Paull Plan for Multi Centre includes Contingency Option


October 30, 2010

Quesnel mayoral candidate Ron Paull, in his commitment to comment on issues in the November 19 civic elections, has released his position statement on the proposed Multi Centre. Paull said that in the last two elections, this was a major plank in his platform, as it is today. He noted he and wife Pat Morton held season tickets for Quesnel Millionaires hockey and now for the Kangaroos. They are also season ticket holders at Theatre Northwest in Prince George, but would prefer to stay home for their live theatre fixes. Paull was also a founding member of the Quesnel Theatre Action Group. “Under my leadership, the Multi Centre will be higher priority than before. We have just two years left in our five-year window from the ‘08 referendum. Let’s get moving!”

He informed the October 27th all candidates’ forum that following approval of the 2008 Multi Centre referendum, he attempted to continue momentum generated by the referendum to raise seed money to lever major funds from senior governments and others. “I was politely reminded by the mayor to stay out of it… that was her job, not mine,” Paull said. “Now three years later, the Multi Centre fund raising committee was hastily thrown together just weeks ago... to hire a fund raising consultant with a budget of over $100,000… just in time for the election. At the last Joint Planning Committee meeting, I moved to delay that decision until the new Council was sworn in, but was defeated. In my frustration over the thought of yet another consultant, I came up with an idea that the fund raising committee could gather pledges for every goal the ‘Roos scored on home ice in the regular season.” Paull also informed fund raising committee chair Eric Wickham of his idea. “I said I would throw in $20 for each goal, not expecting the Roos to score a total of 21 goals on home ice over the past weekend alone! In hindsight, maybe I should have put a cap on it… but I’ll suck it up and donate my $420, when they get their fund raising plan organized. The ‘Roos think this is a great idea and are doing their job by racking up the goals; we just need to capitalize on it.” Paull speculated that a reasonable goal for accumulated pledges could be $1000 or more per goal, which would have generated $21,000 for the multi centre last weekend alone. He said it’s not just about the money. “This would generate needed awareness and support for the project. We’ve been too quiet. We don’t even have a sign or banner in our old arena or anywhere else to promote the Multi Centre.” He said he would like to see fund raising ideas for the theatre as well. “We need to show potential large funders we are serious and the more seed money we have the more credibility and leverage we’ll have.”

Paull said he is being questioned by voters if there is a Plan “B”. “What if we don’t get all our funding, if the price goes up or, heaven forbid, if we lose another mill... then what?” Paull asked. “The current mayor doesn’t want to talk contingency, but we should.” Upon being questioned about his ideas at the forum, he replied that he has done his research, but would like to discuss it with his colleagues, once elected. “I’m a consensus builder, and want to hear opinions of the others, not wanting to push my ideas ahead of the discussion. I was the first to stick my neck out by saying that we may need to talk about contingency, and it wasn’t long before other candidates, except the mayor, were following suit.” Paull said. “Someone even suggested what I would call a plan “P” for “phasing” of the project, but I am not going there because it would be outside the mandate provided by the referendum.”

Paull said that he expects debate to continue on the Multi Centre issue at upcoming forums slated for 7PM November 3 at Dragon Gate Restaurant and 2PM, November 12 at the Legion. Paull invites voters to call him at 250 992 8994 or find him on Face Book with comments or suggestions.