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REPORTING · 22nd June 2010
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council met on Monday, June 21st for their regular meeting of Council. The Council Meeting was packed. Mayor Joanne Monaghan called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. Not present was Councillor Randy Halyk.

Monaghan commented today was the longest day of the year. She then recognized Marcel Vander Wier from the Kitimat Northern Sentinel who has moved to a job in Prince Edward Island. We wish you good fortune in PEI Marcel.

Monaghan also stated she went to Nechako School to answer questions of the students. She showed a thank you card from the students and forwarded some of the questions.

Monaghan called Emergency Social Service Volunteer of the Year for British Columbia, Joyce McLoud. “It’s people like you who keep our communities going,” said Monaghan.

Sergeant Steve Sumner took the stand next to give the monthly policing report. He told Council they gave a tour of the detachment to the Gitanow Independent School, Constable Polsky was transferred to Vancouver Island and a new Occupational Health and Safety Committee was formed.

He told Council this year, they will be reducing the impact of Drugs in our community, reducing the impact of property crime, reducing the fear of crime and victimization and further developing and enhancing the investigative abilities of the RCMP Officers.

For the Month of May, there were 11 common assaults, 14 threats against person, 19 cases of mischief to property, 14 incidents of causing a disturbance and 8 cases of impaired driving doubling the total. There were 57 Motor vehicle act tickets and 39 warnings.

Monaghan wanted to know about a myth she had heard where if you had a drink with dinner, you could be picked up. Sumner replied no amount is safe while driving. There is proposed provincial legislation which is proposed for 50-80 milligrams to lead to a three day suspension. He put emphasis that this is proposed legislature.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know if there was anything which was alarming. Sumner said mischief to property was up as were threats which leapt off the page.

Eleanor Kendell and Linda Campbell stepped up next to discuss the World Day of Peace for 2010. She spoke about the previous World Day of Peace which was successful. They plan to make a peace sign again this year and have Council sign another proclamation.

She also wished to invite Council to make Kitimat a Peace Community, which is identified by peace monuments and statues. “We like to see the name of our community added to those that I mentioned,” said Kendell. She suggested having a peace wall as a part of the world day of peace this year.

Gloria Dielschneider wished to address the council on Bylaw enforcement. She has maintained her yard for her entire life but received a letter telling her the property was unsightly because the lawn was not cut. She asked him why she was getting this letter when on Kuldo, there is a building which is falling down. He replied there was nothing he could do about it. She also said there were a lot of derelict cars, properties with engines leaking onto the lawn and they were concerned with uncut grass. She asked why there were two people doing bylaw enforcement with no bite to bylaw enforcement concerning derelict buildings. Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to clarify a point which was made in her presentation.

Dave Shannon took the stand to speak about Enbridge. He wished to speak to a few of the items in the Enbridge Brochure. “Safe Passage?” was the first. He showed the safe passage demonstration from the Brochure and the information. He said while we exceed the minimums, there are a number of details to this chart which are not included.

He showed three ways tugs help tankers and used five examples to explain how the Douglas Channel was not large enough for the tug to assist the tankers. “The claims of safe passage are highly over exaggerated,” said Shannon. He then compared Kitimat to ports the Douglass Channel was being compared to. They were all straight lines to open ocean.

Councillor Richard McLaren said he had not mentioned the port of Vancouver which also has tankers. The Narrowest point was under the bridges. Shannon explained distance was also a concern and the gulf islands. He asked how many accidents were there, he said they dodged a bullet in 2009. He added the tankers in Vancouver are 1/3 the length.

Feldhoff wanted to know if he was going to make the same presentation to the Joint Review Panel. Shannon said he plans to. Feldhoff stated he did not wish to see people pre-empting the process and he hopes the review panel will make their decision based on the information they received.

Goffinet wanted to know about the oil protection act which would phase out the single hulled tankers and replace them with double hulled. Councillor Bob Corless wanted to know more about Shannon’s Background. Monaghan asked if the Exxon Valdez had a single hull. Shannon explained the Exxon Valdez was punctured through a double hull until it broke apart. She said she was under the impression from all the documentation that the Valdez was single hulled.

Shannon’s second presentation was on the topic of Human Error and Ships at sea. He talked about the Braer which took seawater into the fuel tanks, the Northern adventurer who’s lube oil was contaminated with water, the Cosco Busan which sideswiped a bridge in San Francisco, the Alyeska whose tug was struck by another escort service, the Sea Voyager which went aground in March of 2007 in fair weather, the Pathfinder which ran aground on the same reef of the Exxon Valdez, the Elli which snapped in half because it was not ballasted property and the Eagle Otome a doubled hulled tanker which hit a barge. He stated “No ship is immune to Human Error.”

McLaren stated he was choosey because he did not want tankers but wanted ferries. Shannon replied he was concerned about the impact and contents of the spill. He said a ferry accident is terrible but they do not want an oil spill in the Douglas Channel.

Feldhoff agreed they did not want an oil spill in the Douglas channel and encouraged him to present to the joint review panel.

Council moved onto motions. Feldhoff introduced the motion which was tabled last meeting, to endorse the Mayor’s statement and moved forward. Feldhoff stated there was a motion to get information from George Cuff and if they look at what the Mayor stated, he would debate the statement and it is reasonable.

He said people were opposed to tankers in the way people were opposed to Kemano Completion. He suggested waiting for the Joint Review Panel’s response. He stated he was concerned about the wrought and the lack of value added content over. He also did not want Enbridge to divide the community. He felt the statements she made were not taking a position.

McLaren said he felt the statements weighted the concerns for the environment and the need for jobs. Goffinet stated they were mixing two things up. The question was to endorse this type of statement. He stated the debate so far did not match the motion which was very imprecise. He wanted to know why they were taking a position to endorse a statement when they do not know the end result of the process.

He stated by endorsing the blanket statement in the brochure, they are endorsing. He said the community should be active in the joint review panel to get their point of view across, look at the report, listen to the community and then they can make the motion to endorse. By endorsing the proponent’s brochure, they could be endorsing the process ahead of time which goes against their stated purpose. He suggested a motion not to take sides.

Monaghan said that he was saying what she was saying which was what he said that she said. Councillor Gerd Gottschling said the concern was whether the Mayor should represent council as the Mayor without their go ahead. He said they never went through the process and she went ahead without considering the concerns and council is not ready to make the decision.

Monaghan defended her statement and she asked Council what they wanted her to say. Gottschling said there were concerns in the community. Monaghan thanked him for saying what she said getting boos from the audience.

Feldhoff closed by saying he was still in favour and said the points were not contrary to the comments made in the statement. They were going to get some clarity. He said the Mayor does have the ability to express views which had not come before council. He read the statement and said he did not see a problem with it. The motion was negated with Feldhoff, Monaghan and McLaren in favour and Gottschling Corless and Goffinet opposed.

Goffinet threw a motion on the floor to remain neutral and take part in the environmental review panel to learn about it. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall admitted he was responsible and they toned down the statement. He wanted to ensure they were not featured in any pro or con for Enbridge Brochures. Goffinet stated they should not appear in proponents or opponents brochures, encourage people to speak to Council and Communities, attend meetings and ask questions.

“We wish to be educated, talk to people, find out what would be best for the future of this town without being typecast,” said Goffinet. Monaghan said she had no problem with the motion because she feels she said the same thing. Feldhoff agreed. Corless said he has already made up his mind on the subject. He stated corporations have gone too far and its time for the people to speak out.

Monaghan appreciated the direction which she had been given. Feldhoff spoke about corporations. The motion was carried unanimously.

Monaghan stepped down from the chair to make the next motion to clarify the role of the Mayor. She said there has been controversy on whether or not she can or cannot speak. They could clarify this on a conference call with Cuff. The motion was carried.

The bylaw to combine the ARC with the two commissions was finally adopted. The recreation fees bylaw was read three times. The sponsorship of the Youth Centre event was carried. The meeting with BC Transit in Terrace was received for information. The TINUP was given public notice.

Communications came after the statement of accounts. The request from the Rotary Club was moved forward, the meeting with the Child Development centre was received for information and ask anyone who wants to attend should go and the trimming of the overlook trees should be looked at to see if anything could be done.

Under new business, Monaghan stated Babine Street have a higher tax rate so they should ask the Assessment Authority why this is. Feldhoff wanted to know if the people with the concerns could address the Assessment. The motion was carried.

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