LETTER: Foreign countries are interfering with our civic process

The Chinese government is providing funding for British Columbia Municipal Association…

To the Editor,

The recent revelation that the Chinese government is providing funding for British Columbia Municipal Association meetings is truly disgraceful.

The most shocking thing about it is that those attending and those putting the event on have lost their moral and civic perspectives. Those who need to have values in our municipalities and our country don’t see anything wrong with it! “Who cares where the money’s coming from,” they imply. “Money’s money and more is more.”

Incredible is the word. How can a foreign country interfere with our civic process? Funding means getting something: access to our elected representatives, economic leverage on a local scale. If the BCAM takes money from China—a clear international bully in the South China Seas, a nation that holds our citizens and executes them if possible on political grounds and keeps a large ethnic population quasi prisoner in “reeducation camps”—then what does that say? The dollar is the almighty arbiter of municipal politics—we sell our values and our country out for some financial help?

I sure hope our Mayor Sharie Minions will boycott the event. It’s time for laws to be in place that prohibit other countries from interfering and influencing our way of life. Other nations should not fund our mayors’ lunches.

The British Columbia Association of Municipalities has allowed China to quietly influence our municipal representatives. How can one attend a meeting knowing its funded by China and not be influenced? How can one watch as municipal leaders from across the province attend this meeting, keeping their collective mouths shut on the very issues we stand against for a few dollars?

Is Port Alberni’s integrity up for grabs, too? Is our polite society, social values and our air and water for sale to the highest bidder? Food for thought….

Michael Wright,

Port Alberni

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