NCLGA’s letter criticized, rescinded

The open letter expressed concerns over the NDP-Greens alliance

The North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) wrote a letter to lieutenant governor Judith Guichon on June 2 expressing concerns over the NDP-Greens alliance.

“Our principle concern is that the opposition contract neglects and disempowers the community-level administration of this region and the families who live and work here,” said the letter signed by NCLGA president Shaely Wilbur. “Respectfully, if the Crown acts in reliance on the agreement, we are concerned that the Crown could be condoning an unconstitutional scheme.”

Some members of the NCLGA board were not consulted about this letter. On Twitter, Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach called the letter an “inappropriate intervention.”

Last week the NCLGA board passed a motion to rescind the letter. The motion further states that the board, unanimously, recognizes that the letter should not have been sent.

“It was an error to send a letter on behalf of all NCLGA local government members without a thorough vetting by the board members duly elected and appointed by them,” said Oliver Ray, NCLGA’s executive director. “The NCLGA board sincerely regrets this.”

After the motion was carried, the NCLGA board sent an official letter of apology to B.C.’s lieutenant governor.

Local views on the NDP-Greens alliance

Burns Lake Mayor Chris Beach said he’s “particularly enthused” about the Green Party’s policy proposals to establish proportional representation in the provincial electoral system and to ban all union and corporate donations to political parties.

“These policies, if they come to fruition, could increase the voice of all people over special interests throughout B.C and may specifically enhance northern representation in Victoria, which is always needed,” he said.

When speaking on behalf of the Burns Lake council, Beach said council is determined to work with any government.

“If and when the NDP-Greens assume power in Victoria, we will do our best to articulate and lobby for the issues that matter first and foremost to Burns Lake, and secondly to northern B.C.,” he said. “Regardless of which party is the government of the day, it’s our job to make sure our voice is heard and that we do the best we can for our community.”

Bill Miller, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako’s Director of Electoral Area B, said the regional district is also prepared to make things work with whatever government forms in Victoria.

“Revenue sharing, of course, is at the top of list,” said Miller. “Once the dust settles in Victoria, we will get to work on behalf of our region and begin discussions on that and many other topics.”

Lake Babine Nation Chief Wilf Adam said all he can say at this point is that it’s going to be “an interesting time.”

“Just have to see what actions the Greens-NDP do,” said Chief Adam. “As from the federal Liberals, we wanted change, and were promised change, but received the same old thing; I hope that is not in the card here.”

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