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REPORTING · 14th March 2011
Walter McFarlane
“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.”

On December 6th, 2010, at a City Council meeting, Mayor Joanne Monaghan delivered the above quote. While you can read about this on the Kitimat Daily Online (or by clicking here), the report she delivered to Council tonight, March 14th, 2011, was heartbreaking in comparison.

Earlier today, West Fraser released information stating they will be selling the Eurocan wharf to Rio Tinto Alcan. Monaghan was uncertain if this should have been an in-camera item but, as West Fraser had released a news release earlier today, it was now public knowledge.

Monaghan told the Council they had been called in on a conference call by Rio Tinto Alcan on incredibly short notice; only she and Councillor Rob Goffinet were able to attend.

An opportunity was given for questions. She asked: “Would other people be able to use this because I have 5 or 6 [investors] (including the ferry) that were looking at it, that would like to use this facility and if they have any idea if they were going to be able to do that. Mr. Henning was not that receptive to that idea,” said Monaghan.

She expressed the door was not closed; she is now waiting on a call from Kevin Dobbin.

“If we can not use that, we have approximately, we figured out this afternoon, about 400 jobs that will not be able to come into Kitimat because of the lack of that wharf,” said Monaghan.

Monaghan was able to name three projects, Cascadia, Pytrade and the ferries. The other two are in-camera. Monaghan also pointed out this purchase by Alcan is subject to Government approval.

Monaghan expressed this purchase had been made to bring in equipment for lay down and the modernization. When the smelter is up and running, they would use it for expanded merchandise from the new smelter.

Goffinet agreed with what the Mayor said about the terminal contributing to the Kitimat Modernization project. “If that leads to the KMP project, I think the District and the people here would be happy because we’re looking forward to the modernization with Alcan remaining here for the next 40-50 years,” said Goffinet.

He said the terminal was an asset to the future of the town and future development. He expressed Monaghan wanted to work along side Alcan in future use of the terminal for development beyond the modernization.

Monaghan expressed she had a brief discussion with Dobbin and was told Alcan would be looking at many different things before other people could use the port including a plan for what the port would be used for and an environmental review.

Councillor Feldhoff wanted to know if this would impact the LNG. Monaghan said they will be talking to Henning in the future.

“Right now, it’s something that just happened; I don’t think we really know what’s going to happen. This is going to have to wait a little bit and see what the ramifications are,” said Monaghan.

This is not the first time the District of Kitimat has been beat to the punch by a second organization when it comes to land. In Monaghan's first year as Mayor, 2009, she announced at a tea at the Snow Flake Senior's Centre that she was working on obtaining the old hospital lands for an investor wanting to build a Conference Center. However, first dibs went to the Haisla Nation.
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reality check time?
Comment by Gerry Hummel on 15th March 2011
I'm starting to think what our Mayor believes and what is reality are two different things.

How come the government let's Rio Tinto Alcan and West Fraser do as they please with no obligation to Kitimat or the tax payers? Our mayor sips tea with them and eats cake!

West Fraser ran off with 38 million of our tax dollars, now they get a nice little deal for the dock , got to keep their forest licence, record raw log sales to China and dumped 550 employees! Good deal for West Fraser, Thanks Liberal government and Mr. Harper! Our mayor had direct contact with Gordon Campbell ...didn't she?

Still all the talk of modernization like the money Rio Tinto promised to Invest ...(5 billion I believe was the original figure remember the trumpets, banners and backhoes) keeps getting smaller and smaller ..... maybe like our mayors chance of winning the next election!