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COMMENTARY · 14th February 2012
Walter McFarlane
“It is a very unfortunate because rumours like that start. People start sometimes getting their hopes up for things that really, are totally unfounded and it’s not really fair to the public when people print things that aren’t true.”

These words came from Mayor of Kitimat, Joanne Monaghan’s mouth after Terrace Daily Reporter and Editor, Merv Ritchie, wrote a piece about the potential for the completion of the Kemano Power Plant, shortly after Eurocan announced their closure.

However, Merv’s prediction seems to be coming to pass. In 2011, Alcan received the go ahead to complete the drilling of the second tunnel.

So for those of you who haven’t read the 2011 census data yet, Kitimat is not entirely booming after all. In fact, this Census tells us we are no longer a Census Agglomeration, which requires us to have a population of at least 10,000 people.

According to the Census website, Kitimat had the Lowest Population growth in BC, shrinking 7.3%. The population dropped from 8,987 people to 8,335 people between 2006 and 2011.

So yah. I guess those numbers indicate we’re booming… right?

There are workers coming in to town to work on all of these big projects, but where do they live when they are not in the camps here in Kitimat? None of these projects have promised a substantial number of jobs, post construction.

The various LNG’s, Pytrade and Enbridge are estimated to have between 30-50 jobs a piece. Enbridge has promised spin of jobs, but Kitimat is an industrial town and aren’t those businesses already in place to service the industrial community?

Premier Clark promised 800 permanent jobs in the LNG field recently but did not tell use where they were, if some of them were spin off jobs. Based on the information we’ve been receiving from the projects, it looks like someone tacked another Zero onto her speech.

Yes, there are people moving into Kitimat. However, they’ll be moving back out as soon as the work is done. Chances are, that will be well before the next Census so we will not see any improvement along those lines in 2017. Just like we have lost most of the workers from Eurocan.

Well Kitimat might boom, the current boom in Kitimat is now a fantasy perpetrated by our Mayor. The only thing we are going to see are camp workers coming in, creating a few jobs, then leaving. It is very unfortunate for someone to get our hopes up for things that are totally unfounded and it’s really not fair to the public when people say things that really, aren’t true.
I agree with Larry
Comment by ocender on 16th February 2012
Good post Larry,i spread the word on kitimat everywhere i go,daily almost it seems.Seems plenty of people want Kitimat to be the hidden gem it is,for their pleasure only and no outsiders be allowed in or discover it.Great people, but simple leadership from the feds down!No forsight,no leadership and no imagination.
It is time for "a business plan"
Comment by Larry on 14th February 2012
Good article and I think the writer hit the nail on the head. If Kitimat is to grow and proper, then it must develop a 2 - 5 - 10 year business plan. Where is our growth going to come from......seniors and the wealth that comes with them. We could well become another Elliot Lake if we plan and build for this migration. No body in their right mind wants to retire to Calgary or even good old Vancouver (the island is just too expensiv e) We need good (and reasonable air service) along with a MARINA, we must have state of the art medical personnel and facilities, but above all we must "blow our own horn" and let the nation know what we can offer. And this is just the starting point.