Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead, Monday, January 25, 2009

Protesting the prorogue, Black Liquor concerns and a positive view of events at the Port from the CEO, some of the items of note in the Monday news cycle.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
RALLY IN PRINCE RUPERT PROTESTS PROROGUING OF GOVERNMENT-- A rally of about 25 Rupertites protested the move by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to bring a halt to proceedings of Parliament through a prorogue of his government. Saturday's event took place at the Fisherman's Hall and was part of a cross Canada protest held that day.

The pending closure of the Eurocan mill in Kitimat is examined and how that could impact on the sale of the Watson Island site in Prince Rupert. Of concern is what to do with the volume of Black Liquor currently at Watson Island, if Kitimat is no longer a potential receiver of that substance, transportation costs will rise as another destination is sought out for disposal.

The Daily reprises its story of Friday on grizzly tour plans for the Northwest, expanding on the version that appeared then.

The Sports section reviews the elimination of the Prince Rupert Rampage from the CIHL playoffs, after a sweep at the hands of the Smithers Steelheads.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for January 25, 2010, )

The Northern View
Prince Rupert Port Authority sees significant growth during 2009 and looks ahead to 2010 -- Port of Prince Rupert CEO Don Krusel looks back at a successful 2009 and finds positive trends for 2010, including his hopes for Phase Two progress for Prince Rupert's gateway to Asia (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Olympic Torch On Its Way To Northwest -- The Olympic torch is working its way towards the North coast with Prince Rupert's celebration set for February 1st in the early evening, CFTK TV updates its progress as it travels northward (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Cullen To Kick Off Second Annual Economic Tour -- Skeena Bulkley Valley NDP, MP Nathan Cullen is set to take to the road brining his second annual economic tour to various communities of the Northwest (see article here)

Queen Charlotte Islands Observer
Massett class going to the Olympics -- A group of Haida Gwaii students are set to follow the Olympic Flame to Vancouver as Massett raises enough money to help send a group of grade threes and fours off on a field trip to the Games (see article here)

CBC News Northern British Columbia, Daybreak North
More delays in the return of on line content for the Daybreak North website, as the CBC's technical woes appear to be continuing. The CBC has revised their start up date for the new service, advising that the site will launch "shortly".

Daily News, front page, headline story
Rally in Prince Rupert protests proroguing of government
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Monday, January 25, 2010

A small group of protestors gathered outside Fisherman’s Hall Saturday to share in their anger that parliament has been prorogued.

About 25 people, including North Coast MLA Gary Coons and City Councillor Joy Thorkelsen, stood outside the venerable union hall to denounce Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision to close parliament early.

“When Parliament is prorogued the majority of the work done in that session is terminated. Proroguing is what is done when you want to end discussion and debate about something,” said Thorkelsen.

“What the government has done is prorogued Parliament instead of taking a recess, and the benefit of that is that no work can be done during this time by committees or the House.”

Thorkelsen was largely critical of the federal government’s refusal to debate the Afghan detainee situation, which she believes was the real reason for prorogation.

She also criticized a 2006 speech by Harper when he was first elected. Harper had said that having been elected under a minority government he was given a mandate to work with other parties and run an inclusive government.

That has not been the case since and both Thorkelsen and Coons let it be known that they were displeased with the lack of cooperation in Ottawa.

“When we look at what is happening in Ottawa, it is all for partisan purposes,” said Coons. “Harper wants to remove any accountability and transparency for his government, particularly now with what is happening in Afghanistan and in one of the worst financial crisis in history. If there is a true reason to cancel government it should be done by vote. This is wrong, and we need to get our elected officials back to work.”

The crowd on hand was supportive, though perhaps showing the average age of concern in Prince Rupert, there was no one under 35 on hand.

In Vancouver, Grassroots organizers passed out hand-painted signs and buttons to more than 600 people who bopped to the beat of a funk band playing next to the Olympic countdown clock before marching through the city.

Kathleen Glynn-Morris said she’s embarrassed by a government that seems to be using the upcoming Games as an excuse.

“I think it’s nonsense. They’re public servants. We pay for them to do a job,” she said. “The rest of us can’t say ‘Oh well, now the Olympics are here people aren’t interested in our job, what we’re doing.”

Liberal and New Democrat MPs from across Canada will make a show of returning to work Monday even though the House of Commons has been shut down until March.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff and NDP Leader Jack Layton both plan to hold events on Parliament Hill to highlight Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s decision over the Christmas holidays to prorogue Parliament.
The House of Commons was supposed to reconvene Monday following a scheduled six-week break but instead won’t return until Mar. 3.

The opposition parties are hoping to ride the political momentum generated by weekend protests across the country that drew thousands of people angered by Harper’s arbitrary shutdown.

New Democrats are adopting the language of labour unrest, claiming the Conservative government has “locked out” the country’s elected representatives.

Liberals, meanwhile, are highlighting more than 100 detailed questions on the Commons order paper - many of them potentially embarrassing to the Harper government - that should have been answered this week but will remain under wraps until after a throne speech and budget are delivered in March.

The Bloc Quebecois, while also sharply critical of prorogation, does not plan to send its MPs back to Ottawa this week.

The NDP will hold a caucus meeting Monday on the Hill while the Liberals are staging a round table on jobs and the economy in a Commons committee room.

While the opposition parties are attempting to make a political point, they’ll be fighting for media attention with a Conservative government that is involved in a number of public activities.

The prime minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon will be in Montreal for a key meeting Monday of international countries to begin planning the reconstruction of Haiti. And a half dozen other Conservative cabinet ministers have scheduled public events across Canada, but not in the capital.

With files from Canadian Press

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