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REPORTING · 8th November 2011
Walter McFarlane
Shawn O’Driscoll wanted to know if the candidates were for or against Enbridge, yes or no.

Rob Goffinet said it is a tough question because the Joint Review Panel looks at the environment, if it is economically sound and does it have the support of the people. He said if the Environmental assessment passes, he would still be afraid of the proposal because it separates communities over the fear of Bitumen. In addition, the environmental assessment is for the pipeline, not the shipping by ocean.

Joe Salema agreed with Rob. He was opposed to the project. He does not think people need it because it can be harmful some day.

Carl Whicher supports the model of nature and industry. If it passes, then they have an opportunity to look at reward verses risk. He would be looking at what is in it for Kitimat to mitigate the risks.

Corrine Scott said the biggest fear is the spill. She thought the local citizens and the First Nations have to be a part of this process. People are registering as interveners. She would find it surprising for the National Energy Board to approve the project once all the concerns are put forward. She does not feel they could put a pipeline in and have a 100% guarantee it will not spill.

Edwin Empinado said he was afraid too, but in a democracy, the majority rules and their voices were in Ottawa, not in Kitimat. He talked with the mayor of Valdez about this. They told him the companies will put it in anyway and it is just a matter of time. The community should prepare for it. “We should have control of our environment, when they come, it should be on our terms, not there. We have the ordinances and the bylaws which we could use to prove that this is our community,” said Empinado.

Mary Murphy said Enbridge is the ‘ugly’ word. We need to protect the pristine waters and this is where we need to go to make our community safe. She said it would come no matter what we did so we need to be prepared.

Mario Feldhoff said he did not have an easy yes or no. he has attended many presentations about the project. He hoped Kitimat would be his and his families homes for many years. He stated the National Energy Board has been asked to assess all risks and they will be unbiased and address the questions. The Enbridge project brings benefits as well as risks. Jobs, value added components and taxes. He reminded people in 1995, the BCUC was not allowed to continue their work on Kemano Completion Project. He wanted to see the results of the projects first.

Phil Germuth said no, he would not support it. It is about risk verses Benefit. All these companies supporting Enbridge have all the benefit, none of the risk, as they do not live in this area. Kitimat is taking the risk that one day, we may not be able to drink our water or fish in the Douglas Channel.

John Pacheco said there were positives and negatives. He said families move away because there are no jobs. If the National Energy Board approves it, he would rather be working with them then against them.

Jack Riddle said he would not support the project. People say it is already here, he is not satisfied with the answer. If they agree they should start the fight now. They do not want Enbridge or Oil.

Joshua Callahan said Enbridge will find another gateway to Asia. If there is a spill somewhere else, then it will affect us. He suggested co-operating but having Enbridge change their safety and contingencies.

Bob Corless said he was opposed when this came up. Council talked him into being neutral. Enbridge has helped people. Other companies said: if Enbridge is coming to Kitimat, they should look at this place. The District of Kitimat and the Haisla need to work together on this. He said there are a lot of what ifs but if we worried about this, we would not get on an airplane. Perhaps we shall see an increase in the response on the coast. His problem with Enbridge is they have not bought any land.

OUR PICK FOR BEST ANSWER: Germuth
Runners Up: Empinado, Goffinet