REPORTING · 2nd April 2013
Councillor Corrine Scott had several reports to Council which she presented on Monday, March 25th at the Kitimat City Council Committee of the Whole meeting.
Her first report was that the Dog Cain’s court case was heard. The dog had been charged with seriously injuring a child and the Animal Control Officers felt it was a dangerous dog.
“The judge felt that the injuries were not serious enough as the parents did not seek medical attention for the child, so he dismissed the seriously injuring the child,” said Scott.
She added the Judge also felt the Animal Control Officers did not have reasonable grounds to believe Cain would not injure another person. The dog is back with his owners.
Councillor Mary Murphy added that the dog now had medical problems from his stay in Thornhill which is why he was transferred to Kitimat. Mayor Joanne Monaghan expressed the dog was a young dog.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know if Kitimat Tax Payers were spending the money to move the dog around. Murphy explained the dog was brought here and then shipped to Prince Rupert with a group of dogs which were already on their way there.
Scott reported to Council on the topic of the Regional District Kitimat Stikine meeting on Friday, March 22nd. She explained conflict of interest was a big thing which had stemmed from a meeting in February, while she was away.
“At the February meeting, I found out after the fact that there was an allegation that I was in conflict with regards to MK Bay Marina because I am a representative from the District of Kitimat,” said Scott.
Scott explained the other members of the Regional District were concerned due to a recent court case. She explained Bob Marcellin hired a solicitor to contact members of the Regional District concerning conflict. While Scott assumed everyone was getting the same call, the solicitor was able to determine she is not in conflict on the subject of MK Bay Marina. While she owns a boat, it has never been moored at the Marina.
However, when she read the minutes of the February Meeting, it turned out the Board Members had only selected 3 board members to be checked. The three who were contacted were Harry Nice, Doug McLeod and Scott. Two further names were added to the list: Councillor Mary Murphy and Dianna Penner, who is the alternate for McLeod.
“This was totally inappropriate, I found it very offensive because it’s up to the individuals themselves to determine if they are in conflict, not for the CAO to allege that they could be in conflict and spend our tax dollars to have a solicitor phone,” said Scott.
There was a complete report from the solicitor on what constitutes conflict and what does not. She was not certain why people were having a difficult time figuring out when they are in conflict but the issue has been dealt with and the Regional District is moving on.
“One of the things which did come up is that our Councillor Murphy has declared she is in conflict in discussion on MK Bay Marina, meaning that any time there is any discussion on MK Bay, you will be declaring your conflict. There is a little bit of a concern if when I am not available, you want to attend depending on what is on the agenda. If the Councillors would like to appoint another board member for a particular meeting, that will be left up to this Council,” said Scott.
Scott expressed the MK Bay Function Committee had their terms of reference passed by the Board of the Directors at the meeting and they have recommended an operational service review be done on MK Bay Marina and have submitted a request for proposals document which was approved by the Board of Directors. Scott expected the review to be done by July.
She stated Worksafe BC has charged the Regional Distarict with non-compliance with regards to safety issues at MK Bay Marina. The hearing was held and the Regional District appealed, arguing Worksafe BC did not have jurisdiction. The hearing stated Worksafe BC does have jurisdiction and the charges have to be complied with by the Regional District. The fine which was imposed was reduced because the original fine was based on the payroll of the entire staff of the Regional District. The fine was reduced to the payroll.
The board voted to not appeal, pay the fine and comply with the orders because it is a safety concern. Scott said this was a successful turn of events.
Councillor Mary Murphy wanted to know more about the Forceman Ridge Landfill Site which Scott had explained was a hot topic earlier in the meeting. Scott stated the landfill was an ongoing topic and has been discussed for quite some time.
“There was a delegation of people at the Regional District Meeting again to say that not all options were looked at carefully,” said Scott.
She stated she wanted the presentation which was given at the Regional District to be given to Kitimat Council as well. The presentation was about recycling and they want to see a recycling program put into place for Terrace before the Forceman Ridge decision is made.
“This group felt that if everybody in Terrace and area were recycling well, the existing landfill sites might last for years and years to come,” said Scott.
Monaghan stated Terrace lost its recycling spot last week. Scott added Kitimat wanted to look at a recycling program as well.
Monaghan stated Kitimat Council has taken a stance against Forceman Ridge in the past because it would be a long way for the community to drop off their garbage. It would lead to garbage clogging up the back roads.
Feldhoff suggested they put some money into KUTE to help them with their projects and pointed out any number of environmental motions relating to the Kitimat Landfill. He expected the Kitimat Landfill had 40 more years left in it.
Murphy stated there is a lot of concern about Forceman Ridge by the public. She added it will be a closed dump so people will not have access to it. Feldhoff stated Kitimat will not be a part of Forceman Ridge because Kitimat has its own landfill.
Scott’s Final report was about the Northwest Regional Hospital District. She told Council they can expect to see a reduction in capital funding in the future as a part of reducing the Provincial Debt. Feldhoff suggested this would be a topic in the upcoming Provincial Election and could not wait to see the debates.
Councillor Mary Murphy stated there is a lot of talk about communities sharing resources. She did not know if the Emergency Room was going to get upgrades. Mayor Joanne Monaghan pointed out the Emergency Room had new linoleum.
Murphy stated it looks like Terrace is going to get a new hospital and trauma center. She argued trauma centers should be close to communities with industries because they are the ones who need them the most.
“We need to really start advocating to have a trauma center here. Working 30-40 years in the stuff that I have dealt with at Eurocan, I’m telling you, you have that golden hour when they need to be in a hospital in an operating room. Making it central in Terrace is not the answer,” said Murphy.
Monaghan stated when she was on the Regional District, she was trying to get one in Kitimat. She would be meeting with Mike Farnsworth the next day concerning the topic.
Scott stated there was some good news for Kitimat, as there is a study looking at a project at inpatient congestion: whether there are enough acute care beds. They are looking at where the bed shortages are, transferring patients, and Kitimat is one of the five communities being looked at.
Monaghan thanked Scott for the report and the meeting was adjourned.
Comment by Bob Drake on 2nd April 2013
Councilor Murphy should also keep in mind that Kitimat is not the only place with "industry" or construction and that the airport (and access to medivacs) are significantly closer to Mills than to Kitimat.
As well, the people in the Nass Valley and Thornhill may have a problem with a "regional center" being in Kitimat as opposed to Terrace.