Sunday, November 09, 2008

CityWest, from one neighbour to another

The CityWest advertising campaign continued in the Daily News this week, as the city owned Telecommunications Company provides more information on its advantages to the people of Prince Rupert.

In the last week of October, CityWest recounted some of their history in the community, how the company grew and stressed the CityWest advantage for Prince Rupert.

This week’s edition of these neighbourly discussion points focuses on the financial impact that the phone and cable provider has on the local economy, outlining their employment base of local residents who help build that corporate legacy. The update was an advertisement on page five of the Wednesday paper.

Neighbours serving neighbours

CityWest has been serving Prince Rupert for almost 100 years. The original vision to build a locally-owned telephone system has now evolved into a fully integrated multi-media provider. The legacy of CityWest continues to benefit the community today.

CityWest employs 66 people, 51 of whom are based in Prince Rupert. As we continue to grow so will our staffing requirements. As a customer, when you support CityWest you are also supporting local employment in Prince Rupert.

We would like to thank all of our customers for supporting CityWest through the years and we look forward to serving you in the future.

The current information campaign has coincided with the run up to the municipal election, perhaps as a way to get ahead of any discussion on the city owned organization, which is a frequent topic of conversation around town.

So far the fate of CityWest or even a discussion of it by our political candidates hasn’t appeared to be of high importance; only Councillor Tony Briglio has spoken of it thus far, responding to a forum question on Wednesday night at the Lester Centre.

Mr. Briglio’s interpretation of the topic is that CityWest is not for sale, as reported by the Northern View in their post on line regarding the candidate’s forum of Wednesday.

“He stated emphatically that it was not for sale because it reduced the recent tax increase and creates jobs for residents.”

And while we understand that is clearly Mr. Briglio’s opinion and where he stands on CityWest, we wonder what the other candidates for Council might think of that particular talking point. That item has highlighted one of the drawbacks to the current set up of the forum sessions, the inability to get a clear picture on how all the candidates feel about key issues.

CityWest should be one of the points of discussion in this campaign, it is one of the key parts of the City’s financial agenda, is still paying off debt on the recent Monarch Cable purchase and has been hit and miss with dividends over the last few years. More importantly as the city continues to struggle with its financial picture, it is the one asset that they have that perhaps could be used to relieve the financial burden that the city operates under.

It would be interesting to see what the residents of Prince Rupert think about the state of their communications company today and where they see it tomorrow.
Just as important would be to know where the current candidates stand on the subject of CityWest and a few other key issues that should be on the agenda.

Perhaps those items will be addressed in Sunday’s forum at Chances Gaming Centre, or maybe the local media outlets will put together a questionnaire for the local candidates on the top issues around town, giving us a form of scorecard to guide us on Election Day.

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