ROTHENBURGER – It isn’t easy to apologize, especially for politicians

(Image: CFJC Today)

ONE OF THE TOUGHEST THINGS politicians have to do is apologize when they say something dumb.

One point of view is that you should never apologize. Another is that if you apologize, do it quickly.

At Tuesday’s City council meeting, a notice of motion will be discussed that proposes the City look into building a complex-care facility at the old Rayleigh Correctional Centre property — or some other appropriate location — for homeless suffering from addictions and mental challenges.

Coun. Dale Bass says she’s supposed to stay objective until the motion comes forward but has already decided she’ll vote against it.

“I’m not the least bit objective about creating a concentration camp out in Rayleigh,” was the way she put it during an interview with Brett Mineer on CHNL last week.

She’s right about one thing — she should have kept an open mind until the debate, at which time she could ask proper questions about her misgivings. Who knows, they might have been answered to her satisfaction.

She’s wrong, however, about something else, and that’s referring to the idea as a concentration camp.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to 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 (9504 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.

4 Comments on ROTHENBURGER – It isn’t easy to apologize, especially for politicians

  1. Jennie Stadnichuk // December 11, 2021 at 11:21 PM // Reply

    It doesn’t take many foolish comments to turn off those of us folks who once may have voted for said person making offensive — even ignorant remarks. It would be educational for those who do not understand what an addition is to do some honest research. No one starts out wanting to become homeless or addicted to whatever substance becomes their “drug of choice”: be it alcohol, opioids or amphetamines. The effect of all drugs on our brains’ Dopamine (pleasure) receptors is extremely powerful! They all take a tremendous toll on the user’s physical and mental well being: some drugs sooner than others. One tremendously erroneous belief is that they (addicts) need to be placed in a facility in order to get them straight (or ‘clean and sober’ or some other popular epithet). Once an addict becomes dependent on a substance, the craving is so powerful it becomes their life’s focus. When they become aware of the terrible situation THEY have placed themselves into, they also realize that it is up to them to seek help. We (family, friends or society) can try to be supportive, but all literature on Addictions and Recovery will tell you that successful treatment happens when the Addict is the one who seeks treatment. Yes, we feel sad, helpless or angry? that they cannot “be made” to go into Treatment/Recovery; we need to understand we have no control on successful treatment and recovery. The reason why AA’s (and other Recovery groups) mantra “One Day at a Time” summarizes how difficult it is to “get clean” is because if any addict were to realize at the beginning of their sobriety efforts that it would be a lifetime of days, they might not have the courage to undertake such a difficult task! Please Councillor Bass (and others who need a greater awareness of the challenges faced by any Addict) get some education on how people become addicted to ANY CHEMICAL! Yes, even food and its chemistry can beome an addiction, i.e. sugar and all it delicious forms!

  2. Comparing a proposed recovery centre to a concentration camp is pretty dismal. My Dad and uncles were WW 2 vets. A lot of others like them, serving here in Canada and in Europe, would be a bit more than upset hearing the comparison. A lot of Allied military people paid the price for freedom of speech we have today and liberating the concentration camps.
    Sadly, this Kingston Ave. shelter has led to deep feelings of anger, frustration and betrayal.
    In my estimation, apology or not, Dale’s political future has been determined in the Westmount and Schubert Drive areas.

  3. Sean McGuinness // December 11, 2021 at 8:53 AM // Reply

    There is the Trudeau school of apologising which dictates that one apologise frequently and vigorously, to the point where people question its meaning.

    There is the Machiavellian school which recommends not delivering apologies but rather disparaging and/or eliminating the afflicted person(s).

    There is the Monty Python method whereby the deliverer of the apology begins by saying “we apologise for what we are about to say”…..

    The Bass school is one in which apologising is seen as unnecessary. A rephrasing of the original insult together with subtle appeals for reason (FFS) is all that is needed.

  4. The debate of why do we need eight councilors should be revisited. Another thought is eight (or less) randomly, algorithmically picked people would probably give us better governing. Overall, the present system is giving us some pretty undesirable outcomes. The discussions taking place, the abdication of leadership and the misplace trust in administration is very frustrating to witness.

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