I am a little concerned with some of the tone in the letter by Dawn Ward about Patti MacAhonic having to resign as executive director of the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce so that she could run as the NDP candidate in the upcoming provincial election. I understand her concerns with the situation, but Ward stated that the "only reaction I can imagine is shop out of town -take away Chamber support."
On a dollar value and number of employees working for the members, the Chamber does have the majority support of the business community. I know a few chamber members, and some of those are only members because of the business connections or opportunities they can develop. It does not necessarily reflect an active support.
If you look at the actual numbers of all businesses, both big and small, you will likely find a very large number, if not a majority of local business, aren't even members; mainly because the Chamber does not really provide any value to us smaller operations.
We are hardworking people trying to provide a service in the community and should not be lumped in with the Chamber when there is talk of retaliatory action. Also, there are a lot of people in this community that work for businesses owned by Chamber members and those employees should not be punished.
This action by the Chamber when it comes to MacA-honic shows just how out of step the local Chamber of Commerce is with what is going on in B.C. I have to question if the same thing would have happened if she had run for the Liberals.
In the past the parties on the right of the political spectrum have claimed that the NDP doesn't understand business. Adrian Dix has said he is willing to listen, and owners of big business are not only sitting down and talking to him, they are attending fund raising events and contributing money to the party in amounts never seen before. They can see the writing on the wall and they know it is better to make friends with the NDP if they want to be heard after the next election.
The Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce blew it here.
They had a chance to place themselves in a win-win situation no matter which party won locally. All they had to do was issue a release stating that while they don't support the NDP they do support the electoral process and would give her the needed leave of absence. No matter which party won the riding, the Chamber would have had someone that would listen to them. MacA-honic must understand business, since these people hired her and if she won she could give a business perspective to the premier.
Polls have shown that the majority of women support the NDP and they are not going to be happy with this situation and neither will be some people who believe in fair play. It is going to be a very tight race in both Chilliwack ridings and this just might be enough to get not only MacAhonic elected, but also let Gwen O'Mahony get re-elected.
It was the women's vote that cost the Republicans the Presidential election.
We grumpy old white guys are in the minority now, and some of us are going to have to start doing things differently in the future if we want our voices heard.