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REPORTING · 8th December 2010
Walter McFarlane
Mayor Joanne Monaghan delivered the following Mayoral Address to the people of Kitimat at the Statutory Council Meeting on Monday, December 6th. It has been reproduced below

Good evening.

First, I would like to welcome Councillor Corrine Scott to our Council. And secondly, I would like to again thank the children of Kildala for joining us tonight. Thank you for coming.

This has been a difficult year for Kitimat and difficult for Council and Mayor. We have heard it said that we are not doing much of anything and not much is happening in Kitimat.

There are many things happening but because of confidentiality, it seems that we are not verbalizing many of these. However, let me tell you some of the things we have been involved with.

Today, I have once again been in contact with West Frasier. I was able to get a meeting with West Frasier and Council next week to clarify many issues on the plant site and the Wharf.

So let us talk about the Wharf. We have four or five companies who want to ship out of the Wharf as soon as the transactions are complete. We hope it does not take too long, or the window of opportunity will be missed.

All of these would be translated into jobs.

We have a business person who wants to build a convention center on the old hospital site but is being held up by the fact that although it is fee simple land, the transaction is being held up because of the First Nations saying it is their treaty right.

That would also translate into jobs if it could be built.

There are three lots on Minette Bay that we are trying to purchase from Alcan to give you the community access to the ocean. This access would give you canoeing, kayaking and small boat launching access. Other uses? A birding tower in the estuary, a walk way, an LCI and also, for persons with disability, access to that tower.

This would also translate into Jobs. Negotiations are underway.

There have been inquirers regarding a manganese refinery. Will the land needed be available? If so, this would translate into jobs.

And also of course, we have Rio Tinto Alcan too and Kitimat LNG that this spring, they say they will both be starting construction. This will translate into jobs.

For years, we have asked the Transportation Ministry to take over the Haisla Hill road going through the communities because we are one of the few communities who maintain a road going through our community. They say that our road goes no where and thatís their truth, that we must maintain it.

However, we feel that we do the snow clearing and the maintenance to the bridge. It is a huge expense to you as a tax payer. We were able to tour these people two weeks ago from the ministry to these areas and we left them with this thought that they should be taking this part of the road back.

The good thing is that two days after Shannon from the ministry who was here, who was stationed in Shirley Bondís Office in Prince George, was suddenly transferred to Shirley Bondís Office in Victoria. So perhaps we now have an in.

When I was at the All Candidates Forum, I heard much about youth. We already have Youth Reps in Recreation. However, I have a notice of motion that we write to the library and the museum boards and we ask them to start asking someone 19 or younger to sit on their boards. I passed this by the library and the museum CEOís and the library board has already picked up on this as the voice of the Youth is very important in our community.

Now letís look at some other positives. We have completed the Looking For Love Animal Shelter and this would not have been done without the almost Ĺ million dollars of volunteer time, in kind labour and materials that were given to complete this state of the art facility and a big thank you for all of you who contributed.

We have several other initiatives that we are embarking on. I will be telling you more about them in the future. We just set up a task force so we can look at the possibility of an inter-coastal ferry. I have had communications with both the Province and the Federal Government in a positive way. If we can get this to happen, it will certainly help save the services that our hospital now provides.

Tomorrow, Iím meeting with a group to set up a task force for housing for seniors. Iíve already been in contact with CHMT.

Iíve also been setting up a task force to look after derelict buildings in our town. My Council is very interested in that. Iíve already asked for bylaws from other communities to see what we as a Council have to do to change in our laws to make them conditional.

We have also one other industry that I would like to talk to you about tonight and that is Pytrade. I have been working with them almost daily since a year ago August. They are looking at installing a presentation plant in Kitimat providing us with two and a half million dollars worth of pyrolysis machines free.

The first step will be heat and hydro for a series of green houses. Also, the possibility of bark briquette situation from the debarking of the logs that are exported from here and also a cardboard briquette from the cardboard from Northwest communities.

And also, a UNBC Connection. I just received word today that the University of Northern BC has plans to open a biomass facility in Kitimat. We had discussions with the Universityís research where by Pytrade will provide expertise in the field of pyrolysis and we are currently waiting for a UNBC discussion about this with the University of Hamburg in Germany.

That will translate into jobs as well.

Iíd like all of you to take a big thank you from Mayor and Council for your support and giving us guidance in the past year. We certainly look forward to that in the next year and if any of you in the viewing audience or in the audience here have any questions, please call me at 632-7512. Iím always available to you.

May you have a blessed Christmas and hopefully, weíll have good news in the New Year. Thank you very much.