REPORTING · 25th September 2012
Captain Robert Buller took the stand at the Kitimat City Council Meeting on Monday, September 17th to discuss reinstating the Cadet Program in Kitimat. He has been working hard to get the program up and running.
“The Cadet program itself is the largest federally sponsored program in Canada for Youth. It contains all the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets, Army Cadets and Air Cadets. It is for all young persons ages 12-18, everyone who is interested in participating in fun, challenging, rewarding activities. While they do that, they learn about the army, air and navy element,” said Buller.
He explained there are 50,000 cadets in Canada. The program is to prepare youth for adulthood through community based activities rather then train them to be in the military although it could stimulate interest in this as a career. The program focuses on citizenship, leadership and physical fitness.
The program is free, the uniforms are provided and there is no commitment to the military. However, the cadets must participate in fundraising and adhere to rules and regulations.
They have three commissioned officers ready to lead the program and several adults ready to become commissioned. They have interested youth and community support.
Buller explained the Cadets are looking to use the same building at the previous agreement from Council, $1 a year for its use. They will form a navy league to take responsibility for the bills and properties. He asked the District of Kitimat to maintain snow removal from the property. Finally, he asked Council for use of Riverlodge at Discounted rates due to the proximity of the Cadet Hall.
“What we’re going to do for the youth is provide opportunities for everybody in Kitimat,” said Buller. He explained he grew up in the Cadet program and believes all youth should have the opportunity to participate. He told Council there are things like scholarships and exchange programs, which are only available through to Cadets.
“We’re assist in developing the citizens and leaders of tomorrow. The names and how many have gone through this cadet program become known nationwide,” said Buller.
He expressed they would help Kitimat through community involvement, cleaning up around town, the Terry Fox Run and Remembrance Day are just a few examples of where the Sea Cadets could become involved.
Councillor Rob Goffinet verified if the new Cadet Corp would be Sea Cadets. He was told the Cadets have expressed a desire to becoming Sea Cadets. It would also be easiest to reactivate the program as a Sea Cadet Corp because the Kitimat group has not been closed down yet.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff stated he was involved with a Sea Cadet Corp. Feldhoff had not realized the building belonged to the District, he thought it had belonged to the Cadets. Buller explained it was a leasing agreement between District of Kitimat and the Navy League.
Councillor Edwin Empinado wanted to know the status of the lease agreement. Gwen Sewell, City Planner, explained the lease has expired so they winterized the building and vacated it.
There were no further questions.
The request came up under communications later in the meeting. Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to refer the use of the building, $1 a year rent and snow removal to administration.
“I do believe that they are quite excited to the potential of these programs being back,” said Feldhoff. “We don’t want to be breaking our policy. If there are ways we could meet the needs and the desires of the sea cadets exactly the way I stated, great, but we have to be careful.”
He explained he wanted staff direction on the free snow removal. He wanted to support the sea cadets but he did not want other groups coming to Council asking for free snow removal.
The motion to ask for staff comment was called and carried.
The Sea Cadets lead the 2008 Spirit Walk