Tag Archives: Shari Green

Any Questions?

wpid-ate7k7qt4.jpegFor the election in 2011 each candidate was allowed to convey their platform in 500 words or less.  I found it was hard to get everything they wanted to share into 500 words.

So this election I am giving the candidates the space to share everything they hope to achieve if they are elected. Now letting candidates ramble on and on with finely groomed paragraphs of why we should vote for them is fine, but not overly fun for us citizens. We have burning questions that we want answered.

So I am putting out a call to the citizens of Prince George! Give me questions that I can put out to the candidates. I will pick the 3 best questions and we can see how they respond. You can leave your questions in the comments section and then everyone can see what questions were put down so we don’t all write the same questions. The one question I would like to ask is “What can the City of Prince George do for our Youth”.  I will pick the 3 best questions on October 11th as I start the process of contacting candidates to get they information. What issues do you need answers for?

My hope is this time we can get all of the candidates to participate this year and help increase voter turn out. Spread the word about PGELXN.com so the the citizens of our great city can arm themselves for November 15th!

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Popularity Contest

PopularToday as I grabbed my copy of the Free Press from my mail box I noticed some flashy colours and a couple of fancy graph thingys on the front. Then I saw the title “Council Gets a Failing Grade” and got excited. I thought that it was going to be a juicy article about Potholes, Crime, Winter Olympics, Taxes, and City Pride, among other things. After reading the article, I was disappointed, to say the least, as it was just a bunch of numbers and no reasons to support why our elected city officials are failing us.

I can see why people are disappointed as it doesn’t take rocket science to figure it out. I have lived in Prince George now for eight years now and I can see what the citizens of Prince George are screaming for. Promises were made during last election by our current elected officials and the only promise that has been fulfilled is the Core Review. The Pot-Holes haven’t gotten any smaller, crime is still a major issue that honours us with a cruel title every year across Canada, snow removal has gotten worse, and Council has raised taxes by 3% or more in both of the budgets they have been involved in.

The Core Review was suppose to be a positive assessment tool for the city, to help us cut some costs, and assess spending but it looks like it is becoming a hindrance and doing the exact opposite. It appears to be slowing down the decision making process and creating more issues for council to debate week after week. Now the blame cannot all rest on the shoulders of our current city council. With a measly 27% voter turn out people elected two-thirds of the previous council. Please citizens of Prince George tell me how do we expect things to change when we keep electing the same people with the same ideas?

It’s time for action. It’s time for council to make some hard choices and live with the consequences. No more playing it safe, time to become very popular or very unpopular. Oh wait it looks like council is well on it way to unpopular.

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Something in the Water

Tall Glass 3On Monday night I got to witness some of the fireworks that can happen at a council meeting. Now lets not blow this too far out of proportion as it was only a couple of council members that have passionate views on one of Prince George’s Core review topics. The topic of  Water Fluoridation has been around for years and has come up more than once in past council meetings. Albert Koehler put the debate back on the table Monday night and had some great points against the fluoridation of Prince George water. Garth Frizzel provided rebuttals that supported water fluoridation and brought up that in 2011 they had this very debate.

With this debate going on with in City council and the possibility of it going to referendum I thought to myself “I guess I should do some research so that when it comes time to vote I’ll be ready”. After doing some reading the Pros and the Cons appear to weight each other out. A few of the Pros include: strengthening tooth enamel, and preventing tooth decay, cavities and tooth loss. It has also been linked to increases in bone density. On the flip side it does not decrease fractures and may actually weaken bones. Fluoride can also cause cosmetic damage to teeth called Fluorosis. Unfortunately while doing my research it became very clear that the propaganda for both sides of the debate have made it very hard to find out any truths. I did however come to a conclusion as to which way I’ll vote on referendum day. After reading pages upon pages of research for both sides I came across a statement that struck a chord with me. It came from an article in a local paper, of all places, from a Dr. James Beck. He stated that  “medicating a population without its consent is unethical”. This statement is true as I did not ask for or consent to my water being tampered with.

We have a right to choose whether we want our water to have fluoride in it or not. We have the choice to use toothpaste with fluoride in it, but it doesn’t stop there. With mouth rinse, other dental products, and semi-annual fluoride treatments, these are all choices we get to make each day. Of all these choice not one requires you to swallow it. We have to drink the water with fluoride in it everyday and I cannot find any definitive research that supports either side. So we are  left with nothing other than our right of choice was taken from us. People are being forced to drink fluorinated water with very few other choices. I can see if people want the fluoride in their water then they can go ahead and choose to put the chemical in, but to not let people choose feels like an invasion of ones rights.

Within the Core review, the recommendation to stop Fluoridation of the Prince George drinking water would save tax payers around $55,000 a year, which is not a huge sum of money, but a savings none the less. This debate is going to go to be a referendum question on the ballot of the 2014 election. Maybe this will settle it once and for all, but I highly doubt the fight will be over once the votes are counted.

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Thank You, What Now?

Now with the election over and Prince George has its new Council I am left with trying to figure out what to do next with this site. I have had a few ideas rumbling through my noodle and I have come up with three that I think would be viable options.

#1 I do nothing and let this site sit for the next three years until the next election when I blow off the dust and try to give apathetic voters one less excuse to not vote.

#2 Turn it into a Prince George Watchdog type of sight were the citizens of Prince George can go to find out what is happening in their city and what council is doing right or wrong.

#3 Turn it into a site that promotes Prince George and shows off the great qualities of Prince George that the citizens, tourist don’t know about and shows the global media a side of Prince George that gets lost in the negativity.

I am leaning towards option#3 as of now, as it was inspired by a twitter hash tag #iheartPG. I think this is an area that needs help and I’m sure it is something Prince George citizens could get on board with, plus a little positivity makes the world go round. Let me know what you think I should do with the site by leaving a comment in the comment section or if you have an idea leave it in the same area I look forward to hearing from you.

I would like to thank everyone that visited the site over the last month an a half. It has been a great learning experience for me as I had just gotten into blogging when I started this one. I have made some new friends and talked to a lot of people about our democratic system. I am passionate about politics and I’m not sure where that passion came from. I hope that I can redirect this passion in hopes of inspiring others to vote and stand up for what they believe in. Thank you everybody for making this a great experience for me and I look forward to the next election and the improvements I can make on this blog next time.

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Results & A Whole Lot of Head Scratching

Well November 19th has come, gone and left us in a state of confusion. People wanted change and the voting public only voted in 3 new council members. The voting public is another area that has left me and many others confused. The cities inhabitants complain about Snow Removal, Potholes, Crime, Train Noise, Air Quality and yet only 27% of the Prince George Population decided to get out and vote. When I ask people if they had voted or were going to vote most didn’t care about the election what so ever. How could people not care about who is running their city. It’s an aspect of life that touches and influences all other aspects of your life. How? Well when your city raises property taxes to cover the growing debit of the city, that takes money out of your pocket. Money that could be spent on food, cloths, a place to live or that Big Mac you crave. When the city decides to let a business open next to your house that brings the value of your neighborhood down, again more money out of your pocket. Crime is a problem in every city, and Prince George is not an exception to this. When someone you know is assaulted,  robbed, raped, vandalized, or killed your city has failed you by not having enough police officers on duty for the city. When the company you work for leaves town or closes because there is not enough business you are again being let down by your municipal government. This is just a few examples and some may not apply to you or you haven’t experienced yet. The point I’m trying to get across is people need to vote. I don’t want to sound cliché, but there are people around the world fighting and being murdered for that right and we don’t care.

I am an avid Twitter user and the conversion that has been going on for 3 days now, since the November 19th election, is why do people not exercise their right to vote and how do we get people exercise that right. With idea’s being thrown out left and right here are a few that have gotten the most attention:

Online Voting: has been brought up and I think this is something that should be happening now. The internet is a huge part of our lives and using it as a tool to vote only seems natural. The cities of Vancouver and Surrey are looking at online voting, but nothing has come of that yet. The city of Markham, Ontario has been using online voting since 2003 and has seen increases to the tune of:

  • 91% of online voters said they would be “very likely” to vote online in the future
  • 88% of online voters in 2006 cite “convenience” as their primary reason for voting online
  • Markham saw online voting jump 48% from 7,210 in 2003 to 10,639 in 2006

Online voting does not come without some negative aspects to it. According to a discussion paper on internet voting  done by Elections B.C. in August of this year, is that it is harder to guarantee a fair election online. With a person sitting in a chair at home casting a vote there is no way to guarantee that the right person is casting the vote. If someone got a hold of a PIN number in my name then we are dealing with fraud. There is also the problem of Hackers getting into the system. From the articles I have been reading it looks like online voting is coming, it’s just a matter of time and security.

Compulsory Voting: which is used in Australia at all levels of government makes it mandatory to vote. Failure to vote results in a fine of $20 if a satisfactory explanation is not given (for example, illness or religious prohibition). If this fine is not paid then a court hearing is held for the offense. The percent of the population that this affects is about 5% so it does get a vast majority of the voters out during election time. Now there are pro’s and con’s to this system. The Pro’s obviously is higher voter turn out which in turn maximizes the amount of campaign cost reimbursement. The Con’s are that it goes against human rights of a persons right to choose wither or not to vote.

It is hard to understand why it is that people don’t want to vote and I’m sure we’ll be talking about voter apathy for years to come. I’m sure everyone has their reason for not voting all polished up so that when asked they can have a viable answer. Some don’t have an answer at all they just have no interest. As Carol Hanisch once said “The Personal is Political” and one day the people who do not vote will get affected in some form by their government. Until that day we, the people who do vote, will be left scratching our heads trying to figure it out. Maybe a study should be undertaken by UNBC’s political science department to find out why voter apathy is so high in today’s society.

Oh yeah the results of Prince George’s municipal election. If you haven’t already heard the results here is the breakdown of the count:

Mayor

Council

Shari Green: 6148

Lyn Hall: 9038

Dan Rogers: 5043

Brian Skakun: 8553

AlexHuber: 1104

Murry Krause: 7555

Brandon Lewis: 683

Albert Koehler: 6996

Eugene Fetterly: 474

Cameron Stolz: 6809

Bruce Fader: 298

Dave Wilbur: 6586

Garth Frizzell: 5850

Frank Everitt: 5342

Jordan Gadsby: 4910

Debora Munoz: 4617

Myrt Turner: 3952

Dorothy Friesen: 3348

Harry Ulch: 2643

Brad Gagnon: 2493

Scot Afflect: 2491

Joanne Dickenson: 2387

John Beebe: 2338

Travis Shaw: 1536

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Two More & A New Poll!

I can’t say I am completely surprised at the results of the Campaign Sign poll. What did catch me off guard was the numbers. I know people didn’t find much use for them, but 90% of the 69 votes said no to Campaign Sign helping in their decision-making. All the money and time that candidates waste in putting up signs and it all maybe for nothing. I’m sure it’s not a complete loss as just the sight of them on a regular basis may help your brain recall their name when at the voting booth when you’re not sure who the last few votes should go to.

With the Campaign Sign poll over a week old I have decided to started a new poll. I had a request that I put up a poll to see who the site visitors are going to vote for in the mayoral race. I have left the Campaign Sign poll open if you’d still like to vote on that one as well, so let your voice be heard!

I have also received two responses from council candidates in the past few days. Thanks you to Murry Krause and  Dave Wilbur for participating in this blog. That just leaves council candidates Brian Skakun, Lyn Hall, Brad Gagnon, John Beebe, Scot Affleck and Mayoral Candidates Eugene Fetterly, and Alex Huber left to respond. I hope they respond soon as the election is only 8 days away and people need to have their information to make informed decisions.

I would also like to thank council candidate Garth Frizzell for inviting me to the town hall meeting on his election website www.garthworks.ca. I will be one of a few asking him question during this time and you the public will be able to listen to his responses. The town Hall meeting is going to Thursday Nov 18th at 07:00pm, so go by his site and check it out. If you have any questions you think I should ask leave your question in the comment section.

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Integrity Stations

Do you feel ready for the upcoming election? In blogging about the election over the past month I feel ready one day and then a candidate will say something that will make me change my mind. Making a decision can be tough sometimes. The only thing we can do as citizens is arm our self’s with information about each candidate and hope that they have some integrity and do what they say they were going to do.

We are only 10 days away from election day. The last public forum was last night at the College of New Caledonia hosted by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce & the Prince George Library. I had been to every forum until last night. I decided to try using another medium that was offered at this forum instead of being there in person. That medium was a live stream of the forum via the Prince George Public Library website. I hope this medium continues to be offered more often in the future as nothing beats sitting in the comfort of my couch with a bowl of popcorn. There were some technical difficulties at time during the stream, but nothing that could not be fixed for the next time. Funny thing is with the use of Twitter I was able to communicate with people at the forum. There were some great responses by a few of the candidates, but for the most part the same things were getting recycled over and over again. Some great questions got asked and the format was good as every candidate had different questions. Nothing makes a forum more boring than listening to 25 candidates answer the same question for an hour and all saying the same thing.  The last two forums are private forums. Wednesday Nov 9th up at UNBC for a political science class (Mayoral Candidates only) and one on November 14th at the Ramada for the Prince George Construction Association. So if you did not make it out to any of the other forums then this is your only resource left to form your list.

In other thoughts; have you been wondering where you can go to vote for this upcoming civic election. Well fret no more as I have dug up the information for you from the city of Prince George website. A good chap here in town as even gone a step further and mapped it out for you on his website sparkgeo.com.

Qualified electors can vote from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at any of the following voting places:

Advance Voting Opportunities

November 9 and November 15, 2011 at City Hall

November 16 at UNBC

General Voting Day (November 19, 2011)

  • Kelly Road Secondary School 4540 Handlen Road
  • Vanway Elementary School 9777 Western Road
  • John McInnis Centre 3400 Westwood Drive
  • DP Todd Secondary School 4444 Hill Avenue
  • Malaspina Elementary School 7900 Malaspina Avenue
  • Ron Brent Elementary School 1401 17th Avenue
  • Edgewood Elementary School 4440 Craig Street
  • Blackburn Community Centre 2452 South Blackburn Road
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Almost There

Well we are almost there in more ways than one. The first is November 19th is only 13 days away, so crunch time for the candidates is upon them. The second is I have 5 more response from Candidates. Thank You to Dan Rogers, Shari Green, Bruce Fader, Harry Ulch, and Cameron Stolz for participating in this blog for the citizens of Prince George. Check out the Mayoral and Council Candidates pages for their submissions.

The last of the public Forums is tomorrow night at the College Of New Caledonia at 6 pm. This one is being hosted by the Prince George Chamber of Commerce and the Prince George Library. Get there early if you was a seat as I’m sure it will fill fast and you’ll get left standing.

I put up a poll on the blog over the weekend about Campaign Signs. I’m hoping you’ll still answer the question. The response so far has been good and surprising, so keep checking back to find out the results and the comments.

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