Re: Gold pan relocation prompts residents to rally, June 3, 2020
In fairness to your readership and in the interest of full disclosure and honest journalism I find it necessary to critique your June 3, 2020 coverage of the Do Not Move Our Gold Pan Rally held May 31, 2020.
I videotaped the opinions expressed by both women and men ranging from young to elderly. It was 18 minutes in length. None of the speakers or their viewpoints were included in the article. Had their opinions been fairly covered it would not have been necessary to deflect from their importance and instead devote the majority of copy to Mayor Bob Simpson who had the unmitigated audacity to state the rally was nothing but a “knee-jerk reaction to change.”
The highlight at the rally was the keynote address by elder statesman and long-time city councillor and former administrator Ron Paull. Paull spoke for 10 minutes to the gathering giving those present an overview of the past history of the Quesnel Gold Pan City sign while leading up to the present controversy over mayor and council’s ill-conceived effort to have it relocated to the railway station downtown.
What struck the audience the most was Councillor Paull’s introductory remarks which I am quoting here from the video. “First off I am here as one of you, not speaking as a member of city council or for the city. But for those of you who don’t know I recently received a letter from the Mayor advising that my committee appointments have been extinguished and that I am not to speak on behalf of the city and that if I am speaking about anything to do with the city I have to preface my remarks with “in my opinion.”
Here we have a man who has devoted 24 years of his life to his community as a City Hall manager and is currently in his fifth term as a councillor and was the principal person who, back during the Expo ‘86 years, procured a $25,000 provincial government grant to have the Quesnel Gold Pan City sign built by Linden Welding on 2 Mile Flat and installed in its home location. And now, because he hasn’t jumped with feigned enthusiasm on the bandwagon of tearing the sign down and relocating it in what can only be described as the ugliest section of the downtown, his fundamental right to express his opinions and represent his community have been liquidated and he no longer is able to speak on behalf of Quesnel.
In his closing remarks Paull stated that Council “can change their mind.” There’s a section in the bylaws which allow for this. Let’s hope they see the wisdom of doing so.