Prince Rupert residents had the opportunity to hear firsthand from the RCMP and Prince Rupert Fire & Rescue about public safety, policing and vandalism issues at Wednesday evening’s community meeting.
I read the article and only 20 people showed from the community but I was wondering how many of our Councillors showed ?
All the councillors, and the mayor were there except for Councillor Gordon-Payne who got stranded in Haida Gwai because of the weather.
Poor turnout. Darn weather was too nice - again. What is wrong with the connection between the city and the citizens?
Might it be a case of too little too late or a lack of trust in Council now or just a defeatist attitude that it seems a majority of Rupertites are feeling these days ?
I am not sure what the reason. I know in my case it was because I didn’t get my necessary reminders through a daily paper.
I cannot think that it is too little too late. It is never too late. If we care enough about our town we will continue to demand answers from our council and make suggestions that will improve our community.
I don’t mistrust our council. I am not being an apologist here. I voted for two of the seven so the majority are not my reps. However, and I want to emphasize this, I trust our city council far more than I trust our federal and provincial governments. And if the provincial and federal governments were led by different parties I would still trust them more. These are not corrupt people. If we don’t trust them to be competent, then we vote them out next election, but good luck finding replacements who are a whole lot more competent.
Rupertites have had a horrible past dozen years, no question. A defeatist attitude is a result of these difficulties. But not everything can be dumped at the feet of council.
What is starting to worry me is the disconnect between governments and their constituents. People don’t seem to care anymore as reflected in declining voter turnout. What power do we actually have over the provincial and federal government? Governments once in office do what they want and the public be damned. Maybe this “what’s the use” attitude has filtered down to our feelings toward city council But with city councils we have far more control. There is only one councillor that I don’t know well enough to at least nod hello and that means I can stop them on the street and say “what’s going on?” or “what about this?”
Of course we want lower taxes and a safer community. Of course we want more jobs and better recreational activities for our youth and health care facilities for our needy. Of course we want upgraded infrastructure. Many of these things cannot be the sole responsibility of council but council can certainly lead us in finding some solutions to the problems we face.
I will be very disappointed if nothing comes from these public forums. No matter how small the turnouts, council has to come out of this with some plan that they can present to Prince Rupert. They may have to ask for help from higher levels of government and they may have to ask for help from the people of Rupert.
We need some leadership that will say this is what we have, this is what we want and this is what we need to get there.
Perhaps people just didn’t know about the meeting. Speaking for myself, I didn’t know it was happening.
I’d take those thoughts one step further and suggest that people have had a disconnect with the basic platforms of the various political parties, both in our province and federally. The water seems murky these days when talking in terms of where one parties ideals end and another begins, but there are some basic ideologies that separate the major political parties in our province and country. Constituents have a small amount of blame to take. The “what’s the use” attitude is more common than not and it is a blemish that we should not be boastful of.
One possible reason for this perceived disconnect could be related to how and to whom governance minds its (our) business.
From conducting decision-making behind closed doors to questionable hiring practices and bloated salaries to poor attendance at scheduled consultative meetings with the public - only to mention a few - as the public really has no real idea what else might be looming out there. Could any of these (and others) have anything to do with the present disconnect?
The people running this organization aren’t bad people - they are representative of all of us - but at present, that’s not comforting.