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CONTRIBUTION · 31st October 2014
Murray Minchin
Dear Editor,

I found last nights all candidates forum for Kitimat's upcoming Municipal election entertaining and enlightening. There was one thing, however, that I found disturbing, and that would be Councillor Feldhoff's enthusiastic support of David Black's dream to build an oil refinery in the Kitimat Valley.

Wasn't it Councillor Feldhoff who pushed for the District of Kitimat to remain neutral on Enbridge's Northern Gateway proposal until all the evidence was in, and after the Joint Review Panel had made its deliberations? Why does he now rush forward enthusiastically supporting an oil refinery when there has been no proposal submitted detailing pipeline routes, refinery construction, air pollution levels, or the number and size of supertankers that will share the Douglas Channel with LNG tankers.

As for Mr Black, he is free to make whatever pollution limiting promises he wants, because he has no financial backers controlling the purse strings. All Black has so far, despite his years of effort to find partners, is a Chinese bank willing to handle the money...if he ever finds it.

If, as has been suggested, diesel and gasoline is so much safer to ship than diluted bitumen, why is the former ESSO gas station still vacant and fenced off approximately 15 years after it closed down? What would a spill do to intertidal land between the low and high tide lines on BC's north coast? Will the Black refinery torch the Kitimat River estuary after a spill, like Enbridge admitted they would do during cross examination at the JRP's final hearings? Since diesel spreads faster than diluted bitumen, would they also torch the Dala, Kildala, Kitlope, and Giltoyees River estuaries as well? What about salmon rearing eel grass beds?

Mr Feldhoff's greatest strength as a Councillor may be that he is an accountant, someone who's job it is to see the big financial picture. His most dangerous fault though, appears to be his willingness to blindly belly up to the trough and support projects before he knows what multigenerational harm a project will, or could have on the people and environment of the Kitimat Valley, the Douglas Channel, and the north coast of British Columbia.

I believe a public statement by Mr Feldhoff is warranted, before the election, where he promises to refrain from supporting major industrial projects until a qualified panel of experts has had the opportunity to weigh all the evidence submitted by the proponent, interveners, and First Nations, just as he did for Enbridge's Northern Gateway proposal.
Comment by kitimat first on 7th November 2014
I'm tired of people saying we are against everything, we are against a product that is a pollutant that will be very hard to clean up after a spill and is harmful not only to mankind but the environment and animals of the area...what's so wrong with trying to protect that ?
and a note to Roma, your ranting is the reason the northern sentinel has one less subscriber !
Comment by Vern on 7th November 2014
Wow seems like a lot of finger pointing with the comments. While I do not support a oil pipeline in it's present state I could accept one if a refinery was included, I think it would make more sense having the refinery at the source ( Alberta ) and sending refined product down the line. Yes to the fact we need new well paying industrial jobs in the area which is why I really hope the LNG plants are built. My feeling is with the oversupply of oil on the market a pipeline and refinery are not likely and that oil will be heading south in the Keystone pipe. That all said I respect Mr. Feldhoff's stand on the matter as he is trying to secure jobs that will support our town, without new industrial jobs we will have a major downturn in our future once the RTA rebuild boom is over.
Comment by roma on 7th November 2014
Dear kitimatsecond
What I can't understand is why you have never commented on my weird ramblings and incoherent musings in the Sentinel?
Is it because you have to use your real name when writing to the paper?
Anyway this is beginning to be a bit silly...much like the "Silly Season" and way off the original topic.
Keep smiling.
You Win!!!
Must be come the change they wish to see
Comment by bill on 6th November 2014
I for one would like all of these anti everything groups, not only make suggestions but become the driving force to environmentally friendly jobs. If one sits back and constantly opposes everything they better have a solution. What has DCW done to attract new clean jobs for Kitimat....??? Where will future generations work to support their families. Murray will Canada Post be able to provide all these jobs?
Dear Murray
Comment by Jim on 6th November 2014
First of all I realize that an oil refinery so far has no legs and is only a dream I also realize that should it get some traction we will have to go through a complete review weighing the pros and cons. as we did with Enbridge. But once again whats wrong with at least entertaining the idea and the potential thousands of jobs it would create.
The economic and environmental reviews will fall into place then should it gain some traction.
As far as your comment " you can bet they will ship other than refined products " You don't know that
at all . Also you yourself said Mr.
Feldhoffs greatest asset on council is that he is a accountant and his job is to look at the big financial picture. Well I think that's what he is doing He can see the economics such a project would have in the northwest. The jobs it would create, the taxes it would generate etc. You also say Mr. Feldhoff should make a statement to refrain from supporting major projects before the election why? If anything you should make a statement
why all the negative spin on a project that is only a concept idea. Ps also just wondering with all your
presentations to council concerning Enbridge and all the supportive followers you have why didn"t you throw your hat in the ring for councillor

Comment by kitimatsecond on 6th November 2014
Much like the critics Murray is finding on this page I can sum things up rather easily.

You are known for little more than rambling, incoherent musings.

Murray Minchin is quite literally a hero standing up for this region and the douglas channel.

People like Murray make the world a better place and folks like you make communities worse with your arrogance and misdirection.
Hey Jim
Comment by Murray on 5th November 2014
Hi Jim...I'll try to explain my position this way;

Supporting and pushing for an oil refinery without knowing any details as to how it will be built, or the definite and potential impacts on Kitimat's people and environment, is like going for a month long holiday and hiring a babysitter off the Internet, then meeting him for the first time as you hand over your baby as you're stepping on the airplane.

Also, it is painfully obvious that Councilor Feldhoff has drunk way too much of Black's Koolaid if he believes only refined products would be shipped down Douglas Channel. You can bet the pipeline company (and its foreign partners) would demand additional pipeline capacity for exporting raw, diluted bitumen.

If you recall, Enbridge's Northern Gateway had federal, provincial, and municipal support when it first came out. Lots of hand shaking photo's with smiling politicians at the time. Black's dream, if it ever grows legs and if a detailed proposal is ever submitted, will see the same level of research as Enbridge got...then we'll see how many people still support it.
Comment by roma on 5th November 2014
First ,thank you for reading my "weird and rambling" letters for least you're supporting the Sentinel.
Can't imagine why you read them if they are so offensive and me not being very bright....what does that say about you??
I must have hit a nerve of yours somewhere.
Maybe that's why I got the "after wine"..I mean after nine messages on my recorder.
Thanks again for taking time out from your busy schedule to read.
Keep smiling,I'm watching and listening
To much CO2
Comment by Leon Dumstrey-SooS on 5th November 2014
Firstly the question was I believe: "do you support refinery". Not very good question and not very clear.
You cannot have refinery without oil pipe line which he commented. Right?
Mr. Feldhoff said it will be up to Federal and provincial Governments to be or not tobe of the project.
So, where did he go wrong?
To Bman
Comment by Ted Bergen on 4th November 2014
Your comments towards Mario are inappropriate, not to mention childish. If you really feel a need to make these childish comments why don't you grow a pair and use your real name?
Comment by Jim on 4th November 2014
Although a future refinery is still just a pipedream so to speak . I can't see whats wrong with Mr. Feldhoffs support of the project or any other of our counceillors. Maybe someday it will happen and with the views from local government in support of a refinery it can only help push the project forward when seen in the eyes of federal an provincial governments as well as big business.
I always thought that one of the main arguments by Murray and DCW was that there would not be enough jobs created to outweigh the risk. Now we have councillors in favor of a refinery that will create thousands of jobs and that's not good enough either.In my view Murrays continued negative comments and views will only hurt both his and DCW credibility. As I have said before I think people want to see good paying jobs for their families first .a refinery would provide this.
Roma's Letters
Comment by kitimatsecond on 4th November 2014
Well we know one thing for sure..

If Roma was in fact a smart woman she would have claimed all those long, weird and rambling letters she wrote to the sentinel for all those years were written by someone else.

But seeing as how she is in fact not very bright she can continue on for many years knowing no one is..listening.
Comment by Bman on 3rd November 2014
I have known Mario feldhoof since we were kids. He was always a snooty, unapproachable person and still is today. Dont know why people keep voting for him
Roma's Wrong
Comment by Murray on 3rd November 2014
Hi Roma,

So, you think somebody wrote that letter for me do you? How about the five letters below in the "Also by Murray Minchin" section?

Maybe the written and photographic evidence I submitted to the JRP regarding Enbridge's Northern Gateway proposal were written by somebody else, or the oral submissions, or my questions while cross examining Enbridge's expert witness panels at the Final Hearings in Prince George? I bet somebody even wrote all those presentations I gave to Kitimat's Mayor and Council.

I bet one of those foriegn funded eco-radical enemies of the State Joe Oliver kept talking about put some kind of chip in my head...yaaaa...that's it!
Comment by bill on 3rd November 2014
Mr. Feldhoff happens to be one of the most intelligent people sitting at the council table. I for one support a refinery, and yes I voted for him and don't expect a plebiscite every time they want to make a decision. Lets move on to to the real issues now, things that are happening today...not 10 years from now.
Kitimat...A Marvel of Nature AND Industry
Comment by Oil is Good on 3rd November 2014
Let's face it. The vast majority of us would not even be in Kitimat if Industrial Development never happened. Kitimat is a beautiful place to live and it has been all along even with industry here. Stop worrying that the sky is going to fall and the world will come to an end if we get a refinery. If we are LUCKY enough to get a refinery then Kitimat will still be a beautiful place to live and we will also be able to work at home. Hey, we will probably still need a Post Office too.
industry and nature
Comment by kitimat first on 2nd November 2014
the thought of thousands of jobs sounds very good, but one must ask at what price do we pay for this good or as I think misfortune. how we can tout the northwest as a marvel of nature and then consider putting in oil pipelines and oil refineries and other businesses associated with this product is beyond my logic. to put an oil refinery in a valley is just ludicrous and not very well thought out ! RTA at this moment has people concerned with emissions spewing from they're facility and now Mario Feldhoff wants to compound that with more pollution from an oil refinery...makes one wonder who Mario Feldhoff is really representing, we'll soon find out.
murrays letter
Comment by roma on 1st November 2014
So....who wrote this letter for you?????
Risk vs Reward
Comment by Oil is Good on 31st October 2014
If we were LUCKY enough to get a Refinery, there would be thousands of excellent jobs created either directly or indirectly. The risk would be minor compared to the rewards. I hope more councillors will come out in support of jobs and our future ability to live AND work in our fantastic part of the world for generations to come!
Refinery unlikely
Comment by Vern on 31st October 2014
With the oversupply of oil in the foreseeable future a refinery and pipeline does not make sense. If the government pushes the pipeline in then a refinery would at least create jobs. I would prefer to see council focus efforts on helping to get the LNG plants built as soon as possible. We need new industrial jobs to support our town and maintain services we need, but I would prefer to see the industrial base of LNG instead of heavy oil.