REPORTING · 23rd October 2011
What is the most significant reason you are running for Council?
I want to be a positive advocate for Kitimat on council . Fostering employment opportunities, promoting the town of Kitimat, continually exploring the viability and growth of our community with honesty and integrity. I have dealt with many oppositions, unions, industries, labour council, leaders, government officials, working closely within working groups, striving for the best embracing all educational opportunities, without pecuniary benefits, so I believe with my experience I am a good candidate.
What issue in our community do you see as the largest hurdle for the success in Kitimat?
Working with industries and addressing environmental issues, I believe is the biggest hurdle, and will be challenging, especially with the proposed changes. Whether we get water access or not the community still needs industries to make the port viable.
We can promote Kitimat for many things, retirement, tourism, and so on, but at the end of the day, people move here and make their lives in this community, because of employment. With jobs, comes people, comes financial gains, come improvements, in health care, education, in facilities, in recreation and improvements in life quality.
What is your stance on Enbridge, In Favour of, Opposed too or Neutral? Why?
I was in favour of Enbridge, as it creates employment and future opportunities for our community, having said that, I also am first concerned with the future of not only Kitimat but the state we leave this world to our future. So I am torn, but leaning more and more towards, the cost of having Enbridge, outweighs the benefits. I am looking forward the completion of the environmental study, which will give more information, to base my decision on.
I continually revisit in my mind, while I along with others, were fighting to try and have our resources utilized to promote jobs in our community, "trying to keep Eurocan as a viable operation", "stop exporting our logs" there were citizens of Kitimat fighting to make sure that Eurocan did not ever start up, and logs indeed increased in leaving the area. They did not want a pulp mill in the area, felt the pulp and paper mill was destroying ”our” environment, the cost was not worth the benefit . Now we silently watch truck after truck of our resources, LOGS, leaving our area, creating jobs not here...elsewhere. A very sore spot in my heart. Pollute over there not over here! Eurocan was spending 8-10 million a year on the effluent system, so it’s really about money! Money rules the system implemented for environmental compliance, and the government needs to step up and make these improvements in environmental compliances beneficial to both the companies and to the public.
When we started this election, there were 13 candidates for Alderman. This number has dropped to twelve. Is thirteen a lucky number for Kitimat or is Twelve? Why?
The more people who put names forward for whatever reason, the better. This shows that there is a long established interest in our community, some have lived in Kitimat for many years and are knowledgeable in all the good years and some scary challenges, and we have survived. Some move to Kitimat and see there is a need to making changes, they step up to the plate, and good for them. So 13 was great, the number 12? When people make the choice to drop out of the running, for whatever reason, that is really their business and has nothing to do with me, or anyone else, unless they care to share that with me or you.
I wish every candidate the very best and good luck to you, hard road ahead although they will be challenging and interesting times....I would love to be part of the exciting future, on council, especially the challenges around Enbridge and other projects,...I believe there will be continual road blocks, around exporting oil, but at the end of the day...the government will do what the government wants to do. Accountability and watchdog is so important, not only Enbridge, but all the other industries. Working closely with the industries to address the community and industry concerns, will develop the best solutions, although I will be part of whatever challenges may be ahead, as my home will always be in Kitimat.
Comment by owner on 28th October 2011
The perception is that there is a strained relationship between the Haisla and DOK, and its a result, like all severed relationships, someone wanting something and a group is standing in their way...or not being part of a process.
When Eurocan made the first announcement to shut down, the mill was not for sale. I tried to engage the Haisla. I exhausted all avenues, even sat on their doorstep, day after day, to be told that they were in communications with West Fraser and would not meet with me. Eventually through the grapevine, and more formal public knowledge, the Haisla did not support my venture. By this time i knew they were not the only ones. Although our office secretary kept trying to establish an appointment, I opened my eyes and moved on, but still tried to get my message accross. It did not change my opinion of the Haisla, nor my relationship with the Haisla. We need to stop making issues/difference of opinions destroy relationships. Agree to disagree and move on. The Haisla are our friends...and our neighbors, they have a vested interest, have history in our area, way more then we will ever have. Engaging the Haisla is priority, and if they chose to not engage, keep trying, and never close that door. Building relationships especially ones which have been tainted, takes time and consistency and it needs to start with DOK.
DOK and the Haisla
Comment by Mike Forward on 27th October 2011
Hi Mary, I have a question for you - how do you view the current relationship between the District of Kitimat and the Haisla, and what steps can be taken to improve this relationship to the betterment of both parties? Has this been made enough of a priority, and how would you rank this as a priority?
(I know that's actually multiple questions, but I tried to include all my possible follow ups there).
thanks for that
Comment by owner on 25th October 2011
Thanks Thomas for bring my distraction to my attention...I have attended the 1st nations day of protest against enbridge, I have attended the public demonstrations at riverloge and other places. I have attended the government review panel at riverloge. I have also attended all enbridge public presentations, (sorry when i was not working) and presentation at the CAW building, as I have LNG presentations. I have met with both sides personally, and listened to the possibilities, and the promises of no spill/explosion. I have also met with environmentalist representatives one on one.
I am fully aware of the damage caused by a possible spill, and possible explosion. The public accepted the gas pipeline, the hazards, and risks associated with it. The risks and hazards will be managed, and they will be held accountable. And if you believe for one minute there are no risks, you are burying your hand in the sand, and distracted from the real issue. Please read my article again, and let me know if you would like anything else addressed. I appreciate you giving me the chance to reply. From beautiful Houston…Thanks again, mary
Its not just condensate
Comment by Thomas Campbell on 24th October 2011
Its not just condensate they are shipping; it almosts eems as though you intentionally distract from the real problem Crude oil and water.... The estimated shipment is 525,000 BARRELS PER DAY.... I suggest you read the MSDS on Crude Enbridge plans to ship...
Did you know the Kalamazoo river which had a pipeline leak last year is STILL closed as a drinking source... Imagine a spill upriver on the Kitimat.... our ONLY source of drinking water... I have not heard ONE person address that issue... or how anyone of the candidates plan to adress that issue with Enbridge if they are elected... nor any of their supporters...
What happens if there is a spill 3000 cubic meters (enbridge's minimal estimate) (3000 cubic meters = 3,000,000 litres of crude... 660,000 gallons) did you know that One litre of crude contaminates and renders hundreds of thousands of gallons of drinking water unfit for human consumption...
Is risking the drinking water of 8000 people worth 30 jobs???
Put Kitimat First on election day....
Comment by concerned citizen on 23rd October 2011
If you look at the environmental well being of this channel then you would realize that the pitch coming into RTA poses a bigger health hazard according to the Coast Guard environmental spokesperson than does the condensate for Enbridge. We are concerned with jobs and the development of industry so let us do the smart thing and make sure all the safeguards are in place for the environmental well being of the Douglas Channel.