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COMMENTARY · 6th September 2012
Walter McFarlane
At Kitimat City Council on Tuesday, September 4th, Councillor Phil Germuth brought forwards a solution. Since summer began, the closure of Hospital Beach has been a hot topic around town.

But we should have expected it. People at Rio Tinto Alcan have been talking about closing areas such as the beach during the modernization process prior to the closing of Moon Bay Marina. It is a repeating pattern in town. Something changes, it gets reported to the public, no one does anything and then people act surprised when it is sprung on them.

With the beach closed, Kitimat is now a coastal community with zero public access to the Ocean. Well, we could all hang out at MK Bay Marina which is still owned by the Regional District…

Councillor Phil Germuth should be commended because he is the first person to publicly put forward a suggestion to solve this problem. It is a good idea.

Ask Rio Tinto Alcan to give the beach to the community.

This is a straight forward solution with three problems. 1: The hand has been tipped to Rio Tinto Alcan. 2: Rio Tinto closed the beach for safety reasons during the modernization and most likely will keep it that way until the project is over. 3: 4 out of the 6 members of Council who could vote on the motion didn’t buy it.

There are not many solutions to this problem. Rio Tinto Alcan has a lot of the best land and most of the rest of it will be tied up in economic development.

What other solutions are there?

There are other pieces of property on the ocean which could be purchased / donated to the community.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan even announced in 2010 that Council was looking at purchasing land in Minette Bay to build public access to the water.
heritage site
Comment by watching on 29th September 2012
We have only 2 heritage registerd sites in kitimat. The Corduroy road and train station. Please, if you want the beach a heritage site, and I do not disagree, please start the paper work through the museum. Good idea. JM
ocean access
Comment by azarin on 25th September 2012
you go phil..
and now lng shut down the trail to north cove, go figure. the big companies are coming in and phil is the only one standing up for the people...
Heritage v commemorative
Comment by Tom on 23rd September 2012
Joanne it mean to honour or keep alive the memory of. The closing of the commemorative beach is an attack on the memory of everyone that lived and died on or near the beach . It is every bit a part of the heritage of kitimat as any other site you deem as historic . The short history of industrial kitimat is even more a reason to protect what little of it that there is . For you to split such a thin hair shows us whos' side you are on . Stand with the people of kitimat and Canada or get a job with industry . You can't have it both ways . Can you ?
Answer to Christine
Comment by Joanne Monaghan on 20th September 2012
Christine, I read with interest your comment on Alcan Beach being a Heritage Site. It is a commemorative site, as the plaque states, not heritage. Joanne
Heritage Site Preservation
Comment by Chris Wozney on 9th September 2012
I am very surprised that Mayor Monaghan is not supporting Councillor Germuth in this initiative.
Hospital Beach is a heritage site, as the lovely plaque, put in at the beach a few years ago, attests to. As Mayor Monaghan has worked so hard to preserve other Kitimat heritage sites, I hope that she will now turn her attention to this site and help Councillor Germuth preserve it (and access to it) for the continued enjoyment of Kitimat citizens in the years to come.
All by myself ... So right.
Comment by Tom on 9th September 2012
Just think of the time and energy wasted on wolverines eating loose cats . When at the same time there were werewolves in town eating our freedoms. maybe this issue is too big for city council . This could only happen in a one company town where most are too fearful to speak out . It is wonderful to see one voice on city council that is on the side of the people of Kitimat . It's taken 60 years for some one to put Kitimat first . Congratulations .
Wonder about the past...
Comment by AJ on 9th September 2012
A public ocean "park" with a boat launch (similar to the park at the Kalum river on Highway 16) should have been in place sixty years ago. I wonder, when the Kitimat municipal government was first formed, if this issue was ever tabled. Anyone have info on this or access to it?
Ocean Access
Comment by Hard Core on 9th September 2012
Will Kitimat ever have a free boat lauch again?People are already going else where,like Prince Rupert.Guys with small craft boats,are sure being let down by this all.The guys with the bigger boats have more money to play with,so it's not such a big issue with them.The average joe has to pay more to enjoy this type of activity.I hope in the next 10 years we will have something here again,cause thats how long I think it will take for it to happen.Also the road down to the marina sucks.There is no road lines,payment is broken and lots of close calls down there already.Maybe this road could be up graded at some point.
Comment by LINDA HALYK on 7th September 2012
Phil Germuth stands alone, again.

Tough being the only councilor to have the public's interest in mind.

Tough to fight the status quo, or should I say PROCESS as Councilor Murphy calls it.

Keep up the good fight Phil, maybe, just maybe, someday the rest of Council will get it, join in, take a stand and things can proceed.

60 year old Coastal City with no water access, what a legacy.

beach/ocean access??
Comment by Joe on 7th September 2012
r.t.a will not give the beach to the community because of the traffic not because they don't want us to access the ocean, if they give us the beach, traffic would increase therefore defeating the purpose of shutting it down. the beach will once again open after all the hoopla is over and done. What we need is a boat launch thats free to access the ocean again the only free launch is rta's (go figure)
Who ,How and why
Comment by Tom on 6th September 2012
Gave all the land on the ocean to Alcan in the first place with no public access . Was it the province . Was it the federal government . Can anyone tell us . I for one would like to know so I can confront the culprit of this most uncanadian deed.
Zero access
Comment by Tom on 6th September 2012
Pathetic and laughable . The city council should be representing the people of kitimat , the north and all Canadians . How dare international corporations deny the people of Canada access to our ocean . This is Canada not the gaza strip . I have never been as angered as I have been by this issue . This issue is not only a kitimat issue . This issue is also federal as they control our oceans or is this the way the Feds want things to be . Harper was right , I don't recognize Canada anymore .
tidal flats also
Comment by pierre on 6th September 2012
my father , my brother me and many others used the tidal flats to duck hunt, bird watch and just plain hike out there down the old eurocan haulroad which has been since closed permanetly by rta. my father actually has hunted there for 45 years or longer and now nothing. it's crown land and we are not allowed there. when eurocan ran that road it was a private road with public access so people like my father and i could still have access to that beautiful area. when i emailed rta last year the answer was no way , not allowed ever again.
If they won't sell it....then take it
Comment by Larry on 6th September 2012
Expropriate the is that simple. Or council can and probably will, continue to sit on their hands and do nothing. The future of Kitimat is at stake.