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City name change report adoption to be considered by Powell River councillors

“This report helps us map a way forward for all of us in the ongoing process of relationship and reconciliation." ~ Mayor Dave Formosa
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CONTINUING CONVERSATIONS: City of Powell River councillors received the report of the joint working group into a possible name change for the city, which was made up of representatives from the city and Tla’amin Nation. City council will consider what to do with the document at an August council meeting.

City of Powell River councillors will consider adopting the report of the joint working group into a possible name change for the city at a future council meeting.

At the July 19 committee of the whole meeting, councillors had, as part of their agenda packages, the report for review.

Mayor Dave Formosa said it was a pleasure to be part of the joint working group and he thanked the participants in the process. He also thanked everyone in the community for supporting this “important conversation.”

“Basing this work on our community accord was important to keep building on our government-to-government relationship that the city and Tla’amin Nation have achieved over the years,” said Formosa. “Our joint efforts continue as a key priority for both governments.

“This report helps us map a way forward for all of us in the ongoing process of relationship and reconciliation. We look forward to continuing community conversations, and more deeply embedding government-to-government relationships and reconciliation in everything we do in our region.”

Formosa said he supports the “thoughtful and balanced recommendations” in the report. He said he encourages everybody to take the time to read the report and have a period of reflection through the summer months to think about the recommendations.

Councillor Cindy Elliott, who sat as a member of the joint working group, said she fully supported the recommendations.

“We worked extremely hard coming to a consensus and I’m very proud of the fact that I belong to a group that came to consensus on the report, and the recommendations in the report,” said Elliott. “I encourage the community, as they digest this report and continue the conversation out in the community, to hold the relationships between our communities as paramount importance.”

Councillor Rob Southcott said he was proud to be part of a community that will entertain a question like this. He said it brings up questions to do with identity.

“It then devolves on questions of what is colonization?” said Southcott. “How does that show up in our lives and our culture now?

“This is hard work, but I am confident in those who have done the work up to this point. I don’t think there is a greater work for a community. I’m deeply satisfied with the point we are at and the work we will carry on with.”

Councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said she was grateful for this work and for all the people who put in the work on the process.

“Impressed is a word that comes to mind when I look at the final report,” said Leishman. “The recommendations are so thoughtful and respectful. I look forward to the next steps and continuing this conversation.”

Councillor George Doubt said he had read through the report a couple of times and there’s a lot in it.

“There’s lots of work to do going forward and I think it’s going to take a while,” he added.

Emotional process

Councillor and committee chair Maggie Hathaway said the participants worked well together and very hard.

“We did come to a consensus and I’m happy with what we arrived at,” said Hathaway. “It was a very emotional process. As things came out to the public, I found that education piece really a positive thing. The big success of this process has been the education of people who didn’t know information.”

Hathaway said the process was divisive and she found that extremely upsetting.

She said an opinion poll wasn’t taken off the table; it was listed as a tool that could possibly be used at some later time.

“There’s lots of work to go but we’ve made some huge steps, particularly the educational portion,” added Hathaway. “I’m proud of the work we’ve done.”

The committee voted unanimously in favour of receiving the report.

Leishman asked if the recommendations in the report would be forwarded to council for consideration.

Corporate officer Chris Jackson said it should be a city council consideration to receive the report. He suggested forwarding it to the August 18 council meeting. The committee voted in favour of sending the report to city council.

Jackson said in addition to the document being available online, hard copies would be made available for the public if councillors voted in favour of the expenditure. The committee agreed with the expenditure.

The report can be found on the city's website.


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