Interior News Editorial

Interior News Editorial

Vote, vote, vote

Smithers is in the final of CBC’s Best Small Town in northern B.C. contest

Those of us who live in Smithers know that the winner of the CBC’s Best Small Town competition for northern B.C. should be a foregone conclusion.

The pride and community spirit of this town are unparalleled.

Remember Hockeyville?

In the inaugural season of that competition, sponsored by CBC and Kraft, Smithers defied the odds going all the way to the finals against Falher and Airdrie, Alberta, Barry’s Bay, Ontario and Salmon River, Nova Scotia.

Although Salmon River would ultimately take the title based on voting, Smithers was kind of the darling of the contest partially because we sent a bus full of people all the way from northwest B.C. to Kingston, Ont.

People were amazed by the lengths to which we would go to promote this remote, rural community.

Our success in that competition, as with the current one, was not random. These are basically popularity contests. Now, as then, it took a concerted effort to get the vote out.

This week, Smithers is up against Bella Coola in the northern final of the Best B.C. Small Town contest for a chance to face off against the winners from the Southwest, Vancouver Island and Interior Regions.

Hats off to Bella Coola, a much smaller and even more remote and rural community for getting this far.

One would think Smithers would hold an advantage, but that’s not how it works. We barely got by Queen Charlotte in the semifinals and we could be in tough against Bella Coola because it’s all about voting.

If we are going to win this thing, we need to get the vote out.

Why do we want to win?

It’s not just about civic pride.

Smithers is a tourist town. Many businesses and people here rely on the tourist trade for their livelihoods.

The success of those businesses and people has spin-off benefits for all of us.

Any publicity for the town could contribute to a big tourist season after two years of having virtually none.

The way CBC has been conducting the contest, information on how to vote has been kind of adhoc and takes a bit of digging, but we can do it, Smithers.

Get online and vote, vote, vote.

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