As the debate rages on between those for and against proportional representation, there’s another vote underway in the province right now -- one that’s lesser known but is actually of prehistoric proportions.

The people of British Columbia are being asked to choose between seven different candidates in the race to see which will become B.C.’s provincial fossil.

The province currently recognizes six different official symbols: the Pacific Dogwood as our official flower, Jade as B.C.’s gemstone, the Steller’s Jay as our official bird, the western redcedar as our official tree; the Spirit Bear as our mammal and the Pacific Salmon as B.C.’s official fish.

The Elasmosaur is an 80-million-year-old marine reptile discovered along the banks of the Puntledge River in Courtenay back in 1988. It's the fossil candidate Pat Trask feels is the clear choice to represent B.C.

Trask, curator of the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre, says each of the seven possibilities are great but the Comox Valley contender is special because of what it has done for education and science.

“From the first extrication crew, we formed the first BC Paleontological Society. From that time, more and more grew across the province until at one time there were seven of them,” Trask said.

Trask says that the Elasmosaur’s discovery 30 years ago has led to international scientists coming to the Courtenay museum to study the collection of fossils found on the island and document the new creatures. 

“This discovery did that. It brought all of these together, amateurs and professions for the first time. Now because of this Elasmosaur discovery 30 years ago, all of this science is happening” he said.

A link to the voting, which closes on Friday November 23rd, can be found on the museum’s website.

That’s also where details can be found on the Elasmosaur’s 80,000,030th birthday celebrations which will be held at the museum on Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.