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REPORTING · 14th September 2012
Merv Ritchie
In a vote Friday evening, September 14, 2012, at the board table of twelve Regional District Directors of Kitimat Stikine, the majority (8 to 4) determined to support the resolutions of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), but more specifically the motion read, to oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project.

In favour of the motion; Dave Brocklebank (Area D Telegraph Creek, Iskut, Klappan, Bob Quinn), Diana Penner (Area C Rural Terrace and Kitimat), Joey Waite (Area F Dease Lake North), Dave Pernarowski (Terrace), Alice Maitland (Village of Hazelton), Bruce Bidgood (Terrace), Linda Pierre (Area B Rural Hazeltons) and Chair Harry Nyce (Area A Nass Valley).

Opposed; Corrine Scott (Kitimat), Billy Ann Belcher (Stewart), Ted Ramsey (Area E Thornhill) and Gail Lowry (New Hazelton).

This vote against the Enbridge Northern Gateway adds to other elected representative bodies opposed. The Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District, the City of Prince Rupert, the City of Terrace and the City of Smithers besides of course the resolution passed at the UBCM made by the Village of Queen Charlotte on Haida Gwaii.

Neutral = non-aligned.....
Comment by Thomas Campbell on 17th September 2012
A neutral policy is defined as a declaration that is made in order to be NON-ALIGNED to something that is quarrelsome; in this instance the Northern Gateway Project. By their own explanation, city council’s intention behind their "neutral policy" was to remain impartial and allow the process to do its job. BUT the policy of being NEUTRAL or NON-ALIGNED has specific constraints on it in return for the recognition of the right to remain “NEUTRAL”. Councilor Scott (as the representative of Kitimat Council on the RDKS) by voting as she did Friday demonstrated that Kitimat Council is antagonistic towards opposition of the Northern Gateway Project and therefore has removed the right to be recognized as “neutral”.
@ Corrine
Comment by Linda Halyk on 16th September 2012
I will liken this to the gears of a car, hopefully this simple explanation will make it clearer for you and some of the other council members of Kitimat.

Cars have forward, reverse and a neutral gear.
To vote for or against is like putting a car in gear, you are either going to move forward or in reverse, but in NEURTRAL you will not move and therefore you should not vote.

Plain and simple to us ordinary folk.
Clarification Needed
Comment by Corinne Scott on 16th September 2012
First in reply to Karen, you're absolutely correct in writing that Regional District's voting is more complicated than in the District of Kitimat, as the members representing the various areas have 'weighted' votes, and the number of Board Members are based on population.

Terrace has 2 members with a voting strength of 6 votes, Kitimat has 1 member with a voting strendth of 5 votes, New Hazelton, Stewart and Village of Hazelton each have 1 member with a voting strength of 1 each, the same as electoral areas A, D, & F. Area B & E each have 1 member with a voting strength of 3 votes, and Area C, 1 member with a voting strength of 2. Complicated ---yes!

However, all municipalities fall under the governance of the Community Charter, and as previously written - I did reflect the DOK wishes to remain neutral.

Next, to reply to my 'radical' friend Danny - I do love a good debate, and enjoy your different point of view. I don't even mind losing a few debates, that's how we all learn...I certainly didn't (and don't now) intend to sound condescending, just sharing information that I know. And I certainly wasn't putting Councillors Goffinet and Halyk in a different position than myself, as a first term Councillor - we ALL have a huge learning curve when we take on the job, and are truly trying to do the best job we can for the residents of Kitimat.
"Community Charter applies to ALL municipalities"
Comment by Karen Dedosenco on 16th September 2012
Except, a Regional District is NOT a municipality.

It seems to me that regional districts are not governed by exactly the same rules as municipalities Corrinne. I think the Local Government Act might be more appropriate in determining protocol for the regional district as it is clearly stated that, " Unlike municipalities where each council member votes a single time on any one issue, the voting on regional district boards is more complicated."

Your were appointed by Kitimat Council, you were not elected into the position and so you do not represent the voters of the Kitimat Stikine Regional District - you represent Kitimat. Your personal opinion on an issue does not come into play, your vote 'must' reflect Kitimat Council's stance - to remain neutral in this case.

To my condescending Friend Corinne :~( < Hey look a face
Comment by Danny Nunes on 16th September 2012
Boy they sure taught you some quality PR skills when you worked in albertan government huh Corinne.

At least your skill at it far exceeds many of your peers on council & for that kudos.

As for the rest of your reply...ouch

If I was a current or former 1 term councillor I would be kind of insulted at what you implied in your statement about their learning curve.

But hey I mean someone on council with over 30 years experience would never suffer from a learning curve would they? Oh wait...

Joanne if your reading that dont be mad. feel free to e-mail me and I will give you my phone number so you can tell me how wrong I am..

Just be warned that there is a charge of 5 dollars per minute and you must have parental permission before calling.

As for argumentative: I think thats so cute how you use the textbook conservative play of taking someone who asks questions and debates as argumentative so they are cast as the villain.

Could you please title your next comment headline with" to my radical friend danny' so you are more in line with the conservative doctrine.

K thanks bye.
I knew there was a reason I moved
Comment by Not a crazy Person on 16th September 2012
Mrs. Scott I have watched you post things on the Terrace Daily / Kitimat Daily and Facebook over the last half a year. I have attended one counsel meeting when I came into town to visit with family and my god you should just keep your mouth shut! I usually do not get involved with this Kitimat / Terrace BS any more because I just find it petty but every time I see you type or talk I just hear / see these lame excuses coming out of you. If you are for Enbridge fine I can live with that you may not be right (actually your not right the pipeline is the worst mistake this province could ever make) but I respect a person who is able to share there views openly especially from elected officials. What are you and counsel afraid of? My god I have talked to people in Kitimat who voted and just vote for names they know they don't give to licks about what they are voting for. Your seat on counsel is safe as long as people know who you are. So STOP with all this BS talking and make your opions on these issues that we the people care about public, and tell your colleagues in counsel the same thing please. We / I am tired of hearing BS answers and excuses.

Thank you

Your friend, that shall not be named because he does not want crazy people ( you know who you are ) calling his relatives demanding to explain what I just typed.

PS. I typed this at one in the morning and am very tired so I apologize to anyone reading this who can not make sense out of it.

PPS Mr. Nunes may be a little argumenative believe you me we have had our squabbles but at least he does not BS the truth.
To my argumentative Friend Danny :o)
Comment by Corinne Scott on 15th September 2012
The Community Charter applies to ALL municipalities in BC, - Regional Districts , District of Kitimat, cities, etc.

Perception is not necessarily reality. I did not 'throw my colleagues under the bus", just disagreed with their thought process and explained why. Both Councillors Halyk and Goffinet were in their first term on Council when they attended the UBCM in 2010, and were inexperienced with the legislation, so I DO understand why they thought that they should just not vote to show their neutrality.

Elected Council members have a huge learning curve to deal with issues that are not necessarily what they've had experience with in their past life, and try hard to do the best job they can for the people who have elected them. Everyone is human and can make mistakes along the way.

If it makes a difference I'm sure the DOK Council can certainly put out a formal statement of what neutrality means to them as a group, instead of hearing individual's ideas of neutrality.

We're all trying to uphold the motion that was made by Council before more than half of us were on Council, so give us a little slack Danny ;o)
relevant info
Comment by john fraser on 15th September 2012
Read 'Tarsands' by A. Nikiforuk
Not so fast Corinne
Comment by Danny Nunes on 15th September 2012
I read your explanation of the vote last night & although on the surface you seem to make a valid case I do take issue with some things you have said and the accuracy of them.

You cite sections of the community charter to explain your vote but each section you quote says specifically "council" & not regional board.

That would seem to indicate that those sections apply to your votes as a member of "Kitimat City council' & not necessarily your votes on the regional district. You represent kitimat but you are also expected to adhere to motions set out by your own council & thats why Rob Goffinet and former councillor Randy Halyk withdrew from the UBCM vote.

They understood that if the public percieves a conflict in a vote or even a potential one its best to be cautious and withdraw to maintain neutrality. Dont throw your fellow councillors under a bus Corinne and claim they are going against the charter.

I have provided some links previously from your fellow councillors and now from your own statements it seems Kitimat City Council has no clear or set definition of what neutrality means.

From my count we have at least 3 kitimat councillors: Mario Feldoff, Rob Goffinet, & now Corinne Scott who in the last 2 years in the media have made statements that show there is no agreement or consensus in kitimat council on what is neutrality and councillors are going each by there own personal definition of it.

So right here I am declaring that Kitimat City Council is in fact not neutral whatsoever in regards to the northern gateway pipeline as its members have no reasonable definition of neutrality they all agree on therefore making there neutrality motion for the past few years quite literally...a joke.

either Kitimat council gets a clear definition of neutrality or it should no longer have a neutrality stance.

NOT voting is NOT being Neutral.
Comment by Corinne Scott on 15th September 2012
I appreciate the comments provided by Thomas Campbell and Danny Nunes, but do not agree that I should have declined to vote in order to remain neutral.

The only time an elected official does not vote is when they have declared a conflict. Otherwise it's very clear in the BC Community Charter under Section 115 "Every council member has the following responsibilities.....c) to participate in Council meetings, community meetings and meetings of other bodies to which the member is appointed."

Section 123 (3) of the Community Charter goes on to say "Each council member present at the time of the vote must vote on the matter."

Section 123 (4) states "If a council member does not indicate how he or she votes, the member is deemed to have voted in the affirmative."

I tried to access the information that Danny provided regarding my colleagues comments on CFTK TV 'Feldoff Redefines Neutrality' , as well as the Kitimat Daily article, and couldn't find it through the link provided, however was pleased he provided quotes made by Councillor Goffinet regarding the absence of his voting at UBCM in 2010. "If we opposed the motion, an intrepretation (may be that) we're in favour of the pipeline."

I disagree with my colleague, as that goes against the Community Charter.

I made it very clear in the debate of the motion that I feel strongly that we MUST allow the JRP to complete their findings. They are the body that hears all issues and concerns, and we need to support the process that has been put in place.

My definition of being neutral is not being for or against the pipeline, it's supporting the political process put in place to hear the voice of the people.

We all want to protect the pristine beauty of where we call home, and as an elected official I must follow the rules laid out through legislation.

Kitimat Neutrality
Comment by Danny Nunes on 14th September 2012
To answer Toms question it would seem to be a violation of the neutrality stance adopted by Kitimat council.

As proof I give you exhibit A:

The above link is about the 2010 UBCM vote on the northern gateway pipeline which was what the regional district motion was based on.

This quote below is taken from the same article and is from Rob Goffinet a current kitimat councillor.

"If we opposed the motion to oppose the pipeline, it was - and we checked with people - an interpretation you were in favour of the pipeline proceeding. That would have broken our position of neutrality."

"The UBCM motions called for a ban on oil tanker traffic through North Coast waters and opposed the shipment of crude oil by pipeline through B.C."
So Councillors from Kitimat were briefed 2 years ago on the vote and I assume by people they mean legal counsel so there is no excuse for what occured tonite then in the vote.

Further evidence of the division within Kitimat Council on the neutrality issue is in the above link.

Comment by Thomas Campbell on 14th September 2012
I am glad yto see the Regionl district take this stand. Very Welldone...

As for Kitimat Councilor voting in against the motion...doesn;tkitimat have a NEUTRAL position on Enbridge Gateway? Shouldn;t Kitimat have abstained? Can't wait to hear kitimats Mayor explain this one.....