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CONTRIBUTION · 21st November 2011
Merv Ritchie
I must say I thoroughly enjoyed speaking to Terrace residents directly this past month. Attending the various forums, being able to publicly address the gathered crowds and speak plainly about Terrace and the future was a highlight of my life. Although I would have been pleased to win and take Terrace into a new future I didnít expect to. I did no door knocking, spent less than $150 on signs and did my own brochure printing, only making about 500 and did not mail any. The last election I entered I came in last place. This time I came in second last. I am moving up.

The main reason I put my name forward was to feature the concept brought to Terrace by Roger Brooks, a guest invited by TEDA (Terrace Economic Development Authority). He stated there were industrial ghost towns in the making all across North America, how Terrace needed to find something unique to market itself with. When I heard his presentation at the Terrace Pentecostal Church in October of 2009, I knew exactly what he was talking about. Read about his presentation by clicking here.

Shortly after, in November of 2009, I discovered the three major rivers of Northwest BC formed the unmistakable profile of a male face looking east. I believed this was the single greatest marketing feature Brooks was speaking about. He also spoke about our First Nationís culture and their artwork, how he purchased over a thousand dollars worth and had it shipped to Vancouver. Combining this profile in the rivers with the First Nations culture has been my focus now for two years.

I have spoken about it repeatedly with every person in a position of authority in Terrace ever since I saw this profile. I have approached TEDA, the Mayor, Kermodei Tourism and many of the directors and councillors. None have taken the lead. They all seem to wish to continue down a tired old path, which to date has produced no results. I was informed one of the main reasons the City and the officials have not taken up this as a marketing wonder is simply because it was not their own idea, that it was coming from me. And I can understand this. I have been writing abrasively about many inadequacies of the City over the years. It would take a person of strong character to look beyond their own personal bias for the betterment of the whole. In this case, accepting an idea for its worth not judging or determining what to do with it simply due to where or who it was coming from.

Hence my reason for running as Mayor. I was able to take the stage and present this concept to the entire community. I had printed the concept in our publications for a year hoping it would take hold. Last month I took the concept to center stage. I presented it forcefully at the REM Lee Theatre All Candidates Forum and at the Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Forum. Now it is up to the rest, the current Council, Kermodei, TEDA, the Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor.

I want to thank Terrace, the entire community, for bearing with me while I spoke. I hope I added some excitement to the race. I had expected the race to be much closer. I believed both Jennifer Lewis and I would achieve 500 votes along with Bruce Martindale. I also expected a much greater turnout with such great candidates to select from. I am happy however with the result.

We have two brand new Councillors in Stacey Tyers and James Cordeiro and a returning past Councillor, Marylin Davies. These three will join long serving Lynne Christiansen and Brian Downie with Bruce Bidgood who will begin his second term. Returning Mayor David Pernarowski will have a very easy job with such a competent and knowledgeable group around his table.

Everyone who ran that did not get elected deserve our praise as well; Tyson Hull, Tamara Ainscow, Chris Gee, Mike Ross, Maryanne Freeman and Dan LeFrancois along with Martindale, Lewis and Don Dunster. I enjoyed meeting and talking with all of you.

Now if I can just find a way to get this new Council to take the profile in the mountains as their own idea my efforts wonít be in vain.

No matter what, just as former Premier Campbell stated as did Brooks, calling this region the Northwest is simply a non-starter. Most North Americans, in fact most people of the western world, think of Oregon or Washington when they hear someone talk about the Northwest. It has been far too long since this problem was identified. If the 'powers that be' do not want to feature the First Nations and the Profile image of the rivers then they must come up with something at least as good or better.
thanks merv!
Comment by tamara ainscow on 21st November 2011
i would like to think all our words made their way into the collective consciousness of the city. there is a mix of old school and new school in the council and methinks we shall see some interesting things come out of it, at least i hope we do.
it was great to meet you and your partner and i hope that our paths shall continue to cross...
Dear Merv,
Comment by Chris Gee on 21st November 2011
Dear Merv,
Thank you very much for the media service you provided during the election but, more importantly, thank you for running for mayor.
I guess Terrace isn't ready for a visionary.
I am nervous that the times ahead may be dark but I am thankful that there are people like you, and your partner, with the courage to hold people to their word and to speak up against those who are disingenuous.
Although I didn't get to talk with you as much as I would have liked, I look forward to doing so in the future.
Chris Gee
Thanks for everything Merv...
Comment by Nancy on 21st November 2011
I don't know what the residents of this community would do without the Terracedaily.
Seems like the mainstream media and the "powers at be" wants to keep us in the dark.