Advance polls for the May 12th provincial election will be open from 8 o’clock this morning, until 8 this evening.

This will be the first of four consecutive days of advance voting and, here in Peace River North there are four polling stations.

They’re located at the Stonebridge Hotel, in Fort St. John…the District Office in Taylor…the Pearkes {Parks} Centre in Hudson’s Hope…and, the Community Centre in Fort Nelson.

Elections B-C spokesman Kenn Faris says, the advance polls were extended this year, in hopes of increasing voter turnout, from the 58 per cent recorded, in 2005.

On the hustings yesterday, N-D-P leader Carole James continued her theme of Liberal neglect of rural areas, during a swing through the Cariboo. She accused the Liberals of making it more difficult for the agriculture industry to survive, by cutting funding by 66 million dollars and, making farm gate sales illegal. She added a New Democrat government would provide more support for ranchers and farmers and, those who grow our food.

Meantime, a provincial business group is warning jobs will disappear, if the N-D-P is elected next week. The Coalition of B-C Businesses says, the New Democrats plans, for higher taxes and a two-dollar increase in the minimum wage could put many jobs on the chopping block.