Cunningham’s rural reminder

This week I offer up a tip of my proverbial hat to Coun. Barry Cunningham for standing up in a room full of elected officials...

This week I offer up a tip of my proverbial hat to Coun. Barry Cunningham for standing up in a room full of elected officials from across the province and clearly articulating the realities of life in northern British Columbia.

During a debate around increasing the carbon tax, an idea that was ultimately defeated by less than three per cent of the vote, Cunningham was quoted as saying:

“If you live up north, everything is trucked up there … This would add a lot to all our food and everything else that’s trucked up.”

That right there illustrates a fundamental difference between people living in the southern portion of the province and those of us who prefer the quieter life here on the North Coast — it costs more money to get anything to or from the region than those living in southern B.C.

While Cunningham focused in on food and goods, which need to be trucked all the way down Highway 16 to arrive at their final destination regardless of their starting point, it is an argument that could easily be made for any number of aspects of life.

Need specialized medical treatment in a hurry? It’s not as simple as jumping in a car and driving a few hours to Vancouver or a major centre, it involves costly flights or, at minimum, a few hundred dollars in hotel bills.

And gas itself, despite not having a TransLink tax added to it, is more expensive in the Northwest than it is in the Lower Mainland. Figure that one out…

Often times people in the more urban areas of the province take things for granted and get the attention of the provincial government much faster based simply on the number of voters that live in the region. For example, while getting affordable housing in Prince Rupert is like pulling teeth, the government just spent $550,000 to help run a shelter in Maple Ridge through the winter.

Coun. Cunningham speaking up at UBCM is a reminder that British Columbia extends north of Kamloops — the more the government and urban B.C. can be reminded of that, the better.


Just Posted

Bachrach nominated by NDP for federal election

The Smithers mayor won on the first ballot with 446 of 797 votes

Bridgeview Marine builds fishing fleet for Queen Charlotte Lodge

Since October, the Prince Rupert-based company has been working on nine vessels for the lodge

B.C. port workers set to strike on Monday in Vancouver

A strike at two container terminals would affect Canadian trade to Asia

Service honours Marlene Swift’s life and work with North Coast Victims Services

RCMP, Prince Rupert residents attend a ceremony for Swift from inside the Salvation Army on May 23

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

PHOTOS: First responders in Fernie rescue baby owl who fell from nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Most Read