Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Provincial media begin to seek out more details on Prince Rupert's new Mayor

Then candidate Lee Brain and his campaign signs
Photo from his social media stream

As the name Lee Brain started to pop up on election reviews across the province on Saturday evening, bringing with it the startling discovery that a political novice had defeated a ten year veteran of North Coast politics.  It appears to have signalled to the provincial media, that it might be time to try and dig a little deeper into the political scene in Prince Rupert.

The last few days have seen the start of that interest, with a couple of notes from Vancouver based media outlets.

For their theme the Vancouver Observer played up his past advocacy against the Enbridge pipeline project, highlighting his appearance at the Enbridge Forum in Prince Rupert and making much use of the now viral video (see below) easily found on any You Tube search that involves the word Enbridge.

The Vancouver paper which is considered on the left side of the province's political spectrum, also highlighted Mr. Brain's opposition to any oil by rail, or pipeline project to Prince Rupert that would result in the shipment of bitumen out of this area.

Something Mr. Brain said remains he opposed to, sharing his belief that "people in this community are not interested in shipping out bitumen".

He also provided a glimpse for the Observer as to what moved him to make his run for the Mayoralty, and it was from that presentation at the Enbridge Hearings in town that started the push for his campaign.

As Mr. Brain recounts, following that appearance residents began to approach him, urging him to consider Municipal politics.

Observing further that:  "After my Enbridge testimony, people saw me as a leader in the town. So I said, 'You know what? It's time for me to step up."

The Globe and Mail had a short review of his Saturday night success, touching on his famous Enbridge appearance and then seeking out some comments related to the number of potential LNG projects currently listed for the Prince Rupert region.

With Prince Rupert's newly elected Mayor describing LNG as safe and "something that wee need to support"

Words that might reassure some in the region as to his plans ahead when it comes the still to be developed industry, though it should be pointed out that he did not offer up any comments regarding any of those regional projects by name or location.

Which considering his obvious commitment to the environment, leaves us to await some clarification on how he feels about the Lelu Island proposal for Pacific NorthWest LNG and what his thoughts are when it comes to any proposed LNG projects for Tuck Inlet

Particularly as those of theTuck Inlet area, would be located adjacent to the city's water shed area as part of the Lot 444 proposals.

Global BC hasn't quite developed a large profile on the new Mayor as of yet, giving him a short mention in their election recap of Saturday evening, part of a feature on incumbent Mayors that went down to defeat on election night.

Closer to home Daybreak North provided this post election review of Mr. Brain's success at the polls on Saturday evening, touching on the nature of his support and the volume of voters that decided to cast their ballots for him in the campaign.

As for issues Mr. Brain touched on the need to address the Watson Island issue and lengthy legal issues surrounding that industrial site and the issues it has provided for the City.

He cautioned the community that he doesn't have any magic wand to solve some of the issues, but through cooperation and communication that the community can come together to take on the key concerns in the city.

He also reviewed the infrastructure issues in the community that need to be addressed quickly, he outlined that the City would have to form a new relationship with higher levels of government and through new lines of communication to get that message to those levels.

On LNG, he said that if the industry does begin to take shape in the region, gaining funding from the province may be easier to access with what would be ongoing development in place.

You can review that interview here.

CFTK also had a short review of his Saturday evening success, catching up to him at his Post election victory party at the Ocean View Hotel, you can review that video overview here.

As for some of those many issues that the new Mayor and his council will face, a review of our City Council Discussion archives should provide a nice thumbnail sketch as to the work ahead.

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