WHEN CITY COUNCILLORS DISAGREE with each other in public, it’s usually pretty benign. They have different opinions during debates at their meetings, for example, but there are seldom open quarrels.
Away from the public’s watchful eye, however, it can be a different story. Such was the case with a recent notice of motion by Coun. Denis Walsh asking council to support a request to the Canada Energy Regulator that the oil pipeline through Westsyde be shut down and rerouted.
His concern was that the pipeline might break at some point and pose a risk to residents.
Documents obtained by the Armchair Mayor through a Freedom of Information application — though heavily censored — reveal a behind-the-scenes squabble among councillors leading up to the Jan. 14 vote.
Some councillors took offense to the fact Walsh presented his Dec. 17 notice of motion without speaking to them first, claiming he’d blindsided them. By early January, the situation had broken into a sparring match between Walsh and rookie councillors.
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.