As James stepped out of her tour bus, the CN train, still painted with BC Rail insignia, blew its whistle three times.“That’s for Carole James,” said Biffy, waving at the train. “They don’t normally blow the whistle until they get to the crossing.”
Biffy said the sale of BC Rail by the Liberal government politicized this small town. Friends have been laid off and people fear there will be a further erosion of services, making the James visit all the more poignant. - Vancouver Sun, May 4, 2005
The Heartlands are coming out for James. Where ever she goes, she gets big crowds and hears people talk about "The Hurtlands". So many communities are reeling from the affects of the Campbell Liberal cuts. Some of these towns have lost the local forestry office, the hospital, conservation officers and welfare office. Schools are closing because people have had to leave town in search of work.
Closing the Forest Service (BCFS) office is more than simply saving a few dollars for the Campbell Government. Years ago when I worked for the BCFS in a small community called Likely (100km east of Williams Lake), we handled people's business and enquiries on just about anything to do with the government. People paid their fines, fees, used our phones to talk to other government departments in Williams Lake or Victoria, our equipment was used to help build the community park and ballfield. Not any more.
As a first aid attendent, I was expected to respond to local emergencies. We were part of the community. If you wanted a map, we printed one for you at no charge. We supplied wood for recreation sites, kept them clean, and told people where the good fishing was. Not any more.
We knew the people in our community, we were part of the community. The loss of BCFS offices, the layoffs of over 900 staff, most from small communities like Horsefly, Likely, Alexis Creek, Lillioett, Merritt, Williams Lake, Enderby and Nelson has hurt and in many cases ripped the heart out of the community.
It is no surprise Carole James would receive the honour of a salute from the train. People here respect those that respect them.