Thursday, July 03, 2008

Gary Coons to once again seek nomination for NDP in North Coast riding

Perhaps Nathan Cullen’s heart skipped a beat with a Daily News story in Monday’s paper, as they suggested that a new face may soon be seeking his place on the federal scene.

The Daily made a slight error in identification on Monday, as they reported that Gary Coons, would be seeking to run again in the next federal election

Coons of course, is the provincial NDP MLA for the North Coast and apparently plans to try and remain so, as he seeks out the nomination for the provincial NDP in the North coast riding, leaving the federal scene to the Smithers’ based Cullen.

While they had the level of government wrong, the Daily did have more details in the Monday paper, on Coons’ plans as he works to continue his representation of the North coast in Victoria.
Perhaps a refresher course for the Daily News, regarding the separation of federal and provincial politics might be a handy way to launch his campaign for re-election…

MLA throws hat back in ring
The Daily News
Monday, June 30, 2008
Pages one and five

North Coast MLA Gary Coons said he will be seeking the nomination from the local NDP Constituency Association to run again in the next federal election.

"Yes, I'll be putting my name forward ... and I'll be letting the membership decide if they want me to represent them for another four years," said Coons.

On Thursday, the North Coast NDP held its founding meeting for the election of officers. All political constituency associations have to go through the process because of the change to the electoral boundaries for the 2009 provincial elections.

"I'm sure we will look at a nomination period for the North Coast riding and I will be putting my name in for that nomination," said Coons.

Coons has already indicated his interest to NDP Leader Carole James.

"I said I was interested and there are lots of issues out there and I hope to be a voice for the constituents of the North Coast," he said.

“There are lots of issues looking at the future of the North Coast region, as far as port development and balancing that the with the environmental concerns, coal bed methane, the Independent Power Projects that the Skeena Science Panel had concerns about, the effects of mining. It’s vital that the resources on the North Coast are properly put to use.” This includes a continued focus on sustainable aquaculture, like shellfish, and good use of forestry and fishery resources.

The new North Coast riding no longer includes Stewart and the Nass Valley, as these areas have been included in the same electoral district as Terrace, the new Skeena – Stikine riding. However, the North Coast riding has been extended further south along the coast to include all of the Central Coast Regional District, essentially stretching the North Coast riding to cover half of coastal B. C.

Alice Arm and Kitsault have also been moved into the same riding as Terrace, given their connection to the city via road.

With the new boundaries in place across the province, NDP leader Carole James launched her 2009 election campaign in Kelowna this month.

James said the initial stage of the campaign will focus on traditional NDP issues: health care, forestry and affordability for average families, specifically a campaign against the carbon tax on fuel.

James also pledged to restrict raw log exports and provide assistance to forestry-based communities in crisis.

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