PORT HARDY – Port Hardy remains locked in a see-saw chase with Port Renfrew and is in the running for a spot in the finals as World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town Canada contest enters its final week.
As of late Tuesday morning, Port Hardy was the leader in the Western Region with 11,796 votes, narrowly ahead of Port Renfrew’s 11,732-vote total. On Monday, Port Renfrew had jumped ahead of Port Hardy in the nip-and-tuck duel before giving back the lead.
The two communities, which had led the nation’s overall voting a week earlier, slipped to third and fourth overall, respectively, as voters in Chapleau, ON and Port Colborne, ON, put those towns into the top two spots with more than 15,000 votes each.
The contest offers a $25,000 top prize to the winning community. Last year’s winner was Port Alberni, and Port Hardy is bidding to become the second straight winner on Vancouver Island.
The first round of the voting is being held in four regions until May 3. The top three vote-getters in each region will advance to the final voting along with eight wild-card towns selected by WFN.
Final voting among the Top 20 will commence May 10. The contest winners are to be announced no later than June 6.
Port Hardy’s cause has been aided by the efforts of the tourism class at Port Hardy Secondary School, which is using social networking and face-to-face lobbying to get people to vote for the community.
To add your vote to the tally, go to www.wfnfishingtown.ca/town/porthardy-bc. First round voting for the Top 20 began April 12 and ends May 3, after which the top fishing towns in Western Canada will go up against leading vote-getters in Central Canada, Eastern Canada and The North. You must register to vote.