Thursday, June 12, 2014

Lee Brain tests the electoral waters of fall

It perhaps is a little early for Rupertites to start thinking of the Fall Municipal election, but if you're inclined, there's a new name to make note of through the summer.

Through the start of a flyer campaign as well as a Facebook page, the announcement that Lee Brain is seeking the Mayoralty has begun to gain notice.

Mr. Brain's online campaign was introduced to the Social Media site on Wednesday evening, offering Mayor Jack Mussallem his first competitor for the Mayoralty in the fall of 2014.

As we outlined on the blog in early May, the Mayor issued his own message for voters of the fall with an advertisement in the city's weekly newspaper.  The tone of which perhaps suggests that the Mayor had a bit of a heads up on the pending challenge from the young Rupertite.

As for Mr. Brain's pending political campaign, the facebook page is rather short on specifics as to what he brings to the Mayoralty contest to come, with few details outlined in the first 24 hours of what appears to be his campaign launch.

Politically, he is perhaps best known around the city for his testimony to the Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel in 2012, when he delivered this speech to the Panel.

A contribution to the Panel proceedings that quickly was picked up by a range of media and environmental groups during their coverage of the Northern Gateway hearings.

Huffington Post-- Lee Brain, Northern Gateway Pipeline Joint Review Panel Speaker, Deliver Stirring Message
Vancouver Observer-- Oil executive son's testimony at Prince Rupert Northern Gateway pipeline Joint Review Panel
Sierra Club-- Powerful Testimony at Enbridge Pipeline Hearings

More background regarding his engagement on a number of issues prior to the launch of his Mayoralty campaign can be found in this item from Line in The Sand, a multi media project that tracked events related to the Northern Gateway Project process.

Locally Mr. Brain has also been involved with the Transition Prince Rupert project, serving in a leadership role as  co founder, Vice President and Chair with the organization. Spearheading their efforts in seeking positive change in the community, as they describe their quest in their mission statement.

He also joined in on the efforts of Sensible BC during the petition drive to seek a referendum to decriminalize simple possession of Marijuana.

During the 2013 Provincial election campaign, Mr. Brain was one of the first to offer up an endorsement for Jennifer Rice, lending his support for her successful campaign as the NDP candidate for the North Coast.

Going on what we know about his interests and engagement, his candidacy would certainly make for an interesting review of where Prince Rupert's current (and proposed) economic base is at and what he may have to say about the industrial core of the region and some of the major projects that have been proposed for the future.

On local politics, he offered up a number of comments and observations by way of a December 2013 contribution to the comments section to this Northern View story on the Pinnacle Pellet plant.

Outlining some of his concerns over the process that was in place regarding that project.

Considering the still controversial nature of that project in the community, that overview might make for a sample of what he may bring to the debate over Municipal politics this fall.

With LNG the current topic of note in the community and an industry that the City seems to be putting a fair amount of faith in, it's worth noting  his contribution of November 2013 to the comments section of the weekly paper , offering comment on the topic of the proposed LNG development at Lelu Island

On those, and many other issues, Prince Rupert voters will most likely be interested to learn more about Mr. Brain's vision and how he would address the many challenges that face the city in the wake of the past years of economic struggle.

Towards that theme, Mr. Brain has created a website that outlines a bit of background on what he's all about.

While Mr. Brain is the first candidate to offer up competition to the incumbent Mayor, as we move through the summer and into the fall, the prospect of other potential candidates to enter the race will continue to grow.

Something that could make the 2014 perhaps a fairly competitive race, one that clearly will offer up a number of options for voters to consider to take the city forward once the votes are counted in November.

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