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REPORTING · 21st June 2010
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council held their regular meeting of Council on Monday, June 7th. Mayor Joanne Monaghan called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. Not present was Councillor Richard McLaren.

Monaghan started with good new about the Retirement Kitimat Committee. The weekend prior, the first couple came into Kitimat from Drum Heller Alberta to tour the community. They were most impressed with the Hospital. Monaghan announced the couple had purchased a home on Okanogan Street.

The first presenter was Lori Ferriera, representing Kitimat Minor Hockey to speak about the Closure of Kitimat Ice Rink (KIR). She stated she wanted KIR to remain open as her son lives hockey. She stated KIR is a good location for younger players who wish to play hockey.

She reminded Council they played an 18 team tournament in the spring which hosted teams from across the Northwest. Parents told Kitimat they were lucky to have two rinks as they are always fighting for rink time in their communities. She also stated Kitimat youth were lucky to be invited to play on BC Best Teams.

She added Kitimat has excellent recreation facilities and in the community plan, Kitimat youth expressed the rinks were among the places they felt the safest. She added the cost of keeping KIR open was minimal and would pale in comparison to increased policing. She argued ice times without KIR would be difficult to work around. She concluded Kitimat can use recreation to keep Kitimat families together.

“It takes a village to raise a child and one of Kitimat’s villages is KIR,” said Ferriera.

Dan and Brad Stenson took the stand next to talk about the Canada Day Celebrations. Representing the Kinsmen, he stated the Kinsmen are still working to assist with Canada Day in making the festivities grow.

Martin Gould took the stand next to tell Council the DOK had received three awards, two for the renovation of the Sam Lindsey Aquatic Centre and one for outstanding programming.

Frank Mauro came to the stand after to speak about District Staffing. He said Eurocan was getting free passes but District of Kitimat employees had to pay $197. He stated taxes were up, services were down and Council was still hiring positions. He wanted to know about why Council made these decisions. Councillor Mario Feldhoff thanked him for his presentation. He wanted to know where he got the information so they could look at it. Mauro promised to give the Council the information.

Virgil Vales took the stand next to speak about the Kitimat Terrace Labour Council. He gave the history of the Labour Council. He stated the Labour Council supported the district of Kitimat and the unions to get the Eurocan Mill operating as well as Rio Tinto Alcan.

He wanted to let Council know the modernization of the Smelter is the future of the Northwest and asked Council to work in favour and oppose the raw export of resources be them logs or power. He wanted to see an increase in economic activity in the Northwest. He stated all the conditions have been met for the Kitimat Modernization Projects.

Dieter Wagner took the stand to speak about the Enbridge Brochure. He stated there was a lot of misinformation about aspects over which Enbridge has no control. He expressed what upset him was Mayor Monaghan who endorsed the project in her full mayoral regalia. He reminded Council the Council has not made a decision on Enbridge. He said Premier Gordon Campbell has stated he does not care how many British Columbians protest the project, it will go forward.

He expressed he would like to address Council about this with charts. He also stated he learned recently there was a break in the Alaska Pipeline. He also learned of another break in the Gulf of Mexico from many years ago. He wanted to know where the new technologies to clean up the oil. He added the oil containment booms were old technology which did not work.

Feldhoff stated the joint review panel started their work last week and wanted to know if Wagner had confidence in them. Wagner stated he did not have great faith in them as one was from the oil industry. He hoped they would see through the lies during the presentations. Monaghan thanked him for the project and stated she has never endorsed Enbridge. She is waiting for the review. Wagner responded by reading what she said in brochure. He reminded her people will see her picture in there and think she is endorsing it. Monaghan responded this was her most recent photo.

Margaret Warcup took the stand next to ask Council to pass the motion about the Grant Writer. They have put forward a proposal where the grant writer worked with both the District of Kitimat and the Interagency Committee. She reminded Council there was a limited time before they lose the opportunity.

The motion for the grant writer came up. Councillor Bob Corless moved the recommendation. Councillor Randy Halyk stated the proposal was good. He did say he wanted to try and hire the Grant Writer from Kitimat. He amended the motion as such. Feldhoff inquired on the group hiring the grant writer. The amendment was carried. Monaghan called the question. It was carried.

Moving onto bylaws, Corless gave a motion to give the Family Court committee and the Advisory Committee for people with disabilities three readings. Halyk stated he had been assigned to these committees which did not exhist. He stated Joe Ianireilly brought this forward and they agreed this is what they should do. Halyk added this is the best way to go. Monaghan stated he was assigned to these knowing they did not exhist and this would happen. They were carried.

Council moved onto reports. Feldhoff motioned to keep KIR open for another year. He stated they may have hasty in their decision. He did not think they should cut back on recreation services as they set the community apart. Halyk stated at the same time, there were some capital costs, the compressor which would cost a lot of money to repair. He wanted to know if they had the funds to support this. He said the decision took a lot of thought and was concerned if they could afford to keep KIR open. He said he wanted to keep KIR but wanted to know if they could afford it.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know where the money would come from. Hall stated they cut a list of things. Everything was relative. Now they were looking at one item without the other things which were cut. Corless said when they planned, this, they were planning for the worst and hopping for the best. They are still doing this now. Halyk pointed out they were told Tamitik could take over the slack from KIR. He thought it included the tournaments.

Martin Gould stepped up to say the slack would be taken up but the adults would be playing in the late evening, early morning hours while the kids play at 6 am and it may have an effect on the tournaments. Goffinet wanted to ask about the money brought into the community by an 18-20 team tournament. He wanted to know if they were realistic figures. Gould could not confirm the numbers as they were estimates based on averages. He said this was based on information from the Vancouver tourism committee.

Feldhoff stated this was only for the winter season so the impact would be greater but they think they know where the money was coming form. He suggested drawing money from the reserves to give KIR one more year. He said having kids get up too early for practices was not right and they should remained tuned to the wishes of the community. This year, they wish to keep KIR open one moer year and look at it next year. This was called and carried with Gottschling and Halyk opposed.

The fee schedual came next. Gould explained the fee schedual was looked at by the Advisory Recreation Comission on May 4th. Halyk was concerned even though they were keeping KIR open, it would affect the numbers. He wanted to know why they wanted their recovery rate to drop. He said if they were supporting recreation in Kitimat, they would want to increase their recovery.

Monaghan wanted a motion. Feldhoff motioned to increase the fees for Youth as they were under charged compared to the rest of the province. An amendment was made a motion increase fees for all ice users. After debate, the motion was called and carried with Feldhoff opposed to the amendment.

The report with the recommendations from MJ’s Ladies Gym’s were received for information. The Council carried the grant for the MESS Golf Team trip. Goffinet motioned to send the fill material to fair grounds. Halyk wanted to know what the fill would be used for. Hall explained they had requested it and know what they wished to use it for. It was carried.

Council carried $1500 for the Dragonboat Competition. Then came the motion to give notice about then intention to allow Overwaitea foods to set up a memorial bench in Mountain View Square. It was carried. The TECUP was carried as long as no additional lighting is added. The TINUP was carried as well.

Feldhoff reintroduced the numbering of motions in the manner previously used. Feldhoff stated they did this from 91 to 94. He thought this was a good idea because it clarifies which motions they were talking to. Goffinet clarified they would not be archiving previous motions. Halyk stated it would make things easier for both Council and the public. This was carried.

The final report was the invitation to tour the areas affected by the Gulf oil spill. Feldhoff motioned to decline the offer. He stated the Coastal First Nations have expressed opposition and by going along, he did not wish to be painted as opposing as the mayor has been painted as supporting the project. He stated he had confidence in the National Energy Board Process.

Halyk asked if they were concerned about the project or mitigating the issue. He said this makes good sense in mitigating oil spills. He could not see how a councillor or Mayor could help in the south coast. Feldhoff stated if someone did go, they should pay their own way. Goffinet agreed with Feldhoff with the perception of taking one side or the other. He did not want to be sent on trips by Enbridge which also means not going on trips by Coastal First Nations. He wanted to keep an open mind.

Hall stated the request had a number of dimensions. He stated they should not accept money and this would be educational and this was an issue of sensitivity to the first nations. He reminded council this is a time when they need to be sensitive to the issues. He suggested Council send someone and have them pay for it themselves.

He suggested this was an opportunity to be sensitive to all sides of the story through mutual enterprise. They could still come out on different points of view while gathering information. Gottschling asked if there was a councillor who would pay for their own airfare to learn about how a spill would affect their community. Gotschling said by accepting the air fair, they would be tainted. He stated if the motion was carried, they would be closing the door.

Feldhoff suggested declining the invite. Hall suggested the DOK should pay. This motion was negated. Gottschling motioned they should participate in the tour. Monaghan reminded Council of the Traveling Freeze. Hall stated this was not in affect and this will be in a week or two. The motioned was negative. There was noting they could do without McLaren.

Under communications, Feldhoff made a motion to approve the 2010 schedule for Canada day. It was carried. The communication from the Kitimat public Library was received for information. Feldhoff wanted to know about if this was funded. Hall said this can go on next years budget. Halyk suggested an option was an adopt a street campaign for areas of concern in Kitimat.

After adopting the minutes from the ARC and the APC, the Council moved into new business. Feldhoff wanted to move the writing of a letter thanking Bob Irwin and Northern BC Winter Games Society for their contribution to the Joe Iannarelli Memorial fund. Corless thanked the Haisla Nation and MK Bay marina for storage of boats with the closure of Moon Bay.

Monaghan brought up Enbridge. She wanted Council to make a decision on Enbridge. It was supposed to be on the agenda but did not make it. She repeated the comment in the Enbridge brochure as Feldhoff thought it was fair.

Feldhoff motioned for Council to endorse the statement. Goffinet said they were making an important decision with no notice. He said they have not broached the subject for a reason. He said with no warning, they are endorsing a statement in the proponents brochure. He said this was ill advised. He said people in the community perceived this in a certain way. He said by doing this, they are showing their objectivity is questionable. He suggested backing off, listening to both sides and not endorsing any statement. Council was told she was not endorsing it by the Mayor. He reminded Council the Mayor was not making it as Mayor, it was a private statement.

Mayor Monaghan, as a point of order because they have not discussed Enbridge. The motion was supposed to be on there but did not get on there. She said she wanted this on the agenda because she gets slaughtered whenever she opened her mouth. Gottschling said her motion was ill advised. He mentioned code of conduct and what the mayor should and should not do. Gottschling said the Mayor spoke on behalf of Council which was perceived as endorsing one group or the other. He said this was ill advised.

Feldhoff suggested tabling this to the next regular meeting. Halyk said the point her likeness with the chain of office. He said this is not whether he is in favour of it is not but its whether the Mayor has the right to tell the right to tell the world that Council is in favour of this without their approval.

Monaghan said SHE DID HAVE THAT RIGHT! Hall said they should discuss the role of the Mayor and role of the Council. Hall explained her options. The motion was tabled until the next regular meeting.

With no further business, the Council went in Camera and the public went home.

Editors note
With all the events going on in Kitimat over the last two weeks, this article some how got missed. We sincerely apologize for the delay.!!