It’s my oldest daughter’s, Hayley, 30th birthday today. I thought I would like to pass on a few words without more delay. The paper in this town seems to view my prose with a frown. But, nonetheless, I will push on ahead because my neighbours I have something to say.
I have definite feelings about the way this beautiful, rugged, safe city of ours is managed.
I came to Kamloops during the demise of Canada’s trucking industry as we knew it, it began to end in 2000, to help a close friend try to keep the wheels turning on his 32 trucks, based here, and grown here. 32 trucks, 32 jobs as drivers, four jobs as heavy duty mechanics, one job as salesman, four jobs to handle all the administration needed in a small company in Canada to manage itself, as required by our government. The demise was due to insurance rates increases, fuel price increases, lower value of the U.S. dollar, and reduced tax relief for Canadian owned trucking companies.
We managed to save the small, locally owned and managed family business. It became two trucks, just family and all these highly experienced drivers became taxi drivers, construction workers and earning a lot less. This had everything to do with our government and immigration laws. Our jobs went to immigrants!
Now, that being said, tourism in our city is huge in the summer. We have a small, beautiful city where the train stops every day to bring in tourists from lands far away that spend money downtown. This is where it (money) is needed most.
Imagine yourself, the train pulls into the beautiful station showing you the heritage of our beautiful city. You and your wife, children have a stopover. The Plaza is disappointing as usual. You can’t get a burger via room service, incredible!
It also takes 25 minutes to check in with gawking at you while leaning all over the reception desk, maintenance, cooks, bar employees, all are watching you check in.
Next you decide to take your family for a walk down the quaint looking Victoria Street, which is packed with important landmarks and history, when a dirty young man steps from the shadows asking for money. Yours, your hard earned money. And what’s worse, you look up and down Victoria Street, Kamloops most historical street, and you feel intimidated because there are 12 more panhandlers, with their dogs waiting for you and your family. What to do?
You, wanting to protect your family decide to go back to the most historical hotel in the city and you must put up with no customer service whatsoever.
You have a memory of a dirty, dangerous, little town, somewhere in B.C.
Not the Kamloops we like to think we are, because people, we are not who we say we are.
Editor, I dare you to print the truth.