Well very few, it seems, are happy that Smithers Town Council decided not to make a decision on their position on the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline.
People were expecting the council to make a definitive stance after the election when the pipeline turned into a major election issue. (Who can forget the famous Interior News photo of the candidates standing up at the all-candidates forum on the matter?)
What people didn’t expect is that the council would be in the position they were before the election. For the people who expected something different, it must have been quite frustrating.
I’m of the mind set that, as the Town is not on the list of intervenors for the joint review process, taking a position would be merely politicking rather than trying to exert any kind of influence. (Other municipalities are listed as intervenors, including Burns Lake and Terrace).
One thing that did come up that was troubling in the comments for that story on our website is that some people began to suggest they’d stop supporting tourism for Smithers. People wouldn’t stop here on trips or would stop using Smithers as a destination to get services.
That really sounds like a cut your nose to spite your face situation.
Does it make sense to deprive local businesses, many of whom, I’m sure, would support you politically, because of the actions of its council? Sure, council is here to represent the town, but there’s a process to affect change, which are elections.
I’m not holding my breath that there will be tourism fallout from this. Smithers is a town that has too much to offer for someone passing through that it’d be a mistake not to support its services.
However if there are those out there who think that cutting the community off from your support is a good idea, I urge you to reconsider. You apparently love this town enough to be angry at its politics. Which is fine.
But the livelihoods of people who live here are anything but political.
Cameron Orr is the editor of The Interior News.