More meddling

Call for councils to be more involved in dialogue with private business.

Dear editor,

We need a Council with a Mayor willing to “meddle” on behalf of the citizens of Port Hardy.

Last week’s N.I. Gazette reports that our council rejected a request to look into the discrepancy between gasoline prices charged in Campbell River and those charged in Port Hardy (Gas prices fuel discussion at council, Nov. 6).

Mayoralty Candidate Dorward is quoted as saying, “I don’t believe it’s Council’s place to meddle in private business”.

Isn’t that what governments do, on behalf of the greater good?

Ironically, this week’s news items include our federal government “meddling” with Visa and MasterCard to limit the charges to merchants. The Mayor of Nanaimo “meddled” with BC Ferries to discourage them from phasing out the Departure Bay Terminal in favour of consolidating traffic through the Duke Point Terminal.

This municipality has “meddled” with the likes of Fisheries and Oceans to have staff located here instead of Campbell River, even though Campbell River made more economic sense (according to one employee I spoke to).

It is not meddling to approach a private business and ask them to hear the concerns of their customers. They well may welcome the opportunity to explain their reasons and alleviate the resentment that many harbour. And who knows — maybe they could see their way clear to adjusting the prices, and thank you for drawing their attention to an oversight!

Sometimes asking makes a difference. And who but Council, especially the Mayor, has the ability to gain dialogue with mega companies?

Who but Council, especially the Mayor, will represent the citizens of Port Hardy?

George Clarke

Port Hardy