Letters, July 30

TENDERING TRIED AND TRUE

Re: City Hands out $485K contract without open bid (Alaska Highway News, July 27) 

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How do ratepayers know that there was no collusion or corruption involved in awarding the contract to upgrade the dressing rooms at the Encana Events Centre without competitive bid? There would be no question if this job was put out to tender by sealed bid to be opened in public.

The tendering is a tried-and-true process that when implemented properly protects both staff and bidders from corruption and/or damage to reputation, and protects the public by finding the lowest price available subject to the phrase “the lowest or any tender not necessarily accepted.”

The public needs municipal councils to plan better (Chetwynd council did something similar earlier this year) and they should never waive tendering policy - because it is never “prudent” in the long run.

I do not believe there was corruption taking place on either of these jobs, however, this relaxed attitude towards tendering needs to stop.

—Linda Yaciw, South Peace


QUESTIONABLE EXPENSES

Re: City staff cost $10 million in 2014: report (The Mirror, July 24) 

I was just looking through the Mirror Paper and was disturbed by what I was reading. 

The mayor of Dawson Creek should never claim expenses comprising to roughly half his salary limit. Nothing could ever justify it. 

There were other financial details in the article that bothered me as well. Financially self-serving men are not what we need as mayor.

—Uwe Erbe, South Peace


UTILITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEAVES DEEP IMPACTS

Your coverage of the RCMP shooting of James McIntyre has been thorough in this general dearth of information.

I've spent the last 20 years advocating against utility infrastructure in the U.S., and the killing of McIntyre by RCMP is horrifying.  

A big part of my schtick is to stand at the door (not inside where I'd be "interfering") and enthusiastically greet everyone, hand them a flyer about how to participate, and direct them to the meeting.  Had I been at that open house, I'd be the one they found at the door.  Had they told me to leave, I'd have argued and resisted, as always, ramping up if they pushed.

In my experience, utilities have now and then requested police presence, and when I see it, I let the organizers know it's offensive and off putting, chilling public participation.  People have a right to speak out against a project, and they have a right to be angry!  I talk to the officers too, find out if I can who wanted them there, and let them know it's inhibiting and threatening to the public.  I figure they just add me to their list of people to watch.  But this atmosphere of blind fear is not acceptable.  Don't Canadians have a right to free speech?  Civil disobedience is an appropriate response.  Civil disobedience is NOT a death sentence with law enforcement as judge, jury and executioner.

People are being steam-rolled by utility infrastructure projects such as dams, transmission lines, and pipelines, and no one wants to hear about it.  They want opposition to just go away.  People are losing their land, communities are deeply affected, and those affected are not compensated sufficiently to make it acceptable — and money is not the answer to everything!  

Is the Site C project worth the impacts?  Is generating electricity and profiting from it sufficient reason to inflict these impacts, including this death?  Maybe BC Hydro should think again.

—Carol A. Overland, Utility Regulatory Attorney, Minnesota

© Copyright Alaska Highway News

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