I saw a lot of positives involving our young people in the last week, and that is part of what keeps me optimistic about our future.
On Friday, I welcomed Dr. Martin Brokenleg, who gave a workshop about mobilizing our community to take back our youth. His approach and philosophy is used in School District 27, and it was very encouraging that 200 people felt this was important to attend. On the weekend, I attended a rap/gospel presentation called the Love Fix, which was about connecting with youth and the importance of making healthy choices. At the Tuesday council meeting, I was excited to meet this year’s Stampede Queen contestants: Alexis Forseille, Christina Walsh, Michelle Ball, and Terris Billyboy. Lots of great things happening with our youth these days.
I want to publicly thank all those who assisted those displaced by the Williams Inn fire on Feb. 24: Overlander Hotel, Sandman Hotel, Denny’s restaurant, Valleyview Motel, Williams Inn, Walmart, Cariboo Chilcotin Search and Rescue, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Ministry of Social Development, Williams Lake Fire Department, Williams Lake Emergency Support Services, Canadian Mental Health Association outreach workers, BC Housing, and the many volunteers. Your generosity is greatly appreciated and has made a real difference. Household items are still needed and can be dropped off at the Salvation Army. Evacuees have all found accommodation, which is welcome news. A big thank you to former mayor Rick Gibson, who came to council Tuesday night to present a $10,000 cheque for the new Rick Hansen monument that will go up at the Tourism Discovery Centre.
As announced this week, a comprehensive review of the chlorine incident will take place, examining causes, evacuation procedures and emergency response. We are also taking steps to re-open the pool as soon as safely possible. I have been talking to those affected, listening to their stories, and I will continue to make that personal contact going forward.
Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.