REPORTING · 30th August 2010
Two weeks ago a miscommunication led to a bridge being burnt between the District of Kitimat and Kitamaat Village. We have spoken with Councillor Randy Halyk, Mayor Joanne Monaghan and communicated by email with Kitamaat Village Councillor Ellis Ross.
According to both Monaghan and Ross the discussion began when they sat together at the Methanex Golf Scramble where the letters written by Halyk to BC Premier Campbell were brought up. Ross asked what could be done about them and Monaghan suggested writing a letter or presenting to Council. Ross indicated he would try to get the Chief Councillor to attend.
A series of emails then began between the two. When Ross inquired about the next meeting time, Monaghan wrote him saying it was 7:30 pm, Monday August 16, but the presenter would have to be on the agenda, which is put together on Thursday. Both Ross and Monaghan expressed the emails were explicit in their details.
On Monday morning, prior to the Council meeting, Monaghan received an email back informing her someone would be there. She stated she did not know who the representative would be and when she looked out into the audience, she did not see Chief Councillor Delores Pollard.
“I can honestly say that if I would have know she was in the audience and that she was the Chief, I would have made provisions for her to speak first because if the Chief is speaking, they always speak first regardless, but I did not see her,” said Monaghan.
Monaghan expressed she was looking at the audience throughout the presentations watching for the presenter. No one came forward. Monaghan said if she had known it was Pollard attending the meeting, things would have turned out different. She had been expecting Ross.
Ross stated Pollard was not at the Council Meeting looking for an apology. “She was there to address the false accusations of Halyk’s letters regarding the Haisla's backroom dealings with the Province.”
Councillor Halyk stated all he was aware of was the topic on the agenda, which did not have much information behind it. He also stated he had asked Monaghan about this prior to the meeting and she was uncertain about what this was about, as all she had were emails.
“I had no idea what was going to happen and what the intention was or anything,” said Halyk.
It appears the miscommunication was threefold. During the meeting, when asked, Pollard expressed she wished to respond to what Council had to say but she was not on the agenda. Monaghan was not informed there was going to be someone present until the morning of the meeting.
Pollard had entered the Council Chamber prior to the meeting. Monaghan in the past, does greet the VIP's in the audience when she sees them there, getting up from her seat when she sees them to walk over and talk with them. This does suggest she did not see Pollard in the audience; however the Chief Councillor also was not dressed in attire appropriate or common for a visiting VIP. Still, Monaghan did not ask if there was a representative from KVC much like she did when Terrace Councillor Bidgood missed presenting at a prior meeting.
In the meantime, Halyk will stand by what he has written and said. “I have no reason to apologize that I am aware of. The whole incident was unfortunate,” said Halyk.
“Its not the first time [building] a bridge has been attempted with District of Kitimat and not the first time it’s been burnt. It’s now up to Chief and Council if its even worth another attempt at bridge building,” said Ross.
“I think the best thing we can all do is forget this scenario, writing a letter, and hopefully, we can get it straightened out and get some of these things we have to do together started and hope they will accept our apology,” said Monaghan stating she has written an apology to both Ross and Pollard.
Chief Councillor Pollard leaves the DOK Council meeting