Council turns down support letter request

And will develop policy for the future

The District of Houston council has turned down a request from a local businessperson seeking help in obtaining work approval status for a non-citizen.

In a letter to council, Harpal Sahota of the Houston Motor Inn said he can’t find the workers he needs and that the individual he wants to hire is well-suited to the establishment’s functioning.

“We have hired so many people in and out of town but they do not want to work full time. The workers currently with us don’t want to work on weekends,” Sahota wrote.

“I fully support her in regularizing her immigration status and [to] get the work permit,” he added.

“She is a very honest, responsible dedicated worker.”

Council members did consider Sahota’s request at a May 14 special council meeting but in a 4-3 vote, turned it down.

Mayor Shane Brienen and councillors Tom Euverman and Tom Stringfellow were in favour but councillors Lisa Makuk, Tim Anderson, Jonathan Van Barneveld and Troy Reitsma were opposed.

Council did, however, agree to have District staff refine a policy regarding letters of support for applications regarding personal matters.

“Council had indicated that although they could individually support applications such as this, in their capacity as Council members, it was not the place of the District Council to issue such letters of reference, particularly given the varying individual circumstances of choosing to provide or not to provide a letter of reference,” explained District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.

“This reflects the practice of senior levels of government, in which individual elected officials provide letters of reference as opposed to groups of elected officials.”

“Going forward, requests for letters of reference will be referred to individual members of Council as opposed to Council as a whole. The revised correspondence policy will say as such,” said Pinchbeck.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

Salmon closures announced for Skeena and Nass watersheds

DFO notice expands on May 21 chinook ban throughout Skeena watershed

New traffic lanes for Six Mile west of Burns Lake coming soon

Construction to begin on lane extension and traffic improvement

Chamber names new board for 2020

And emphasizes that Houston is open for business

Houston to host high speed electric vehicle charging station

It will be installed and paid for by BC Hydro

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach urges feds to compensate airline passengers

Letter to transport minister touches on Northwest B.C. tourism operators impacted by COVID-19

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read