On Monday city council was in the hot seat over the Community Energy System.
They made a decision to scrap the proposed Fifth Avenue and Scotia location, but kept the project alive
The problem facing city council is the same one the Prince George Native Friendship Centre and B.C. Housing over the Friendship Lodge project on Queensway: lack of information.
These government agencies could learn from the process they require private developers to follow on major projects.
If a private developer came before council and said; “We’ve already started the project, but here’s the overview. We’ll sort the details out later. Trust us,” it wouldn’t be acceptable. But this approach is exactly what they expect the citizens of Prince George to accept.
There is an appropriate order in which to do these things: create a general proposal; get public feedback; create a detailed proposal based on that feedback and whatever studies are necessary; go back for a second round on feedback to make sure you got it right; then approve it.
Engage people from the beginning and you’ll head off problems before they escalate
Nothing scares people more than uncertainty, so they knee-jerk react.
Now council has made a knee-jerk response to that reaction and ruled out a location before knowing if that is the best place for the plant or not.
It’s time for city administration to finish the studies on the plant, engage the public and have a well-informed public discussion on the issue.
On a lighter note, it appears the Conservative government is anxious to cancel tax incentives for movies which are “pornographic, excessively violent or denigrate a specific group of people.”
This controversy dates back to 1996, when a Canadian film sparked public criticism about taxpayer dollars funding pornography.
It was one of two Canadian films which drew a great deal of public attention that year.
One was about people who get a sexual thrill from car crashes. The other was a satirical feminist look at the pornography industry.
David Cronenberg’s film Crash was both “pornographic” and “excessively violent.”
It also won the Cannes Film Festival Jury Special Award and five Genie Awards.
Cynthia Robert’s Bubbles Galore was just a pornographic piece of junk.
But reading the plot synopsis of each film, I couldn’t have picked which one would become an iconic Canadian film and which would be relegated to playing on late-night TV to fill air time. And I don’t trust some bureaucrat in Ottawa to be able to, either.
Another film called Crash, released in 2004 at the Toronto Film Festival by Canadian writer/director Paul Haggis, was filled with racist remarks “denigrating a specific group of people.”
In fact, the film denigrated just about every group of people there is repeatedly.
It also won the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Screenplay and Best Editing in 2005.
Personally I’d rather see Canadian film makers continue to make edgy, challenging, thought-provoking movies than become a bland, PG-13 nation.
Bill C-10 gets two thumbs down.