I know I know, I said I wouldn’t be doing this anymore in 2019.
With that said, I have a few things I need to discuss and I have to bring this back in order to discuss them.
Before I get into the main portion of this editorial, I’d like to say a quick thank you to Chris Stewart for giving me a heart to heart talk at the Port McNeill & District Chamber of Commerce Awards, basically telling me to keep going and to keep speaking my truth.
Thanks, Chris. Your motivational speech really helped push me back towards writing this column and I don’t take that lightly. Also have to add a quick thank you to Don Kattler for doing the same thing while at the ice rink last weekend.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I’m sure everyone has noticed that Thomas Kervin is no longer the reporter here at the North Island Gazette. Thomas was actually hired on a four-month temporary contract just to help me out after Hanna Petersen moved back to Prince George, and did he ever come through when I needed him.
Thomas worked incredibly hard over the four months he was here, wrote a massive amount of stories, and even produced an entire newspaper all by himself while I was away on vacation over Christmas (Jan. 3 newspaper if you’re wondering which one it was).
There is a very small list of people who can say they have produced an entire edition of the North Island Gazette all by themselves, and Thomas can proudly say his name belongs on that list.
With that said, Thomas will continue to freelance for the Gazette, with one of his main focuses being the Regional District of Mount Waddington board meetings. Unfortunately, the RDMW meetings fall on a Tuesday, which is why I can’t attend them myself (Tuesday/Wednesday are my days off).
Now, I’d like to talk about Port Hardy council’s decision to add a question and answer period to the agenda packages.
I sent in a request for this issue to be looked at, mainly because I was concerned Port Hardy was the only council on the entire North Island not to have a set public comment time for residents.
I’d like to thank Port Hardy’s Chief Administrative Officer Allison McCarrick and Director of Corporate Services Heather Nelson-Smith for taking my request seriously, pushing it through to council, and spending time researching the issue.
This wasn’t about me winning over council, it was about getting a more formal process in place that will help create dialogue between the district and the local residents.
Also, I’d like to give a shoutout to Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas for being very active in engaging the community about projects the district is working on.
I remember when former mayor Hank Bood told me the only time people show up to council meetings is when there are “problems”.
That never made sense to me, but it’s refreshing to see that Dennis has the exact opposite opinion and is working hard to change that mindset.
Anyways, that’s enough from me. I should be back with another Tyson’s Thoughts after the multiplex open house session, which is Jan. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the Civic Centre.
Tyson Whitney is an award-winning journalist who was born and raised in Port Hardy. His family has lived in Port Hardy for more than 40 years. He graduated with a degree in writing from Vancouver Island University in 2008.