Quesnel Multi-Centre chair resigns – quotes lack of respect from mayor and council

After the resignation of Eric Wickham, Multi-Centre committee members are focusing on “moving forward.”

  • Jun. 20, 2012 7:00 a.m.

After the resignation of Eric Wickham, Multi-Centre committee members are focusing on “moving forward.”

“It’s such an important project and we’re really excited to see it to completion,” North Cariboo Multi-Centre Committee fundraising chair, Bernice Heinzelman said.

Wickham agrees, but says if things continue as they have, it’s not going to happen.

“Facts are facts,” he said.

“And nothing is getting done.”

Wickham resigned last week, quoting a lack of respect and support from senior levels, such as the mayor and the Quesnel Community Economic Development Corporation.

“Over the past year of these requests, QCEDC has promised over and over again their assistance with this matter but no assistance, guidance or any support whatsoever has come forward,” his resignation letter reads.

“As chair of the committee I attempted on several occasions to ask the mayor for her help regarding this matter but did not even receive a reply to my phone messages and e-mails.”

Committee member and Cariboo Regional District Director area C, John Massier said he was surprised by Wickham’s resignation and backed QCEDC.

“I speak in support of QCEDC and their efforts to see construction of the Multi-Centre move forward,” he said.

“This volunteer board of well-respected local business people are actively working on the corporate community fundraising initiative and their staff have extensive time invested in support of the project.”

But Wickham says it’s not about the dedication of volunteers, it’s about elected officials and paid staff and their lack of knowledge, dedication, vision and respect.

“You have people showing up to meetings saying they’re going to do XYZ and by the next meeting, nothing is done,” he said.

And time is running out.

The fundraising committee, struck just over a year ago, has a combined local and corporate funding goal of $6.7 million.

“So far we have maybe $10,000,” Wickham said.

“And we have until January – that is horrendous.”

But for Wickham it’s not just about finances, it’s about the lack of respect.

“Meetings are unbelievably disrespectful,” he said.

“You have members of council texting the entire time, snide remarks…”

Heinzelman maintains the committee is following the “plan” and is looking forward to a number of fundraising events such as golf-ball drop, planned for September.

“I hope like hell we get it,” Wickham said.

“But this kind of behaviour is totally disrespectful to volunteers and citizens of this community – and it’s the community that’s going to lose out.”