Well over 100 people turned out for last Tuesday’s all candidates’ forum for District of Clearwater – an indication that local residents have not yet lost interest in our new municipality.
Even those who opposed incorporation now seem to think that, like it or not, we’ve got to make this new (to us) system of government work.
Canfor’s recent announcement that it lost money during the third quarter of 2011, plus the ongoing financial difficulties in Greece and the Euro-zone, mean that we are not yet free of the danger of double-dip recession.
The North Thompson is still primarily a resource-based economy and, as such, is subject to the boom-and-bust cycles of world markets.
Having a local government does not solve that problem, but it does give us more options.
It is hard to argue but that the effects of Canfor’s recent two-year shutdown of its Vavenby sawmill would have been far more severe if Clearwater hadn’t incorporated as a municipality four years ago. This applies not just to within the District’s boundaries but to the entire upper North Thompson Valley.
The forest fuel reduction programs sponsored by District of Clearwater pumped over $2 million into the local economy and provided temporary work to dozens of people at a critical time.
Funding from the District as well as Wells Gray Country has helped Tourism Wells Gray begin operations – leading to possible further diversification of the local economy.
Less glamorous but no less important, projects such as the upgrades to Clearwater’s sewage lagoons provide the infrastructure needed for growth.
Electoral Area forums this week
We have two more all candidates’ forums for local government coming up.
On Monday, Nov. 7, there will be a forum for the two candidates seeking to be Thompson-Nicola Regional District director for Thompson Headwaters (Area B). Incumbent Max Lentz will face off against challenger Willow MacDonald in the Blue River Community Hall starting at 7 p.m.
Then on Wednesday, Nov. 9, there will be a forum for the two candidates seeking to be Thompson-Nicola Regional District director for Wells Gray Country (Area A). Challenger Cheryl Thomas will debate incumbent Tim Pennell at the Vavenby Community Hall. Start time will also be 7 p.m.
Election Day coming up
Local government is important. Please get out and vote on Nov. 19. If you can’t make it on that day, try to vote during the advance poll on Nov. 9. Details about voting are available in ads elsewhere in this newspaper.