Tuesday, February 28, 2017

YES Side Leaves Chamber In A Pickle

Chickens-out at the last minute

Tali Campbell of the YES committee has left the Chamber of Commerce looking a little bit silly by bailing out of tonight's debate on the Event Centre Referendum.

In a press release Campbell cites safety concerns and suggests the Chamber might not be giving the YES side a level playing field.

What is just as likely is the fact that Mr. Campbell and the YES committee are not fully prepared to present a defensible argument for their case.

I have suggested on Facebook that city councillor Jerry Hong might be a good candidate to take up the YES cause as he clearly supports that side of the debate. In fact, Hong should be one of the best suited to defend the YES case given his support of the $100 million project and all of the information he has been privy to by virtue of his position as city councillor.

If anyone should be able to present a cogent argument supporting the Events Centre Councillor Hong should be well equipped.


In spite of a last minute announcement by the individuals representing the “YES” side of the referendum question that they were pulling out of this evenings “Independent Forum & Debate”, the event will continue as a ‘Public Forum'. Up until yesterday afternoon we continued to communicate with the YES group providing details and an agenda for the evening. We have worked with both groups to ensure they were comfortable with the format. The announcement by the YES group at noon today came as a total surprise.

There isn't time to cancel the event without inconveniencing the community, so the Chamber will go ahead and present the event as an ‘Independent Forum'. We will make attempts to place other individuals who support the YES argument to come and speak. The NO side intends to be there since they’v been planning to attend for the past two weeks.

We apologize for this unfortunate turn of events that we have had no control over.

Kim Smythe
CEO Chamber of Commerce



  1. Frankly I question why the Chamber is getting involved in politics at all.

    This is not the first time the Chamber has found themselves in a pickle over politics.

    Remember the failure of the Ratepayers Assoc and the fracturing caused by the Chamber trying to run a slate of candidates?

    Remember Mr Smythe calling Council dysfunctional? I personally recall Mr Smythe taking pot shots at city hall during he changes of some upper management, worrying about the staff turnover of seven people (1%) until I reminded him the chamber under his tutelage has seen in excess of 100%

    The Chamber is suppose to be a proponent/advocate for its members, but are they overstepping?

  2. I understand the Chamber was providing an open forum for both sides to present their best case for or against the events centre. Don't see how that can be considered interfering in politics. It seems like a legitimate public service helping the public make an informed decision come March 11, when they will be making a $100 million decision. Can't understand how this can be considered presenting a Chamber opinion.


Your comment will appear after moderation before publishing,

Thank you for your comments.Any comment that could be considered slanderous or includes unacceptable language will be removed.

Thank you for participating and making your opinions known.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.