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COMMENTARY · 5th May 2011
Merv Ritchie
Municipal leaders board the Princess Patricia again 34 years later, to the day.

In an affront to all the presentations and declarations of opposition to Enbridge and the Northern Gateway Pipeline; in an affront to bylaws, oaths and declarations demanding Councillors, Mayors and Directors not accept benefits from those attempting to win their favour, the entire lot of them are planning an entertainment symposium sponsored in part by Enbridge Northern Gateway in Prince Rupert this next week.

Beginning on Wednesday, May 11, the North Central Municipal Government Association (NCMGA) is holding their annual meeting. Wednesday is a preamble to the meeting where they will all be invited to go golfing at the beautiful Prince Rupert Centennial Golf Course. This opening day will conclude with a party; drinking and eating festivities, hosted and paid for by Platinum sponsor; Enbridge Northern Gateway. The next day, in case the drinking festival and hangover gets in the way of the message, Enbridge Northern Gateway will be providing breakfast prior to the opening ceremonies at the Lester Centre of Performing Arts. Even the morning coffee break is provided by Enbridge’s communications PR spin doctor, Kevin Brown Communications. Brown has attended and performed virtually all of the Enbridge presentations to municipal governments over the past number of years.

Terrace Mayor Dave Pernarowski along with Councillor Brian Downie have both already been criticized for accepting money from Enbridge to attend the Northern Gateway sponsored CAB (Community Advisory Board) meetings. They claim they haven’t made up their minds and are waiting for the findings of the Joint Review Panel (JRP).

The disgraced Mayor of Fort St John has had his name removed from the originally distributed Agenda as one of two facilitators for the presentation and group discussion on the Transportation Roundtable Report on the opening day, Wednesday. It is not clear if he has decided not to attend as his council has resolved he needs to be chaperoned on City business or he may in fact have decided in good conscience not to attend such a blatantly corrupt gathering. He may actually attend but not facilitate. We would ask him except he is currently threatening us with legal action through his legal counsel for these previous writings on his activities. HERE and HERE.

It is a curious thing with these political leaders how they profess to do what is right and demand to be addressed with titles similar to Judges like “My Lord” or “Your Honour”. Mayors even have possibly better titles, “Your Worship”!

Most Christians consider there to be only one ‘Lord’, and just what in his name, God’s, would drive one to call such a contemptible group of people, those who break their own oaths and accept benefits from corporations desirous of winning their favour, “Your Worship”? Screw that!

Thirty four years ago, virtually the same group of people; the organization then was called the North Coast Municipal Association (NCMA), met on board the Alaskan Cruise Ship, Princess Patricia. The price tag for this entertainment show was $90,000. $25,000 of that was provided by The Kitimat Pipeline Project, Enbridge’s forerunner. The final entertainment of the trip was how the Captain of the ship pushed the throttle foreword to run over protesters in small boats in Douglas Channel. Read about this tragic episode in the history of Municipal governments ignoring the will of the people HERE

In one of his first speeches after Steven Harper and his Conservative party won a majority government in Canada he stated the West could now breathe easier as the policies of the NDP and the Liberals; designed to stop Tanker traffic off the BC west coast and expansion of the Alberta Tar Sands, was now dead. More than half of the citizens in BC voted against the Conservatives and only 39.6% voted for him in all of Canada. Even the UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) voted overwhelmingly in favour of two motions put forward by the Village of Queen Charlottes against tankers on the West Coast and the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. Read about this HERE. It should be noted here that the Terrace City Council representatives bucked the trend and voted against the motion, standing out like sore thumbs in a crowd. Their bias was obvious. The question remains, was it bought?

So, as our local leaders continue to ignore the wishes of their people, and as Harper continues to act as a promoter for Oil companies, shall we start calling him “Your Highness”?

If one is curious just who belongs to this organization accepting gratuitous benefits from Enbridge, here is the full list taken directly from the NCLGA website;

Cariboo Regional District - Chair Al Richmond
City of Dawson Creek - Mayor Mike Bernier
City of Fort St. John - Mayor Bruce Lantz
City of Prince George - Mayor Dan Rogers
City of Prince Rupert - Mayor Jack Mussallem
City of Quesnel - Mayor Mary Sjostrom
City of Terrace - Mayor Dave Pernarowski
City of Williams Lake - Mayor Kerry Cook
District of 100 Mile House - Mayor Mitch Campsall
District of Chetwynd - Mayor Evan Saugstad
District of Fort St. James - Mayor Sandra Harwood
District of Houston - Mayor Bill Holmberg
District of Hudson's Hope - Mayor Karen Anderson
District of Kitimat - Mayor Joanne Monaghan
District of Mackenzie - Mayor Stephanie Killam
District of New Hazelton - Mayor Pieter Weeber
District of Port Edward - Mayor Dave MacDonald
District of Stewart - Mayor Angela Brand-Danuser
District of Taylor - Mayor Fred Jarvis
District of Tumbler Ridge - Mayor Larry White
District of Vanderhoof - Mayor Gerry Thiessen
District of Wells - Mayor Jay Vermette
Nisga'a Village of Gitwinksihlkw - Chief Peter Lambright
Regional District of Bulkley Nechako - Chair Lance Hamblin
Regional District of Fraser Fort George - Chair Art Kaehn
Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine - Chair Harry Nyce
Regional District of Peace River - Chair Karen Goodings
Regional District of Skeena Queen Charlotte - Chair Barry Pages
Town of Smithers - Mayor Cress Farrow
Village of Burns Lake - Mayor Bernice Magee
Village of Fraser Lake - Mayor Dwayne Lindstrom
Village of Granisle - Mayor Frederick Clarke
Village of Hazelton - Mayor Alice Maitland
Village of Masset - Mayor Barry Pages
Village of McBride - Mayor Mike Frazier
Village of Port Clements - Mayor Cory Delves
Village of Pouce Coupe - Mayor Lyman Clark
Village of Queen Charlotte - Mayor Carol Kulesha
Village of Telkwa - Mayor Carman Graf
Village of Valemount - Mayor Bob Smith