Sunday, May 16, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Friday, May 14, 2010)

Mr. Vander Zalm takes a pass on Rupert, Port Edward keeps on with the quest for school funding and the Rotarians have arrived, some of the items of note from Friday's news files.

Daily News, Front page, headline story
ANTI-HST RALLY NO LONGER ON THE NORTH COAST'S RADAR-- Bill Vanderzalm who has become one of the high profile faces of the anti-HST movement in the province, won't be coming to Prince Rupert to pump up the supporters, after considering the cost and where best to allocated the former Premier's resources, the trip to Rupert was cancelled.

Port Edward continues to seek further funding in the quest to keep their school off of School District 52's chopping block, their most recent attempt to acquire funding under the Northern Development Initiative Feasibility Studies Grant.

The story of Ali Howard's journey along the Skeena River has made it to film, and Rupertites can view the finished work on Monday as Andrew Eddy's "Awakening the Skeena" is presented at the Crest on Monday night at 7pm. The film will trace Howards's 610 km swim which ended at the North Pacific Cannery.

The Sports section features a review of the success of the Prince Rupert Rapids in recent competition.

(Daily News Archives for Friday, May 14, 2010)

Anti-HST rally no longer on the North Coast's radar
Port Edward chases after further funding
In Celebration of Nurses's week
Ali Howard's journey - On the Big Screen
Eight is not enough for a possible North Coast spill 

The Northern View
No new local items were posted to the Northern View website on Friday

CFTK TV 7 News
Cullen Says Oil Industry, Regulator Not Prepared for Major Arctic Spill -- Nathan Cullen, the NDP MP for Skeena Bulkley Valley outlines some of his concerns over potential oil exploration (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Nisga'a Celebrate 10 Year Anniversary of Historic Treaty -- A review of the events to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Nisga'a Treay (see article here) (view TV 7 story here)

Rotary Conference -- CFTK's Sahar Nassimdoost provides a report on the weekend gathering of Rotarians in Prince Rupert (view TV 7 story here)

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. 

The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here 

Daily News, front page, headline story
Anti-HST rally no longer on the North Coast’s radar 
By George T. Baker 
Staff Writer 
Prince Rupert Daily News
Friday, May 14, 2010

Now you don’t see him, now you do - and now you don’t.

Bill Vander Zalm will not be coming to Prince Rupert after all.

After missing Prince Rupert on his original northern Fight HST tour, the former Premier and former owner of the now derelict Fantasy Gardens, has taken a pass on the city a second time.

Local Fight HST coordinators say, because the numbers are so strong on the North Coast and there is still much work to do down south, the top organizers felt that coming to Prince Rupert would be a waste when they need to be focusing on the South metropolitan ridings.

“They looked at how much it would cost and decided that their resources would be better spent in Vancouver and Burnaby since they have not yet met their targets for the HST campaign,” said Gina Clark, the local organizer.

There are some ridings where the Fight HST is not performing as well as the North Coast.

While the organization broke the 400,000 signature mark this week, meaning 10 per cent of all registered voters in the province have signed the petition, they do not have the numbers they need yet.

In order to repeal the unpopular tax through a referendum, Fight HST legally needs 10% of the registered voters in each of the province’s 85 ridings and has set a goal of 15% in order to ensure a buffer.

Port Moody-Coquitlam so far has some of the lowest voter participation with 1,049, or 21 per cent of the 4,950 target set by Fight HST.

Lead Fight HST organizer Chris Delaney told the Daily News that getting the numbers up in the weaker ridings needed to be the focus.

Delaney said that some organizers have found that participating in a campaign like this while working a full-time job has been a challenge they can’t meet.

With some organizers quitting, the Fight HST campaign team needed to find people who could handle the role and, once found, get them up to speed.

That reorganizing has stalled the campaign, meaning going to Prince Rupert to rally an already frenzied base did not make sense.

 “As it turns out, the North Coast is doing extremely well. So, we sort of said ‘do we want to spend the resources?’

Resources are pretty precious because we don’t have a big budget. So, going up to an area where we are essentially meeting the target and leaving alone areas that probably need a little bit of help,” explained Delaney. “If one of the ridings fall down even if the others are doing well, then the whole thing falls,” said Delaney.

Delaney praised Clark for her work on the campaign, saying she has done a great job handling the workload.

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