Tuesday, September 16, 2008

No one said that participatory democracy was going to be easy!

Perhaps they might want to change the vision statement of Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District from "Serving the North coast"... to ... "Self serve on the North coast".

Residents outside of the city of Prince Rupert who may wish to seek higher office in upcoming SQCRD elections will either have to come to Rupert to pick up their nomination papers, or hope that the mail service between Rupert and points outlying is up to the challenge of democracy.

In what will most likely once again raise suspicions about the balance and accommodation between Rupert and its member communities, those seeking out the nomination papers can apparently bid to represent the Charlotte's they just can't pick up their papers there.

The reason it seems is that the nomination package runs between 20 and 30 pages and is not faxable, which leads to the question of why one copy hasn't just been sent over to the Charlotte's, where we assume there are photo copy machines. It would seem that having the original copy used as the template for notarized copies for those seeking office, would be an acceptable solution to the problem one would think.

Sometimes perhaps, we seem to make the bureaucracy just a little too hard to overcome...

The Queen Charlotte Islands Observer had the details on the challenges ahead for those that feel the call of democracy.

Regional District nomination papers available only in Rupert
Queen Charlotte Islands Observer
September 15, 2008

Nomination papers for people interesting in running for election to the regional district are only available in Prince Rupert at the moment, says administrator John Holland.Mr. Holland said he might be able to distribute nomination papers through the municipal offices here on the islands, but it's not clear whether this will be possible. The best way for potential candidates from the islands to get the papers is to call the regional district office at 624-2002 and ask to have them mailed.

At 20 to 30 pages long, the nomination package is not faxable, he said.Islanders can request nomination papers anytime between now and Oct. 10, he said. The completed papers must be submitted to the regional district office between Sept. 30 and Oct. 10.
Elections, if required, will be held Nov. 15.

There are two seats on the islands up for election: Area D (rural Graham Island including Old Massett, Tow Hill Road, Nadu Road, Tlell, Lawnhill, Miller Creek, and Skidegate) and Area E (all of Moresby Island).

You do not have to be a resident of the area in order to run for election, but you do have to be a Canadian citizen, at least 18 years old, and have lived in BC for the past six months.The three municipalities on the islands and the Haida Gwaii school board will also hold elections Nov. 15. The nomination deadline for these positions is Oct. 10, the same as the regional district.

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