Archive for ◊ March, 2011 ◊

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• Saturday, March 12th, 2011

The winner is Bob Zimmer.

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• Friday, March 11th, 2011

Well the votes have been cast and the volunteers and scrutineers are counting the ballots.  We are just about to listen to Jay Hill give his speech.  What an awesome evening!  Will keep you all posted as to the results when the come in.

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• Wednesday, March 09th, 2011

It’s hard to believe that after so many months of buildup, we’re already halfway through the voting. The polling booth will be in Tumbler Ridge tomorrow, but the candidates won’t be making speeches. I’ll be around, as I am planning on sleeping in my own bed tonight.

Tomorrow evening, we’ll be in Mackenzie (and everyone will be speaking there), Friday night we’re in Prince George and that is that. Then there is nothing more to do but wait for the votes to be counted.

Thanks to everyone for coming out; it’s been a lot of fun.

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• Tuesday, March 08th, 2011

I just wanted to say a thank you to all the conservative party members up in Fort Nelson. Last night, the Conservative Party rolled into town for the first of six stops to elect the new representative. I had such a good time talking to old friends, meeting new ones, and just having some time to visit with everyone.

The candidates gave their speeches, and then everyone voted. While public speaking isn’t my greatest strength, looking out on the sea of friendly faces made me feel like I was just talking with a group of friends.

Which, I guess I was.

Thank you, Fort Nelson, for being so supportive! And if you’re in Fort St. John, remember that tonight’s the big night. Speeches start at 6.

Author:
• Sunday, March 06th, 2011

If you’ve been paying attention to anything I’ve been saying over this campaign, you’ve probably heard me say something to the effect of “I am solution based, not issue focused”.

I’ve had a couple people ask me exactly what that means. It’s not something that you can explain in a six minute speech, and hope to say anything else, so I figured I’d take a few minutes and explain exactly what it means.

Issues come and issues go. And the issues of a rancher in the Robson Valley (Elk eating and peeing on their feed stock) will be completely different than the issues of a lawyer in Prince George trying to find office space, and her issues will be completely foreign to an oil and gas worker in Fort Nelson.

And what happens when that lawyer gets her office? Her situation changes and so do the issues she faces.

What happens then, to the politician who bases his message on addressing the shortage of office space for lawyers in Prince George? The issue has disappeared, and so, like a polar bear jumping from melting ice floe to melting ice floe, that person jumps around from issue to issue, looking for some solid land to plant a political flag on. Oh, sure, it makes for great TV, as that person will always have a nice sound bite for the six o’clock news. But they do become like flags, blowing this way and that by the winds of political and social change.

Issues are important. Don’t get me wrong. To the forestry worker who is out of a job and has no way to provide for his family? That’s an all-consuming, life changing issue. And I in no way want you to think that I am trivializing those issues.

But it strikes me that it is more important how a politician deals with issues than how she speaks to issues. That finding solutions is more important than finding a five second sound bite. And that they have a methodology, a system in place to come up with solutions.

Let me provide you with an example.

I am hearing from people of this riding that they are not feeling heard.  People in the communities farthest away from the Constituency offices are feeling that their voices aren’t as loud as those living in communities that have a Constituency office or are close to those offices. So, this is an issue to people in this riding.

Now, what is best for the family, community, country?  Well as I look at what is best for these community I see that rather than having the people in these communities come to the mountain, so to speak, it is not unreasonable to bring the mountain to them. Rather than have one or two constituency offices in Prince George and Fort St. John or Dawson Creek, why not have a traveling Constituency office that would set up in places like Fort Nelson, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Mackenzie, McBride or Tumbler Ridge so that people in these communities would have access on a scheduled basis to their Constituency office.

This would give individuals, families and groups from these communities the opportunity to meet with office staff and the MP face to face. This could only have a positive impact on families, communities and in the end….the country.

By running issues through the crucible of these core values: family, community, county, determining the effects that the issues have, we can as a riding begin moving towards the best solution. Is every issue as easy to address? No, but if we focus on finding the solution rather than on the problem, we will be moving in the right direction.

Sometimes our problems are like pennies. Pennies are not very big, but if we place them in front of our eyes, we cannot see anything other than the pennies. We cannot see the sun, we cannot see the world around us, and we cannot see the solutions that might be within grasp. All we see are the problems. But it is my mission, in life and as a politician, to see beyond the problems to the solutions.

Author:
• Saturday, March 05th, 2011

Last week I had the privilege of speaking at UNBC with a fantastic group of students from the school.  It is wonderful to see the future of our country taking such an interest in politics.  They posted some pictures and a brief write up about my visit which I will link to.  Thank you again to the UNBC PSSC for arranging my visit.  They posted about our time together here

Author:
• Tuesday, March 01st, 2011

Christy Clark was not expected to win the BC Premiership.

At least, not if you looked at the BC Liberal Caucus, where only one member (Harry Bloy) supported Christy. Nor if you listened to pundits, who noted that she had left the liberal caucus six years ago, and is not currently a sitting MLA.

She becomes only the second woman to serve as Premier of BC, and only the fourth woman in Canadian History to serve as a premier, in any province. In 2001 she became the second woman in Canadian history to have a baby while serving as a cabinet minister.

According to Clark, she had left politics for good in 2005 to spend more time with her family, but found that many people were asking her to consider running for Premier, and so took up the race for the leadership of the BC Liberals, and by extension, to become premier of the province.

Her platform? Families First.

In the Elections Canada document titled “Women Beneath the Electoral Barrier” the following information is given:

When asked what action he would take to promote the nomination of women, leader Stephen Harper replied that he would leave it to the local riding associations. Furthermore, he noted that women in his party were successful due to their own hard work. In the end, only 36 of the Conservative Party’s 308 candidates (12%) were women,while 12 of the 99 members elected from the Conservative Party are women.

I don’t like to play the woman card, but it is hard not to draw parallels between Christy and myself. Other than the obvious fact that we’re both women, and that we both prioritize families, there’s the fact that she was not planning on running until she was asked by a number of people.

In my case, I had several high-ranking people in the conservative party strongly encourage me  to run. To be honest, it was something completely off my radar. Federal office? Me? But I’m just a small town councillor, mother and business owner. Just an ordinary Canadian. Why would I run for Federal Office?

But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. This is, after all, a democracy we live in. We are ruled by the people. That means you. That means the person down the street. And that means me. Someone who sits in office in Ottawa is not someone sent there to rule over us. They are our representative, someone who speaks for the members of this riding.

More than that though, they need to be someone who can listen to the members of this riding. We do not send them to Ottawa because of their own merits—though that certainly plays a part—or because of their great ideas or their golden tongue. We send them there to represent us. You. Me. The fellow down the street. And in order to do that, they need to listen to us.

And that’s why I am doing this. Because I believe in listening to a variety of voices, and concerns and hopes and dreams and ideas. Your voices. Your hopes. Your ideas.

Ultimately, the question is: do you want to be represented by someone who can speak to you, or who can speak for you?

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