Letters: Pitt Meadows should have helped Fort McMurray

Embarrassed when a motion was made and defeated to make a $1,000 donation to Fort McMurray as a goodwill gesture.

Fort McMurray residents fled for their lives from a wildfire.

Fort McMurray residents fled for their lives from a wildfire.

Editor, The News:

What a wonderful show of community spirit with the ‘Her Brothers’ Fort McMurray benefit concert in Fort Langley.

By comparison, I was embarrassed by the actions of the majority of Pitt Meadows council when a motion was made and defeated to make a $1,000 donation to the city of Fort McMurray as a goodwill gesture.

The motion was brought forward in response to a letter sent from the city of Cranbrook, encouraging province-wide support from all B.C. local governments to join them in making a donation. Cranbrook, with a population of 19,000 donated $1,000.

Pitt Meadows, with a population of 18,000 and a budget of $23 million, did not.

Actually, council never even got to vote on making the donation because members first had to vote to suspend the city policy C072, which states: “The City will not provide grants or cash donations”.

The 5-2 vote was a resounding no to suspend the policy.

It is curious to note that policy C072 dates back to 1995, was amended in 2008 and was in place on Mar. 24, 2015, when this same council voted to “authorize the expenditure of funds not to exceed $5,000 from the Operating Reserve to support advocacy initiatives undertaken by Mayor and Council in its efforts to oppose the proposed mining operations on Sheridan Hill.”

A worthy cause, to be sure, but how is that the majority of council expresses the necessity to stick to policy for one worthy initiative but not for another?

The optics seem very cloudy.

It may be time to hit the refresh button and wipe the slate clean.

P. Gordon

Pitt Meadows