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REPORTING · 16th November 2010
Walter McFarlane
Update: Video file of Council meeting attached below. Both CityWest and the Kitimat Daily had technical difficulties in the Council Chambers at the Kitimat Firehall. Cable and internet connections were not working.

Kitimat City Council met on Monday, November 15th at 7:30 pm. All Councillors were present as were Council Hopefuls Corinne Scott and Mary Murphy. Scott however left in the middle of the meeting. Mayor Joanne Monaghan called the Council meeting to order.

The first presentation was from Sergeant Steve Sumner with the Monthly policing report. Bike and foot patrols were out on Halloween weekend and there were no serious incidents to report. The RCMP have began the DARE Program in the elementary schools and participated in the Telethon. In October, there were 15 common assaults and 13 bear calls.

The second presentation was by Margaret Sanou from the Retire Kitimat Task Force. She talked about aspects drew retirees to the community. She introduced the members of the task force to Council. Sanou explained the history of the tagline, Playground on the Pacific Inland Coast. Kitimat is advertised around town, around BC and as far away as Ontario and into the United states. She moved onto the advertisements in magazines. They are currently working on a 32 page brochure on retiring in Kitimat for tradeshows. In addition, Retire Kitimat showcased on North of 49.

Sanou said there were many trends attracting people to retire to Kitimat include fishing and the hospital. People are buying homes in preparation for retirement and are renting them out in the meantime. The one negative is the negativity in the community. She said the community must maintain the services at Kitimat General Hospital, increase marina space, the people of Kitimat have to become more positive and Council has to start working cooperatively and continue funding.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff asked about Funding. Councillor Randy Halyk pointed out Council was not as dysfunctional as people think. Councillor Rob Goffinet complimented them on their work. Monaghan thanked them for their presentation.

Feldhoff made a motion to invite the Decades Resources be invited to meet with Council to better understand their project in the Wedeen area. Monaghan said this was a gold and copper mine in the Wedeen area. Halyk said he was concerned the Council would be in conflict if they were shareholders. Monaghan suggested Council sell their shares quickly. Walter McLellen explained conflict of interest. The motion was carried.

The first report was a request for a travel grant from the Snow Valley Skating Club. It was carried.

Feldhoff motioned not to comment on an application from the Northern Alps Chalet for a change for a liquor license change. Councillor Gerd Gottschling suggested there were already enough liquor outlets in the community. Halyk expressed the Chalet was a restaurant, not a pub; Council should ask the businesses what they think rather then let the province decide.

Feldhoff said there would be a review regardless and the way he read it, they would not be open every night till two, just when they have banquets. McLellen clarified the format for Council. Councillor Bob Corless said they went through the same process for the Legion to accommodate a dart league once a year. Halyk suggested this go to a public hearing as some services might be hurt by this.

Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to make certain there will be a review by the Liquor Control Board. Goffinet clarified this was an attempt to extend hours for banquets. Halyk also inquired about Dr. Mills jumping through hoops to receive the same permit for his establishment and was unable too. McLellen explained the Chalet had everything in place. Buildings have to meet certain criteria. The motion was carried.

New Years Eve bussing was brought forward with an interesting situation. Only RTA would be the only group asked to support the free bussing and they have not replied. It would cost $2000 for the service. Halyk moved to have Council develop “Operation Red Nose” to form a local community group to have community members offer rides in their private vehicles over the course of the evening. McLellen says it would be a little late for this and it there was already a service which only needs the money to go. Halyk pointed out they just saw a community group who put their group together in the first couple of meetings. The motion was called and defeated.

Feldhoff motioned to have the city sponsor the bussing. Goffinet hoped the District of Kitimat would see if any other businesses would help sponsor the motion. Corless joked about adding Enbridge. It was carried.

There was one communication, from CAW 2301 on the erosion of Hospital services. It was received for information. Feldhoff said there were significant concerns over the services NHA will provide to the community. He said the Kitimat Health Advocacy Group had provided funding to the community. Feldhoff said Council has worked hard on Health Care and there are motions for Council to work with NHA. They have to remain vigilant but they have not been sleeping at the wheel.

Goffinet said he made contact with the union. The Kitimat Health Advocacy Group dealt with it. He suggested he and a director from the group go over the letter in detail and get 2301 involved in their next meeting. Monaghan said she was trying to get in touch with the writer herself.

Halyk said the letter hits close to home and said it relates to his notice of motion later tonight. He said the KHAG was doing an excellent job. The motion was carried.

Under new business, Halyk made a notice of motion to move the adoption of a resolution with the reduction of service at Kitimat General Hospital and the travel and accommodation costs, Council demand the services of Northern Health are brought back up to the standard where people do not have to travel to Terrace.

Goffinet made notice of motion to extend an invitation to Rio Tinto Alcan to a Council meeting to brief Council and Kitimat on the progress towards Kitimat Modernization Project.

With that, Council took a five minute break before going in camera.