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Singh wants chamber to clarify comments

July 26, 2016 6:59 P.M.
Federal panel roundtable on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, held at TRU last week.

Coun. Arjun Singh said he intends to ask Kamloops Chamber of Commerce for clarification after it publicly objected to a presentation by Coun. Donovan Cavers.

Singh said at Tuesday’s council meeting that City councillors have every right to speak independently.

“It’s a little confusing to me,” he said. “We have the ability to speak independently before a vote is taken,” as well as afterward, he added.

Ryan Scorgie, chamber president, criticized Cavers Monday following a roundtable session held by a federal panel on the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. 

Cavers spoke against the project after first explaining that he was not representing the City in his remarks. The chamber is a strong advocate of the controversial pipeline proposal. 

“The chamber believes that, when one accepts the role as an elected official, one must be prepared to publicly accept and adhere to the formal position of the organization,” Scorgie said in a news release. “This is a standard adhered to by politicians at all levels and City officials should not be exempt from this.”

Civic politicians are free to speak their minds and that's important to local democracy, he said. He questioned whether the chamber would have objected had he spoken in favour of the pipeline, since he voted that way as a City director with the TNRD board.

Don Barz says:
July 27, 2016 12:20pm

"The chamber believes that, when one accepts the role as an elected official, one must be prepared to publicly accept and adhere to the formal position of the organization ..."

This sounds more like the basis for a fascist, totalitarian regime than a democracy where free speech is valued and welcomed.

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Pierre Filisetti says:
July 26, 2016 09:30pm

There is nothing confusing...the "eloquence" of a few misspoken words speak volumes for the power of "comforting conformism" and the lack of courage.
Mr. Cavers-Grube handled it supremely well.

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Cynthia Ross Friedman says:
July 26, 2016 09:24pm

I like Arjun's approach here...will give the Chamber a chance to do the right thing. Plus he explained Council's policy quite well.

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David Johnson says:
July 26, 2016 07:36pm

"The chamber believes that, when one accepts the role as an elected official, one must be prepared to publicly accept and adhere to the formal position of the organization ..."

That is a fairly warped view of city politics, as our municipal political structure is non partisan in structure which means that individuals involved have every right to speak their mind on a given issue. Even in higher levels of partisan politics, it is not unheard of for representatives to speak in opposition to views held by government.

We voted in Cavers. We require him to speak his mind, whether or not as voters we agree with him on a given issue. There are those that agree with him on this pipeline, and he spoke up for them. In this case he spoke responsibly by clearly stating that he was not speaking as a representative of Council.

I don't remember voting in members of the Chamber of Commerce, and I certainly don't need politically based rhetoric from them towards an elected official in my city.

OBVIOUSLY Scorgie spoke up as Mr. Cavers opinion differed from his ... and the chamber, and he should be careful in the future when calling out anybody outside of his organization ... just because he disagrees with them. Its distasteful, rhetorical and makes the chamber look bad.

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