CONTRIBUTION · 31st October 2011
What is the most significant reason you are running for Council?
The most significant reason I am running for a second term as Councillor is the experience I have gained during the past three years will allow me to be an even more effective Councillor in this next term. I am able to work positively with others to further the unique commitments for growth and development in Kitimat over the coming years.
Kitimat is poised to realize our place as a key manufacturing and industrial city of British Columbia, situated within the most stunning and attractive natural surroundings anywhere in the world. We are about to confirm to the world that Kitimat is truly ... "A Marvel of Nature and Industry".
With the final commitment to a modernized Rio Tinto Alcan serving as our heavy manufacturing anchor, we will be on track to realize the potential of also becoming a leading centre of natural gas liquefaction and export for Canada. With the precedence of Ocelot-Methanex serving as a template, we can position ourselves to not only be a centre of LNG industry, but of a possible future GTL (Gas to Liquid) industry as well. With this solid foundation of heavy industry, manufacturing and processing, we will be able to plan for the new people and small businesses that this development will bring.
Over the past three years I have been a positive, hard working and involved Councillor. I have tried at all times to speak clearly and forcefully to further the interests of Kitimat on the local, regional and provincial levels.
I would like to be an active part of Kitimat's future, working for another term as one of your Councillors.
What issue in our community do you see as the largest hurdle for the success in Kitimat?
The biggest hurdle facing Kitimat is finding ways to work together and overcome the doubt and division remaining from the uncertain years of the last decade when many in the community waited to see the modernization of Alcan begin, while at the same time experiencing the loss of Eurocan, Methanex and going through the meltdown of the Northwest forest industry.
We are poised as a community to leave these difficult years behind and to emerge as a more vibrant and sustainable community.
Kitimat's immediate future - with Rio Tinto Alcan's commitment to the Kitimat Modernization Project (KMP) and the steady development of LNG (backed up by provincial commitments for power)- will see our city become a centre of investment, economic activity and future employment. This industrial activity will continue to support exceptional Municipal services and facilities that will enhance the lives of the youth, young families and the retiring seniors who are all attracted to the Kitimat way of life.
I also believe the Kitimat people, Your Council, the District of Kitimat, our Business Community both our local Small-Business and Corporate, can work together to safeguard and enhance the Health, Education and Social Services required for the Kitimat of the future.
I hope to be a part of this work in the years to come as an advocate for these enhanced public services.
What is your stance on Enbridge, In Favour of, Opposed too or Neutral? Why?
As an elected Councillor, I am aware and supportive of Council's reasoning to not declare a Council position on the Northern Gateway Project until after the presentations to the Joint Review Panel Hearings are concluded. These hearings will begin early in the New Year, in several communities including Kitimat.
That being said, I am also an individual citizen running for re-election and therefore believe it is crucial that I am transparent and share my personal point of view regarding the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. My point of view will not be shared by everyone, in fact some people who I respect and value do not share my opinion. I also understand that many of my fellow citizens may not have formed an opinion yet - I respect this because I believe we all need our own amount of time to come to conclusions. I would also like it to be possible for us to acknowledge varying points of view, on this issue and other important issues facing the community without becoming a divided community.
I am not in favour of this project as I understand it, for the following reasons:
First, the pipeline travelling across Northern BC and traversing thousands of fish bearing water courses has activated environmental, community and First Nations' concerns, fears and opposition for almost the entire length of the proposed route. I believe these concerns are real and do not believe the risks can be adequately mitigated or accommodated.
Second, the export of the raw bitumen from holding facilities in Kitimat to customers in Asia or the USA via super-tankers, would put the magnificent North Coast at risk to a possible, future bitumen spill. Even the possibility of such an accident would put Kitimat's self-definition of a "Miracle of Nature and Industry" at risk and could alienate us from our fellow coastal communities. The fact that one year ago, in Whistler, BC, an overwhelming majority of the Union of BC Municipalities (in Convention) voiced and voted opposition to the Marine Transport (super-tankers on the North Coast) aspect of this project, shows the depth of opposition which has already formed against this proposed development in every corner of the province.
Third, the export of totally raw bitumen is the export of tens of thousands of jobs for the entire length of the project.
To my mind, the LNG projects envisioned for Kitimat, as well as the Kitimat Modernization Project, are developments that bring Kitimat and the rest of the province together in anticipation. Regrettably the Northern Gateway (BitumenExport) Project threatens to drive us apart, locally, regionally and Provincially.
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?
Thirteen candidates was okay with me, as is twelve, since I am not superstitious nor am I inclined to numerology. Instead I view the number of people on the ballot as a sign of interest in and hope for the community. This is a positive and welcome development.
If any significance can be attributed to these two numbers it is in their relation to the years 2012 and 2013 - years which hold pretty promising numbers for Kitimat; in these two years we can see the Kitimat Modernization Project really start cooking as well as the LNG projects progressing, with resultant population increase and hoped for retail and small business development. As a councillor I am supportive of these initiatives and I will hold parties accountable to their commitments.
To me, potpourri allows me to speak to you about an issue that is important to me that hasn't been addressed in the formal questions so far. An important consideration for this election, and therefore the immediate future of our town, is the possible new and promising relationships that we can, and should, forge with our closest and most important neighbours: the Haisla, the community of Terrace and neighbouring coastal communities.
Kitimat is going to be recognized not only in the Northwest, but in the Province of British Columbia, as the location where development of provincial proportions is centered. To plan for and to benefit from this development, Kitimat will be best served by developing close relationships and coordination with Terrace, the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District, with First Nation communities down the coast and especially, with our Haisla neighbours. Together we can plan for better access to the ocean, both for recreational and economic purposes, jointly plan for summer and winter recreation opportunities and together pursue enhanced Health, Education and Social Services.
I believe there is much goodwill in the communities of the Northwest to develop these new and positive relationships and would look forward to ensuring Kitimat's interests are reflected in these developments.
I would be happy to further explore these ideas and any concerns directly with you. I can be reached at 250-632-1451 (personal cell) or at goffinet,,,telus.net .
Comment by FayEllen McFarlane on 11th November 2011
I've been re-reading the responses to the question "Potpourri?" because like yourself, I felt it was an opportunity to explore an area that was of interest to the candidate, but that hadn't been addressed so far...an interesting set of answers!
I want to express my appreciation for your response. I believe it is so important that we work to establish good relationships with our neighbours, particularly the Haisla! After all, we are at this end of Highway 37 together! We visit the same grocery stores, mall, service centre, restuarants, and swimming pool! Like us, many of them come to cheer on the Ice Demons! And they, too, are looking at marine needs and big companies coming to their community. We need to work together to achieve our common needs, goals, and interests. There is no reason that both of our communities should be fighting the same battles in isolation. We need to learn to trust and share!
Comment by owner on 31st October 2011
very well said my friend, i have had positive results working with you and best of luck to you.