ROTHENBURGER – Kamloops has already built a bridge to reconciliation
A BRIDGE TO RECONCILIATION is within our grasp right here in Kamloops. I mean symbolically, at least, although the international attention the community received after last year’s discoveries at the residential school demands substantive progress on resolving historic and current grievances.
There are times when symbols seem like empty promises; at other times they offend. We build war memorials and keep going to war. We erect statues and then tear them down when they displease us.
Anyway, I was browsing media the other day when I came across a letter to the editor to the Victoria Times Colonist. It was a one-sentence letter, suggesting simply that the Johnson Street Bridge be renamed Reconciliation Bridge.
Interesting idea, I thought. Then my mind quickly turned to our own community, and then to the Halston Bridge. That bridge was completed in 1984 after a controversy in which then-chief Mary Leonard threatened to blockade construction.
As symbols of reconciliation go, what would be better than renaming the Halston crossing Reconciliation Bridge?
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.
The Yellowhead bridge is not mentioned though it seems very suitable. Is it eligible?