Thursday, February 28, 2013

To screed, or not to screed, that is the question!

When we last read the collected works of the Publisher of the Northern View, Prince Rupert's weekly editorial offering had provided a less than subtle request that Councillor Jennifer Rice relinquish her place on Prince Rupert City Council..

Todd Hamilton, the Northern View's publisher, seems at the moment to be providing for a one man campaign to provide some oversight on the newly nominated NDP candidate for the North Coast.

Weighing in on the theme of Prince Rupert's industrial future, mainly in the form of LNG terminal development and what he believes will be the moves of the NDP to slow that tide of forward momentum for the local economy.

For the most part, his approach has been to try to flesh out a declaration or two from the would be heir to Gary Coons seat at the Legislature, a task that to the moment, doesn't seem to have been particularly successful.

If nothing else, thus far his efforts have surely provided the Councillor/would be MLA the opportunity to learn the difference between the rather safe and secure environment of our municipal scene, where rarely a word of controversy is seen or heard, compared to the rather toxic at times atmosphere of the provincial scene.

In the last few weeks, the approach of the weekly paper's publisher taken has been a rather strident review of Ms. Rice's environmental leanings and how in Mr. Hamilton's thinking, they will run counter to any hopes of improving the Prince Rupert economy.

From the February 12th editorial of the weekly paper, we were offered up this synopsis of the Councillors current status compared to her hopeful ambitions for larger political glory in Victoria.

February 12th-- Prince Rupert City Councillor Jennifer Rice should resign her seat

Jennifer Rice should resign her seat on Prince Rupert City Council. Rice, or as some refer to her as, the-woman-who-never-met-a-megaphone-she-didn’t-like, recently defeated Prince Rupert District Teachers Union President Joanna Larson to capture the NDP nomination for the North Coast riding in the upcoming B.C. provincial election. In a nutshell, Councillor Rice and NDP nominee Rice can be one but not both.

Needless to say the description of Ms. Rice as "one who never met a megaphone she didn't like, didn't hit a particularly popular chord with a number of the Councillor's supporters.

The Letters to the Editor section providing for one participant who was less than thrilled with Mr. Hamilton's typecasting of the candidate.

February 20-- Hamilton's comments show bias

Two weeks later, the Publisher is back to the topic, this time with a Shakespearean theme it appears. Perhaps setting the stage himself  for what would seem to be some kind of ongoing regular feature.

One that surely offers up any number of Shakespearean offerings as a title page, though depending on who you are talking to, the options are either from the genres of comedy or tragedy.

At the moment however, one thing seems pretty certain, the direction of any work would seem to be very much that of a soliloquy.

His latest contribution to the editorial pages takes to asking questions of the local union memberships and if they are inclined to see Prince Rupert's future stalled by the leanings of the local candidate and the NDP.

February 27-- Time for Prince Rupert to write the play

And again, the hyperbole meter was banging into the red for another week.

Or to quote MLA-in-waiting Prince Rupert city councillor Jennifer Rice, “[not a damn thing on LNG]” 

 To be fair, outside of “no” to any development, and a fear-mongering, near-hysteric, megaphoned diatribe against a long-proposed oil pipeline without an alternative solution, the 15 months into a 36-month term rookie councillor has not weighed in on what could be the LNG lynchpin of Prince Rupert’s economic life.

And as was the case from February 20th, the letters are starting to arrive, though in the early returns, they will serve to provide comfort to the Publisher that he's on the path of righteousness perhaps.

February 27-- Rice is in conflict of interest

We imagine other letters pro and con, are in the mail as we write this.

While there is a case to be made for the Councillor to surrender her seat on Council, something we have explored on the blog a few times now since her nomination victory. It would appear that the Northern View's editorial approach, may only serve to steel the resolve of the Councillor and her supporters in the community and within the NDP.

Likewise, as we have mentioned here more than a few times, the need is there for her to provide a clear presentation of her thoughts on the LNG industry in the region and how, or if, Prince Rupert should benefit from that development.

On that message the Publisher is correct in seeking more information from the NDP nominee, though one imagines that the nature of his methods certainly don't seem to provide for the opportunity for much of a conversation.

We imagine if Ms. Rice decides to provide for a manifesto of sorts on economic development and environmental concern, the recent temperature of Mr. Hamilton's approach, probably won't see the weighty tome of revelation delivered to the Northern View offices any time soon.

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