The message is clear, time to get to work

The champagne bottles are in the recycling bin, the balloons have been popped and the confetti has been swept from the floor.

The champagne bottles are in the recycling bin, the balloons have been popped and the confetti has been swept from the floor.

Prince Rupert has spoken. The old way of doing business is exactly that, the old way.

Now it’s time to get down to the task of fixing and preparing the City of Prince Rupert for what the voters obviously want. Prince Rupert voters told the old council in no uncertain terms that things needed to change. Prince Rupert wants to grow.

While Lee Brain captured 58 per cent of the mayoral votes in a four-way battle, what was even more convincing was the emergence of Blair Mirau.

Mirau collected the most votes of any candidate with 2,915 while newcomer incumbent Barry Cunningham — who just hit council after a byelection less than a year ago —  received 2,897. Brain collected 2,495. Wade Niesh and Gurvinder Randhawa captured 2,119 and 2,053 respectively.

In each of these cases, their elections can be called a landslide.

Only incumbents Joy Thorkelson and Nelson Kinney managed to crawl over the bar to retain their positions.

In what may seem to be the second most surprising outcome of the night was the ousting of Anna Ashley. Most armchair pollsters had Ashley as a comfortable lock to retain her seat.

But again, Prince Rupert wanted and signaled change and Ashley found herself on the outside looking in. To her credit, however, I doubt this will be the last we see or hear of Anna and, while a victim of the change movement, Prince Rupert will be better off with her input from time-to-time. I’m certain she will find another role in which to continue her service to this community.

Despite Ashley’s departure, the stunner of the night came from Port Edward.

Longtime councillor Murray Kristoff was ousted from around the Port Edward council table. Kristoff’s narrow ouster by six votes notwithstanding, the overwhelming return of Dave MacDonald as mayor  showed that Port Edward voters, for the most part, believe that the District of Port Edward is on track.

In Prince Rupert, the voters, most decidedly said the City of Prince Rupert was not on the right track.

A lack of transparency, corporate and political antagonism, as well as, seemingly intransigent positions all led to the election of Brain, Mirau, Niesh, Randhawa and Cunningham.

A lesson mayor-elect Brain and council should keep in mind as they move forward with the business of this city.

Growth of the tax base and cooperation without capitulation  with industry and related business is absolutely key to repairing the damage of years of skyrocketing public and business tax rates, disintegrating services and infrastructure.

Growing the tax base is certainly Job 1a, but if there is a 1b, it is regaining the trust of the community. Years of in-camera sessions and intransigence to forward personal or political agendas that are not in the true best interest of the city needs to come to an end.

Thank you to all who put their names forward to run. Congratulations to all of those who were elected.

But now the party is over — it’s time to get to work.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Power restored after outage in Prince Rupert

Power was out in the entire downtown area for a time on Sunday afternoon

Landlord Lows – Using tools are vital

Rental responsibilites and landlord lows

New LNG terminal near Prince Rupert proposed

AlaskCAN International LNG wants terminal just over Canadian border, but using B.C gas

Kitselas receive $1.2M boost for apprenticeship development program, open to Tsimshian and Haisla Nations

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education announces $7.5M for six Indigenous training programs

Prince Rupert makes the cut in draft Alaska Marine Highway System schedule

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities releases proposed AMHS schedule

Officials reaching out to those in contact with Canada’s first coronavirus patient

The illness has sickened at least 1,975 people and killed 56 in China

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Kobe Bryant, daughter killed in California helicopter crash

Bryant entered the NBA draft straight out of high school in 1996

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

B.C. VIEWS: New coronavirus outbreak an important reminder

Walking the line between cautious and alarmist

Risk of coronavirus low in B.C. as first case emerges in Toronto: officials

There have been no confirmed cases of the virus in B.C.

Most Read