REPORTING · 20th October 2012
Councillor Phil Germuth made a motion on Monday, October 15th for the District of Kitimat to establish a policy regarding Industrial Work Camps to ensure community concerns are addressed.
“Given what we have learned from an existing industrial work camp, it is imperative that the District of Kitimat Council along with Administration form a policy of how to ensure community benefits from future proposed work camps. There are many issues which need to be considered including, but not limited to: Health Care, Employment, Social Services and Support for Local Businesses,” said Germuth.
He expressed camp workers have to go to the emergency room because they do not have a local doctor here. This creates increased demands on a process which is already strained. As for local employment, Regional First Nations have percentage guarantees but the District of Kitimat residents do not have these same opportunities. He suggested Kitimat look at the culinary arts in a similar manner to the First Nations and consider a policy to request locals be used for trades helpers and maintenance.
He stated the camp is supplied from outside of the province. Council needs to investigate the possibility of having the camps support local businesses through the procurement of supplies. Germuth suggested the policy makes certain police, fire and ambulance services are adequate for the impact on the community.
“Researching what other communities, for example: Dawson Creek, have done regarding bylaws or policies on camps could also be of assistance to the District of Kitimat. There are many issues regarding industrial work camps which need to be dealt with. Be it through legacies, taxation or other avenues, we need to make sure there is a lasting benefit to our community once the camp has left,” said Germuth.
Councillor Corrine Scott agreed that Council should be establishing a policy. Councillor Mario Feldhoff said there will be points they will disagree on, in regards to zoning and timing. He expressed they needed to give this further thought. However, Council needs to establish policies on camps in the community.
Mayor Joanne Monaghan stated Council met with a company earlier in the week and these were some of the questions they asked them.
The motion to form a policy on camps was called and carried.