An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
IN CASE YOU WERE wondering if anybody was going to form an opposition to the performing arts centre, there is one.
Well, sort of. A Facebook page called No PAC Kamloops has emerged, but whoever is running it refuses to be identified. The page administrator apparently fears that PAC supporters and the media will be critical.
One post from him or her says, “I have no desire to speak to the media. They have made up their minds and are one of the main driving forces behind this horror story. As for my identity, if I wish to reveal it publicly, I will. Until then, it is no ones (sic) business.”
Another post says, “The media will attack this page soon. Rothenburger will lead the charge of course. This whole debacle has been his pet project for years. Decades even. Then all his media minions will follow suit.”
I’m flattered by the assumption that other media meekly do my bidding, that they are obedient followers to whatever opinions I throw out there. Alas, I doubt that’s the case.
The issue is not that somebody has started a Facebook page opposing the PAC. The issue is that its initiators won’t stand up and be counted.
By all means, challenge the project. Question the numbers, the location, the design, the cost and the need. But to be taken seriously, you have to put your name behind it.
Anonymous Facebook posts that inflate the estimated $70 million capital cost to $100 million, and repeat over and over again, “The answer is still NO” don’t cut it.
There should be a pro and con public discussion of this important and expensive project but that can’t be done if one side hides behind the bushes.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.