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REPORTING · 4th April 2013
Walter McFarlane
Jack Oviatt got up at the meeting of Kitimat City Council on Tuesday April 2nd to address the Issue of Peace Trailers Industries (PTI). He explained he would be out of town during the public hearing process which will be coming up.

He explained Strawberry Meadows is a premier subdivision and it is in his best interest to make sure it stays that way.

“To that end, I remain in close contact with PTI and their proposed lodge and everything that they are offering for that particular area. I’ve reviewed the drawings regularly and I remain openly in favour of everything they’re offering. It is my understanding that the new drawings will be made public soon, I’ve already viewed the latest edition and I firmly believe what they’re proposing will not affect the value of my properties or any of the past sales in my subdivision in any way,” said Oviatt.

He said his land will be the most impacted by the new lodge and he has no concerns about the impacts which will be brought to his land.

“The problem is, those who are in favour stand back, while unaffected opponents make loud noises in protest. In this case, they are hiding behind their identity and are not revealing how they will be negatively impacted. The protestors are the ones who negatively speak against basically everything in Kitimat,” said Oviatt.

He stated the protestors get all the air time and hold the community back. He said they suggest the workers should be renting or staying in hotels, but the hotel rooms in Kitimat are full and people who wish to stay in them are staying in Terrace. He stated there are not enough speculation home builders available to meet the needs of the workers. If they build homes, apartments and hotels, they will eventually stand empty.

“Those opponents who would talk about the negative impacts of construction workers will have on their neighbourhood should be very careful who they say that too, there are a lot of very influential people in Kitimat who are construction workers. I’m a construction worker and I take offense at the innuendo’s which are being made about construction worker. Every person in this room, at one time, has been a construction worker. Construction workers build our jails, un-employable, druggies, misfits fill them, not construction workers,” said Oviatt.

On the topic of what PTI would do for Kitimat, Oviatt stated PTI has offered one of the largest investment of the Bull-O-Rama. There will also be a major upgrade to the access of Strawberry Meadows to make traffic safer with a turning lane, street lights and sidewalks in the area. They will also be funding the first 8 units in Oviatt’s active adult neighbourhood.

“PTI’s promised to make funds available for walking trails, parks and they will be building ball parks, soccer fields and tennis courts for their clients, available for the public use also. As I understand it, discussions on legacy lands and green lands are ongoing with the District of Kitimat and I expect that PTI is going to be very generous in that respect,” said Oviatt.

He stated there will be a benefit to local contractors as well as local jobs created at a rate of 1 to every ten guests. Local storekeepers will have 2100 customers located close to their stores. Small businesses will prosper.

“If Council turns down PTI, those workers will be housed elsewhere, possibly Kitimat, further out from Kitimat, Terrace, where they’re going to go, we don’t know but it’ll be someplace else with no benefit to our down town core. It’s time we stop turning down business opportunities in Kitimat and quit listening to unaffected opponents who know very little about how the proposal will benefit Kitimat as a whole. I firmly stand in favour of this project and suggest Council keep an open mind when listening to all of those close minded opposition of unaffected protestors,” concluded Oviatt.

He added PTI will also be built within the borders of Port Edward. Mayor Joanne Monaghan asked for a copy of the presentation, but Council had no questions.
Freedom of Speech
Comment by Wolverine #2 on 7th April 2013
Don't be so paranoid, Jack! Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Whether it's regarding PTI's proposal, or Enbridge Northern Gateway, or LNG. Those questioning these projects have every right to have their opinions heard. Just like a high-profile local businessman such as yourself. And your fan club...
In response
Comment by Rory Brown on 6th April 2013
Mr. Apocalypse Now and Mr. Construction Worker. If your so concerned, why didn't you go to the information meeting that PTI had. I did go, and the questions that you asked were answered. Also, like many others in favor, I used my brain, and made my own rational decision, and I support the lodge that PTI wants to build.
Now I'm not going to speak for Mr. Oviatt, but I will say this. Yes he is a businessman. But to say he is going to do what is best for himself is unfair. His track record shows that he has always had Kitimat's best intrests at heart.
Lastly, its nice to see the supporters put their names on here. As for the na-sayers, keep hiding behind your Kitimat Daily names you like to use. It takes any credibility away from you that you might have had.
PTI legacy
Comment by Hotel owner on 5th April 2013
I own a hotel and we had the best winter on record thanks to construction workers staying with us. The sad thing is our hotel will be at half capacity come July 1st, that is when the apache chevron camp is opening up.
The thing is PTI is here to soak up the gravy for the next 5 yrs of construction leaving the hotels at a possible disadvantage during the gravy years. Sure if someone committed 5 yrs to maximize the hotels I'm all for another camp in town.
With RTA completing their project what will happen to the camp? The infrastructure at RTA can house all the workers for shell and lets face it, the project is walking distance from RTA camp.
I'm all for city tax growth and jack cashing in on land sales, that's what should happen to people who invest in their community, like me!
Like I said no one has come to me with 5 yrs of bookings and why would I want to grow my business if PTI consumes all the profits.
I say use RTA camp as their is enough room to build 5-10000 beds on that site.
Camps don't bring in new families to live long term in our town, PTI is a narrow minded vision.
Comment by Apocalypse now on 5th April 2013
Just because Jack Oviatt, says its good for the town, it doesn't make it so. He is definitely a decent upstanding guy and yes I agree construction workers build this country, I used to be one of them. Nothing wrong with them at all. What I see happening now is that every one is trying to jump on the realestate band wagon and are getting themselves in so much debt, they are going to support almost anything to be able to pay off their debts. Jack is a shrewd busnissman , most of the rest of us our in over our heads. Jack does whats best for him , so I suggest form your own opinions . We already have had one Pied Piper , the former Manager Of RTA. We all know his name. We dont need another . Use your brains , make rational decisions.
Comment by Construction worker on 5th April 2013
1. Will the camp be built by union workers?
2. Isn't there a difference between a local construction worker that cares about our community and one that comes only to make big bucks that he brings elsewhere?
3. Is this investment best for Kitimat in the long-term? or just while this brief construction boom happens? We may get a tennis court or a baseball what? there are a bunch of those in town already that are empty most of the time. It only seems to serve the Strawberry Meadows subdivision, which is home to only a small portion of Kitimat residents. For the rest of us, it just puts a bunch of transient workers closer to our homes and property.
4. Has drug-related activity not increased 100-fold since more workers have been coming in and out of town?
5. With so much support for camp-work, it seems that families get neglected. Construction workers doing 60 hours+ per week are served by having camp accommodations, but their families, children and community are not served by that sort of work culture. Is this what we really want to promote?
6. Is this good for the community in such a way as to create career opportunities for people? or are the camp jobs as temporary as the camp? Are the workers to be employed there destined for skills? or are these essentially minimum wage jobs that will be created in a community where it is progressively getting more and more expensive to live?
7. Is there a happy medium where we can be both for economic development and against this camp built inside city limits? What's wrong with keeping the camps on industrial property? isolated from the core of the town?
good on ya
Comment by Steve Smyth on 5th April 2013
Way to go Jack, sometimes people need to be reminded that it was men with courage, vision and foresight that built Kitimat in the first place and not complainers and Nimby's.
some people need to be educate
Comment by wow on 4th April 2013
while i have yet to form an opinion on the pti camp i do take issue with the quote "Construction workers build our jails, un-employable, druggies, misfits fill them, not construction workers,” Anyone can fall to addiciton, yes even construction workers and misfits also are employable and the unemployable must have some issues if they are unable to have the life we all seek! to believe otherwise is quite ignorant.........
Comment by SherreLittle on 4th April 2013
Thank you for your clearly stated comments and the courage to challenge others about Kitimat sitting back and letting another opportunity leave here.

PTI will bring jobs and some opportunities for other Kitimat merchants along with housing for the construction workers.

How many more events will be cancelled or moved to other cities if Kitimat doesn't support PTI?
Th Right Thing to do!
Comment by Jon Borgens on 4th April 2013
Well said Mr. Oviatt. You are very correct in your assertation regarding construction workers. My main reason for being a supporter is that the construction phase of these projects require far more workers than the permanent workers. If we end up building permanent housing for all of these temporary workers, we end up with a excess of empty homes. This will drive down property values sharply.

These workers are coming. The various projects need them, and money talks. Lets find a way as a community to embrace this investment, and enhance our community.
Welcome Mat
Comment by Rory Brown on 4th April 2013
Thank you Jack for putting it out there. It is long over due for the negative citizens of Kitimat to give something a chance. The biggest problem is that the rest of us are our own worst enemy. We don't speak up as much and as loud as the na-sayers. So this is a great time to change that. Start right here. Write in a comment, with your real name. Phone a council member. Go to a council meeting and speak up. If we want Kitimat to prosper, we all have a responsibility to do something. Its time to stop waiting for someone else to speak up.
Thank you!
Comment by FayEllen McFarlane on 4th April 2013
Thank you Jack Oviatt for your positive outlook and comments. We hear so much negativity about what is happening in Kitimat, it is hard to be optimistic about our future here. It is great to hear someone stand up and offer support for GROWTH!
When and Where
Comment by Q on 4th April 2013
When and where is the public hearing for this case?
PTI supporter
Comment by Doug Collier on 4th April 2013
Jack, you are correct when you say those who are in favour stand back, while unaffected opponents make loud noises in protest and how they are always the same people.

PTI is a very generous company and are willing to sponsor a number of various organizations and events in the community. I am sure this is not just a ploy from them to gather support, if they do locate here I am sure the support for the community will continue.

I place my trust in you if you have gone over the drawings and like what you see I am sure the rest of the community will agree.

Supporters please come forward before the regular town protesters ruin another great opportunity for our community.

In full support of PTI
listen up people
Comment by bornandraised on 4th April 2013
Jack Oviatt for Mayor! I applaud him for everything he and his family do, and try to do for Kitimat I truly believe that the Oviatt family, being such longtime residents, have the community's best interests at heart...and it's about time that someone spoke against all the negativity that has been like a virus it the community for so very long.
well said Jack
Comment by djb on 4th April 2013
I agree that there is a lot of negativity in Kitimat about any proposed deveolpment. Far too much time is spent listening to the negatives while people with a more positve outlook tend to not speak out as much or as vocally. As much as it is appealing to some,do we really want to stay a little backwater town forever?