Council should bring a reporter on mining town tour

Two & Out
By James Peters
April 4, 2016 - 11:53am

KAMLOOPS — Well this is getting a little bit silly.

There are reports this week that, despite Kamloops council having approved a delegation to travel east to visit Malartic, Quebec and Timmins, Ontario, it might not happen.

That's because council can't decide who will go!

The mayor would certainly be there, but it doesn't make sense for any of the four councillors who are opposed to go.

They have already let their biases be known, and the information they would gather would be coloured in that light. 

Pat Wallace can't go, because she is recovering from an injury.

Ken Christian won't go, because he was the only councillor to vote against the delegation. 

He believes any council decision should be based on the available data, and the trip to those towns might detract and distract from trusting that data. 

And then there are Arjun Singh and Marg Spina, who both voted in favour of the trip east, but who are both saying they either don't want to go, or can't go. 

Set aside for a moment the fact that council has approved something that essentially sounded good in theory but doesn't appear to work in practice. 

Here's a novel alternative that Kamloops council should consider. 

Mayor Peter Milobar should still go to Malartic and Timmins, but instead of bringing one of his waffling councillors, he should bring one or two members of the local news media. 

A journalist would be able to tell the stories of these two mining cities, interpreted through a Kamloops lens. 

Their stories would illuminate the contribution those mines have made to their communities, whether positive or negative. 

If the councillors who voted favour of the trip can't or don't want to go, let them stay home. 

News stories filed from Timmins and Malartic would help local residents decide what they think about Ajax, and they could voice their opinions to city council. 

It's taking the long way around, but it's a solution to a problem that would otherwise see council completely squander an opportunity that it voted to approve.