REPORTING · 25th June 2010
”I move that the Mayor and Council of District of Kitimat go on record neither opposing nor supporting the Enbridge Pipeline Super Tanker Proposal and that we wish to, as a Mayor and Council, with our community, take part in the 1-2 year environmental assessment process and the Joint Review Panel to learn and understand whether this will be a beneficial project to Kitimat, the Northwest and British Columbia,” said Councillor Rob Goffinet.
It was the City Council Meeting on Monday, June 23rd. A motion to endorse Mayor Joanne Monaghan’s statement in the Enbridge Brochure which mailed to every house in Kitimat had just failed in a tie vote, 3-3. A new motion had been called for.
Municipal Manager Trafford Hall suggested there were to aspects to this. There was the public statement and the forum in which it was said. He suggested forgiving the Mayor for what she said and added he was partially responsible. He explained he had been called by Enbridge who wanted the Mayor to appear in their brochure and he had talked her into it.
But then he added another piece to the puzzle. “We took Enbridge’s statement and we toned it way down without willing to offend,” said Hall. This means the Mayor’s statement was not made by Monaghan, it was written by Enbridge.
“So maybe we should ensure that we don’t appear as featured in any pro or con. We will attend all of their forums, everybody’s forums, become educated. Lets just not be featured in Enbridge’s brochures or any serious environmental brochures because, we’re put their for the purpose and the statement of saying, we want your endorsement, all sides want your endorsement, want you to appear there so my caution would be now to the Mayor, don’t appear there, don’t say anything on that,” said Hall.
“Too late,” said Monaghan.
“It’s not too late, it’s a long and taxing process,” said Hall.
Goffinet said his motion allows the statement to belong to Joanne Monaghan as an individual and not as the Mayor of Kitimat. He agreed with Hall’s statement for Council not to be seen corporately or collectively in publications in favour or in opposition of the project. He suggested Council draw in both sides of this discussion and encourage them to speak to the Council and the community through the cameras, attend meetings held by Enbridge and ask questions and not be perceived on one side or the other.
“We are for the community of Kitimat, we wish to be educated to talk to people and find out what would be best for the future of this town without being type case. This motion gives us the flexibility to be representatives of the community on both sides, asking questions, demanding answers and waiting for the results,” said Goffinet.
“I have no problem with that motion because I feel that what I said was basically the same thing. I think that everyone is on the same page and that’s fine with me,” said Monaghan.
Councillor Feldhoff agreed to support the motion. Councillor Bob Corless, who had remained silent through out the proceedings had something to say.
“I’ve already made up my mind. I don’t need two years of independent talking and fact this fact that. There is not only Enbridge. It’s any corporation. The time has come where other people all over the world don’t own our resources and I think we have to start looking ahead to how we treat corporations. We’ve already been treated by a corporation locally, not favourably as far as I’m concerned. And I don’t think any corporation… they’ve gone too far now, they’ve got too much power, and I think it’s time people spoke out,” said Corless.
The chamber erupted into applause. Monaghan commented when she was on the radio, she always told them Council had not chosen a path. “Now that you have, I appreciate that very much,” said Monaghan.
Feldhoff said they try to remain open minded when they debate issues. He said the Prime Minister is talking about upgrading resources and they could probably get more jobs out of the pipeline.
The question was called and carried unanimously.
Hall talked about remaining Nuetral but also stated the statement in the brocure had come from Enbridge
Bob Corless has already made up his mind: "The time has come where other people all over the world don’t own our resources."
Finally...Town Council moving in right direction
Comment by Larry Walker on 25th June 2010
I am impressed with this position taken by the Mayor and Council. The outcome will remain unknown for some time............................ but the proper process has begun and the citizens will be heard.
Congratulations and best wishes.