REPORTING · 28th October 2014
Kitimat City Council began with two public hearings on Monday, October 6th. One of them related to a proposed bylaw which would collect an affordable housing fund from temporary worker facilities.
Deputy CEO Warren Waycheshen explained to Council that the reason this bylaw had been put off as often as it had related to the Housing Action Plan which was released to the public on Friday, October 17th. He recommended the Council hear comments and adjourn to November 3rd.
David Molinski, team leader for policy and external affairs from The Kitimat LNG project came forward to address Council.
“Chevron of course has a specific interest in the bylaw proposal which has been put forward,” said Molinski. “We recognise that this issue in front of Council is something that is a very significant community concern. Having a housing strategy for the community is something that we’re all thinking a lot about and want to make sure that as development happens in Kitimat and is happening today, that we are thinking very carefully about the potential impacts on the community and how best to manage those impacts.”
He expressed they were concerned about the camp levy because they do not think it will fix what it is intended to address. He was worried it would open the doors to other social impacts. He asked the Council to refer it back to City Hall to work on the issue. He stated Chevron was committed to work with the staff on the housing solution.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff wanted to know what the unintended consequences were. Molinski explained the bylaw is effectively a tax on camp beds in the community. They are looking at all the costs to develop their project and they want to know how the costs would affect the decisions going forward and how it would affect their plans in the future.
Councillor Rob Goffinet wanted to know if the LNG Taxation Foundation, which was made public on October 21st, would have an effect on their opinion of the housing fund. Molinski stated it would be difficult to speculate on this. He expressed he could not see a relation between the two.
There was no further comment so council discussed whether they wanted to adjourn the public hearing until November 3rd. There was no comment from Council so the public hearing was adjourned until Monday, November 3rd.