This morning Miramichi Mayor, Adam Lordon talked about the comments in Rick Gibbons opinion piece in the Ottawa Sun.
CBC NB Jonna Brewer had both Lordon and Gibbons on the air to discuss the payroll centre that has been criticized for being placed in Miramichi, N.B.
When asked what his reaction was on Gibbons article Lordon said
“There is two core issues that we have with the piece. One is the argument that putting the centre in Miramichi is part of the problem.
We’ve known for sometime that the problem is a software problem. The physical location of the centre and suggesting to move it back to Ottawa would really do nothing to fix a software issue.
The second is the subtext that seems to suggest that something complex does not belong in a community like Miramichi, Moosejaw, or rural Canada.”
Lordon then explained when people do suggest those type of comments about rural areas in Canada “of course we are going to have a problem with that”!
CBC host Jonna Brewer then asked Gibbons what motivated him to write the opinion piece. To which Gibbons explained it has become a huge issue in Ottawa and in his words.
“It’s become way beyond inconvenience when you have these types of problems eighteen months into the new system.
I needed to write it because I needed to say what those in charge maybe might not say, that it was a mistake to locate the new pay centre with so major responsibilities so far away from the expertise needed to make sure its success.”
Gibbons said he is not criticizing Miramichi or saying the people are less intelligent he just believes that there is no room for mistakes with the new pay centre. He said politics is to blame why its in Miramichi and why it will stay in the city.
Lordon didn’t deny the fact that politics did have a play as to why the pay centre was brought to Miramichi, but restated the location is not part of the problem.
“Mr.Gibbons feels like his home community would not be able to take on a task.
We feel like ours is capable, had the system been ready to be rolled out. We would have handled that as smoothly as its gone.”
Lordon then explained there has been a management issue how the system was rolled out and Ottawa has made decisions that made these outcomes not the citizens in Miramichi, N.B.
Gibbons suggested that Miramichi “lacks the resident expertise” and stated a fact that Radio Canada reported “if your pay is processed in Miramichi you are three times more likely to have problems”. He said that the expertise to ensure success has been lost.
When asked on if he could see how his opinion piece could have been perceived as a slight against Miramichi, his response was “why”.
Gibbons suggested that in Ottawa they probably have as many payroll experts as the entire population of Miramichi.
Lordon responded with that fact that now that we live in a digital age, the software issue can be fixed across Canada without moving the centre out of Miramichi as its a software issue.
“The framing suggests that the only solution is to remove it from the community, of course we are going to have a issue with that!”
Gibbons became defensive as he restated that he is not attacking the people of Miramichi and suggested that members of the community perhaps are taking comfort in that.
Then concluded to asked Lordon if he ever missed a paycheque.
To listen to the full discussion between Miramichi Mayor Adam Lordon, and Former Ottawa Sun publisher Rick Gibbons CLICK HERE