dust settles?

The central question remains: by-election, or no by-election?

Balancing the grief of families with public’s right to know

March 24, 2017 - 7:45am

The concept of keeping secret the names of people who have died does not make sense in this modern world of transparency and rapid dissemination of information.

Yet the B.C. Coroners Service, as reported this week by CFJC Today, is reviewing its policy on releasing names of the dead, and the result might be that it’s tougher to find out the identities of those who have died in events that are themselves well-known to the public.

Terry Lake can't be faulted for lack of effort

March 22, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: March 22, 2017 - 4:00pm

KAMLOOPS — When someone dies, we look for good things to say about them. We talk about their talents, their skills, the people and dogs they loved, their hobbies, and their volunteer work.

When politicians end their careers, they don’t get the same break. Every wart is polished up and put on display for final viewing.

We don’t, after all, trust or think well of politicians, so aiming a kick or two or three at them as they’re on the way out is just something we like to do.

Sorry, but I just don't think we're as polite as we used to be

March 15, 2017 - 6:00am Updated: March 15, 2017 - 12:33pm

KAMLOOPS — This is, if you hadn’t noticed yet, Canada’s 150th birthday. As the year moves along, we’ll all pay a lot more attention to it, and it should be a lot of fun. 

It’s not just a time for cutting ribbons and cakes, though, it’s a time to reflect upon ourselves as Canadians, and who we are. 

A ‘tail’ too many – why terms limits are worth considering

March 11, 2017 - 5:00am

Term limits have never floated my boat. I’ve always been of the view that voters are capable of deciding when a politician has overstayed his or her welcome.

I might be rethinking that. This week, Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver introduced a bill to limit B.C. MLAs to three terms, 12 years. Premiers would be limited to eight years in the top job.

Says Weaver: “The introduction of term limits would ensure that those seeking elected office recognize that serving the people of British Columbia should be interpreted as a sense of civic duty, not a career path.”

Sometimes you can carry criticism too far

March 9, 2017 - 8:07am

KAMLOOPS — Oh, c’mon. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau can’t post a picture of herself holding hands with her husband without being criticized?

The wife of the prime minister got a lot of brickbats on International Women’s Day yesterday for the photo, and her accompanying comment that said, “This week, as we mark International Women’s Day, let’s celebrate the boys and men in our lives who encourage us to be who we truly are, who treat girls & women with respect, and who aren’t afraid to speak up in front of others. “

Feeling like a healthcare football these days

March 8, 2017 - 8:00am Updated: March 8, 2017 - 3:44pm

KAMLOOPS —You’ll have to excuse me if I’m feeling like the proverbial football these days when it comes to my health care, and I’m willing to bet a lot of others are feeling the same way.

A couple of years ago, our family doctor had to shut down his practice, and I’ve been availing myself of take-a-number medical care ever since.

You know, that’s the one where you line up at the front door of a walk-in clinic bright and early, wait for it to open, then take a number and sit down with a whole bunch of sick people there for roughly the same reasons you are.