City workers build scaffolding as work begins on refurbishing Quesnel’s gold pan. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

LETTER: Quesnel gold pan controversy isn’t over

Arthur Topham shares his concerns about the gold pan relocation and how it has been handled


Re: Gold pan a work in progress at new location – city manager, August 26, 2020, Page 7

Like many citizens of Quesnel and surrounding area, I do have serious concerns about the gold pan’s relocation and the manner in which it has been handled by the mayor and council, and it’s going to take both a pick and a shovel the size of the ones that accompany the pan in order to remove the growing mound of bogus overburden now covering this issue so the nugget of truth can be revealed and citizens of Quesnel and surrounding area will get the whole story and not just the City’s version.

READ MORE: Quesnel gold pan a “work in progress” at new location – City Manager

Byron Johnson, Quesnel city manager, states that the area surrounding the present location of the sign, “is far from finished.” I would add to that seemingly cryptic remark that the controversy surrounding the handling of this iconic symbol of Quesnel, Barkerville and the great Cariboo Gold Rush, is also ‘far from finished’ and like the surrounding viewscape where the sign now stands, the backdrop to this decision on the part of Mayor Simpson and Johnson remains just as unsightly and no amount of florid rhetoric on either of their part will conceal that fact.

Johnson’s negative remark that “The people who wanted it left in place – they’re not going to be happy no matter what’s done with it …” is just one more egregious example of the scornful attitude displayed by both himself and Mayor Simpson throughout this Gold Pan Gate saga and illustrates graphically the widening gap between the people and the bureaucrats and politicians who feel compelled to make decisions on their own regardless of what the local citizens might want.

Obviously Johnson hasn’t got the message yet as to why we’re not “happy” with the mayor’s decision to relocate the sign. Just refurbish it to its original condition and put it back where it was. Byron and Bob will definitely be your Uncle. End of story.

Arthur Topham

Cottonwood, B.C.

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