ROTHENBURGER – Documents reveal behind-the-scenes tension inside council during pipeline issue

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 opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8164 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – Documents reveal behind-the-scenes tension inside council during pipeline issue

  1. John Noakes // March 11, 2020 at 7:02 AM // Reply

    This stuff seems pretty immature for people who are asking us to support borrowing $45 million for a project on the South Shore.

  2. Just as in the Land of Oz, lifting the stage curtain reveals a lot. The Chambers Grand Wizard has to nail that drapery to the stage floor, so seeming harmony again prevails in the council of illusions.

  3. Issues should be voted on the merits of the idea or its feasibility not on personal quirkiness. It should also be a desirable quality to have not to be overly testy on deliverance styles. And I am still waiting for Ms. Bass journalistic edginess to start knocking issues “in” and complacent people “out”…

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