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COMMENTARY · 8th October 2011
Merv Ritchie
Voting for the Mayor of Terrace, BC.
This small part of the North American continent can be used as a microscopic example of the problems with the western world, why hundreds of thousands are taking to the streets in anger. We can see in the region west of Smithers, BC, right through to the west coast at Prince Rupert and across to Haida Gwaii, all examples of government, business and social interactions.

Terrace, BC is a hub of sorts. We could use Terrace as the Capital City of the known western world. Terrace has the big box shopping centers and the large government and business service centers. BC Hydro, Forestry, Canada Works employment center, Regional District offices, Supreme Courts, Rail switching yard and many other regional office head quarters are located within and around Terrace. Within the region we have many economic development organizations, service clubs (Rotary Clubs etc) and of course a chapter of the Chamber of Commerce.

The population of the area is relatively small, in fact in the grand scheme of things, with the large number of regional offices, service clubs and agencies, the population could be considered miniscule. This provides a unique opportunity to look through the lens of the microscope and see what the Terrace and surrounding districts could demonstrate about the problems facing the world and see if it applies to the Wall Street protests.

Terrace has a population of only 12,000 people. If we were to include the surrounding ‘suburbia’ (Thornhill, Remo’s and First Nations Villages) we might count up to 20,000 people. From this tiny population we find those persons with the desire to become politically involved. As a general rule very few people get involved in anything political therefore we see the same names belonging to many organizations.

Whether we look at the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, TEDA (Terrace Economic Development Authority), SNCIRE (Skeena Nass Centre for Innovation and Resource Economics) and the various political bodies, the (RDKS) Regional District Kitimat-Stikine, City of Terrace and more importantly the local media, we find the same names and the same people circulating. Even more interesting is the circle of influence of the wealthiest residents, those who entertain and discuss their interests with political and organizational leaders. Those in the media however control what is discussed and publically released as news and information.

And it is politics that runs the way the world and its people interact, survive and die, with the Courts, the Lawyers and Judges.

In the early part of this century, the logging economy completely collapsed. This collapse of the single economic driver of the region was solely due to two events; the BC Liberal Government of Gordon Campbell coming to power and the sale of the Skeena Cellulose operation to Danny Veniez. Without going into a long tirade of the disastrous economic policies and broken promises of the Liberal Government of BC, we will confine this to the Courts.

After buying Skeena Cellulose at a fire sale deal (the government had much better offers, which would have kept the mills running) Veniez then started a second company, New Skeena Forest (NSF). This new company NSF (the acronym was apt) began by being financed by Vaniez’s first company, Skeena Cellulose. This first company then became the first creditor in line. If NSF was to go NSF then Veneiz company Skeena Cellulose would be paid first. And this is exactly what the courts decided when NSF went NSF.

It is a shell game played by all lawyers and all stock market Wall Street boys. The rules are made for them and the working stiff always loses.

Almost everyone connected with logging in the Northwest lost money and their livelihood when the BC Government sold Skeena Cellulose to Veniez. He sold off all the assets, the mills the lumber stocks and tree farm licences, the equipment, the reserves, even the outstanding tax credits before finally walking away an incredibly rich man leaving all the logging contractors broke, penniless, due to NSF being NSF. You see, Veniez set up a shell company to be responsible for all the hired contractors. He financed it, then when it went broke, purposeful or not, only NSF could be sued. Even though this Veniez relationship between the two companies was exposed and made clearly apparent in the Courts, Danny Veniez got to walk away with everything and pay nothing to all the residents of the Northwest.

It was the lawyers, legal precedent and Courts that allowed this region to go broke and leave most of the population destitute.

Read about it all and the details here.

And this is what the Wall Street protests are all about, the legal illegalities. The immoral but justified destruction of lives and fortunes. Terrace and the region “suck up to the BC Liberals” crowd still can’t see the forest for the trees. They continue expecting to get some wealth benefit, just as long as they say yes to those they think are their friends.

In regards to the brand new Saw Mill in the Center of Terrace, it was the in crowd that went along with the decision to detach the cutting of trees to the local processing facilities. The BC Liberal/Conservative puppy dogs truly believed their political masters telling them that this was the best thing for our economy.

Then of course the brilliant business minds came together and attempted to restart the Mill in Terrace, with no tree farm licence and no contracts. Some claim the reason these industry leaders live here is because they couldn’t succeed down south. There may be some truth to this. Today the site of the newest lumber mill in the region (Skeena Cellulose) is a pile of broken concrete rubble while the oldest Mill, built in the 1950’s by Bill McRae, stands and is being promoted as a blessing, one to be restarted. Right!

The family man, the mother and working parents, the young students getting out of school, the pensioner and veteran, all stand together in awe at the robbery of their future. They see the wrongs, understand the inequities but cannot understand why it is allowed to continue.

One just has to look at what has happened in Terrace and the entire Northwest. We wrote about this once before. The comments by the public were even more enlightening than our original writing. The anonymous comments can be seen as from those wishing to protect the thieves, the BC Liberal machine that has left so many in poverty. It is this machine that has agreed to sell the management of BC Hydro to an American based Corporation. The same government that sold BC Rail, sold our rivers for the private corporations to profit selling hydro electric power. The management of almost everything is now handled by American Parent corporations; even our medical records.

Look at Terrace. Look around, see how it is run and by whom. Watch the legal and political games with the business crowd. Then ask yourself why people all across North America are outraged. We are just a microcosm of a problem, endemic to all of the North American continent and beyond.

Read our November 2009 article (and the associated comments) BEGGARS, THUGS, BUMS, BULLIES, BASTARDS Here. This commentary with the comments is a great social experiment. Follow the links in this article to find a good selection of names to consider as either part of the problem or part of the solution.

There truly is only one problem, good people refuse to get involved.

Today in Terrace we have only two people claiming to wish to run for the position of Mayor. Both participated in actions that could be considered fraudulent. They were certainly both destructive to the moral compass of Terrace. Bruce Martindale chaired the final meeting to bring about the dissolution of the Terrace Tourism Society. It was only due to the intervention of Rob Seaton at the meeting at the Coast Inn of the West in early 2007 that the general meeting didn’t degenerate into a shouting match. Martindale had no time for process. He demanded they just take a vote and be done with it. He has displayed the same intolerance for those who didn’t share his point of view during his term at City Council. Martindale didn’t commit fraud in the strict legal sense of the word, and nor did Pernarowski, as far as we know. But Martindale signed a cheque for processing from the Terrace Tourism Society without having any signing authority whatsoever. He wasn’t even a director. And Pernarowski, while manager at the Scotia Bank where the account was held, allowed this cheque to be processed. He lost his job, by his own admission, due to his involvement with the dissolution of the Terrace Tourism Society.

It is almost a comedy skit how these two who each jointly participated in an act considered by many to be fraudulent are now fighting each other for the top job. Both still attempt to side step due process to get their way.

Yes Terrace is a great example of what is wrong with society on the North American Continent. Will we change or will we wait for the world to change for us.

These following two stories were written in 2007 when we first discovered how crazy Terrace politics were. It has changed, but only very slightly.

Do as we say or else – Part one.

Do as we say or else – Part two.

And then there is this writing We believe offers a partial solution.

We understand how much time it takes to follow the links in this writing, and how long the articles are. To fully comprehend the difficulties we face as a community and indeed as a world community, taking the time to understand this tiny town of Terrace will add greatly to our understanding of our world. In truth, it is your duty to our children.
It is possible
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 9th October 2011
That other people are simply requiring a little time to get organized.
"No pipeline" Energy right now
Comment by blocky bear on 8th October 2011
A testimony to the awareness of current events worldwide is that councils of Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Kitamaat, Kitwanga, NewHazelton, Smithers, is that these
repected organisations are mute as the best hotsprngs in North America lap uselessy on the ground right here at Mount Layton Hotsprings. I prefer to call the site Lac Els Hotsprings in honour of the peoples of the past who stopped here to refresh themselves. They, the councils are in danger of losing their respect. d.b.
veniex
Comment by les watmough on 8th October 2011
This article is the first one I have seen that spells out the highlights of the NSF years. I have information that colaberates and expands on the NSF years Based on the information I have he took 40 million out of this town and never spent a day in jail. What was the connection he had with the Campbell government, There is a story for som investigative reporter to dig up.
les watmough