Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Port of Prince Rupert's Container Port is not even operational yet and already a suggestion to block the rails and the roads!

Somehow we think this is more of a case of frustration, political alienation and rhetorical flourish, but from Vanderhoof comes a call that frustrated Northerners may wish to show their displeasure at their provincial politicians by staging a protest or two.

With the recent musings of reducing the electoral riding's of the North by one, the folks at the Vanderhoof based Omineca Express have come up with a few plans of action for the folks in the interior to take in order to get their message against exclusion out to the politicians.

One recommendation from their opinion page, that will catch the eye of local port officials and CN is the idea of a blockade, as the paper's website offers up the following idea in participatory debate:

"One suggestion would be to block the shipments coming from the new port in Prince Rupert by rail and road. That might get the company bosses in Vancouver going to Premier Campbell and “suggesting” the commission try again."

That idea we suspect will most likely not be the path they will take, and one that we're sure will come with a very negative backlash once it becomes common knowledge.
Holding the region's economy hostage seems like a strange way to make a political point and a rather irresponsible idea from the paper, which surely could offer up a more constructive and less disruptive plan of attack for better representation.
It is interesting however to note that the port and its rail and road links to the east, may soon become the most reliable and most often utilized bargaining chip along the Northwest corridor...

It's certainly not something that CN, the Port or its partners will like to see become a common occurrence, nor something that they'll be anxious to have shared with their customers on both sides of the Pacific ocean.

Elections by the numbers
Omineca Express
'Aug 28 2007

Next week, the Electoral Boundaries Commission begins a series of province-wide public meetings to hear what people think of their recent report on where the new boundaries should be.

You’ve got to give the commission credit: They’re coming right into the lion’s den to start. Their first two meetings are in Prince George next Wednesday and Burns Lake next Thursday, and the North seems to be the region making the most noise about the report.

To sum it up: Part of the commission’s mandate was to set new boundaries as needed without taking representation away from the North. So what do we find in the report? A proposal to increase the number of MLAs by two and take one away from the North at the same time.
That’s about as far away from the mandate as you can possibly get. It may be time for people up here to take a real stand.

One suggestion would be to block the shipments coming from the new port in Prince Rupert by rail and road. That might get the company bosses in Vancouver going to Premier Campbell and “suggesting” the commission try again.

Another idea would be to look at other areas of the province and see what can be done there using the commission’s own logic.

Our eye is immediately drawn to Vancouver. Some math shows the five proposed ridings of West End, False Creek, Fairview, Mt. Pleasant and Point Grey could be condensed to four and still keep each riding inside the limits allowed for a riding.

Of course, there may be a few complaints about the MLAs in those ridings having too many constituents to serve, but at least all their constituents would be fairly close to the MLA.

Compare that to some of the Northern ridings, where the MLA would spend more time getting to see all his constituents than he would representing them in Victoria.

We also find it interesting the commission decided to create a riding inside another one. The proposed Prince George riding would be completely surrounded by the Fraser-Fort George one.
We’re sure that same thinking could be used in Vancouver to eliminate at least one MLA from down there.

Just some things for the commission to consider, maybe, when they rethink the whole stinking mess.

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