Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Readers write about challenges facing Spences Bridge and the Ashcroft Terminal working group

Dear Editor,

I read the article about the Spences Bridge charging station (“Battle in Spences Bridge over fate of EV charging station”, the Journal, Oct. 1) with great interest, as it is a piece of a very important puzzle for the community of Spences Bridge; a wonderful place, unlike any other, that our family has called home for the best part of 32 years.

The most disturbing part, and there were many, was the quote from [Spences Bridge Improvement District] trustee Ross Figley. When asked why the sprinkler system had not been turned on [at the former elementary school grounds] in 2019 and 2020, Figley replied “I didn’t feel like turning it on. I have my own stuff to do.”

The greatest source of pride for our community has always been our beautiful “Green Space”. The school and its ground is a special place for many of us. I remember my kids going to the school when we arrived to call Spences Bridge home in 1988. I remember hugging home plate during a fast-pitch ball game and George Billy brushing me back with a windmill fastball that scared the bejeezers out of me. I remember all the Easter Egg hunts with our kids and then our grandkids at the well-manicured, lush green grass of our school yard. I remember the campfire and fireworks of Halloween.

I hope next year’s Desert Daze will have the bighorn sheep visiting our beautiful green grass of home: the school grounds.

Certainly, after losing our Steelhead family, the off-season has become a challenge, especially to the local businesses. Certainly, electric cars need charging year round, and their numbers are increasing at a significant rate. Certainly, it would be in the best interest of the community to find a way to keep our charging station. BC Hydro has agreed, and says that they only need an agreement with the SBID and it can indeed stay.

Spences Bridge has spoken loud and clear. They would like to keep the station. The only thing standing in the way is the three trustees on the Improvement District, and stand in the way they did. By a vote of 2 to 1 they have made the decision for all of Spences Bridge: the charging station has got to go! So, so sad.

As sad as it is, this is not the biggest issue. The biggest issue is family and friends.

For decades our families have had their own “community backyard”: the school grounds. Our kids — now our grandkids, and even a great-grandkid or two — love to come home. Spences Bridge lives within you. It draws you back: the river, the bighorn, the people, the sunshine, the scrumptious fruit and veggies, and yes, the school grounds!

Yes, the charging station is critical to the traveling public who help keep our businesses open, but it takes a back seat to family, friends, and the place they call home: Spences Bridge.

I refer back to the statement of Trustee Figley: “I didn’t feel like turning it on. I have my own stuff to do.” I look at Chair Mike Jefferson, who though he does not live in Spences Bridge, has been the trustee driving the move to get rid of our charging station.

They are elected and paid taxpayer dollars. They have a mandate to represent the wishes of the community, not their own personal agenda; especially an agenda that has a significant impact on our community. This is not about politics: this is about our town, our families, our history and, I would suggest, our future.

The AGM is coming up soon. I would ask the two trustees who voted to have BC Hydro yank our charging station, most likely forever, to do the right thing: step down and call an election.

The grass can still be green, we can replace the dead trees, we can have ball tournaments and put our beautiful school grounds on display to the Trans-Canada Highway audience once again.

Thank you for your service. Now let someone who lives in Spences Bridge and someone who is not too busy to water the lawn make it happen.

Citizens in concern,

Steve and Paulet Rice

Spences Bridge, B.C.

Dear Editor,

In May, Ashcroft Terminal created “a working group to examine issues associated with gate installation and develop alternatives to riverfront access at the slough, located on the Inland Port’s private property.” To be accepted as part of the working group, one had to apply and meet eligibility criteria. Essentially, this meant that all working members were handpicked by Ashcroft Terminal’s management team.

The working group consisted of representatives from elected bodies, employees of the Terminal, and the community at large. Examining the selections carefully, one finds that all selected elected representatives (Bonaparte Indian Band, Village of Ashcroft, Village of Cache Creek) have direct associations with Ashcroft Terminal or Landucci investments as employees, former employees, or business partners.

Add another three employees of the Terminal and the mix is six to three. Not great odds for true community engagement.

Besides the obvious unbalanced weighting in the working group itself, Ashcroft Terminal also brought in a facilitator, an engineering consultant — both paid by Ashcroft Terminal — and representatives from CN and CP, for extra expertise or intimidation, depending on how you look at it. The working group was co-chaired by a member of Ashcroft Terminal’s management team and a former Ashcroft mayor who lobbied hard on Ashcroft Terminal’s behalf when he served as mayor, and worked for the company after retiring.

I would say that the deck was stacked against the community having meaningful consultation even before the process began. But maybe I’m just biased.

Gloria Mertens

Ashcroft, B.C.



editorial@accjournal.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Letters to the editor

Just Posted

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

Kelly Servinski, of the Tutti Hotel in Clinton, climbs above the river. (Photo credit: http://www.sterlinglorence.com/)
Gravel is the new gold: Cyclist bumps new biking trend

There’s gravel in them thar hills around Clinton

Amy Newman follows the route of the Cariboo Waggon Road — now Highway 97 — through Clinton. (Photo credit: New Pathways to Gold Society)
Grant received for Cariboo Waggon Road restoration project north of Clinton

New Pathways to Gold hopes to start work this summer on restoring sections of historic road

Dan Cumming (l, with Lisa Colwell, LPN) was one of 1,918 people who received their first COVID-19 vaccine at a community clinic in Ashcroft in early May. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Vaccine clinics in Ashcroft, Clinton administered 2,664 first doses

Residents over the age of 18 are still eligible to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Tinder, an online dating application that allows users to anonymously swipe to like or dislike other’s profiles. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. man granted paternity test to see if Tinder match-up led to a ‘beautiful baby’

The plaintiff is seeking contact with the married woman’s infant who he believes is his child

Most Read