Monday, March 23, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead, Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tougher security on the ferries, a suspension of Recognition and Reconciliation and the need for more participants in a trade show highlighted the Thursday paper.

TIGHTENING UP SECURITY AT BC FERRIES IN THE NORTH-- Change is coming to the Fairview Bay Ferry Terminal as BC Ferries makes plans to enhance the security of their vessels and terminals, all part of a new security protocol heading into the 2010 Olympic year. There will be in terminal controls between paid customers and those who have yet to pay to board the ferry as well an increased perimeter security area and a new Operations Security Centre to be set up in Victoria.

While security was the topic of the day, BC Ferries spokesperson Matthew Burns also provided some thoughts on the Queen of Prince Rupert's fate, (and while no confirmation was made of the rumours (now fact) of a delay in the retirement of the Queen of Prince Rupert) which he said would no longer be used by the Ferry Service owing to its age and the cost of re certification of the vessel.

Elsewhere in the Thursday edition was a review of the decision to suspend the proposed Recognition and Reconciliation Act. With Industry officials outlining their concerns over the nature of the Act and the way it was put together and First Nations showing displeasure over the lack of consultation with their people on what was ahead, it quickly became clear that no one was happy with the way the whole plan was being handled by the Provincial government.

It will most likely be a process that won't be heard from again until after May's provincial election, at which time one hopes a bit better job of consultation and organization might come along for the process.

Cancellation of the annual Prince Rupert Trade Fair looms large as the number of participating groups hasn't reached the level required to make the Fair go forward. the lack of support and interest so far has been blamed on the economic troubles to the east in Terrace and Prince George, with Northern View publisher Mike Slubowski quoted as saying that Rupert is doing well, but the out of town participant numbers are down significantly. The Trade Fair had already decided to change from its usual location, leaving the Civic Centre for the convention hall at Chances, but unless more participants sign on the dotted line and provide the 325 dollar booth fee by Friday March 27th, the April 3rd show will be cancelled.

Among other interesting items in the Thursday paper, a picture of the cattle call for applicants for the new Home Hardware operation at the Rupert Square mall, more pictures of cute kids across the community and the weekly update on Nascar racing for the one or two interested car enthusiasts that may wander through the sports section.

Total pages in Thursday's edition (16)

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