City of Powell River Council will send a letter to Tla’amin Nation outlining a spirit of cooperation.
At the February 28 committee of the whole meeting, councillor Trina Isakson, chair of the committee, said she was new to city council and didn’t have a history of the working relationship between the city and Tla’amin’s executive council.
“I know the C3 exists, the C3 being a meeting of Tla’amin Nation, the City of Powell River and qathet Regional District elected members,” said Isakson. “We have a governance relationship with the regional district but we don’t have that existing governance relationship beyond C3 with Tla’amin Nation. I know we are in a time of how C3 will be run in the future. It’s currently being explored and we are expecting staff to get back with updates.
“In lieu of having a meeting, given I believe success and progress happens through relationships, we will find a way forward, but in the meantime, my intention was to have this council send a letter affirming the importance of our working relationship and the community accord and protocol agreement.”
Isakson said the intention was to thank the nation for its patience, and to share a letter from council to state the items she had just shared.
Isakson’s motion was a request for consideration that a letter from all members of council, under the mayor’s signature, be sent to Tla’amin affirming the importance of the relationship, support of the community accord and protocol agreement, expressing appreciation of the nation’s patience during this time of leadership transition, and looking forward to coming together for a meeting.
Councillor Jim Palm said when he saw the wording of the motion, he was a little concerned, because in previous meetings, staff had been asked to come back with a report regarding C3 meetings, and council was still waiting for that report. He said the motion is a little premature until council gets the lay of the land on meetings.
“I don’t mind sending a letter to our friends and community partners, which we have worked with for a great number of years, and done many great things,” said Palm. “It’s just that we need to word it with perhaps the mayor putting pen to paper on behalf of mayor and council.
“We could send a letter saying the partnership is strong, we’re working through issues, and one of the issues is open dialogue and public open meetings with regard to free speech, and we’ll have more information shortly on that.”
Councillor Cindy Elliott said she appreciated Isakson bringing the matter forward.
“I know that hegus John Hackett wrote us a letter not too long ago asking about our status with respect to answering a number of outstanding issues, including the recommendations made from the joint working group [on the possible name change for the city], which we still have not had a chance to discuss at our strategic planning,” said Elliott. “Because we are working through the way we want to respond on a number of fronts, confirming writing a letter that indicates we are still committed to the community accord and all of the relationship building our city has done in the past is a good idea, because we’re asking for patience, while we are working through our approach to those things.”
Councillor George Doubt said historically, the fact C3 exists is groundbreaking and puts the city ahead of many other municipalities, getting together several times a year, to talk about common issues.
“We need to reassert that we want to do that and we find a strength and a benefit in doing that,” said Doubt. “Sending a letter is a good thing and a show of connectedness. That will give the Tla’amin Nation an opportunity to respond with any concerns they have.”
The committee unanimously carried the motion for a letter.