Response from Acting Mayor Arjun Singh to a letter from Dr. Jennifer Takahashi:
Thank you for your email and my apologies for the delay in responding. Thank you for your very kind words. I am thankful to my council colleagues for giving me this opportunity to serve in my “summer job”. I take a lot of inspiration from them and from the community as a whole.
With respect to our letter to the other levels of government, the tone and text of the letter reflected the view of council as a whole – strong opposition to the Ajax proposal – and it also noted the 5-1 vote to acknowledge Councillor Wallace’s views and support of the proposal.
Written comments read by councillors at council meetings do not form part of meeting minutes. Our minutes are not written in the same way as the hansard from the provincial legislature or from the House of Commons. We note decisions and vote splits as the main components. Individual councillors are free, if they wish, to post their statements.
I would not ever want to speak for another member of councillor. Often, generally speaking, new economic development locally or within the region adds to the tax base of Kamloops. This happens either directly or through spin off businesses.
We have certainly (heard) anecdotally that at least some professionals would be leaving Kamloops if the mine was approved. That was one of the concerns I personally cited in my reasons for not supporting Ajax. This is a tough one to quantifiably measure. And there will certainly be different views among good, thoughtful, serious people.
I will ask council about a discussion on the next steps in terms of outreach to the Ministers who will make the decision on Ajax. I will raise with them the possibility of inviting Minister McKenna to visit Kamloops on this issue.
(Arjun Singh, Acting Mayor)