COMMENTARY · 3rd June 2013
The PTI issue is pretty big one in Kitimat, given the response it has received since January. While there appear to be quite a few people who are upset at Council, we decided to contact the three people who ran for Mayor in the last election and ask them what they would be doing differently if they were sitting in the Driver seat.
Here are their responses in the order which we received them.
If I was mayor, a lot would remain the same, such as the public consultations and the gathering of relevant information. Judging from the results so far, I would have put the issue to a local referendum as its, again one of those large scale issues that needs more than just public comment as itís a long term project that needs to be weighed carefully and requires a lot of planning. Plus if the voters decide for me, and then they canít come around later and put all the blame on the shoulders of Mayor and Council. Itís one of those times where, if you donít vote, you donít have any right to complain might actually have some effective meaning.
Having said all of that, I would also be heavily against amending the OCP drastically or making any rezoning changes to suit a local private citizen.
It sets a really bad precedent for the community when one individual is gifted with something such as a rezoning change that others can see that and later say to Council that they should also get some perks like that. If they donít, they would take the district to court and cost tax payers even more money potentially.
The OCP is something agreed on by the entirety of the community and the bylaws we do have are ones that have worked previously for other industrial developments and changing these each time just to rush a process makes it seem as if: why should we ever bother even making plans or making any guidelines when they will just keep changing them to suit the needs of someone different and go from a well planned community to one thatís just a mixed up hodgepodge of different developments scattered all over the place with no foresight other than a quick revenue grab which will dwindle fast if certain developments create issues like traffic and then money that was in surplus would then be needed to correct issues arising from ill-conceived rush jobs.
ĒI'll be backĒ
ĒIt would be a very different situation if I was elected I am quite sure. Firstly I am and always was opposed to man camps in their present form. Of course I am not aware of the full extent of the proposal but notice that PTI is offering some compensation to the community which is good. The location is suspect as it runs against the very intent of the OCP.
The area is, I thought, one of the hopes of Kitimat actually getting access to the ocean as well, I am not sure if RTA ever did sell the property down there to Kitimat they promised while I was there. Is that the land in question or is it Oviatt land? Service Center has a lot of open area for that kind of thing and as we all know many other areas of open and flat land abound in the valley.
Public meetings are critical to any important land issue and bring new points out for consideration the hope is that Council actually weigh those inputs from the public not just blow them off as mindless chatter. On another point my belief is that the affected community in a boom/bust scenario be compensated and furthermore a legacy of a stronger infrastructure be left for future generations, i.e. better roads, bridges, sewer and water, etcetera but not just for its sake but useful infrastructure that will create a stronger local economy not derelict buildings and roads that end up costing the community to maintain.
That's why many communities ban Man camps in favour of private investment in Motels and Hotels Restaurants and Tourism related ventures and service business opportunities that create positive small business growth. After the boom, the community is left with an entrepreneurial base that if supported responsibly by local government can thrive. It is true that not all will survive but many will and we all know Canada is built on Small Business.Ē!!