Friday, July 17, 2009

Podunk Below the Masthead Thursday, July 16, 2009

The provincial Chamber of Commerce lends its support to the local Chamber in a bid to enhance ferry services along the coast, Port Ed gives a go ahead for development of its water line replacement project, Gary Coons has a few questions over the BC Rail situation and the Daily hits the lounge at the Gaming centre, some of the items of note in the Thursday edition of the paper.

PROVINCIAL CHAMBER SHOULDERS LOCAL FERRY ISSUES-- The local Chamber of Commerce is already harvesting the fruit of its recent hosting session for the provincial chamber, as the province wide organzation comes in with support for a Prince Rupert initiative to improve Ferry service along the coast. Seeking to have the province recognize the ferry service as an extension of the highways system, the local chamber is hopeful that with the support of the provincial body those initiatives will move forward. (see story below)

Port Edward moves forward with its waterline project, after concerns raised by Councillor Bjorndahl were reviewed. At issue was the potential cost of the project under the provisions of the TIMLA agreement, which allows out of province bids from Alberta on projects such as the waterline replacement program. Bjorndahl was concerned that the paramaters of the costing of the project were never discussed or voted upon at council, but as things turn out there had been a report presented to council on the issue back on March 10th. The project which is not to exceed 270,000 dollars will soon be underway, providing a much needed upgrage to the District of Port Edwards water system.

NDP MLA Gary Coons offers a few thoughts on the current percolating issues surrounding the BC Rail investigation, Mr. Coons outlines for the Daily News how he would like the Premier to come clean with British Columbians over the governments role in the sell off of the railroad to CN. (see story here)

And the Daily makes a call in at Chances, eager to meet the new restaurant and lounge manager at the gaming centre. A page two article provides us with some background on Andrea Pollock and provides a glimpse into what her plans may be for the restaurant and lounge area.

The Sports page examines the success of former Prince Rupert resident Adrian Liu who is set to compete at the World Badminton championships in India in August.

Total pages of the Thursday edition (14)

Front page, headline story:

By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Page one

The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce is looking for enhanced travel services to Prince Rupert from BC Ferries.

And it hopes the provincial government will do something about it.

In a policy paper that was presented at last month's BC Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting, which was held this year in Prince Rupert, the local chamber would like to see the provincial government enhance the functions of ferry service to and from the North Coast.

"Northern coastal communities have a tremendous reliance on BC Ferries for moving goods, people and commerce in and out of our communities, so the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce took the lead on developing a policy for the BC Chamber on this issue," said Bart Carrigan the policy chair for the Prince Rupert Chamber.

The policy reads that the provincial chamber recommends to the provincial government to recognize BC Ferries as an extension of the BC public highway system and thus enhance the Corporation's mandate as a key driver of coastal economic development. Having the provincial chamber pick up the local chamber policies is a bit of a boon for local chamberites who already felt that hosting this year's AGM added great value to the community.

"We were pleased to have the support of the majority of delegates allowing this policy to be adopted at the provincial level," added Carrigan.

Deb Stava, President of the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce agreed with her chamber cohort, adding that because the policy was now part of the BC Chamber Policy and Positions Manual, it would provide provincial advocacy power and bring forward those marine transport issues critical to rural economic stability and growth.

"Their ability to engage government and non-government entities at the provincial level will help ensure ongoing analysis of BC Ferries and Ministry of Transportation ferry services in terms of service, schedules, rates and costs for the benefit of all northern coastal communities in the province," Stava said.

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