Letter: Kamloops Chamber of Commerce should have kept Perks as executive director


Re: (‘Chamber rescinds hiring of executive director,’ March 27):

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I disagree with the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce’s decision to pull back its offer of employment to John Perks based on posts he shared on his personal Facebook page.

The Chamber seemed to already be aware of the Facebook posts in question when it made the decision to hire Perks. Now, simply because some of his Facebook posts were noticed by some members of the public, the Chamber has decided to rescind its job offer.

There was nothing criminal in the posts on his page and it seems like the posts in question weren’t even his own words, but memes he had shared.

I’m sure many of us have shared memes at times that didn’t accurately reflect our views on a given topic or were maybe a bit off-colour.

That is the point of memes — to get a reaction.

But that is beside the point.

Regardless of whether the memes accurately reflect Perks’ views, it should not be a requirement for his position in the Chamber that he have a certain set of beliefs.

I do not see how any of the Facebook posts Perks shared should exclude him from the position of executive director.

His beliefs on those particular matters say nothing about his ability to do the job for which he was hired and for which the Chamber obviously thought he was a very highly qualified candidate.

KTW editor Christopher Foulds wrote the following in his column on this subject (‘A job without Perks,’ March 27): “This is about a person hired to lead a business organization that represents a rainbow of beliefs, a person expected to liaise with a wide range of people with an equally wide range of beliefs.”

I agree completely with that statement. There are a wide range of beliefs within our country.

Perks should not be excluded from this position simply because he has a belief that is not popular on Facebook right now or that does not agree with the current Liberal government’s position.

This is an example of intolerance in a culture that prides itself on being tolerant.

Jill Enns

© Kamloops This Week


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