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REPORTING · 6th September 2013
Walter McFarlane
Council was given a report on the future of industrial impacts on Kitimat on Tuesday, September 3rd. Councillor Rob Goffinet made a motion to adopt the report.

“We’ve spent many hours on this as a Council and I think that we came up with a pretty good report,” said Mayor Joanne Monaghan.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff ensured the issues will be raised with the minster. Councillor Corinne Scott also clarified these are the issues they are going to take to the UBCM. Goffinet suggested sending a copy to the MLA and MP.

Feldhoff stated Kitimat is being impacted on several of these areas now, environment, health, emergency services, transportation, recreation and social issues and they will not have the taxation benefit from the industries for a few more years.

“We’re pleading with the government to do what they can to help address what we see as priorities. We also recognise with previous communication with government ministries that the government has encouraged us to work with our sister communities and we will be doing that. Some of the current theme is the shadow population that is increasing stress on the community policing and the health and social. The document is, placing a whole lot of thought into it. Hopefully, it’s something the government will see that they can support,” said Feldhoff.

The motion was called and carried.

We have transcribed the report below:

With the increasing global demand for natural gas, Kitimat has been on the radar as the primary shipping point for liquefied natural gas to Asian markets. More than $30 billion in direct investment has been announced and work has begun on several major projects. Announced projects include, Natural gas liquefaction (LNG) facilities, pipeline projects and associated shipping terminals. Kitimat’s Economic Development Office is increasingly busy fielding inquiries from resource industries, the energy sector and manufacturing proponents. New businesses and residents are arriving in Kitimat, recognizing the unique opportunity and potential in the region.

Included with this new flurry of economic activity come the challenges associated with a community experiencing high growth. The District of Kitimat has identified issues to be addressed in consultation with the Provincial Government. Areas of focus include transportation, emergency services, the environment, recreation, health and social issues and economic development.

All levels of government must be committed to working together in an expeditious manner if we are to create a vibrant community amidst tremendous development opportunity. Kitimat’s social and economic growth will be defined by how we address the following issues:

Transportation
1. Funding for painting, maintaining, replacing Haisla Bridge
2. Assume responsibility for Haisla Boulevard all the way to Bish Cove as a Provincial Highway
3. Funding a transportation plan for Kitimat
4. Evaluate a new Kitimat River Crossing.

Health / Social
1. Health Care funding (acute and specialty services) that recognizes an increase in temporary worker population
2. Trauma capable Emergency Room
3. Provide Funding to Kitimat Community Services and other social groups taking into account the temporary worker population
4. Facilitate development of social/affordable housing
5. Funding the multilevel care and assisted living facilities (increase in Home Support Services)
6. Discourage the relocation of unqualified workers to Kitimat

Economic Development
1. Encourage value added projects (Methanol,
Petrochemicals, etc.)
2. Facilitate Multi Use Public Wharf Development
3. Facilitate Development and expansion of the Service Centre North.

Recreation
1. Develop a new marina within District of Kitimat Boundaries
2. Public Access to water
3. Improved planning for the development of the Douglas Channel

Environment
1. Provide regulatory certainty regarding cumulative emissions in the Kitimat Valley

Fire/Police
1. Policing provided taking into account the worker (temporary) population
2. New municipal fire Hall that recognizes industry and community needs

First Nations
1. Work in consultation with MARR in order to encourage ongoing communications.


According to Mayor Joanne Monaghan, the meeting with the Minister of Natural Gas Development, Rich Coleman went well. They touched on a lot of topics with Coleman. They talked about industries coming in; a wharf and that people were interested.

Monaghan expressed it came down to flat land and it came down to Kitimat not having acres of flat land on the channel.

“[We talked to him about] what we wanted. The Bridge and the West Side Road and those things. We felt that because we were a community that had many industries coming in now, that use those facilities, we thought that maybe the Province should help us and he said we might have to wait until after the final investment decision but the bridge came up later because the trucks are using that bridge now and I think they’re going to look at it,” said Monaghan.

She expressed they tried to push forward the bridge and the road structure because it was important. “He did feel that was something that they could look at before the final investment decision,” said Monaghan.