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REPORTING · 6th September 2013
Walter McFarlane
Councillor Edwin Empinado brought a motion before Council on Tuesday, September 3rd. The motion was for the District of Kitimat to create a Social Development Policy.

“As we become a facilitative body in having Kitimat diversified industries and attracting businesses, which creates jobs for our residents and neighbouring communities, we are also bringing in social impacts that affect the everyday lives of our community. But the latter is faster happening than the former,” said Empinado.

He explained the District has strengthened itself by increasing its budget on human resources and made improvements to the basic services. They have planned, made motion, created policies and approved changes in the Official Community Plan to keep Council following the growth and development.

“It is a reality that the District of Kitimat depends more on the non-profit organizations or societies to deal with social impacts. And we respond when we are asked for resources and we discuss and debate how much or who receives this or that amount,” said Empinado. “I personally do not find these a proactive and dynamic way of responding to the social impacts on growth and progress in our District.”

He told Council he would like to see a policy to guide their decisions and resource allocations for social development matters over the next 5 to 10 years. He wanted that policy to identify District of Kitimat priorities while clarifying the roles of the District and stakeholders and creating a sustainable and coordinated approach for the District.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff agreed. “I think it makes sense for us to give some thought and flesh out our social development strategy. We have in the past raised the issue with the provincial government on a number of different fronts. We respond to the wishes of the emergency pressures which are being felt by a number of the groups in our community,” said Feldhoff.

He expressed they have addressed food and housing recently. Also, in having an action plan they would be able to fine tune their strategy.

The motion was called and carried.