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CONTRIBUTION · 24th October 2011
Mario Feldhoff
Question 1.
What is the most significant reason you are running for Council?

I am motivated in large part to develop a more promising future for our community’s youth.
I believe that I can make a positive difference in improving the quality of life for Kitimatians, be it increasing employment opportunities, strengthening community services, prudently managing your taxes and responding to the needs of a rapidly aging community.

Industrial development continues to form the base of Kitimat’s economy. Having said that, we also need to look into the future, beyond the mega projects, so that we have a sustainable livable community once the construction frenzy recedes. It is important that council find ways to support and facilitate completion of smaller projects such as Sandhill Materials Inc and Pytrade.

I took part in the Eurocan Viability Task Force which put forward a credible plan for the paper mill utilizing coastal fibre. Sadly, the necessary support from West Fraser and the provincial / federal governments was not forthcoming. Nurturing diversity and securing sustainable economic development is important to securing a more prosperous future for all. Kitimat does indeed have a very promising future.

I believe that I can effectively work together with others, helping find common ground and promoting solutions for the benefit of all residents. I would be honoured to receive your support on November 19.

Question 2.
What issue in our community do you see as the largest hurdle for the success of Kitimat?

Kitimat is beginning to turn the corner economically after having been devastated by the unexpected Eurocan closure. As our situation improves we need to fully restore recreational funding and make sure that we continue to offer high levels of services to residents, while keeping our finances strong and taxes/fees amongst the lowest in the province. Quality community services are important to persons considering moving here for work or retirement, and to those considering staying here upon reaching retirement.

It is extremely important that we work together with the Northern Health Authority and others, to increase the number of Multi-level care beds at our hospital in response to the needs of our rapidly aging community. Important ground work has been set in place with the establishment of the Kitimat Health Advisory Group and more recently the Kitimat General Hospital Foundation. There is still considerable work to do and I am committed to the challenge. Furthermore, we need to increase our marina capacity, having lost both the Yacht Club and Moon Bay marinas. With your continued support, I will do my utmost to represent your collective interests in working towards improving the quality of life for all Kitimat residents.

Question 3:
What is your stance on Enbridge, In Favour of, Opposed to, or Neutral? Why?

Enbridge has many important questions to answer concerning risks to the environment and our way of life. I believe in due process and believe that the Joint Review Panel is the most appropriate forum to air our questions and concerns regarding the Enbridge project. I encourage citizens and groups to pose their questions and concerns, either orally or in writing, to the Joint Review Panel (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency and the National Energy Board). I believe in the objectivity and independence of that quasi-judicial panel and have faith that their report will be unbiased and competently address the questions posed. I draw parallel to 1995 when the BC government of the day cancelled the Kemano Completion Project without taking into account the recommendations of the BC Utilities Commission. Our community at that time was outraged that the BCUC recommendations were not considered by the government and that due process was not followed. As it turned out, the BCUC’s report was comprehensive and balanced, and placed limits and strict conditions on the project presented for their review.

I have raised the issue of adding value to Canada’s exports as opposed to exporting them in raw form on a number of occasions with Enbridge’s senior management, senior levels of government and at the Community Advisory Board. I believe that the economics for a Kitimat based oil upgrader are favourable as capital costs would be much lower than building in Alberta. What is presently lacking is a will on the part of Enbridge and the federal government to make that part of the current proposal. I will continue to make the case for adding value to Canada’s resources prior to export.

Question 4
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?

I’m not superstitious and don’t believe in lucky or unlucky numbers. I do believe that a wide diversity of candidates and views is a sign of a healthy democracy. Each candidate brings with them a different set of strengths and weaknesses. In the end, your elected council must demonstrate that they can effectively work together in improving the common good of the community. There is value in having new perspectives on council as there is with experience.

In time, I believe that the community will come to appreciate that in recruiting Ron Poole that we have hired a very competent and effective Chief Administrative Officer. We are lucky to have him. The relationship that council has with its CAO is very important. Already we have seen a reduction in the backlog of previously passed council motions.

Question 5

I believe that I have much to offer and have demonstrated responsiveness to changing community concerns. It is important that as your elected representatives, that Councillors make the effort to constructively listen to different viewpoints, work together to find common ground, and don’t let things degenerate and become personal. I have made the effort to effectively work together with my fellow Councillors and others in bringing forward constructive solutions. This has not always been easy.

I was pleased to support the efforts of many volunteers and other donors towards completion of a new Animal shelter, the Mount Elizabeth tennis court rejuvenation project and continuation of alpine skiing opportunities at Shames Mountain. I supported the decision to keep the Kitimat Ice Rink open and challenged recommendations from staff on a number of occasions. This included putting in place a safer road crossing at Quatsino and Columbia, fighting for more liberal back yard fire pit regulations and more recently successfully challenging our snow removal bylaw to allow placing of snow at curbside at the end of driveways. I believe that the District’s Engineering department would benefit from a best practices audit.

Kitimat is uniquely poised and on the cusp of significant positive economic growth. There are a number of challenges associated with managing that growth. I ask for your support as we continue to shape our future together.

My actions are guided by the interests of the community at large and I take the responsibility of representing you very seriously. Please call me at 250-632-5353 or email feldhoff,,, if you have any further questions or concerns. Thank you.
Comment by Linda Campbell on 28th October 2011
How odd that all the cuts you either moved or seconded and voted in favour of were not mentioned in all the things you have done over the past 3 years. Or the amount of money that council has given out over the past few months without even the blink of an eye! I guess thats why its called the silly season, maybe it should be noted the amount this Council has spent in the run up to this Election!!!
Not even a mention of YOUR MOTION TO SPEND $15000.00 on Shames Mountain?? What happened you stated that it was a good idea for everyone? Could it be because very few people thought it a good idea? At some point you need to MAN UP TO THE BAD DECISIONS which have cost us more than our share.
Come on Mario...Say it...Supertankers
Comment by Bill Vollrath on 26th October 2011
We don't want pipelines filled with crude oil going up, over and around our mountains, leaking into our river and passing through our town so that 300 supertankers a year can run the risk of spilling their cargo into our channel. Do we? Do you? I don't.

All this, "fill out a form, attend a meeting, do a study to study the study" stuff is a little old. (Are we still doing studies to study the studies that were produced by all the studiers who were studying port development? I've lost track.) But seriously, it just seems to me that all these hearings and review panel discussions only serve to create mountains of paperwork for politicians to hide behind (or get lost in) when they sign the bottom line on that one piece of paper that turns our resources over to the man with the money.

Anyways, tell us what you want, what you really, really want (with regards to Enbridge.)

Thanks, I believe we need your money-management expertise on this council.

Peace, Bill Vollrath
Bus Service
Comment by Louise on 26th October 2011
Council approved removing the industrial bus service after Eurocan shut down, leaving service centre workers and Alcan workers to fend for themselves. The logic in that decision defies me. What is the logic? Thanks.