Residents talk it up during MP’s telephone town hall

Resources and the local economy were the main topics during the northwest’s first virtual town hall meeting.

  • Mar. 10, 2011 11:00 a.m.

Resources and the local economy were the main topics during the northwest’s first virtual town hall meeting.

Skeena – Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen organized a moderated virtual town hall last night, connecting thousands of residents across the northwest over the telephone.

Residents lined up over the phone to pose questions of all kinds to the MP, and heard responses from him as well as guest speaker Denise Savoie, assistant deputy speaker of the House of Commons.

Health care, employment, food security and education, as well as boosting and maintaining local economies, were also concerns residents brought up.

Residents were also polled about issues like Enbridge, issues governments need to address immediately, and fisheries while attending the town hall on the line.

Cullen’s fisheries poll, which asked people to give support to public ownership and access to fish or private or quota ownership to fish, had an overwhelming response. The majority of residents who answered the poll, 87 per cent, supported public ownership to fish, while 13 per cent supported private ownership.

“This doesn’t surprise me at all,” Cullen said. “The idea that we’re losing access to this public resource is painful to me as a Canadian, as a British Columbian. We need to reverse this philosophy, reverse this policy in Ottawa….I’ve been talking to the

fish minister and I’ve been telling her, ‘enough’s enough’.”

While Cullen has travelled to economic forums throughout his riding, which spans from Haida Gwaii to Fort St. James and Atlin to Bella Coola, this is his first telephone town hall. All listed residential phone numbers in the riding received a recorded message inviting them to the town hall meeting, and those who wished to participate stayed on the line. With new technology taken from the Obama campaign, as many as 10,000 people could be on the line at the

same time.

 

 

Cullen ended the night by thanking everyone who

participated.

 

 

“We had an incredible number of people on the call tonight,” he said. “It’s just amazing and it reminds me and it refreshes me how many people care about our country and our region in the northwest.”

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