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REPORTING · 1st October 2015
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat Council was down attending the Union of BC Municipalities last week, from the 21st to the 25th of September in Vancouver.

“I think it was very successful, everybody did a great job,” said Mayor Phil Germuth. “The meeting with the Premier was excellent. I think they were really happy with us. Of course there were several meetings with the Resource Benefits Alliance, there was one meeting with the LNG Alliance with representative with Kitimat LNG, LNG Canada and BC LNG were all there, there was a separate meeting with Minister Fassbender and his advisers.”

Each of the City Councillors had their own role to play at the UBCM. Councillor Mary Murphy spoke on jobs and apprenticeships, suggesting Kitimat become a training hub for apprenticeship programs, pointing out Kitimat’s training facilities and relationships with industries. Germuth told us Murphy also spoke to the Kitimat Air Shed, making sure there is room for other industries here.

Councillor Edwin Empinado spoke about housing issues, Councillor Rob Goffinet spoke about health issues, Councillor Claire Rattee spoke to recreation and the attracting and retention of employees for industry and Germuth gave updates on relationship with the Haisla First Nations and the projects.

“Basically, it was more of an informative to inform them on what’s happening here. Hopefully, they may move on housing issues of course,” said Germuth. “Enlightening Northern Health with some of the issues and letting the premier and the ministers know, what we’re striving for, what we’re working for and how things are moving with First Nations.”

One of the things which he brought up was the upcoming Official Community Plan Amendment in relation to the West Side of the Douglas Channel and how the District of Kitimat is going to work with the Haisla Nation on land use planning.

“[It’s] so we’re on the same page. We enjoy the same environment, it only makes sense that we work together to see what’s the best use of this land in the future,” said Germuth.

The Councillors who traveled to Vancouver also brought up the Bridge and the West Side Corridor. They also discussed the highway and traffic between Kitimat and Terrace. Germuth stated the Ministry of Transportation will be doing the intersection by the Village this year, and have committed to looking at the intersections at Cable Car, the intersection to the landfill and the entrance to the cemetery.

“In those three years, they want to address one of those things, possibly each year and move on them,” said Germuth.