Plain Rhetoric

By: Bill McQuarrie

Ya got trouble, right here in River City

December 12, 2017 - 5:00am Updated: December 12, 2017 - 9:48am

KAMLOOPS — As I watched last week’s city council meeting, I couldn’t help but think of the old Broadway play, Music Man. It’s a humorous musical about the arrival of a pool hall in conservative small-town America. The innocent and perhaps misguided townspeople are led to believe that this pool hall will be the corrupter of their children. In fact their idyllic town, which is coincidentally called River City, may not survive the resulting sin that is surely to arrive at their doorstep?

“Friend, either you’re closing your eyes

Nostalgic resource town mindset has Kamloops unprepared for future of employment

December 5, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — It’s difficult writing a column when you have to begin with these three words, “I was wrong”. But I was wrong, at least in my assumptions. Let me explain.

I have often spoken about economic development and in most instances intentionally not mentioned the three leading agencies in Kamloops: Venture Kamloops, Kamloops Innovation and Community Futures. By intentionally, I mean I didn’t think they were contributing much in the way of direct efforts, so why bother including them in the discussion? But I was wrong and not in a small way, at least as far as two of them go.

Performing Arts Centre: The Sequel

November 28, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Let’s start this week’s blog with a bold statement. Something along the lines of, “The performing arts centre (PAC) does not belong, nor is it needed in the downtown core of Kamloops.” In fact, let’s add to that by suggesting, “It is especially not suitable for the corner of Fourth and Seymour.”

I mean seriously, Fourth and Seymour? We’ve got a brand new parking lot there and who in their right mind would want to tear up that pristine field of awe inspiring asphalt, with all those beautiful and matching lines for some highbrow centre for the performing arts?

Comedy of errors surrounds parking at Royal Inland Hospital

November 21, 2017 - 6:40am

KAMLOOPS — I never thought I’d be writing about this again.  The entire situation has been a comedy of errors.  Yet once again, here I am talking about the ongoing saga of parking at Royal Inland Hospital - A story about the Interior Health Authority’s apparent inability to grasp the fundamentals of effectively managing the parking situation at RIH.


Portugal no rogue state of hippie drug enthusiasts

November 14, 2017 - 8:55am

KAMLOOPS — Last week’s column on our failed policies of criminalization and enforcement on drug use generated a large number of comments with opinions ranging from:  “Build large warehouse prisons and lock up those who cannot live with the rest of us.” to “...a little insight and understanding the plight of addicts would go along way with the public concerns.”  

It was a mix of intolerance, misconceptions and compassion. And if the comments were representative of Kamloops in general, the law and order side was the predominantly held view.  

We need to change our thinking on the war on drugs

November 7, 2017 - 5:34am

KAMLOOPS — Let’s talk about crime, drugs, shootings, sex and Kamloops.  Actually, forget the sex part as I just tossed that into the mix to get your attention.


You see, we had another shooting in Kamloops this past weekend and while there is no official statement linking it to drugs, the number of specialized RCMP investigative units involved in the case suggests it is a strong possibility.


Be inconvenient

October 31, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — Last week, I attended a public presentation at TRU of Al Gore’s, An Inconvenient Sequel. It was hosted by Shawna-Rae McLean, President of TRU’s Political Science Club and perhaps for the first time when discussing climate change, I was left with a sense of optimism.

That sense of optimism was not so much the result of the actual presentation, although there were several encouraging moments, but because of the people attending.

Vision for former KDN lot requires outside-the-box thinking

October 24, 2017 - 5:00am

KAMLOOPS — During last month’s by-election, there was considerable interest and discussion surrounding the old Kamloops Daily News building, previously known as The Bay.  

The site was a contentious issue, with conversations focussed on the waste of money. Others were concerned about the lack of planning while still others lamented the missing component: a solid vision for the future of that half square block.

Is decline the product of slow and steady leadership

August 8, 2017 - 4:38am

KAMLOOPS — I sometimes wonder if I’d have anything to write about on our local economy were it not for Ajax.

What if 15 or so years ago, the City had set course on a different path? A path that recognized we needed to begin preparing for a new future or be left behind to become a mostly abandoned resource town that people pass through on their way to somewhere else.