Sunday, May 10, 2009

They all had something on their mind...

Friday was letters day at the Daily News, as a number of the politically aware locals weighed in with their opinions on the candidates and parties seeking our vote on Tuesday.

Among the full page of editorial comment were two letters from city councillors, who offered up their opinions on the campaign and the candidates. Some were in favour of the incumbent MLA to hold onto his job, while others found hope and value in the Liberal challenger for the position.

The weekend primer of political opinion was published on page four of the Friday paper, we offer up some of the more intriguing of offerings from that edition.

Two good candidates
Letter to the Editor
The Daily News
Friday, May 8, 2009
Page 4

To the Editor,

Well it's election time again. Unlike other election years I feel compelled to write this letter with respect to our North Coast riding. I find the election, ~is year, to be interesting because we have two friends, as candidates, seeking the MLA seat for the North Coast riding.

Our incumbent Gary Coons, who by the way, has done an excellent job of representing issues, with respect to Coastal First Nations and in particular with us, the people of Gitxaala.

Then we have Herb Pond, known more commonly as our past Mayor, who is attempting to represent the North Coast riding as a Liberal? The interesting part in this, is these two candidates have accumulated, as far as First Nations goes, a lot of similarities; both as our MLA and as our Mayor in the past.

Together these two complimented each other quite well, very powerful! To top that off, the two along with our MP Nathan Cullen and

Skeena MLA Robin Austin, it was quite amazing. However, now: the past Mayor is attempting, as a Liberal, to top that? IMPOSSIBLE! Why?

History has proven time and time again that this riding is best held by the "NDP" period! First Nations have always had a long time relationship with them. Gordon Campbell: and the Liberal party now say they want to have this "new relationship with First Nations"?

I say the relationship is not new, the relationship has always existed within the other parties concerned; it's just that Gordon Campbell now feels compelled to finally jump on board, not because he wants to, but because he has to.

Our Premier wants access to First Nations land and resources so he can transport raw resources to a container port and ship them out, unprocessed, to an overseas destination. Gordon Campbell does not want a new relationship with First Nations, he wants to manipulate it, and is attempting to do this with the few First Nation Liberal supporters he has.

Why would I say something as crude as that? Simple, we had a huge issue, dear to our hearts here in the North; we had a small group of our people wanting to set up something all the rest of us were dead set against. We lobbied Gordon Campbell, Micheal De Jong and Pat Bell. Not one of the three would meet with us, not one. However they shamefully flew to Rupert, and then to the village, to see and speak to the "few" that wore Liberal t-shirts during the last election.

Arrogantly flying right over us, so to speak, because our concerns clashed with what they ultimately wanted and hoped to attain.

Gordon Campbell is now attempting to use our ex Mayor and all that he has learned from us, to get what he needs from the North! If Herb is successful, Gordon will only allow him, what Gordon wants to allow for the North, and impede the rest.

Back benching and other shameful tactics come to mind as ways to ensure this. We have an incumbent that has diligently represented the North, our MLA Gary Coons. Gary has kept and will continue to keep, Gordon Campbell well aware that the North is not for sale.

Our land, our forest and our bountiful resources from the sea, will remain free from the harm, like that of dirty oil and oil tankers.

Together along with our incumbent, we will protect our Rivers, from its headwaters to its estuaries; selling our rivers is pure and utter non-sense, and will be stopped!

People, on Election Day it is truly time to start making a move to take back "our beautiful British Columbia" with the NDP by our side.

Conrad B. Lewis
First Nations descent

Concern for the Fishermen…
Letter to the Editor
The Daily News
Friday, May 8, 2009
Page 4

To the editor,

The DFO's 2009 proposed salmon fishing plan is a 33% cut from last year and a 40% cut from the harvest rates prior to 2003. Cuts of this magnitude are not scientifically substantiated. Even so, the American funded

Skeena Wild Conservation 'I'rust wants even larger reductions.

The DFO plans to allow a marine harvest of 20% of Skeena sockeye. The Enviro-bullies want us to catch only 15%.

The DFO predicts a return of 2.2 million of which they will allow Canadian fishermen to harvest only 400,000. Alaskans will catch 250,000. This leaves 1.6 million sockeye spawners - 500,000 too many. Of the excess sockeye, 365,000 will be caught in the Babine River and Lake; it is unlikely these fish will be processed in Prince Rupert.

Last year the Skeena steelhead run was twice the Ministry of Environment escapement target. Even so, the Provincial Government wants gillnets to further decrease their accidental steelhead bycatch mortality.

They are demanding that gillnet fishermen fish the whole season with half nets which will double fishermen's fuel costs at a time when their sockeye catches are almost halved.

It is the Provincial Liberals stated policy that they want as much steelhead up country as possible - in order to assist the tourist! sports fishing economies of Terrace, Smithers and Houston.

This Provincial Government dissolved the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food that looked after the interests of the coastal fishing sector.

And then the Federal and Provincial Governments want to know why north coast fishermen and shoreworkers are bankrupt!

Joy Thorkelson

Giving BC away…
Letter to the Editor
Prince Rupert Daily News
Friday, May 8, 2009
Page 4

To the editor,

Gordon Campbell, the arrogant autocrat, has been giving away BC' waterways to American corporations after taking care of environmental and consultation processes in the following manner: Bill 30 took away the right of local governments to zone for these projects.

Part of a resolution from the BC Union on Indian Chiefs reads "the Chiefs' council call for an moratorium on all private power facility development on rivers and streams until such time as there is an assurance for transparent consultation on any private power development agreement."

The only way a BC government Will Comply is if that government is not Liberal.

Environmental lawyer David Boyd states, "whereas BC once had Canada's strongest environmental assessment act, we now have its weakest".

Foreign fish farm companies have benefited from the Campbell government's generosity, and he from theirs _ in donations.

The Liberals have continued to issue permits, in spite of the undeniable threat of environmental catastrophe in the Broughton Archipelago and beyond. Liberal candidate, Herb Pond, is on record as being a supporter of setting up fish farms on the North Coast.

This election, I will vote for the candidate who will represent people, not corporations: Gary Coons, NDP.

Ian Dobson

Herb Ponds abilities…
Letter to the Editor
The Daily News
Friday, May 8, 2009
Page 4

To the Editor,

A Leader for Today. As a long time resident, I have had the opportunity to meet many of the committed leaders in our community, particularly during my time on City Council.

In the upcoming election, I fully support Herb Pond, the Liberal Candidate. This support is not blind support because of a party; it is thoughtful and determined support because I believe he will hugely benefit our community.

Herb Pond has the ability to build consensus.

Herb Pond has to ability to look beyond problems to find solutions.

Herb Pond thinks for himself.

Herb Pond has an approach which opens doors.

Herb Pond has an ability to discuss local opportunities and put our community positively on the map which is unequalled by anyone I have yet to meet.

Herb Pond has the determination and skills needed for the job. On May 12, put Herb Pond to work for Prince Rupert on a provincial level.

Sheila Gordon-Payne

Changing paces…
Letter to the Editor
The Daily News
Friday, May 8, 2009
Page four

To the editor,

This letter will come as a surprise to people who are familiar with my political position in the last provincial election.

I have, in the past, been a staunch supporter of the NDP party but I can no longer support anyone party as I feel that all have lost focus and direction. All are out of touch with the people of this province and this country.

So what am I left with?

My vote will go to the person that I feel is best qualified and most likely to represent me regardless of their party affiliation. In this election I feel that person is former mayor Herb Pond.

I believe that Herb did an outstanding job of pulling a council and a city together under absolutely disastrous circumstances.

Tough decisions were made when they had to be made. His representation of Prince Rupert provincially, nationally and internationally have gone a long way to improve the lot of Prince Rupert's citizens and business community.

Unlike most, Herb's focus is to a great extent on the future and not just the present. He is willing to work hard on long term goals and I believe that will serve us all well down the road.

Through knowing him for many years, I believe Herb Pond to be very knowledgeable and a man of integrity and transparency.

Herb Pond gets my vote.

Bill MacGregor

In response to wondering…
Letter to the EditorPrince Rupert Daily News
Friday, May 8, 2009
Page 4

To the editor,

In regards to Richard Wright's May 6th letter "Do you Wonder ... "

In his letter Mr Wright wondered if Prince Rupert and the Northwest would have received more support if we had not sent opposition MLA's and MP's to Victoria and Ottawa.

Mr Wright questions why our community hasn't moved forward faster and asks, "Could it be that we should not expect support from those we refuse to support in turn?"

Any party that would punish communities for electing opposition MLA's or MP's does not deserve the support of any Canadian.

Christina Nelson

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