MP burns up phone lines

  • Mar. 10, 2011 8:00 p.m.

RESOURCES and the local economy were the main topics during a virtual town hall meeting last night in which thousands were connected via a telephone network organized by Skeena – Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen.

Residents posed questions of all kinds to the MP, and heard responses from him as well as by another NDP MP, Denise Savoie, who is from Victoria and who is the assistant deputy speaker in the House of Commons.

Residents were polled about Enbridge’s planned Northern Gateway pipeline, issues governments need to address immediately, and fisheries.

Cullen’s fisheries poll, which asked people to either support 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 of 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 fisheries minister and I’ve been telling her, ‘enough’s enough’.”

While Cullen does host meetings to talk about the economy 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.

Using technology taken from the campaign which elected Barack Obama as President of the United States in 2008, as many as 10,000 people could be on the line at the same time.