Upper Clearwater residents should not be forced to support hall

No good can come of sustaining the existing tensions through forced taxation

Editor, the Times:

Re: “Let’s set the record straight for Upper Clearwater,” March 3 issue.

This is in response to last week’s letter by Andrew Nelson, president of the Upper Clearwater Farmers Institute (UCFI), concerning what used to be called the Upper Clearwater Community Hall.

In his letter, Mr. Nelson makes several assertions likely to raise an eyebrow for valley residents with a different view of the situation. But rather than engage in rebuttal, I’d like to briefly make two points pertaining to the Upper Clearwater community at large.

First, it seems important to acknowledge that the tensions now dividing our community are at least partly rooted in a vague but pervading sense of fear that, rightly or wrongly, has lately become associated with the UCFI. There may be any number of reasons why many valley residents have stepped away from the UCFI, but certainly this is one of them. Those who happen not to feel this way would do well to accept that some of us do. I submit that our community is unlikely to heal until we’ve put this matter behind us.

And second, I feel that the interests of our community would best be served by eliminating the TNRD’s Upper Clearwater community hall grant-in-aid service to the UCFI. I take this position not because I wish the UCFI to fail. On the contrary, I earnestly want the UCFI to succeed – if only because this also seems necessary if we’re to rebuild our community.

I believe that valley residents should support the UCFI because they want to, not because they’re forced to. No good can come of sustaining the existing tensions through forced taxation. On the other hand, it seems entirely possible that fiscal need may sooner or later persuade the UCFI to put aside its differences with the rest of us and begin working inclusively for the wellbeing of our community as a whole.

I for one would gladly donate out of pocket to support such a group. No doubt many others would do likewise.

Trevor Goward

Upper Clearwater, B.C.



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