I attended the public hearing at the golf course in Hope on April 14th. I agree with majority of the Hope residents that Hope should remain aligned with Chilliwack and the rest of the Fraser Valley.
I did not speak at the hearing as I reside in Chilliwack and frankly did not feel I had the right to speak to the future of Hope residents, but after what I saw take place I think I have just as much right speak for leaving things as they are as those that spoke to move Hope to Fraser Nicola.
I sat and listened to nine people support your proposal to move Hope out of Chilliwack-Hope and into Fraser-Nicola. Ten opposed your proposal.
I could not help but notice that of those nine presenters, six were not even from Hope, they were from Dogwood Valley, Boston Bar and Yale. Four of the nine were two couples and one presenter, Mr. Lali was in fact from Merritt.
I recall quite clearly the clamor of one presenter, Marge Houghton, who banged her way up the stairs with her walker and the whole time she was entering the room, Mrs. Houghton was heard stating repeatedly she was there for Harry Lali.
I guess I can see how people, while not from Hope but in the riding, might have some say in the affairs of the riding but surely Mr. Lali should have no standing in the affairs of the residents of Hope. Clearly Mr. Lali is on a purely selfish mission to gerrymander the riding to improve his odds in another run as MLA in 2017. In fact I recall seeing Mr. Lali [of Merritt] make a similar presentation to the Commission in Abbotsford during the first round of hearings. Yes a man from Merritt drove to Abbotsford to suggest Hope would be better off if moved into Fraser-Nicola.
As I stated, I reside in the Chilliwack portion of the riding and understand it if my comments might be less effective than those who actually reside in Hope but I implore the commission not to juggle lines around and potentially change the prospects of a community because of what appears to be a vocal few from outside of Hope or the dreams of a failed politician. Leave Princeton in Fraser-Nicola and leave Hope in Chilliwack-Hope.