Opinion

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.

While I tend not to lend any credence to internet trolls who are actually calling for Rice’s resignation ­— strange how anonymity breeds courage — in this particular case they are correct.

Rice should resign.

In effect, Rice has told her employer she has applied for another job and she has been shortlisted.

However, she is expecting that employer to idly wait around for several months to see if she gets the position. If she does, she’s leaving. If she doesn’t, she wants her job back.

Not only is Rice expecting to be paid during that time, she’s also expecting time off during the work week to attend the many, many interviews she will need to attend to get that new, shiny job.

And now the kicker: The new job is with the employer’s competitor.

Go try that with your boss.

While not wanting to depend on the internet courageous too much, a person claiming to be Rice’s campaign manager said she should stay on at council because she still needs to win the election in May “to be hired for the job” and even then the Legislature doesn’t sit until September.

“There is still ample time in regards to her council duties,” the campaign manager typed.

Let’s face facts, now that she has won the NDP race, it’s all over but the crying.

Given the riding’s history and current provincial political trends, the NDP could run a bag of potato chips or a vacationing waitress from another riding and win the North Coast — oh, wait, the federal NDP did that in Quebec already.

Whatever your political views, Rice has the job locked up.

Until the coronation, Rice will face a difficult position of conflict of interest.

It will be interesting to see how environmentalist Rice reconciles her municipal responsibilities as Councillor Rice with the NDP line she will have to toe as MLA-in-waiting Rice.

Tree-hugging hysteria aside, the resurgence and economic future of Prince Rupert is inexorably linked to resource development and transportation.

Eco-tourism isn’t going to pay the bills. LNG terminals in Prince Rupert will.

Curiously, as vocal as she has been against oil pipelines, her internet defenders point out vociferously that Rice has not yet weighed in on LNG.

But her soon-to-be new bosses have.

All the LNG development and jobs for Prince Rupert are dependent on the gas getting out of the ground in Northwest B.C.

And what does Jennifer’s new co-workers, like B.C. NDP energy critic John Horgan, think of that?

“Some of these projects are going to have to be delayed,” Horgan said.

So, MLA-in-waiting, councillor, environmentalist Rice what’s it gonna be?

Prince Rupert needs and wants LNG, the B.C. NDP do not.

Resign, at least that way you can do your new bosses’ bidding with a clear conscience.

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