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REPORTING · 10th October 2012
Walter McFarlane
The beach has been reopened. So said Mayor Joanne Monaghan over the phone this morning, Wednesday, October 10th.

“Alcan has finally reopened the beaches to the public,” said Monaghan. “The whole thing about closing it was the public safety risk.

In a news release issued by Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) and the District of Kitimat, RTA writes: “Both Rio Tinto Alcan and the District of Kitimat understand the value and importance of ocean access to residents of the area while at the same time, continuing to respect and ensure that safety is the number one priority.”

According to Monaghan, they held a noon hour meeting with Rio Tinto Alcan representatives on Thursday, October 4th.

“I just said: ‘I didn’t want my people who have grandkids going up to the view point, looking at the ocean and saying, hey kids, we can’t take you down there,” said Monaghan.

She let Alcan know they were holding the community ransom and the community deserves better so Alcan came up with a plan. Monaghan explained to us the plan has been instituted for a couple of weeks.

In its news release, RTA states: “Over the last few months, while hearing the disappointment and concern about Hospital Beach, the KMP Construction Team took action to mitigate the public safety risk. The massive rock trucks hauling heavy loads will be re-routed; a new bridge over Anderson Creek has been installed; new traffic lights will be installed near the Construction Village; and an extra construction road has been built from the former Eurocan Haul Road. All these measures have enabled the decision to accommodate the wishes of the community to access Hospital Beach, the boat ramp and Moore Creek safely.”

“We are very happy about that and we are very thankful for it,” said Monaghan. “Council is very happy, I’m very happy. It’s one of the things that was concerning the public greatly because they did not have access to the beach. When you’re living on the ocean and you don’t have access to it, it’s something that people can’t… they can’t tolerate that.”

In their press release, Rio Tinto Alcan reminds residents Alcan is in the middle of constructing a mega project to modernize the Aluminium smelter for the benefit of both them and the community.

“This is the highest priority with many demands and intense focus. To that end, Rio Tinto Alcan will continue to assess traffic patterns and will likely need to make short term closures again as construction dictates. It is imperative that residents respect the company’s right to manage activities on its private property as it deems in the best interest of its business, including the KMP and public safety,” stated Alcan.

Mayor Monaghan wishes everyone a safe return to boating and recreation on the ocean.
Thomas is right
Comment by Tom on 17th October 2012
As the big businesses are boxing in the public at every turn it seems . It is no wonder that an already boxed in public takes a defensive stance . The federal and provincial government care nothing for the public. The little bit of land that is left to us must be protected by us . By bringing it up here for comment does more than we think . The whole world is watching and the only real feed back is from the kitimat daily . It is just a shame that so few make a comment at all . Does it not seem amazing that billions are being spent on business in the town and the parks and few historical sites go wanting . The one trail on the north shore of the channel is vadalized and the only beach access for us all is closed for the summer . The federal and province are already taking enough money out of the businesses here to dwarf the budget of kitimat and will be for decades to come . Yet they cannot provide a single park for us . I think they are pigs and a disgrace . The parks minister won't even answer mail . None of them will . We deserve better from all of them . Is it too big a problem for city council ? It has been for sixty years .
I wish people were as passionate about....
Comment by Thomas Campbell on 17th October 2012
Radley Park.... while it seems this temporary closure of Hospital beach has had people upset... and council reacting..... Yet Radley Park continues to deteriorate from erosion. In the last 5 years nothing has been done to protect this other heritage site that is in The district's (council's) control.... The Gyro Club of kitimat has sunk their heart and soul into this park since it was opened...

Besides the members of the Gyro Club of kitimat.... where is the passion for Radley Park?

(it at least gebrates some revenue?)


Regards
Thomas Campbell
closing beach did nothing.
Comment by kitimatworker on 16th October 2012
closing the beach did absolutley nothing. might have saved a few cars a day from the road. traffic is on the road, an the road is controlled by signs, an signals from workers if need be. a ton of viewers drove down to the site each day just for the purpose of a site seeing drive. i am on site daily an alot of field decisions are made by pencil pushers who arent ever on scene. actually there are a few rta staff employees who jog the side of the "CONSTRUCTION SITE" road often with zero thought? whats the hazard? the road down to the beach has been controlled quite well by rta. id say there is nothing to worry about as long as the julies pay attention...the train is nothing new...
habitat distruction
Comment by LINDA HALYK on 15th October 2012
A new bridge across Anderson creek??? I have some concerns about fish habitat etc.

Does anyone know if fisheries was involved in this new construction and also shouldn't the DOK have been involved?

Or does RTA have full rights to bulldoze and build roads ,bridges where ever they like?
educating the public
Comment by Julie on 14th October 2012
I do have to agree with Tom Campbell. RTA has done as much as they can to promote safety awareness within the community but if people of the community don't follow it...shame on you! Shame on me...I went down to the beach; parked outside the gate and had a good stroll for about an hour an left. No problems! I then drove home following the construction zone speed as I had people in front of me and in back of me only to find myself in a compliant position; I have driven that road so many times in the past 40 years that nothing phased me. The person in front of me gained speed and crossed the railroad tracks and I did also only to find a big light and loud horn when I crossed. I slammed on my brakes just before the turn and got out....the train had passed by at least 11 cars. I FELT SICK. So pull your head out of the sand and take a look around; Kitimat is not what it used to be. Get rid of your winged tipped shoes and poodle skirts and open up the box. RTA has done more than enough to let us know about safety on their premises...what you and myself inculded choose to listen to is up to us.
No praise for Rta
Comment by Tom on 12th October 2012
They say they have now mitigated the safety risk too the public . The could like apache included the public in the first place . If they had planned for the public there would have been no safety risk in the first place . If we had said nothing we would not have this result . This issue is not just a kitimat issue . It is being watched and read about world wide . Rta deserves no praise . They cost the city a whole summer of no beach access . Thousands of beach visits by us all . That is shameful and the height of poor social planning . If we say nothing to the degradation of our access to our ocean At every affront we will lose all of it . I don't think Joanne can take credit for any of it . She's had thirty years to work on ocean access with no visible gain for the people that voted for her . Businesses don't vote for politicians people do . The closure of the beach and vadalism of the trail cost the businesses of kitimat dearly . Everyone from hotels , resorts , restaurants and many others . The closer of the beach was reported around the world in kayaking magazines and online sites . Even in energy papers . The trail vadalism is being talked about in hiking clubs world wide . On a point of irony the only kitimat namesake in the navy (s) world wide is the HMS WarKitimat . Sadly she is laying at the bottom off the coast of France . History must be remembered and protected otherwise it will be lost . The ghosts of the hospital beach must be proud Of the Kitimatdaily and all of us that pushed back . We wrote and spoke to any and all that would listen . I'm sorry that I was unable to help save the summer of 2012 . It is lost for ever . We have gained nothing because they can do it again when ever they feel like it .
RTA deserves praise not criticism
Comment by Thomas Campbell on 12th October 2012
While many of us may not have liked the closure of Hospital beach, there is no doubt in my mind that it was closed for the safety of employees and people as well. It has been a very busy place with transport traffic, roock trucks... and just plain double the number of vehicles using the road. I don't think blaming RTA for closing access for safety purposes is who the finger needs to be pointed at. I disagree with "TOM" if there is shame to be had it falls on the Mayor, council and district who after numerous years has garnered no water front access and continues to rely on RTA to do their job for them... Yes it was an inconvenience... however safety of the public and the workers out at RTA comes first. I think RTA desreves praise for being proactive!

Regards
Thomas Campbell
North Cove Trail
Comment by Cam Marleau on 11th October 2012
I agree with Tom in the previous article. LNG should now have to do something about their destruction of the North Cove trail. They should replace it with a new one.
Well done!
Comment by Mike Forward on 10th October 2012
I think - especially in light of some of the criticism lofted towards them over the internet and the airwaves - that Mayor, Council and RTA deserve some kudos for coming together on a decision that will benefit all, but most importantly, the people of Kitimat.

Well done...and thank you!
Rta
Comment by Tom on 10th October 2012
Cost kitimat a whole summer of beach related business and enjoyment . Shame on you Rta . Is anything going to be done about the LNG thugs vandalizing our trail . Hundreds if not thousands of hours of work by volunteers from kitimat and area went into to building of the trail only to be bulldozed by a heartless and arrogant multinational corporation . This will not stand . Shame on the law society of kitimat . Looking the other way is very short sighted . Last time I looked vadalism was still an offence against society .