Monday, March 02, 2009
Is the North Coast ready to rumble?
And in this corner, entering the political ring from the left side of equation, the Pride of School District 52, your MLA for the North Coast, bain of existence for BC Ferries President David Hahn the undisputed champion of the last BC Election, wearing the Orange trunks with the subtle green trim, Battlin' Gary Coons... Coons... Coons
His opponent in this heavyweight championship bout, coming through the ropes from the right side of our arena, hailing from the hardscrabble foundry of Prince Rupert civic politics, battle tested in numerous preliminary matches on Prince Rupert city council, the challenger, wearing the Red, White and Blue trunks, Hammerin' Herb Pond.... Pond... Pond..
The most anticipated political showdown in recent North Coast history is officially underway as the North Coast NDP formally announced what had always been expected, that Gary Coons will carry the NDP flag in the May provincial election.
Mr. Coons was acclaimed to the nomination over the weekend as no challengers submitted their names for consideration, allowing the incumbent to commence his campaign for re-election firmly selected as the choice for North Coast NDP members.
The Coons / Pond showdown should provide for a very clear definition as to what each candidate will seek to achieve for the riding, providing two very diverse views on local issues and of course coming into the election campaign from two different sides of the political spectrum.
It will be of interest to local observers if Mr. Pond can translate his popularity from his recent stint as Mayor of Prince Rupert into provincial success, considered a favourite by Liberal Premier Gordon Campbell, that close affiliation could offer some backlash locally from uncommitted voters in the centre of the political spectrum.
For Mr. Coons, it will be his record of advocacy for the North Coast that will be put to the test, his background in education will be of assistance to the campaign, as will his past duties as Ferries critic for the NDP, tackling the many thorny issues that the BC Ferry Service seems to offer up to coastal communities. Likewise his work on the fish farm file over the last few years has provided him with a strong core group of supporters who no doubt will be working hard to get the vote out on Election Day.
Local residents will have their first opportunity to see the two main candidates in a head to head discussion on April 29th, when the Chamber of Commerce hosts an all candidates forum at the Lester Centre.
The night should provide for some interesting debate, hopefully a thorough examination of the issues of importance to the riding and a more focused review of what these two candidates will be offering to the voters on Election Day.