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REPORTING · 26th July 2012
Walter McFarlane
The Rio Tinto Alcan Camp Primary Liquor License came up once again at the Kitimat City Council Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, July 23rd. This time, the District of Kitimat had prepared a letter with the communities concerns.

The letter explained why the decision was made to opt out, but also explains why this is such an issue.

“Council believes this application is fairly unusual given that generally primary liquor licences are provided to establishments whose patrons are from the public at large. Doe to the Nature of the camp at the Kitimat Modernization Project (KMP), the Lounge operated by Compass is limited to Project Employees only. This License along with food services makes the camp self contained. This is contrary to the typical primary liquor licence application where service is available to the public at large within a general scope of competition,” reads the letter.

The letter explains the Kitimat Modernization Project is supposed to be a benefit to the community, but the benefit will not be felt by local businesses who have invested for the modernization if the camp is made self sufficient.

The letter also references too problems with the application, a difference in the time when it is supposed to be open and the potential for Off Sales by the establishments.

Councillor Corrine Scott made a motion to forward the letter explaining the communities concerns to the Liquor Control Board.

“We’ve had this issue in front of us for a couple of meetings now. In the past, the District of Kitimat has always opted out of any consultation process when it comes to Liquor Licenses in the community. When we opt out, it means that we’re not paying for the studies. If we were to opt in, it means we would have to do the same studies as the Liquor Control Board but it’s at our cost so we can’t very from what they want to have surveyed within the community,” said Scott.

She explained the letter would express the concerns of Council, that the other businesses in the community would be affected by a lounge at the camp. Councillor Phil Germuth stated he was not in favour of them having a bar but there is only so much Council can do.

The motion to send the letter was called and carried.
and what does this mean?
Comment by FayEllen McFarlane on 31st July 2012
Kitimat Modernization Project took out a full page ad in the (other) local paper to advertize that they are "Building the future together." In it they tell about their high-quality camp which, among other things provides "Transportation in and out of town on a regular schedule so residents can enjoy community opportunities on time off"

Yet everything I have seen or heard suggests the exact opposite of this. Are the workers given the opportunity and scheduled transportation to visit the community at all? I'm curious!
Comment by Allan Hewitson on 30th July 2012
Rio Tinto Alcan is setting some very poor examples with it significant lack of community support with regard to the operation of its camp facility for the modernization program. Decades of demonstrated community support is being undermined by the process designed to keep workers on site and out of town...despite the promises of community benefits and advantages in conjunction with the KMP operation.

The closure of the beach and the boat launch on the basis of rather bogus "safety concerns" adds insult to aggravation.

The ad published locally seeking comment is worse - calling for residents or businesses with half a km of the site to comment. There are none.
RTA knows this, the community knows this and the LCBC knows this. The process seems to allow no argument about the decision. Who is to object.

Not a pleasant picture -- camp residents cannot be expected to complain - although their "segregation" from the community would seem to me to be treating construction workers like children.