CONTRIBUTION · 11th April 2014
Many Kitimatians remember names like Eurocan and Methanex - industrial operations that used to support hundreds of local jobs, small businesses and growing families. We all know those two operations are gone now - along with a lot of other employers, friends and families - and the job market in the Northwest region is a lot tougher than it used to be. I have been here for 17 years and seen the economic roller coaster ride our region has taken and it would be great to finally have some stability here. People have to remember we are an industry town and became in existence 50 years ago due to Rio Tinto. If Rio Tinto closed their doors where would we be?
Sure, there are lots of temporary jobs in this town at the moment. But once the Kitimat Modernization Project is complete and those construction workers move on to the next big project, Kitimat is going to need the many permanent Northern Gateway positions and the $5 million in local taxes that Northern Gateway would bring to the District every year - all in addition to the thousand or so pipeline construction jobs we can expect.
If you have a family still at home like we do, then you know some of them will eventually be forced to leave town to look for work somewhere else, just like many other young job-hunters before them. But a Yes vote on Saturday means a Yes for permanent employment and an enhanced tax base. Whether it's jobs on tugs, jobs in steam fitting or working as an office professional, I really hope Kitimatians get out on Saturday and vote Yes for this project, and for stronger economic future for the region. That's why I’m voting Yes.Yours truly,
That's the way I see it .
Comment by CEM on 2nd May 2014
We can hardly compare our use of land like in Smithers. The land here is not fit for raising animals on a large scale. Nobody likes industry that have a negative affect on the land. I just would like those that have a good income and pension that you would not have that comfort zone if it wasn't for industry. So if there is no industry there just might be a lot of young people leave town. All those that can afford a boat will have Douglas Channel all to yourselves.
Clean Sustainable Jobs for the Future
Comment by Ingo Oevermann on 12th April 2014
I lived in Kitimat from 1956 to 1964, I have many
happy memories and a few old friends, and come
back regularly to visit. When I came to Smithers
it had 2000 people; today it has about 5500 in town and 5500 in the immediate outside area
(about the same as Kitimat now) and our growth
has been slow and consistent without input from
polluting industries. Yes, you need more local jobs
- clean, sustainable, non-polluting jobs for the
future which will enhance the town and make folks
very happy to live there and want to visit.
In the early 1900's, the Anderson family (their
daughter Elizabeth gave the name to your famous
mountain) had a very productive farm at the mouth
of the Kitimat river, and they supplied vegetables,
fruit, and meat to people there, to the Kitamat
mission and village, and other villages down the
coast. Your winter climate is warmer than ours,
with an ocean influence, so there are some unique
opportunities. Organic agriculture is one of the
fastest growing sectors of Canadian agriculture,
and you have considerable vacant land on the road
to Terrace. Here are a few possibilities:
Animal husbandry: beef farming, dairy cow and
goat farm, alpaca farm and wool sales, hair sheep
and goat meat farm, fallow deer farm, poultry -
chicken, ducks and turkeys, organic pig farm.
Agriculture: Fruit tree orchards, blueberry farm,
u-pick strawberry farm, raspberry and blackberry
farm, potato farm, organic vegetable farming,
greenhouse nurseries, farm fencing installers,
farm equipment sales, forestry tree nurseries.
Seafood: Expansion of your current salmon
hatchery, small specialty sea food processing from
Douglas Channel catches, freshwater aquaculture -
trout, tilapia and carp containment ponds.
Bottled water plant - Kitimat or Wedeene river.
Wood products: small sawmill/log processing, a
furniture factory using cedar, alder and poplar,
small dog house/bird house/feeder manufacturing,
alder wood chip processing for meat/fish smoking,
On the Douglas Channel you could have two 25
passenger tour boats for visitors/tourists. Another
motel/resort at Minnette Bay. An expanded marina, boat building and maintenance shop.
A Nissan dealership and the new electric 'Leaf' car.
Expanded RV maintenance shop and storage area.
Solar panel and small wind turbine installers.
A lot of these items are being shipped in now to your stores rather than being produced locally,
or folks are going to Terrace to obtain them.
Why would you want to bring in meat from Alberta
or vegetables from Mexico when they could be
grown there? We have a full selection of all the
organic agricultural products in Smithers, and there is steady local growth for our growers, as
there could be for yours. These are just a few of
the clean sustainable options which have potential
to add 150-200 jobs to your economy.
When we stake our futures on BIG industry, we
lose our community's resilience and food growing,
and then every industrial hiccup becomes a major
disaster. If things go awry with a pipeline, as they
often do, there's little chance of any real recovery.
My heart is with you as you sort through these
challenging times. Please remember that once the
incredible beauty is gone, it's gone for good, and
you will NEVER get it back. Ingo Oevermann.