Thursday, March 05, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The examination of the homelessness issue in Prince Rupert starts with a film session and a bit of conversation, those airport ambassadors make a mean cup of coffee and the annual hockey match between fire fighters and police officers gets a review in the Wednesday edition.

A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION, TALKING ABOUT THE HOMELESS-- David Chudnovsky, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Kensington was in Prince Rupert on Monday night hosting a film session of "The Way Home", which explores the issue of homelessness in British Columbia. In the front page, headline article Chudnovsky outlined what he believes is the best solution for the problem, that of providing affordable housing for all British Columbians. (Not mentioned in the article but found during a google search is a blog that he hosts which examines the issue of homelessness)

His findings have outlined how the problems are different in the north than they are in the larger urban areas of the south, in northern areas he believes the homelessness situation is more hidden, where the main way of dealing with the situation is through couch surfing, where the homeless spend a few nights in one place before moving on to someone else's home to stay for a few days before moving on, with the cycle repeating through the winter.

The article interviewed former street worker Myles Moreau, who found his position eliminated due to funding constraints last year, Moreau is still more than aware of the problems of the homeless and he continues to be an advocate for the homeless in the city. In an interesting reference he outlined the how the owner of the Inlander hotel was never held accountable for the condition of the building, even as the desperate in the community used it as their refuge of last resort. In a eerie sense of timing, The Inlander was destroyed in a fire that same Wednesday night.

The article suggests that by talking about the issue we're making progress, which may be true, but results have been slow to come and the situation seems to be more dire now than it was even one month ago.

The second story on the assignment list was a front page look at the new pilot program at the Prince Rupert Airport, where local ambassadors cross the harbour daily to greet passengers, serve complimentary coffee and explain the unique nature of transportation to and from the airport.

The project is co-venture between Tourism Prince Rupert and the Hecate Strait Employment Society, which as part of the funding from Mature Workers program provides the two ambassadors with a ten dollar an hour pay rate for their meet and greet duties.

Terrace's bid to become the next Hockeyville received what appears to be a wire service review on page five.

Finally, the annual hockey game between the Fire Department and the RCMP detachment was reviewed in the sports section, as the revenge minded Fire fighters took out their frustrations from last years loss with a hard earned victory. For sports action fans, the final result was 7-3 for the guys in red.

Total pages for Wednesday's paper (16)

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