The money was worth it.
Councillor Joan Burndeniuk said she had reservations going down to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention, but those were laid to rest.
“I was very pleased with the effectiveness of meeting the the ministers one on one,” she said.
Burdeniuk, fellow councillors Russ Gingrich and Dave Birdi, Mayor Rob MacDougall and Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Crook all attended the convention in Vancouver from September 16-21.
While Burdeniuk said she was not sure at first about also attending when so many from the District of Fort St. James had planned to go, she found the hands-on approach and direct interaction with ministers productive.
She said she even asked an experienced MLA what he thought about so many of them coming to the convention, and he told her it sends a clear message of the District’s priorities.
The group from Fort St. James met with a half dozen ministers and put forward issues important to the community, from concerns with regards to the new medical clinic society such as finalizing the new location for the clinic to seniors’ issues including housing needs in the community.
Gingrich said he was “optimistic we contacted the right ministries.”
They said as many as six ministers have committed to coming to Fort St. James in the next year in person.
MacDougall said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk has challenged the community to come up with $2 million and Virk will help build a new trades facility for the local College of New Caledonia.