Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Town Without Children

This is a song by a friend of mine, Erdman Tuemp of Lillooet BC.

His song echos a problem in almost all the small towns of BC - there needs to be some substantive change to allow youth to remain in the towns and to have youth be interested in staying.

A large motivation for why I left Lillooet in 2004 was that I could not see a future for my kids in the town. I could not see the teen years being anything positive.

Now if I could only get Erdman to make an MP3 of this song, our send me the chords......


A town without children

Lays deep in this land

Where waters are flowing

The old take their stand

Against new beginnings

Afraid to arrange

New forms of employment

Afraid of all change

The old are officials

On government pay

They fear any change would

Make them go away

The old made careers with

The jobs that weren’t there

They built on relief that

Was based on their care

(ch) They think they’re important

With what they believe

While holding positions

Their children all leave

The old were sincere in

Their care for the lost

But somehow they lost track

Of who pays the cost

The old are officials

Who fear any change

They know their own limits

And limit the range

Their Main Street is peaceful

Few children roam there

The old do their shopping

All stooped full of care

From holding positions

That drove the young out

The old are the righteous

Who never knew doubt

(ch) They think they’re important

With what they believe

While holding positions

Their children all leave

The waters are flowing

The land fills with Spring

The flowers are blooming

With songbirds that sing

The old cling to old ways

The young go away

Officials are always

Important that way

A town without children

Is dreadful at best

The old are officials

Who limit the rest

The government pays with

No jobs to be found

And so these officials

Won’t turn things around

(ch) They think they’re important

With what they believe

While holding positions

Their children all leave

The sun’s always shining

On fields made to grow

A town without children

Has no where to go

Officials are well paid

To stop what may come

For those needing jobs that

May help feed the young

Officials are objects

That do not know life

To keep their positions

They feed endless strife

They block all the options

That others may find

They block all the children

Because they are blind

(ch) They think they’re important

With what they believe

While holding positions

Their children all leave

The old are officials

In towns where they rule

The people with children

Will not be their fool

With families leaving

The old will remain

To walk down their Main Street

To walk there again

The government pays them

To keep the pretence

That governance trumps what

Is just common sense

The cities are growing

As towns have to shrink

Because of officials

And what they all think

(ch) They think they’re important

With what they believe

While holding positions

Their children all leave

This Main Street is peaceful

With old folks all day

With government pensions

They’re happy that way

With old folks officials

Who climb every rung

This Main Street has no room

For anyone young

They block any jobs that

Young families need

To cling to positions

From which the old feed

They care for beliefs that

Keep old folks where they

Make towns without children

To keep them at bay

(ch) They think they’re important

With what they believe

While holding positions

Their children all leave

Friday, February 15, 2008

5th BC Rural Communities Summit

5th BC Rural Communities Summit
" Building Communities Together "

A joint conference of the
BC Rural Network, Cariboo Regional District and Rural Team BC
100 Mile House Lodge and Conference Centre
March 13-15, 2008
100 Mile House, BC

The BC Rural Network, in partnership with the Cariboo Regional District and Rural Team BC, are please to host the 5th BC Rural Communities Summit in 100 Mile House, BC.

The need and desire to improve networking and exchange of information among rural communities has been clearly identified and requested by rural stakeholders across BC.

“Building Communities Together” will be an opportunity for rural residents, and representatives of rural organizations from across the province to come together to discuss ways to coordinate their efforts to improve networking and build the capacity of rural communities in BC.

  • More than 25 workshops and presentations that will provide new skills, explore the experiences, and share the lessons learned by rural and remote communities across BC.
  • Social events and networking opportunities to develop new contacts and partnerships
  • The Annual General Meeting of the BC Rural Network
  • Inspiring speakers and plenary sessions
  • Youth sessions and participation: planned and presented by rural youth


The conference registration brochure, as well as travel and accommodation information is available on-line. Please click on the Registration tab at the top of this page.

You may also request a print version of the registration package by contacting Maureen at:

A limited number of travel bursaries are available on a first come, first served basis to rural residents and representatives of rural organizations who would otherwise not be able to attend. Information on how to apply for a travel bursary is also available on the Registration page, and in the print packages.

Be sure to make your travel and accommodation arrangements early, to avoid disappointment!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Province of Northern BC

The time is here for a province of Northern BC.

Canada would benefit from there being two pacific coast provinces. Northern BC would be very motivated into making the ports of Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Stewart into major ports for the nation. The highway 16 corridor could be made into the primary import/export conduit for the nation.

Northern BC would have a population of 320 000 people - the second smallest in Canada but a province with a lot of resources on hand. Large oil and gas reserves - enough for several generations. Most of the new mines in Canada. Large coal reserves. The Peace has grains and the rest of the region has a low to cattle. And the grand daddy of all is forestry. This would be a province that would be able to look after itself.

Northern BC would also be able to be control its own destiny - it would decide the pace of development. It would no longer be beholden to all these MLAs from the south.

The creation of Northern BC would quickly speed up the development of Prince George as a significant city. With the building of a legislature and a new civil service, Prince George would gain a new class of people. Right now anyone going to the senior levels of the civil service or in elected politics has to leave the north. With a capital in PG, there would be more people moving in.

With the rise of PG as a capital, there would be bigger demand for flights in and out of PG. The CBC would have full time radio there and the market for other media would expand. The rise of PG would also mean that transport would change - there will be a demand for flights from Dawson Creek/Fort St John, Prince Rupert, and elsewhere into PG. The need to fly to Vancouver and back would be reduced. Connections with Alberta would be increased.

Northern BC could choose to look to the south or Alberta for some services or create their own.

Northern BC is also home to the most interesting and innovative university in Canada. UNBC is the core to the dynamic expansion of the economy of Northern BC.

In 20 years I can see Northern BC as a strong province with 500 000 people and unparalleled financial resources. The province would be centred on three main hubs. The Peace for Oil and Gas, Prince George for government and forestry and Prince Rupert/Kitimat/Terrace for shipping.

Northern BC would be well placed to work with Alaska and Yukon to build the rail, electrical and pipeline infrastructure needed to bring the North into the grid of the rest of North America.