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Student and interpreter signing to clarify the question on Enbridge and First Nations positions
REPORTING · 16th November 2011
Terrace Daily
The Kiva Café at the Northwest Community College was the site of another all-candidates gathering on Tuesday, November 15, 2011. Only three of the five Mayoral candidates were present and they took seats at the debate table to answer questions. The student audience was very small and the candidates running for Council seats and Regional District directorships clearly out numbered the student body.

Enbridge was once again a highlight of this exchange as was recycling and the proposed new Forceman Ridge disposal site. Merv Ritchie was challenged by Les Watmough, a candidate for the Thornhill Area E RDKS directorship regarding the claims he made on the potential leakage from the site into Lakelse Lake. Watmough called the claims made by some Lakelse residents hypocritical when considering their own septic systems leech into the lake.

On Enbridge, a question posed by a deaf First Nations student, Lewis stated everybody is taking a neutral position in BC. She claimed nobody is taking a stand stating this is not what they want. Martindale claimed the Indian Act prevented First Nations from stating they are opposed to Enbridge.

Ritchie questioned this referring to the various groups and First Nations representatives that have taken a firm stand against Enbridge including the declaration by the Coastal First Nations, the Wet'suwet'en and the Union of BC Municipalities vote in support of a motion to oppose tankers and the pipeline.

Again Ritchie was challenged, this time by Terrace Councillor Lynne Christiansen, when he stated the Terrace Council representatives voted against supporting the Village of Queen Charlottes motion opposing Tankers and the pipeline. Christiansen was the single Terrace Councillor present at the UBCM convention that voted in favour of the motion. Bruce Bidgood and Martindale were not present.

Attached below is a video clip of this exchange with the Candidates closing remarks.

Or watch it online at Vimeo by clicking HERE.
To the woman Mr. Ritchie makes happy:
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 17th November 2011
If Terrace elects your beloved provider and protector to be our mayor, the beard must go.
All moustaches sported by elected, female councillors also must meet the razor.
Revenge of the Beard
Comment by Dave on 16th November 2011
Haha! Merv its good to keep the lady happy. Best of luck in the election.

Hi Dave - let me tell you why the beard stays
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 16th November 2011
First and foremost is because my lovely lady wants me to keep it. And the second reason should have everyone considering their way of judging people.

I have done nothing to modify my appearance in an effort to please or appease. What you see is what you get, no effort on mine to conform to an appearance standard. I admit though, I did put on a tie in respect of the Forums. My appearance however is a direct reflection of the DNA I aquired through my ancestors, Scottish and German.

If I am expected to trim up and cut to look like some actor or a business elitist, you might not be surprised I could end up less honest. I like my own skin, I do not want to look like someone else.

It reminds me of the Samson story from the Bible, when his hair was cut while he was sleeping he lost his strength. Like all Bible stories I take this as an analogy. It was his strength of character; his pride and dignity.

Numerous times during my 35 years of adult life I have attempted to conform to others ideals. I have never respected myself when I have done that. I have spent my entire life studying and learning other peoples perspectives and all trades and academia.

I am inclined to side with Thoreau on this. He wrote this in regards to fashion and I apply it to trimming and shaving for the social norm,

"No man ever stood the lower in my estimation for having a patch in his clothing; yet I am sure that there is greater anxiety, commonly, to have fashionable, or at least clean and unpatched clothes, than to have a sound conscience”

Many people trim up, shave and don suits to sell you BreX shares. I am not attempting to trick anybody.
Merv dont trim the beard
Comment by Danny Nunes on 16th November 2011
If Dave is right and there are people out there who vote based solely on what they see with there eyes and not on candidates take on the issues then those peoples votes are worthless.
Trim the beard
Comment by Dave on 16th November 2011
Merv...trim the beard...many people vote with their eyes...you'll get more votes..too much beard going on there.
Small gathering?!
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 16th November 2011
Aargh! I am sorry I did not even try to show up because sometimes I do not like crowds, and I thought a cast of thousands would show up. Just because we didn't show, does not mean our hearts weren't with you. Also, a student is already a slave....being a student is also a lifestyle, and takes up a person's whole head sometimes. Forgive them also for appearing disinterested.

Also, I can ask questions here. It's all good.
Out to Lunch....Literally all FN opposed to Enbridge
Comment by Nancy on 16th November 2011
Taken from the Union of BC Indian Chiefs website news release in March 2010. Do Bruce and Jennifer watch the news? Do they even care about FN and our views? Clearly they are not fully informed about this issue.

“The UBCIC is opposed to the Enbridge Pipeline Project and stands with the many First Nations who are standing as a unified block in their opposition to this proposed Tar Sands pipeline.”

This morning, the Coastal First Nations, who are an alliance of First Nations on B.C.’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii, announced that they will not allow pipelines and oil tankers carrying Alberta’s Tar Sands Oil in British Columbia.