Letters to the Editor

The MP for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon replies about the riding’s proposed name change

Dear Editor,

I want to thank Christopher di Armani for his letter in the April 21 issue of The Journal. I do, however, take exception to his claim that I am “ashamed” to be the Member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon. Quite the contrary: representing this riding has been one of my life’s great privileges, and its proposed name change is a reflection of the people my staff and I serve.

I can assure my constituents I do not take this proposal lightly. Riding name changes are not easily undertaken, and between elections the only circumstance in which this could happen is when it is determined the current name does not sufficiently represent the district’s geographic boundaries.

The former municipality of Matsqui merged with Abbotsford in 1995, and presently my office represents about one-third of Abbotsford’s residents—a fact that many people are unaware of. In no way is this an attempt to disrespect the history of Matsqui or the Matsqui First Nation. The proposed name change is meant to better reflect the demographics of the constituency, and nothing more.

Regardless of the outcome of the Senate’s third reading of this bill, I look forward to continuing to serve the people of this riding, no matter what its name. Please do not hesitate to contact my office with questions or concerns regarding this or any other federal matter.

Jati Sidhu

Member of Parliament

Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon

Dear Editor,

We, the family of the late Savo Nikolic, were deeply touched by the outpouring of love and sympathy over the passing of our dear husband, father, father-in-law, grandpa, and brother. It all happened very fast, and left us in shock.

Our thank you to our neighbour’s young son who was there with me and helped call the ambulance, which was here in minutes, along with the police. Ashcroft should be happy to have such caring and professional people in town. Thank you so much to our paramedics: you worked so hard to help Savo.

Our sincere thank you to all Savo’s golfing and curling friends for the many, many cards, text messages, phone calls, and flowers, and for sharing our sorrow with us. Thank you from our hearts.

Linda Nikolic and family

Ashcroft, B.C.

Dear Editor,

The incentive to build in the community of Ashcroft may just have gotten a little less attractive.

When council voted at its March 25, 2019 council meeting in favour of following the “suggestions” of the TNRD’s Development Services to amend its Building Regulation Bylaw No. 793, it caused all fees for construction permits to double effective June 1, 2019. The increases will be borne by all those using the inspection service in undertaking construction and applying for any building permits.

As part of the contractual agreement between the Village and the TNRD, the TNRD retains all fees collected. It seems strange to me that as a contractor providing building inspection services to the Village, the TNRD can so convincingly dictate to a local government the dollar amount it wishes to receive on its own behalf!

Is this a case of the Village being benevolently coerced: unless you do as we say, we will raise what we charge for our services to you? A case of being blissfully compliant: they know what is best for our community, so we will follow their lead and trust them? Or a case of being dutifully suppliant: they are right, and we have to do the right thing?

Perhaps everybody who wishes to build anywhere in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (except Kamloops, which does its own inspections and has the lowest fees in the region) should have to fork out the same amount. Perhaps rates should be increased 100 per cent because they haven’t changed for over two decades. Perhaps the additional cost is insignificant in relation to the overall construction costs. Compelling arguments.

It is interesting that Cache Creek council received the same presentation and passed amendments “similarly worded, if not exactly the same” in the same space of time, a mere two weeks. Amazingly efficient. If only council would respond as positively and as quickly to suggestions from members of the community.

Gloria Mertens

Ashcroft, B.C.


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