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Prince George gets less than one per cent of leaders’ time

Liberal leader Christy Clark continued to hammer NDP leader John Horgan during her campaign stop in Prince George Friday.

She was critical of him “not campaigning north of 50,” in other words, sticking to the Lower Mainland. It’s true. Clark has been to Prince George twice to Horgan’s once during the election campaign and she’s been criss-crossing the North more than Horgan has. Give her credit for that.

That being said, none of the leaders have paid much attention to Prince George during the campaign. Green Party leader Andrew Weaver didn’t even come here.

Clark did, twice and Horgan did once. But let’s take a look at those visits.

On her first campaign stop, April 21, Clark rolled into town on a Friday afternoon. She took the time to have a sit down interview with the folks at the Prince George Citizen, then hopped on a bus over to Shirley Bond and Mike Morris’ campaign office. Once there, she glad-handed through the crowd for five or 10 minutes, took the stage and delivered six-minute speech to the crowd of Liberal supporters, glad-handed through the crowd for another five or 10 minutes, hopped on the bus and headed for the airport.

Horgan’s campaign stop was pretty much a carbon copy of Clark’s.

He arrived in town six days after Clark’s first visit. From the airport he hopped on a bus and went to the Citizen office for sit-down interview, then took the bus over to Nancy O’s for a townhall type meeting filled with NDP supporters, glad-handed for five or 10 minutes, delivered a six-minute speech, glad-handed for another 10 minutes or so and then hopped on the bus headed for a similar event in Quesnel.

One difference with the Horgan event was that after his speech he opened the floor up for questions. Granted, it was an NDP-filled room so the questions weren’t too tough.

Clark’s second visit on Friday was identical to her first, except this time there was no stop at the Citizen. She went straight to a campaign event at IDL in the BCR site (although she didn’t don a hard-hat, she was surrounded by big industrial machines) where she delivered a nine-minute speech sandwiched between 10 minutes or so of shaking hands and kissing babies. Then it was off to the airport for a flight back down to the Lower Mainland.

So, even though she visited twice, between the two visits Clark spent maybe three hours in Prince George and Horgan maybe an hour-and-a-half (that’s being generous for both of them).

The campaign is 28 days long, or 672 hours. The four-and-a-half hours the leaders spent here translates into .007 per cent of the total campaign time.

The leaders were here less than one per cent of the total campaign time.

As far as I’m concerned, none of the leaders can lay claim to ‘caring’ enough about Prince George and the North to adequately campaign here.

They spent scant little time here and their visits, which were not publicized (i.e. the general public doesn’t get to see and meet these people), were strictly controlled and choreographed in hopes of capturing the next news cycle.

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