REPORTING · 24th July 2010
Political Celebrities Stockwell Day and John Baird were in Kitimat last week. While they were here, they took the time to learn about how Kitimat can be economically developed. They met with Council, Alcan and had lunch with Clay Harmon, the next federal conservative candidate for the North.
They were asked about the NDP and the Liberals working for a moratorium on tanker Traffic on the West Coast. “Well they’re planning on shutting down all of our Western Canada. Do they have the same goals for our East Coast also? These are questions that we have and with respect to Mr. Ignatieff and Mr. Layton, they say one thing in one region and another thing in another. We’ve got some industry here which is economic and environmentally sustainable and it is our goal to maintain things that way and approach these issues in a very respectful and very forward looking way,” said Day.
Baird said they were not doing that in Newfoundland. They were extracting and shipping the ‘oil full speed ahead.’ He said there should be some concern as shipping oil had to be done safely. “It is one of the most safest regimes in the world, one of the most progressive environmental forward movement in the world. We’ve got to make that stronger each and every year, everything we do, we have to do safely for the people and safer for the environment, that is mandatory,” said Baird.
Day said they are working to have the safest working conditions and regulations. He stated there was not a country in the world that shuts down. He added other countries look at Canada to see how we do things.
According to Mayor Joanne Monaghan, these are the first Conservative Ministers of the Federal Government who have visited Kitimat.
Prior to lunch, they met with Rio Tinto Alcan and took a tour of the Aluminum Smelter as well as a tour of the Kitimat Harbour including the site where Enbridge is scheduled to set up shop.
“The scope of what is going on at Alcan, the scope of their investment is just going to be really extraordinary. It’s all export too,” said Baird.
“Their investment over the next four and a half years of 2 and a half billion dollars to reduce their emissions by about 60% is a world leading commitment that really sets the standard for the industry and the nation,” said Day.
After lunch, they met with Council. “[The Topics] are going to be up to them. I know that they are going to be talking about economic viability and the future. We want to talk about the fact that we want to be the lowest taxed business regime among the developed nation and we want to hear what they have and their plans for the future and how we can be a part of it. There’s been significant investment in the area so far and we want to hear about what they have to say, how we can be partners in an ongoing robust future,” said Day.
“Dianne Hewlett gave a presentation on the economic development issues that we have in our community and the industries that are looking at us and what’s happened to our industries,” said Monaghan.