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REPORTING · 17th August 2010
Walter McFarlane
The Kitimat City Council met on Monday August 16th for their regular meeting of Council. Mayor Joanne Monaghan called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. All Councillors were present.

Monaghan stated this was not aired live on Citywest due to a technical difficulty and would air at a later date.

Monaghan thanked councillor Bob Corless for bringing the RDSK to Kitimat and announced Council had their meeting with George Cuff earlier in the day. Further information would come out later.

Staff Sergeant Steve Corp took the stand to do the monthly police report. Among the news were three detachment tours were given for summer youth programs, the RCMP held Advanced Water Transport course for two Kitimat residents on the RCMP Vessel and the RCMP had a float in the Canada day Parade.

Under crime stats, there were 14 assaults with a weapon, 25 mischiefs to property, 31 cases of causing a disturbance and 2 sexual assaults. There were 22 motor vehicle act tickets, 17 warnings and 6 liquor act offences. He announced prisoner statistics are up although they are on par with many of the numbers from last year.

Councillor Rob Goffinet expressed he was impressed with the number of members in full dress uniform walking in the parade interacting with the community. Corp said the credit goes to the officers for coming out.

Rodger Papish and Leif Larsen took the stand next to speak about the industrial bus route. He said this interferes with people going to work, particularly in the wintertime. Papish encouraged Council to take another look before it gets taken away.

Larsen, a bus driver in Kitimat, as a citizen not representing the bus, accused council of having their priorities mixed up and not telling the community about this. He suggested Council consult with the community. Especially since now, the bus will be excluding a part of town.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff suggested car pooling as a viable option for the bus riders. Larsen suggested this was a bad attitude because people can take the bus to work rather then car pool. He pointed out there were a lot of students on the bus. Papish said people will get to work and there were useless runs in town because there were routes which could be eliminated without people noticing.

Councillor Randy Halyk said they had looked at ridership and explained there was low ridership on the industrial routes. He agreed there were some redundant routes. The numbers taken were during the winter and Papish said the numbers were incorrect, the numbers were good during the winter time. Larsen said the busses were not aligned with Alcan’s shift changes. There were no further questions so they sat down.

After approving the minutes, Council moved on to motions. The first motion was a motion by Councillor Richard McLaren. He wished to speak about his health and the affect it will have on Council. He explained he had been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease or ALS. He thanked the support he had received from the community and that he would resign from Council and reserve his strength for his family.

This was followed by a notice of motion for the Nomination to the Northern BC Tourism Association board, Councillor Halyk was nominated.

Under reports, Council approved the statement of financial information. Halyk drew attention to the remuneration and expenses. Council gets paid .07% meaning the community gets bang for their buck. Next came A report from Carl Shepard with an audit of the district’s offices. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall announced a copy is available on the District of Kitimat Website.

The request for sponsorship for the All Nations Hockey Tournament was next. Feldhoff clarified two points, the amount of money and whether they would be getting the money right back towards the rental of the arena. This was carried. Herb Grant thanked Council on behalf of the Haisla Thunderbirds.

Then came a TINUP for JHW which was carried.

The next item was a request for an apology. Feldhoff moved to put the apology in camera. Gottschling asked to table it. Gottschling pointed out there are many issues they wished to discuss with the Haisla. He suggested they should discuss these issues together. The motion was tabled.

Chief Councillor Dolores Pollard who was present wanted to present at this time. Pollard and Monaghan clarified Council policy and Monaghan apologized for not calling on her to present earlier in the meeting. Council moved on to the statement of accounts and Pollard, who had anticipated being able to speak at the meeting or receive this apology, left.

Under communications, Council received the letter from the BC Federation of Labour was carried.

Into new business, Councillor Rob Goffinet invited the leadership of the Haisla Nation to meet with them to discuss matters between the two communities. It was carried. Goffinet asked to put on the table a team to attend UBCM this fall. Monaghan wanted the Council to take in as many meetings as they could.

The next topic was Industrial Taxation, Feldhoff declared conflict. Halyk said this would be a notice of motion which they would like to place at UBCM. Gottschling said this was a difficult motion and wanted explanation. Hall said they had researched this and there are groups pushing for industrial taxation. They found the taxation was a small tax on industry and should not affect the operation. The government did not verify this. McLaren wanted to know if the Provincial Government could change the rules. They do but it’s an unpopular stance. The motion was called and Carried, Feldhoff then rejoined the meeting.

Feldhoff moved to have administration report back on the presentation by Larsen and Papish earlier in the meeting. He asked the staff to make comments such as the other routes which could be cut and the numbers. Hall asked Walter McLellen if he had anything he could ad. McLellen said the closure of Eurocan made them look at the distance, the core ridership and the survey they did in the latter part of January with Eurocan running. He reminded Council Alcan is reducing to 1000. The numbers made the rout not make sense. He said he could not see a recommendation around it. As for the topic of the bus not meeting people’s needs, McLellen said they were not informed about the shifts being changed.

Goffinet pointed out the ridership was a small core but wanted to know how many different people rely on the service. McLellen explained it would be a small core but he could not give an exact number. The motion was defeated.

Corless updated Council on the Regional District. They toured Alcan. They were surprised by the tour. $10,000 was given on behalf of Alcan to the Medical Doctor program. Corless took the Regional District on a tour of the community. Two mayors wanted to go shopping.

Kitimat Council met with the Regional District, Industrial Taxation, Moon Bay and MK Bay. The Regional District went out to MK Bay marina. Dinner was at Seamasters and the meeting took place in the meeting. It was a full day. He expressed they were surprised with how much Kitimat has.

It was a great note to end the meeting on. There was nothing further so Council went in Camera.
Councilor McLaren
Comment by Mike Forward on 17th August 2010
Almost lost in the middle of this is the news about Councilor McLaren's diagnosis with ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Whatever differences of political opinion people have with him, this is truly awful. I hope for the best for his health.