LETTER: Chamber letter should be retracted

LETTER: Chamber letter should be retracted

I am shocked at this partisan action taken without consultation of the chamber’s members

Dear Editor:

British Columbians have the historic opportunity to decide how our future governments will be elected. We should embrace this and take a close look at past governments and how they represent, or not, the majority of B.C. voters.

David Hull, newly hired Executive Director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, has chosen to send a letter to Dan Ashton, claiming to represent the 750 businesses that are local chamber members, aligning with the B.C. Liberal platform and obstructing the referendum on Proportional Representation.

The chamber’s own bylaws include “1.4 The Chamber shall be non partisan, non sectarian and shall not lend its support to any candidate for public office.”

As a chamber member, I am shocked at this partisan action taken without consultation of the chamber’s members.

I expect our local chamber, with substantial funding from the District of Summerland, to market both Summerland and Summerland businesses.

I do not expect the chamber to take political action attempting to block our right to decide how future elections in B.C. are conducted.

In my conversation with David Hull I was told:

“We do represent the business community by our nature.”

“We’re a very political organization, that’s essentially our reason to exist”.

“We certainly can’t conduct our affairs by poll, just like city councils and provincial and federal governments can’t either”

“We’re trying to persuade the government, to delay the vote for six to seven months.”

Yet all levels of government are able to hold open houses, town meetings and referendums for key decisions.

The time for delaying the referendum is long past, the only potential effect this letter could have at this time is to convince some people to vote no on the referendum.

As a chamber member who attends most meetings, every AGM and reads every chamber email, I don’t see a technological or time issue with polling members, or at least asking for input, before taking an action that could affect all future provincial elections in B.C.

David Hull, representing the Summerland Chamber of Commerce, should retract this letter and seek input from members before taking further political action.

Darren Sweet

Summerland

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