Stand Up For The North

Are people out West familiar with Stand Up For The North?

This is a non-partisan group of people from all economic sectors mainly concerned with the disruption to Northern communities caused by the downturn in the Forest sector.
A perfect storm of the high dollar, low US housing starts, the Softwood Lumber Sellout and soaring fuel costs has devastated many towns here and on the Island.
Toss in the crisis in Fisheries and the downturn in Tourism and we’re all feeling the hit!

Form a Concerned Citizens Committee and toss around some ideas as we have in Mackenzie and Fort St. James and align with them. Some good ideas have come up so far and we’ve been having rallies where they help bring people and speakers from other towns to show support. This is a one for all and all for one, united we stand type of effort.

Some ideas &  resolutions tossed about so far

  • return to appurtenance - a dedicated portion of wood taken from a District must be processed in that District.
  • Ban Raw Log Exports!!!
  • extensions to EI benefits in affected communities
  • some sort of benefit like EI that affects contractors and self-employed who are directly affected by the downturn
  • improved training grants, make them available to everyone affected (not just laid off millworkers), make the training local if possible and for local jobs (most retrained must leave their community to work)
  • moratoriums on interest and penalties for late business taxes
  • NORTHERN LIVING TAX CREDIT to offset higher costs of living, the unfair burden of carbon taxes due to loger distances and the lack of public transit alternatives and the higher cost of heating homes and businesses in a colder climate.
  • more decision making at a community level. Decisions are being made in Vancouver, Victoria where they have no idea how those decisions affect us.

Fort St. James Save Our Community Rally is noon, Aug 23rd at Cottonwood Park.

Excellent ideas, herbie!
However, I don’t think that our current Liberal government gives a rat’s ass about the Northern corridor.  I can’t see a lot happening from the Liberals that will encourage growth and development in the North, particularly after the government is saddled with an Olympic cost over run.  I will vote for my NDP MLA, Mr. Coons, and help to get him re-elected.  A change in our local municipal government may help things here…time will tell.
As long as the Liberals are in the majority here in BC I don’t see a lot of support happening for health, education, or local businesses.
Bottom line?  Vote NDP!

The bone for the Liberals is because Mackenzie, the Fort and PG are represented by a solid bloc of them.

More of us, like Rafe Mair may be supporting change. Could be a horse race…

Holy shit!  I never thought I’d live to see the day when Rafe is supporting the NDP.  Awesome link, herbie! :sunglasses:
I truly hope there is wide-spread voter dissatisfaction in BC.  Rafe is correct, if the Liberals dismantle BC Hydro and rape our environment that can never be un-done.
It is time for change.

Without getting into a political pissing match, what did the NDP offer the North in the way of development during their long tenure in power?  The pine beetle problem turned into an epidemic and forestry was going way down the toilet before the Liberals gained power.  Mining has been revived under the Liberal government and was almost non-existent under the NDP.

I don’t see alot happening up here under any government unless we either have a representative of the party in power elected as our MLA or there be some major issue for concern that the elected government may lose votes.  For example, the Kemano Completion Project.  Coincidentally, that project was killed by the NDP and would have created many temporary and full time jobs in our region despite the approval of the BC Utilities Commission. You may recall that Rafe Mair spearheaded a major campiagn against the completion of the project causing a bit of an uproar around the province.

Having said that, I have cause for concern, as many of you do, over some of the antics of our current provincial government.  I have to decide for myself which is the better of two evils to vote for.

Absolutely.  You need to vote for the party that you think will do the best job.  For me, an average working guy, I don’t see a good reason to support the Liberals in May.  The Liberals don’t care about the needs of the middle class, the poor, or the elderly.  We need a good health care system and we need schools that are not overcrowded, underfunded.  I don’t think it would upset the Liberals one bit if health care or education becomes privatized. 
Your points about the NDP being inneffective in some areas are well-taken.  That being said I will vote for Gary in May.  Heh, the NDP is less evil in my book.

I remember all the FUD a few years ago about how if we voted NDP, the port would never be built.  Guess they were wrong.  If you look through HTMF postings from back then, you’ll find that was a common theme.  I don’t buy it.  Vote for someone you think will do a good job, strategic voting doesn’t work in first past the post.

I’m going to vote for someone who represents the views of his constituents to the government, rather than represents the views of the government to his constituents.

Agreed.  Except I’m still not entirely sure who is worse.  Sometimes change is good just to make a stand and show that certain things are not acceptable.

Agreed.  I have had issues in the past, especially with Nathan Cullen and Helmut Giesbrecht following the party lines and not representing the wishes of their constituents.  I like Gary Coons and may vote NDP for the first time in my life in the next election.  I’m going to have to give it some more thought and I may not know who I’ll vote for until I’m holding a pencil in my hand looking for a place to mark the X.

Rupert was hit first in the forestry crisis  and all the downturn affected everyone, people lost their house, families were split up it was awful.  Our local govt of the day tried to get some help from Gordo and the boys by way of tax rebates I think it was to the tune of $750,000.00 or so, Plus the whole time the guys who worked at the mill kept saying STOP exporting raw logs. There were ships lined up to take the logs. No other Company really stepped up to agree with all the things  which eventually have shut the whole forest sector down.  I think that Gordon Campbell wants everyone to live in the south.  He forgets who for the longest time put all those $$ into the govt coffers. Stumpage fees, and lots of tax dollars from all the overtime there used to be in the canneries and the forest sector.  Will be interesting to see what happens in MacKenzie etc as they are all Liberal MLA’s.

That is not entirely true.  NAFTA, the softwood lumber issue and the downturn in the US economy had a huge effect on the forest sector.  Those are federal issues for the most part.

I think Northern BC provincially is in the same boat as Western Canada federally. Lower populations don’t win the election. The high density areas get the attention. In BC’s case Greater Vancouver, in Canada’s case Ontario and Quebec. It’s a bit like dolphins herding a school of fish, you figure out where the highest density is and go after it.

Sad but true.

You are so right.  We’re getting it both ways.

Let’s take on those 604s and show them where the money comes from… :smiley:
As Toronto is to Canada, Vancouver is to BC

Well the Rally is done and it helped make people feel better. There was a noted lack of politicians, including our MLA who had the audacity to comment in the PG Citizen that it was a staged NDP event.
Good mouth rookie! I personally invited politicians of all stripes to attend and make this a non-partisan event. I invited members of the business community to show and have their say, and guess what? They did. Lets just say I’m definitely NOT going to vote Liberal (unless I live somewhere else come election day), and I’m more inclined to vote NDP provincially than I was.
A couple hundred attended, which is not too damned bad for a tiny town in midsummer on a Saturday. And yes, if you want to take “apurtenance” into account we’re partisan. The forests belong to the people of BC and we demand to have a say in who gets the jobs from the wood in them. Period. And there will be civil unrest if the export of raw logs is increased, some people have nothing left to lose. Three square meals a day in jail looks good if they get their point across.
Some pictures of the rally are posted here, it will also be on CBC news tonight and probably tomorrow.
( and I didn’t wave and say Hi Mom! when I was interviewed :smiley: )

Great to hear that your turn-out was good, herbie!  You may not vote NDP?  I’ll be voting NDP, I can’t bear the thought of four more years with Uncle Gordo.

Allot of people are saying that this carbon tax will be felt more acutely by the people in the north. I strongly disagree. I have lived in both the 250 and 604, and I would much rather have the carbon tax bill of Joe average in the 250. Down south, in my 4 cylinder, I would burn a tank every 3 days, just getting to and from work; here I am lucky to spend $20.00 a week in fuel. Plus walking to work is a viable option.  And as someone who would gladly vote for Captain Jack Leighton and the scallywags, I have zero confidence in Carole James  ( remember , it was her predecessor  who got us the Olympics ) I might not like Uncle Gordo and the cannibals but at least I don’t think of them as incompetent.

[quote=“Kid Havoc”]
I have lived in both the 250 and 604, and I would much rather have the carbon tax bill of Joe average in the 250. Down south, in my 4 cylinder, I would burn a tank every 3 days, just getting to and from work; here I am lucky to spend $20.00 a week in fuel. Plus walking to work is a viable option. [/quote]

I assuming you live 1.5 hours from where you work in the Lower Mainland (Like driving from South Surrey to Downtown Vancouver on the heavy Highway 99).

There’s no difference between living in the BC Interior and living in the Lower Mainland in terms of fuel economy. The difference depends on commuting distance between home and where you work, and the efficiency and sufficiency of public transit. BC Interior is more sparse than the dense urban Metro Vancouver and where most people are blue collar workers, there are some people here in Rupert had to travel 1.5 hours, or in a few cases 2 hours, to travel to workplaces. I know a person who’s a former Skeena Repap pulp mill worker had travel from here to his workplace in Methanex, Kitimat.

You might know a couple of people who live in PR and work in Kitimat ( I would hate to have their gas bill)  but it is an extreamly comon occurance in the LML for people to comute. So if we are comparing averages I would have to say the average person in the LML is going to pay alot more in carbon tax than the average person in the 250.

[quote=“Kid Havoc”]
but it is an extreamly comon occurance in the LML for people to comute. So if we are comparing averages I would have to say the average person in the LML is going to pay alot more in carbon tax than the average person in the 250.[/quote]

Well where do you live and work before then? Do you live in places like the Tri-Cities, Surrey, south of Fraser, and the Fraser Valley but work in Vancouver? I can see why you have to drive because transit services there is not as good as transit services in places like Vancouver, Burnaby, and Richmond. Not to mention all but Fraser Valley are serviced by Translink.

Last tour in , I lived in Ridge Meadows ( I perfered the term Maple Pitt ) althought I also lived in Richmond and North Van for long periods of time. And your right transit is at least a viable option in the city, for some. The farther you get away from Vancouver or the Skytrain the less of an option it becomes. My problem was a lack of a single working destination. I had multiple destinations to work at , and unless you were heading downtown transit seemed counter productive. I guess even with in the LML the larger populations get all the perks.