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REPORTING · 25th February 2010
Walter McFarlane
There has been a lot of discussion in the community recently about the Northern Health Authority Meeting in November and when the people of Kitimat are going to get a response back. 

“There is discussion and communication underway with the Mayor on a follow-up to the November Community Meeting” said Rob Goffinet of the KHAG. “Northern Health is keen on working and communicating with community members in a positive format to address and discuss and problem solve issues raised, and to report back work completed and projects planned.”

Goffinet expressed the NHA people who were at the meeting were shocked by the number of people who turned out, and what they had to say.  He stated KHAG has been talking with NHA, and have expressed to them the meeting was successful because it brought forward all the concerns of the community of Kitimat.  KHAG has also reiterated the concerns raised in the public meeting have been raised in small group discussions at the KHAG table for many months.

Goffinet explained NHA is working to address some of the concerns expressed by the community during the November meeting, although they have not addressed the community.  He added NHA is working on the concerns of the nurses who spoke at the November meeting.

The response the KHAG has received back is the NHA do not want to see their response turn into another large scale community meeting.  Goffinet, Mayor Joanne Monaghan and Dr. Derek Carstens, have suggested NHA go before City Council, on camera, to give the community the update they desire.

The group debated on what was said in November, but Goffinet believed NHA committed to a community report in February where they would report back on issues raised.  Mike Dray stated the NHA should have nothing to fear from a larger meeting and pointed out if they do not have this meeting, then there will be a lot of anger in the community.  

There was discussion on how this meeting could take place.  Ingrin Hagemann pointed out the people who stood up at the meeting want answers.  Luella Froess stated she is often asked about when the follow-up meeting will be.

“They’re saying, we won’t come to another meeting like in November; We’re saying control it. We believe it can be done,” said Goffinet.  He suggested the hard part was the first meeting, and they should find a way to report back to the community.  Froess stated if they did not want to do this, then why do they have this job?

“If she can’t take the heat, she should just resign,” spoke up one attendee.  Another pointed out many people in Kitimat does not have Citywest so they cannot see the City Council meetings.  According to Goffinet, they are planning the February meeting for March.