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REPORTING · 11th August 2010
Walter McFarlane
Dark Clouds on a Bright Summer’s Day: Part 5

The Council Meeting on Tuesday August 3rd had already gone down hill once. Gottschling had read a prepared statement which had accused Mayor Joanne Monaghan of being a weak Mayor among other things. When the dust settled, it appeared Council was getting back to their meeting. But the storm was getting ready to pick up again in new business. Councillor Randy Halyk was about to pull several items out of Information Package.

“We received this information and I was reading at the top of it, the presentation to Regional Community Advisory Board, July 13th, BC North Community Advisory Board by NC Cab Elected representative Dianne Hewlett and again, I’m concerned about our employees discussing… working it seems for Enbridge,” said Halyk. “I don’t understand why our employee would be running this kind of a thing without Council’s knowledge; I never heard this until I saw this happened and I have been in the CAB scenario from the start.”

Hewlett explained to Council there were community boards set up by Enbridge across the corridors to have citizens and people with information about the communities economies to come forward and discuss opportunities and concerns about the pipeline project. She stated at a recent meeting, names were put forward to represent the group and report to the other community CABs. She provided information on the Socio Economic activities of the region, how the cab started, membership and the activities they were doing.

Halyk expressed concern she had presented for the CAB when in the past, Enbridge had been doing the presentations. He reminded her that the District should not be involved trying to move the project. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall said Council should not be debating with staff at a public meeting and clarified Halyk’s argument.

“Is the Councillor’s concern that by our economic development officer being a chair or taking a lead roll in the CAB it may be perceived that the District of Kitimat is taking a position on the project?” asked Hall.

Halyk replied: “Absolutely”

Hall asked if the CAB was paid for by the Company. Hewlett answered the expenses were reimbursed by the company. Hall wanted to know if the CAB was being put forward by law. Hewlett answered it was a company process to get public input.

Hall pointed out this was a meaty subject and would probably be returning. They want the economic development officer to take a role in regional initiatives but with the controversy around this project, they had to make sure they did not leave any impression they were for or against Enbridge until they had all the facts.