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NEWS RELEASE · 10th November 2011
Merv Ritchie
Edited 6:30am November 11, 2011
Full Audio Interview attached below

In a full page spread of yesterday’s issue of the local paper, the ugly history of the Terrace Tourism Society (TTS) controversy was exposed again. It was one of my great fears the three mayoral candidates who had put their names forward would take Terrace back into an uncomfortable and destructive past rather than move forward to the future.

The entire TTS fiasco almost escaped mention at the forum last Tuesday night. Both Martindale, who signed a cheque from the TTS to Lewis without having the legal signing authority, and Pernarowski, who lost his job as manager of the Bank which held the account this cheque was processed, were next to Lewis on stage.

This latest issue of the paper however exposes the entire issue as if they were expecting an explosive stage show on Tuesday and this would be a follow up.

Not leaving enough alone, they decided to include my name in their expose’. After a brief read I discovered two mentions of my name and both were absolutely false, misleading and one was libellous. In the middle of an election campaign a newspaper publishing such an inflammatory piece is irresponsible. To include me in this idiocy is reprehensible.

This reminds me of a food fight. Everyone is ready and itching to go but no one is moving just watching and ready. Then someone tosses a bun over their shoulder into the middle of the cafeteria. All hell breaks out. Yesterday the paper tossed that bun.

Take this statement, “It was the first event Merv Ritchie ever wrote about and published under the Terrace Daily.”

The Terrace Daily did not exist in 2006. It was the first story I covered as a reporter in Terrace, however at the time, May 2006, I was working for a different company part time, The Northwest This Week. In January 2007 I started the Terrace Daily and followed many news stories. In January 28, 2007, I announced my return to the reporting scene with my own venture. Read it by clicking here. The Terrace Tourism fiasco was just one of many controversies I addressed.

But the following is the real offensive statement bringing me into the ugly scene.

“She did work shortly for a newspaper then being published by Merv Ritchie, another mayoral candidate. That ended with Lewis saying her job selling advertising was hindered by a damaged reputation.”

How is one to interpret this statement, whose damaged reputation? Pernarowski clearly damaged her reputation when he sent out emails insinuating Lewis erased a TTS computer hard drive and took money that wasn’t hers.

But that was already covered in the article. No the report leaves that alone, just leaves it hanging. It didn’t say “due to her damaged reputation”. Will it have an impact on the voters who read this? We may never know. It was this paper however, The Regional Report, which featured Hockeyville on the front and back pages continuously.

I was not contacted regarding this though I did discuss the tragedy of the TTS affair with the reporter in an unrelated interview. Listen to the entire interview attached below.

If they had contacted me to so much as ask if she worked for me, was fired or quit they would have gotten an entirely different story.

If I were to offer my opinion on all the candidates, Lewis and Martindale are simply different genders of the same personality. Both are type A control personalities. A Kinsmen member took to the microphone at the forum on Tuesday and asked Martindale how he would be able to be able to manage the diverse council.

He asked this in a veiled manner “given the strength of convictions I know you have […] how do you plan to build consensus rather than division in the new council we’re likely to have?”

Just like the Shames Mountain situation that has turned into a Shames Mountain conflict, Martindale is well known for his “strength of convictions”. Some would call it intolerance. We reported on this on February 20, 2007. Martindale told us the cheque he signed for Lewis, the one he did not have signing authority for, was not fraud because no one got hurt.

And this is a demonstration of his strong convictions. Do what ever you need to do to get the job done, process be damned.

Read the full report on our archived site here. Remember the Chairman of this meeting, which degenerated into conflict, was again Martindale.

Do we want Terrace Council to be an embarrassment too? It was saved by calmer heads.

And then there is Dave. Today he is against Enbridge. Yesterday he was taking money from them and did not critique how Enbridge paid for the last North Central Local Government Association AGM in Prince Rupert. Three years of nothing on recycling and today he is all for it.

The worst is his position to be the TDCC’s front man. He lost his job as manager of the Scotia Bank in Terrace, (remember he processed that cheque signed without legal authority) after destroying the unity of all the hoteliers, the accommodation sector. One must remember it is these Hotel, Motel, Bed and Breakfast and Lodge operators that are our first impression. It is this group that may likely be asked first, “Hey, nice town, I was thinking of setting up shop here, what’s your opinion?”

It was Pernarowski, at the behest of the City and the Chamber that destroyed that for us. Then after losing the job and announcing it to the chamber, the chamber votes him back in as their president, unanimously! A Chamber President without a business or a job. That just might be a first in the Province. Then he was given a job with 16/37 but was always off sick with a bad back and was let go. Then he got a job with a firm importing slate, Allterra, who got a grant in late 2008 from Northern Development Trust; a board table Pernarowski just happened to be a member of and the Chairman of the advisory committee.

All of these issues, like Martindale refusing to initially step aside during the Shames mountain debate, involve the perception of a conflict, not a legal opinion, which money will buy any position on.

And let’s stay with the Chambers influence. Pernarowski has had numerous jobs and now enjoys working with PNGI an organization doing great work helping the most disadvantaged. He states he enjoys it. But the Chamber has been arguing to have a full time Mayor. It is a thinly veiled attempt to have their man get paid enough to not have to work at another job. They wanted to increase the salary to around $70,000.

The Chamber has been influencing the City for many years. It was the Chamber that encouraged the City to buy the Co-op building too. It appears as if their man just needs to be paid more to do their bidding behind the scenes.

The only question the Terrace residents need to consider is who do they want to represent them; bullies or a visionary.

Someone who takes directions from others or someone who thinks independently? A man who has been working tirelessly to inform and educate the citizenry or someone who wants to drag the City and the tireless efforts of the great volunteer base back to the dark ages of the TTS intolerance?

And that is just what this newspaper personal interview piece published in the Wednesday paper does. Why is it that we have to live in 2006 when it is 2011? Is this simply a grudge match or is this a contest of ideas and vision for the City? And I was included why? Just because I happened to report on Jennifer, Dave and Bruce among the six thousand other articles I have published?

I am biased, yes, I want you to vote for the future, I want you to vote for me, but more so I have an insight into the past. I have watched and reported on these three other candidates for years now. I waited until the last minute to put in my papers to make a run at the job. It was two minutes before the deadline and I checked to see if a different upstanding competent unbiased Terrace man or woman would step up; someone without this wrongheaded baggage, a forward thinker and community unifier, a personality of inclusion and conciliation. Then someone did, me.

I am happy to state I am ready to be that all inclusive person for Terrace. I will be asking you for help and asking you to join us, your new council body and I.

I respect Ms. Lewis, as I do all those who put their names forward to serve the City. She is a very competent person and I said so to the reporter at the Elephants Ear Café during an interview but like Martindale she is a boss, not a chairperson and a divisive and dysfunctional council is the likely outcome. Pernarowski reminds me of every other ‘Yes man” I have met in my fifty years.

We need a plan, someone with original thoughts. My full interview can be heard by opening the attachment below the pictures of the various newspapers.

I cover the future and the prosperity in detail. It is worth a listen. Then compare what was written in the paper to what I said.

Remember to Vote Saturday, November 19 at the Terrace Arena.

Watch a video of your next Mayor in action by clicking here.
The first article regarding the Terrace Tourism Society published in the Northwest This Week.  The other paper never covered this issue until I began reporting on it.
The first article regarding the Terrace Tourism Society published in the Northwest This Week. The other paper never covered this issue until I began reporting on it.
The Regional Report continuously featured Hockeyville issues.   My proudest achievement to date.
The Regional Report continuously featured Hockeyville issues. My proudest achievement to date.
Comment by Manion Denise on 12th November 2011
I don't care if any or all of the candidates are born and raised here, or if their civic address is within city limits. What I do care about is whether or not they can and will work together for Terrace and not have one or more council members be a puppet for select people or groups with their own agendas. Good luck to all who candidates who are genuinely running for the improvement and betterment of Terrace as a whole. I hope we all make good choices with our votes.
Mud is good.
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 11th November 2011
We can pat it, roll it, pound it, eat it, hold on to it for awhile, bath in it......or sling it. Prince Rupert mud is the best in the world! I've had the pleasure of ducking a few lobs myself. Invisible mud is the best. Politics has got to get muddy sometimes to clean itself up.
concerned Terracite
Comment by Lorna on 11th November 2011
Ms Lewis would be a welcome change!
Is Jennifer Running Just to Get Revenge?
Comment by Nancy on 11th November 2011
I have noticed that Jennifer's campaign is a negative one. Is she doing all this just to get back at Dave and Bruce? If so it is a waste of taxpayers time.