Further to Robert Handfield’s excellent column on plastic bags (Penticton Western News, Nature Wise: Mr. Plastic Bag goes on trial, May 11).
Scientists analyzed data on plastic from 79 sampling sites along 57 rivers. Their results showed that 10 rivers account for the majority of plastic. Eight of these are in Asia, including the Yangtze and Indus rivers.
How did your individual council members or regional director vote the various issues before UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities)? Did your council or regional director report to you on whether or not they voted to get rid of plastic bags?
Yes, they vote individually on what can be their own personal agenda. For example, during Penticton council’s current term of office, I once asked Councillor Tarik Sayeed why he was attending the UBCM annual conference. He replied that he was going because he wanted to vote against Site C dam and against plastic bags.
Neither of these items was a particular Penticton council issue, and I suspect Tarik didn’t know Penticton taxpayers’ opinion of these two issues. It was a personal decision and the trip was paid for by Penticton taxpayers.
Last year Helen Trevors and I requested Penticton council take the recall of local government elected officials resolution to SILGA (Southern Interior Government Assn.). It later went on the UBCM 2017 agenda where it passed. I believe this is the third time in the past three to five years recall has been endorsed by the local municipalities.
When John Horgan, the current premier, was in Penticton prior to the last provincial election, I tackled him on the subject of recall for local government. He made it very clear that the NDP party is against recall of local elected officials.
I also asked the current leader of the Opposition Andrew Wilkinson where he stood on recall and he supports it.
Six councillors and the mayor should not be attending this conference and voting as they choose with the voters back home unaware of how they are voting. The agenda should be discussed in open meetings beforehand; one representative for Penticton should be selected to attend. The vote should be weighted according to population, similar to how the regional district votes now.
The 2018 UBCM convention will be held September 10 to 14 in Whistler just before the civic election in October. It will be interesting to see how many local politicians attend even though they may not be re-elected.