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CONTRIBUTION · 2nd November 2011
Edwin Empinado
Question 1
What is the significant reason why are you running for Council?

I am a public servant by the nature of my work, a caregiver by the dictate of my profession, an educator in the promotion of health and prevention of illness, utilizing a critical mind and open to learning, a compassionate heart, and hardworking and committed hands in order to give quality service to people. Being a natural advocate, I would like to bring these attributes to a higher level in the community to explore more opportunities and seek solutions to our issues by proactively promoting a collaborative and participative decision making so that we will have diversified economic growth without sacrificing our environment, maximizing livability, promoting our diversified culture, providing accessible and better community services and creating an accountable and responsible governance.

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

Kitimat is shaped by the people who were part of the industrial boom, who fought for the rights of the workers, who stood ground to prevent closures of industries as global economy dipped.

There are members of the community who just arrived, shared their expertise to the community, by getting involved through volunteer work so that we have a safe, vibrant, and united community.

It is not about who came first nor who comes last, it is not about who is right or wrong, it is not about debating on what we should do, it is about having dialogue, and respecting one’s opinion. It is about looking for ways that we agree so that we can start building relationships.

It is about time that we start working together, learn from our past and other communities, sit down with the industries in the community and all stakeholders including our Haisla First Nations, make a concrete plan, put it into action while bearing in mind our environmental stewardship and responsibilities as we seek sustainable economic growth, recognizing social and health implications.

Question 3
What is your stance on Enbridge, in favour of, opposed to or neutral? Why?

In a democratic society, the voices of the majority rule. But sad to know, these voices are not from our community, but somewhere in Victoria or Ottawa, where the interest is to sell our natural resources. We have the companies that are interested in such resources, who have all the money to influence decision makers and make it happen.

Let us not divide our community. Let us not delve too much on whether we are for or against the pipelines. What we should emphasize, is that we need to prepare for it coming. We should take charge, we should be in control of things, and it should be on our own terms when we they come. We should let them know that they must deal with us.

I had the chance to talk personally to the mayor of Valdez, Alaska, who is Dave Cobb. He said to me that the oil company has the money. They will come regardless of how we stop them. But the City has by laws, ordinances, and resolutions to control them. He advised me to be prepared. This is what I am going to pursue. We make sure that our locals will manage the safety of our land and water, we make sure that they support our community services, local education programs for the industries, build infrastructure to cater to the needs of our seniors and sick members of the community. We make sure that they contribute funds for the future of Kitimat.

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?

Number 12 or 13 does not have a meaning to me. It just shows me that a lot of people in our community would like to do community service and be a part in shaping Kitimat to better its future in council. I thank and salute the twelve people who are running for stepping up the challenge.

Question 5

It is acceptable but does not really matter to me. What is important is that the candidate we put in council should make sure that they leave behind their personal interests and put the community’s interest first. And each one should lead by example.

Good luck to all of us!
Comment by Daniel Carter on 2nd November 2011
Here Here EDWIN! I am awestruck by your remarks. It is people like you that make a better world whether it be large or small.
Comment by Linda Halyk on 2nd November 2011
Very well said Edwin. You would be a great asset to a new council.