MP cuts visit short

  • Jan. 15, 2007 8:00 a.m.

Short but sweet. Member of Parliament Nathan Cullen’s visit to the islands was cut short due to a personal emergency. Mr. Cullen, who arrived Saturday, was supposed to stay until Tuesday, but left Sunday afternoon. Still, he packed in a few meet and greets, including an appearance at the Haida Heritage Centre pole viewing Sunday. Mr. Cullen flew in to Sandspit on Saturday, Jan. 13, where he met with regional district director Travis Glasman and Moresby Island Management committee member Carol Wagner. Mr. Glasman says they had a two-hour discussion on many topics, one being Parks Canada funds drizzling out of the Sandspit community. Not only is the Visitor Information Centre at the airport threatened, but fewer staff are stationied in Sandspit and now Parks is taking all their equipment to the Queen Charlotte side, said Mr. Glasman. Mr. Glasman also asked about changes to employment insurance rules in the northwest. Mr. Cullen told him there is interest in Ottawa to move ahead on this. As for the Northern Living Allowance issue, Mr. Cullen was told by the Conservatives not to stake his political career on this, as there would likely be no change. Mr. Glasman also talked to Mr. Cullen about the proposal submitted by the Council of the Haida Nation for the Federal Government’s Forest Communities Program. Mr. Glasman says the proposal was submitted on behalf of the whole islands, but because many island leaders were away at the Union of BC Municipalities convention at the critical time, not many letters of support were submitted with the proposal. Mr. Glasman says the proposal needs political backing. The Forest Communities program is aimed at assisting resource-based communities in the development of innovative approaches to meet the challenges of forest sector transition and forest resource sustainability. Six to ten sites in Canada will receive core funding of up to $400,000 per year for five years. Natural Resources Canada will let applicants know by the end of January. Mr. Cullen also had a meeting with Ernie Gladstone, superintendent of Gwaii Haanas. Mr. Gladstone said they discussed the visitor information centre in Sandspit and the Marine Conservation area.

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