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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 6, May/June 2004

Campbell visits Gold River

by Nicole Veerman

British Columbia’s Premier, Gordon Campbell, visited Gold River, March 25, 2004, on his "50-town tour." He told me that he organized this tour because when he had visited all these communities before the election he "noticed everyone had dreams about what they want to do. Everyone had a project for the future, something they were excited about, something they were pursuing."

Campbell said that he wanted British Columbians to come back into that frame of mind. While stating all of this, he also talked of two types of communities that he has seen in the province: ones that "wish the world was the way it used to be" and ones that say "we are going to make the world the way we want it." Gold River, he said, is one of those ones that is going to make the world the way they want it. Although this was all nice to hear, Campbell used these compliments to avoid my questions.

A mistake that I managed to make was telling Campbell that I plan on attending Okanagan University College, in Kelowna. After that, there was no way of getting around talking about the improvements being made at the KLO campus. When I commented on the increasing tuition fees and asked how he planned to change them, he said "We reduced tuition fees by 5% when we were first elected." Fees, however, have drastically increased in the last few years.

As our interview carried on, I asked how he planned to make more jobs for B.C. young adults. Instead of answering my question directly he spoke to me about Spirit of 2010, which he said isn’t only about the Olympics but about "being the best that you can be." He continued by telling me about Picture BC, a project that helps the people of B.C. concentrate on the good things about our province. "This is my goal. Eventually you will watch a television thing from all of B.C., and you’ll see Gold River, or you’ll see a place in this part of the world that you immediately identify with, and you say "they get it!"

As I listened to Campbell’s projects I automatically thought, "What a waste of money." Shouldn’t this money be going to the things that are suffering in British Columbia, for instance healthcare and education? By the end of the interview, I felt as though none of my questions had been answered in full detail, if at all; and I was convinced that Gordon Campbell was the best politician I will ever come to meet.

Nicole Veerman, a Grade 12 student, wrote this piece for The Gold River Record, as part of her journalism course.

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