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CANADIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AWARD 2012
Publications Mail Agreement No. 391275
47th Year No. 49 THURS., DECEMBER 6, 2012
EDITORIAL Page 6
LETTERS Page 7
www.northislandgazette.com NORTH ISLAND LIFE Page 13
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SPORTS Page 19
Smiles all around Elf Hunter Phillips and sisters Azrael, Faera and Cassiel Carlson join Santa for a photo session Saturday at the Port McNeill Guide/Scout Hall. See more photos of Santa’s North Island tour on pages 10 and 11.
Denton sentencing hearing wraps up Black Press COURTENAY—After a three-day sentencing hearing in Courtenay Court, the judge says he needs time to reflect on all the submissions, and will decide next month whether an adult sentence in the James Denton murder case should
be imposed. Crown Prosecutor Gordon Baines says the youth convicted of Second Degree Murder in the stabbing death of former Port Hardy resident James Denton, in July of 2011 outside the Courtenay Fairgrounds, should receive an adult
sentence. “He doesn’t get what he did...and has not shown remorse for an extremely violent crime, with serious consequences for the victim’s family and the community.” Baines says the court ordered psychiatric report
on the youth failed to consider he was the aggressor, and that he already had his knife out before the stabbing. Baines took issue with the report saying it was a panicked reaction, triggered by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from being
beat up in an earlier fight, and fueled by intoxication. “There were clearly elements of premeditation,” Baines told court during Tuesday’s proceedings. Baines says the youth has long standing issues with aggression, and needs to learn true empathy.
An adult sentence, said the Crown Prosecutor, would help assure rehabilitation, and re-integration in the long term. “Gordon did very well,
See page 4 ‘Sentence’
We wish you a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year 250-949-6662 • firstname.lastname@example.org • 6990 Market St. Port Hardy NEWS: email@example.com
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Thursday, December 6, 2012
Tales for tots
The caption accompanying the photo of the CUPE job action at North Island College (page 11, Nov. 29 edition) incorrectly identified two participants. They are Naida Catheryn Brotchie and Caroline Kennard. The Gazette regrets these errors.
Parent and tot story time at the Book Nook in Cafe Guido sing Insy Winsy Spider. The group will meet Mondays in December until the 17th.
HELP Looking for carriers in Port McNeill
Tsunami info on the horizon A O’Toole Gazette staff Mayor Bev Parnham gave council the news that a new tsunami information pamphlet was moving into production. “It clearly defines all the areas and where people are to go in the event of an evacuation,” said Parnham. “It really helps clarify the issues that came up during the last warning.” The pamphlet is expected to be ready in the coming weeks, and steps are being taken to finalize its distribution. The mayor explained council is considering several avenues of delivering the booklet, and one idea being pursued is enlisting the fire brigade and other volunteer groups to go door-to-door, beginning with the areas most at risk. SALTS bursary The council moved to accept an amended bursary offer from the Sail and Life Training Society after the society removed a clause from the offer which council objected to in its previous meeting. The new offer, to fund a female youth to join the society on one of its tall ship voyages next summer, was unchanged save the removal of the prerequisite which stated that “Partner organizations must not provide or fund abortion services.” Council felt that by accepting the initial offer it could be construed as taking sides
on a divisive issue beyond its remit. The District had declined a similar offer last year on the same grounds. The new offer, while welcomed, still drew some discussion around the council table. “I know that the clause everyone was concerned about was the abortion one,” said Councillor Nikki Shaw, “but I recall that there was more to it; we have to be responsible for the youth — bringing them there and home safely, covering transportation and so on.” Mayor Bev Parnham concluded the benefits outweighed the costs. “The cost to the District could possibly be a one-way bus ticket to Victoria. The net ben-
efit could be outstanding — it could be life changing for the young person involved.”
Council Meeting Port Hardy The council did agree that it would need help selecting the nominee for the bursary and it was suggested that PHSS vice-principal Malcolm Fleeton be contacted to assist. A motion was passed to accept the offer and contact PHSS to aid in selection. Computer Use Policy As part of housekeeping, an updated Computer Use Policy was presented
to council from Jeff Long, attending his first meeting as staff since replacing recently retired Director of Corporate Services, Gloria LeGal. Long said the vastlyexpanded policy was a case of staff, “Trying to evolve and keep up with the current technology.” After some consideration the council referred the document back to staff, with councillor Jessie Hemphill pointing out some broad language in the policy that required tightening and Mayor Parnham questioning “Who’s the cop going to be on this?” The council returned the policy for clarification.
Sidewalk inspections Trevor Kushner, Director of Operational Services asked council to adopt Policy CP10.9 which governs the inspection and maintenance of sidewalks. Kushner explained the rationale as twofold: firstly a shift to a council policy gives more weight to the ordinance, and, secondly, the current system of inspecting all sidewalks in a single year was “pretty onerous.” Under the new policy the sidewalks in the District are divided into two zones, inspected on alternate years. The council agreed to adopt the policy.
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Holiday Gift Guide
Stay tuned for gift Ideas for the whole family and take the guess work out of shopping! For Him, For Her, For Kids, and Stocking Stuffers.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! This past summer, the Marine Harvest charity salmon barbeque cooked up over $15,000 for deserving charities. The support received from the Comox Valley, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Campbell River and the Real Canadian Superstore was incredible – thank you!
Recipients included Y.A.N.A., St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation, John Howard Society, Cancer Society, Head Injury Society, Dragon Boat Society, CR Hospital Foundation, BC Fireﬁghters Burn Fund, Salmon Kings Swim Society, Hospice Society, Harvest Food Bank
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and the SPCA. We look forward to serving you in 2013! Applications for charities and societies will be made available in February 2013 on our website at www.marineharvestcanada.com. *(5(+(
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Council feels pulse of local health Alice arena to Gazette staff PORT ALICEâ€” Alison Mitchell, cochair of the Mount Waddington Health System Stabilization Local Working Group, appeared in the delegation portion of the Port Alice Council meeting last week. Mitchell presented VIHAâ€™s response letter to the working group to the councillors and gave some background to the letter and updates on the progress made. Mitchell explained that the working group was established following a series of ER closures in Port Hardy in 2011 due to physician shortages. She noted that the closures in Port Hardy impacted the other communities on the North Island, as patients traveled to other health facilities, overburdening the staff there. â€œWe quickly realized that our health system could implode,â€? said Mitchell. The group established a series of goals and recommendations for the local health system focusing on stability, staffing levels, education and accessibil-
ity, and community involvement. After Mitchellâ€™s presentation, acting Mayor Scott Roberts referred to health care in Port Alice, asking if occupational injuries were taken into consideration when deciding the medical needs of a community. While Port Alice is
thanked Mitchell for her presentation. Jubilee medals Administrator Madeline McDonald brought forward a late item to the agenda for councilâ€™s consideration. Following an initial round of awards earlier this year, the Government of Canada is inviting
Council Meeting Port Alice small in per capita terms, he pointed out, the ER there potentially has to deal with disproportionately high levels of serious injury. â€œItâ€™s the front line for the mill,â€? he said. â€œBolstering that front line should be in the planning.â€? Mitchell said she was personally unaware of any report that dealt specifically with visits in terms of work-related injury, but VIHA was aware of the issue. She explained that nurses in Port Alice already had specialty training and the possibility of further training was being considered to enable them to treat a wider variety of conditions. The council
a second round of nominations for the Queenâ€™s Diamond Jubilee Medal. The medal was created to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth IIâ€™s accession to the throne, and 60,000 are to be handed out this year to Canadians to honor significant achievements and contributions. With a deadline of December 31 on the horizon, council put forward two names for recommendation and resolved to return to the issue at the next meeting if additional suitable candidates arose. A motion was approved to send a letter nominating Helen Haney for her work in the com-
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munity, especially regarding her work in emergency care, and Gail Neely for her work with the recycling depot and the girl guides. Construction In her A d m i n i s t r a t o r â€™s report, McDonald sought and got approval for a construction zone to be declared along Marine Drive in December while aggregate was being transported from the site of the Rumble Beach Marina Project. The designation allows off-road vehicles to be used for the transportation, a quicker and cheaper transport solution to alternative options. Council heard that dredging was to begin Dec 3, and, with councilâ€™s approval, dump trucks would take the aggregate materials for stockpiling. The motion was passed unopposed. Council also granted McDonaldâ€™s request for the release of up to $1,000 for additional signs to adequately mark the construction zone on all feeder roads to Marine Drive.
Communications The council also responded to a series of correspondence received last week. A letter from Terry Lake, Minister of Environment, was in response to councilâ€™s own letter questioning the decision of the Conservation Office Service to move one northern position to the Black Creek office. Minister Lake assured councillors that the decision was not taken lightly, and he was confident that the change provided the best coverage for the entire zone. Councillors moved to keep the lines of communication open, replying with a letter of thanks for the Ministerâ€™s response while reiterating their position that a reevaluation should be considered. In other communications, councillors moved in favour of lending their support to the DPACâ€™s efforts to obtain a grant for a suggested Bullying and Harassment Prevention Program, and the Powell River RDâ€™s support for continuing the Island Coastal Economic Trustâ€™s funding.
get a face lift the entrance canopy. These Gazette staff PORT ALICEâ€”The local improvements are important arena will be treated to a for the Arena, which is the makeover, courtesy of a social hub for local residents $50,000 federal grant for for community gatherings infrastructure improvement and sports including hockey, projects. curling, skating and off-seaJohn Duncan, Minister of son fitness programs. Aboriginal â€œThe Port Affairs and Alice Arena Northern is the recreâ€œThe Port Development, centre Alice Arena ational on behalf point of our is the of the community,â€? recreational said Mayor Honourable Lynne Yelich, centre point Jan Allen, Minister of â€œOur residents of our State for depend on the community.â€? programming Western Economic that we proDiversiMayor Jan Allen vide there to fication, keep fit and to announced raise healthy federal fundfamilies who ing for Port are actively Alice Arena engaged in under the Community the community. Programs Infrastructure Improvement like the Community Fund (CIIF). Infrastructure Improvement â€œOur Government is com- Fund are extremely impormitted to creating jobs, tant in helping small comgrowth and long-term pros- munities like ours to retain perity in our communities,â€? and renew our recreational said Minister Duncan. â€œBy infrastructure.â€? improving facilities such as CIIF supports, on a costthis, we are helping to boost shared basis, repairs and economic activity and main- improvements to existing tain a high quality of life for community infrastructure Canadians.â€? accessible to the public. Western Economic Funding of $50,000 will Canada restore the exterior siding, Diversification paint all surfaces, replace (WD) is delivering the Fund emergency exit doors, repair in Western Canada with an the gutters and drains, and allocation of $46.2 million upgrade equipment sheds and over two years.
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Thursday, December 6, 2012
Sentence to be handed down in January
RCMP nab man Gazette staff PORT McNEILL— RCMP have arrested Port Hardy resident Allan David Martin MacLeod over a string of domestic violence charges. MacLeod’s photo and description were distributed two weeks ago, with hopes members of the general public could help police find him. “Mr MacLeod was located in Port McNeill on Saturday (Nov. 24) and arrested without incident,” said Comox Valley Constable Don Sinclair. “The RCMP want to thank the public for all the tips they received.” The Comox Valley Domestic Violence Section is assisting Port Hardy RCMP on this case, which includes charges of assault with a weapon, two counts of assault, breach of probation, criminal harassment by repeated, unwanted contact and criminal harassment by watching and besetting.
“Some of the important factors which judges in other cases have used to conclude that a youth sentence would not be not long enough included things like offences that involved significant planning ... or circumstances where the expert reports said
the person was not amenable to rehabilitation.” Mulligan says that is not the case for the convicted youth, who shows genuine remorse for the crime and who has taken full advantage of all courses and programs available to him while in custody.
stigmatize the youth for life, adding there is not sufficient evidence to support adult jail time. Midway through the three-day hearing, the Denton family walked out of court upon hearing the defence would read out a letter penned by the youth.
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Mulligan added an adult sentence will make it difficult for rehabilitation, and told court the teen has no previous criminal record, and shows, “real potential and excellent promise.” Mulligan says an adult sentence would
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Supporters of former Port Hardy resident James Denton gather on the lawn outside the courthouse in Courtenay last week during a break in the sentencing hearing for Denton’s killer. Photo submitted
from page 1 and Gordon is a professional,” said Dave Denton, father of James Denton, who was 19 when he stabbed twice in 2011 and later died from his wounds. “Gordon does it right, and he just wants what is right, and this guy has gotta be looked at for a lot of years to come.” “I only have one comment, and that is both families are very sorry for what has happened, and that is it,” said Wayne Kennedy, supporter for the family of the convicted teen. Meanwhile, defence lawyer Michael Mulligan says the youth should not be on parole at the age of 66, for a crime committed when he was 16. And Mulligan cited other cases to argue there is not sufficient evidence for an adult sentence.
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Thursday, December 6, 2012
Current and former North Island Eagles hockey players gather after their annual Alumni Hamper Fund Benefit game Saturday at Chilton Regional Arena in Port McNeill. The event raised $444 and numerous boxes of toy and food donations. J.R. Rardon
Hockey helps Hamper Fund help others Gazette staff PORT McNEILL— The North Island Eagles rep hockey club has long been a supporter of the Gazette Hamper Fund. Saturday evening in Port McNeill, the club was back at it with its second annual MidgetAlumni benefit game. The event drew numerous fans to Chilton Regional Arena, and they were generous with donations of toys and nonperishable food items. A 50/50 draw and donation tin raised an additional $444 in cash for the cause. As a bonus to fans, the teams engaged in a close, competitive contest eventually won by the alumni, 7-6. Hamper hot dogs Hardy Buoys Seafood of Port Hardy elected to help out the Hamper Fund with an in-house lunch event in late November, and raised nearly $182 through the hot dog feed in the employee break room. The company is also contributing with a donation box for toys and non-perishable food items. Guido’s punch card Cafe Guido in Port Hardy is offering an
tee to provide a hamper to each applicant, but late entries cannot be
guaranteed. Most of the hampers will be delivered Dec.
22, and recipients must be home to receive a hamper.
Nowlable i Ava
Purchase a bag of pre-selected non-perishable food items for $9.99 & donate it to the Hamper Fund at these grocery stores:
Employees at Hardy Buoys Seafood enjoy a hot dog lunch that raised $182 for the Gazette Hamper Fund. Sandra Boyd
Advent Punch Card to help cheer the holiday season while contributing to local charities, including the Hamper Fund. Based on the tradition of the Advent Calendar, each day brings with it a little surprise and a treat. The price of the cards is $20, all of which is donated to the charity of the customer’s choice. Pick up an Advent Calendar punch card for yourself, or give one or more as gifts to friends and loved ones. Bingo! Port McNeill Lions Club will host its popular annual Turkey Bingo Saturday, Dec. 15, as a Gazette Hamper Fund benefit.
Participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the Lions Hall as a donation. Turkey Bingo begins at 7 p.m. Deadline reminder The deadline for
applications for Christmas hampers has passed. Those who apply now will have their names placed on a waiting list. Every effort will be made by the Hamper Fund commit-
Purchase & donate a toy to the Hamper Fund at these retailers.
PORT HARDY Smyth’s
Pay It Forward Shop Local For every receipt that a shopper puts in the collection box or sends to the Port Hardy Chamber, the Chamber will donate 10¢ to the Gazette Hamper Fund.
Donate your points to the
GAZETTE HAMPER FUND and
Thanks for shopping local! firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 250-949-6653 7250 Market St
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GAZETTE NORTH ISLAND
Thursday, December 6, 2012
COMMENTARY Comments? Box 458, Port Hardy, B.C. V0N 2P0 250-949-6225 Fax 250-949-7655 or email us at email@example.com
Enjoy the show, folks Amid the mad scramble to round up the last of the Christmas gifts and finish the holiday-season errands, it is easy to forget the payoff at the end of the frenzy — the time spent enjoying the company of loved ones and friends. Fortunately, North Islanders are doing a fine job of providing diversion in the form of seasonal entertainment. Last weekend we were treated to Team Charlton Highland Dancers’ annual Celtic Christmas show in both Port Hardy and Port McNeill. Gate House Community Theatre in Port McNeill invited kids for free treats and a holiday movie while meeting Santa Friday night. Port Hardy’s Angie Clance organized her third annual Santa Parade Sunday, which was a big success between the sidewalks even if a torrential downpour likely depressed spectator attendance. The fun keeps coming in the next couple weeks, starting with the fifth annual Portside Academy of Performing Arts presentation of the Nutcracker ballet this weekend in Port McNeill. The following weekend, the Port Alice Community Centre offers two shows by magician Greg Ladret, one during Saturday night’s senior potluck dinner and one the following day after the kids’ breakfast with Santa. Those who have organized these events deserve support for their efforts.
We Asked You Question:
Are you concerned about potential ferry cuts on the North Island?
www.northislandgazette.com Total votes received for this question: 21 Voting deadline is Monday at 3 p.m.
Port Alice Arena will be treated to a muchneeded makeover, courtesy of a $50,000 community infrastructure grant.
It rained not only cats and dogs, but lumps of coal during the annual Santa Parade Sunday in Port Hardy, limiting turnout for the event.
Will truth die on Deficit Hill? VICTORIA – Whatever happens in the provincial election five months from now, taxpayers should insist that it be the last spring vote. The integrity of public financial information is the next vital step in reform, even more important than scheduled election dates. The B.C. Liberals have put millions into TV ads that insist the 2013 budget will struggle into the black. This is the hill Christy Clark has chosen to die on. Glen Clark set the modern bar with his 1996 election budget. After a run of red ink, it conjured a tidy little surplus that helped the NDP squeak out a win over Gordon Campbell. Campbell’s noisy exit had its roots in his 2009 fudge-it budget, which clung to an outdated $500-million deficit forecast. After the election, British Columbians found out we were really $2.8 billion in the red. Not one to waste a good
B.C. Views Tom Fletcher
crisis, Campbell ordered the harmonized sales tax. Now Premier Clark and Finance Minister Mike de Jong are proposing to balance the budget and shut down the HST money machine. Clark gave a speech in Coquitlam last week, warning it “won’t be pretty.” And it’s not. In September the current-year deficit forecast jumped above $1 billion, largely due to natural gas. Natural gas royalties are bumping along the bot-
The North Island Gazette is published Thursdays at Port Hardy, B.C. by Black Press Ltd. Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #391275. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
tom, no big change there. But now coal prices and shipments are down, and a slow real estate market has pinched the flow of cash from property purchase tax. I erred in a previous column, saying this year’s deficit is partly due to a staged repayment of federal HST transition money. Not so. That entire $1.6 billion was booked in last year’s budget, pushing that deficit to a record $3 billion. This means the current $1.5 billion bleeder is based strictly on current revenues, debt servicing and spending. So how is this sucking chest wound going to suddenly heal next spring? De Jong provided an early version of his answer in his September financial statement. Amazingly, it projects a recovery of more than $100 million in natural gas royalties next year. Hmmm. Liquefied natural gas exports to Asia are still years away, and the U.S. is developing its own shale gas and shale A member of
This North Island Gazette is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province's newspaper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the B.C. Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 888-687-2213 or go to www.bcpresscouncil.org
PUBLISHER . . . . . . . . . . . . EDITOR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . REPORTER . . . . . . . . . . . . . SALES REPRESENTATIVE .
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oil reserves. In another forecasted miracle, sales tax revenue is expected to dip by a mere $120 million as the old PST returns next year. In 2014 it is projected to bounce right back to where it is today, around $6.1 billion. That’s odd. When former finance minister Kevin Falcon announced the transition last May, he described annual revenue loss of about $500 million the first year, and more than $600 million the next. Granted, business investment credits and HST rebates to the poor also end, saving the government a pile of cash as this significant tax reform dies. But it still looks like another fudge-it budget, designed to help another premier avoid the political graveyard at the foot of Deficit Hill. Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Thursday, December 6, 2012
Ho ho hope to Province the key in ferry talks hear from you Dear boys and girls, ladies and gents, It’s me, Mrs. Claus. As you know, this is a busy time of year up here at the North Pole and we’re very excited that Christmas is less than four weeks away! Already the letters to Santa are piling up at the North Pole post office. With all the ways to get in touch with Santa, Santa’s mailbox and inbox are filling up fast! Well this year, I’ve decided to step in and take part in the fun. I’ll be helping Santa reply to the letters this year. In fact, tonight Santa and I plan to nestle in front of the fire with a warm cup of milk and cookies and reply to a batch of letters. Writing a letter is so much fun. I know you like it too — we’ve been getting letters since July from boys and girls from all over the world. You know, of course, that Santa is fluent in all languages, so whatever the language you want to write to him in, he can reply! So, send your letters along to Santa. The address is simple: Santa Claus. North Pole. And don’t forget our special postal code: H0H 0H0! Make sure you mail them by December 17. Our special postal elves at Canada Post will make sure they get to us, and we’ll answer every single one of them - more than 20 million in the past 30 years! Mrs. Claus North Pole
Give 'L's room Dear editor, As a driving school instructor I have noticed in the last while the increase in other drivers not giving student drivers the space they need when learning to drive. The “L” magnet first came into place to help differentiate a new driver from that of a seasoned one. It was supposed to encourage people to increase their following distance due to the unpredictable nature of a learner. What I have observed more and more are people following far too closely. This increases the anxiety for an “L” when people are tailgating. Also, new drivers can be unpredictable and you should keep extra distance in case they stop suddenly or make an erratic maneuver. Another thing I have noticed is the need for people to “teach the student driver a lesson”. If my student does not speed up quickly enough for your liking when merging into traffic or making a lane change, do not increase
your speed to the point where all we see is your grill in our rear view mirror. Rest assured I am in the car asking my student to accelerate and get up to the speed of traffic. If I don’t think my student can merge safely I will tell them not to do so before they merge into traffic. I have been driving long enough to know that your speed has not remained constant and the you are somehow trying to prove a point with your behaviour. I guess what I am saying is this: we don’t have rush hour traffic or many of the other factors city drivers have. There really isn’t the need to be in a hurry. Try to remember what it was like when you learned how to drive and cut the next student driver you see just a bit of slack when they do something you don’t think they should be doing. We were all learners at some stage in our driving life. Sincerely, Gaby Wickstrom Oceanview Driving School Ltd.
Letters to the editor
To the editor, Thank you for the detailed and valuable coverage of the ferry consultation meeting that was held in Port Hardy on November 23. Your report contained a lot of useful information. But there’s one key point that needs to be made clear: the role of the provincial government. The Province decided to hold this consultation. The Province prepared the information in the booklets. The Province is calling for the $26 million in cuts to ferry service. For all we know, BC Ferries may be offering ideas on what sailings to target. But it’s the Province that will pull the trigger.
The Province also created the current complicated ferry system. The Province, the company and the ferry commission each play a role. But the Province’s role is the biggest. The Province decides on service levels. The Province decides how much it wants to contribute to ferry service. With that information the Commission sets fares. It’s the Province that pushed the system toward user-pay — unlike highways, transit or inland ferries. The Province chose to make users pay all the cost for badly-needed new ships. The Province chose to make users pay all the
cost of fuel price increases. The only exceptions are some government support for two new northern ships and fuel on northern routes. BC Ferries runs the ferry service. Yes that’s a big deal. And, yes, the company needs to answer for its decisions. But no management or operational decision has been big enough to break the system. The system is broken because the Province chose to make users pay crippling fares they can’t afford. The high fuel costs of the last decade and the high capital costs now, which are making up for decades of government neglect, are all falling on the backs of users.
We — representatives of ferry users and ferrydependent communities — think the system can only be fixed by looking at why users are paying all those costs. We need to ask how ferry service can support and grow coastal communities, and who should be paying for what. These are issues only the Province can rule on. We just wish the Province had put those issues on the table in this consultation. Sincerely, Marnie Crowe Jo Mrozewski Co-chairs, along with all members of the TriIsland Ferry Advisory Committee (Port McNeill, Alert Bay, Sointula)
New CIDA direction troubling Dear editor, International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino’s newly announced direction for Canadian International Development Agency is deeply troubling. Aligning Canada’s development aid with extraction industries appears to undermine the whole purpose of aid, which is to assist others to achieve economic independence and self sufficiency. Diverting precious aid dollars to already profitable corporations that provide very little economic benefit beyond their shareholders, is cynical at best. Canada has a long and proud tradition of making a positive con-
tribution to the global community, especially in the areas of health. A chronically ill population will always function far below potential. If Minister Fantino’s intent is to help underperforming nations, Canada already has shown great success with TB-REACH and The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, and yet CIDA plans to severely cut funding for these programs starting next year. Diverting funds from proven successful, lifesaving programs such as these is a direction that advocates for the world’s poor could never endorse. That this is the same government that quashed the proposed
mining accountability act, which would have imposed a very minimal code of ethical conduct on Canadian mining companies operating in the developing world, makes me question the sincerity of CIDA’s new approach. Is CIDA to become a shill for Canadian extraction industries? Aid to become a source of profit? If Mr. Fantino is really concerned about the world’s poor, funding for proven health programs like TB-REACH and The Global Fund must be restored. Nathaniel Poole Victoria, B.C.
West End stories sought for book Dear editor, “Growing Up in Vancouver’s West End”, a project telling what it was like to grow up in the West End of Vancouver, has been initiated recently by three old classmates from the area. Many stories and letters have been received already from former students and residents. The bulk of stories received thus far deal with events and relationships in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Many themes are evident including colourful stories about bootlegging, gambling, sports, hangouts, school
days, and the risks and adventure of living in and around the downtown core. This project will result in a book about living and growing up in the West End and also an archive of stories and information about the area for researchers and the public. Essentially, it is about growing up in Vancouver’s West End through stories and letters from old West Enders. It will be a history of the people and by the people rather than a more traditional historical piece. A major task facing the organizers of the project is to reach a wide
number of people who resided in the West End during their childhood and youth. We want to expand the scope of the endeavour to include stories and accounts that describe life across several eras. To that end, we invite people who grew up in the West End to contact us by email at gazpen@ gmail.com. We believe that our completed work will be a welcome addition to the cultural history of our city. Gary Pennington, EdD Roberts Creek, B.C.
The goal is to publish every letter, so keep them brief, clear and to the point. Be hard on the problem, not the person; skip quotes except where readily confirmable; accept editing for length and legality. Include full name and home community (plus phone number to confirm authorship). Mail, fax, email or drop off c/o the editor by 4:00 pm Friday.
Thursday, December 6, 2012
December 6 Dadâ€™s Night Out (but mom is welcome!), 6:30-7:30 p.m., Port Hardy branch of Vancouver Island Regional Library.
Activity Centre. Variety of gifts for sale. Art, Jewelry, Sculpture, demonstrations, live music, cookie exchange. Cafe will be serving â€œafternoon Christmas teaâ€? among other things.
December 7 Gingerbread House, Christmas Craft & Cookie Creations. 6-9 p.m. at the Seaview Activity Centre. Must pre-register by calling the Port Alice Community Centre at 250-284-3912, $15/ person covers a gingerbread house, ball of dough, all the trimmings and several craft options.
December 10 Parent and tot storytime hosted by Cafe Guido, 10 a.m., downstairs in Book Nook.
December 7-8 Portside Academy of Performing Arts presents The Nutcracker, 7 p.m., Sunset Elementary School. Tickets $10, available in advance at the Flower Shoppe or Portside Dance Studio, 325 Cedars St., Port McNeill. December 8 The Hardy Bay Seniors will be holding their annual Christmas Bake Sale at the Seniorsâ€™ Center, 9150 Granville Street, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Come and stock up on plates and platters of festive baking. December 8 Salmon Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre. Get in out of the rain, enjoy the educational indoor playground or get Christmas gifts at the gift shop. Regular admission rates apply. December 9 A Month of Sundays 11am-4pm at the Coal Harbour
December 11 Wreath Making & Holiday Decor. 6-9 p.m. in the Larry Pepper Room at the Port Alice Community Centre, cosponsored by Elder College. $15/ person. Make beautiful and fragrant holiday decor with fresh cut cedar boughs. All materials supplied, everyone welcome. December 11 Breakfast with Santa, 8:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., hosted in Alert Bay by the Royal Canadian Legion Ladiesâ€™ Auxiliary. Info, Donna, 250-974-2909. December 14 Seniors Potluck Christmas Dinner. 6 p.m. in the Larry Pepper Room at the Port Alice Community Centre. Turkey and ham will be provided; please bring a side dish or dessert to share. Entertainment provided by magician Greg Ladret to follow dinner. Call 250-284-3912 to sign up. December 15 Port McNeill Lions Club turkey bingo, 7 p.m., Lions Hall. Proceeds to benefit Gazette Hamper Fund. Please
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December 16 A Month of Sundays 11am-4pm at the Coal Harbour Activity Centre. Variety of gifts for sale. Art, Jewelry, Sculpture, demonstrations, live music, cookie exchange. Cafe will be serving â€œafternoon Christmas teaâ€? among other things. December 17 Parent and tot storytime hosted by Cafe Guido, 10 a.m., downstairs in Book Nook. Continues each Monday through Dec. 17. December 21 Christmas Movie Night. 7 p.m. Port Alice Community Centre. Watch a holiday classic on the big screen, $2 includes a drink & snack.
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December 15 Salmon Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre. Get in out of the rain, enjoy the educational indoor playground or get Christmas gifts at the gift shop. Regular admission rates apply.
Please ensure you have enough of your prescription medications.
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