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COMMENTARY · 2nd October 2012
Merv Ritchie
Recently it has been reported two local Industrial development promotion groups, KTIDS and SNCIRE, have joined forces. KTIDS member and former Executive Director, Austin Byrne, had a few things to say publicly about those opposed to Enbridge. It is worth a read, the conversation circulating on Facebook and Twitter. . . .

Hi everyone,

On July 24, about 70 people came to a Douglas Channel Watch rally to welcome the “Kootenay to Kitimat Caravan”, which was composed of four gentlemen from the Nelson area. The group made the trip to show their agreement with our anti-Enbridge stance. They met with very supportive people all along the way from the Kootenays to Kitimat.

On September 20, a letter to the editor appeared in the Nelson Star, as follows:

Kootenay folks shouldn’t meddle
By Contributed - Nelson Star
Published: September 20, 2012 1:00 PM
Updated: September 20, 2012 1:48 PM

Re: Kootenay residents head to Kitimat to protest pipeline

It never ceases to amaze me, the number of people that are willing to debate and stand in the way of others’ success and economic well being.

Yes the jury is out on the decision as the JRP continues its work, but it is incumbent upon municipal governments far removed from the affected areas of concern to stay out of others’ business. Look after your own shop before venturing out and denying economic prosperity to others.

I have seen no occasion where the municipalities of the north have denied Kootenay communities the right to progress and financial well being.

The Geezers make a mockery of the process which is evident on the whimsical way that they approach the “tour” bunch of old guys perhaps with nothing else to do but raise s__t in someone elses back yard. They should have stayed home and knit or whatever they do for a past time.

It would serve your community well to mind your business and keep your nose out of others.

Austin Byrne

The writer is entitled to his opinion, but I believe that the letter he wrote was extremely rude and insulting, not only to the four gentlemen who came to show their support for our position, but also to those of us who think that the Enbridge proposal is too dangerous.

I hope that many in our group will send a response, and that none of us will sink to the level of Mr. Byrne’s letter. Here is address information:

Nelson Star
514 Hall St., Nelson B.C. V1L 1Z2


Margaret Ouwehand

By Bill Vollrath
My Letter to The Nelson Star...too much?

In reply to Austin Byrne Re: Kootenay folks shouldn’t meddle

It never ceases to amaze me that people will use the term, “it never ceases to amaze me” in an effort to sound intellectually superior when they are commenting on an issue they know little about or are expressing an opinion that is wrong!

It is obvious to me that Mr. Byrne has little knowledge of the real issues surrounding the Northern Gateway Pipeline proposal.

Does he really believe that the four gentlemen who visited Kitimat from the Kootenay region did so in an effort to “stand in the way of others’ success and well being?” Maybe they did! So what?

Whose success and well being is Mr. Byrne concerned about? Some oil baron’s? Does he think that Enbridge will have the success and well being of the people who earn their livings fishing in the waters of the Kitimat River and Douglas Channel in mind when there is a spill of bitumen? Does Mr. Byrne have the success and well being of those who earn their living farming or logging along the planned route of the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline in mind?

Mr. Byrne, this process that was put in place by the federal government is already a mockery sir. The Joint Review Panel will approve the pipeline no matter how much evidence they hear that proves that a spill of crude oil will cause irreversible damage to the environment of the Pacific Northwest’s rivers and forests because these people are in bed with the federal government who only want China’s money. They have only Canada’s energy revenues in mind and are only thinking about how much they can grab NOW. They do not care about individuals in small pockets of the coastal provinces nor do they care about the environment that our children and grandchildren will have to manage and govern. They are not travelling around on our dime out of the goodness of their hearts or their concern for the provinces of BC or Alberta! They are WORKING...and collecting very lucrative salaries for doing so!

So yes, Mr. Byrne...I for one, am certainly willing to stand in the way of the success and well being of anyone who would take it now, for themselves at the expense of the success and well being of future generations.

And now, since I don’t knit, I will now go back to working on the various charity projects that I am working on for a pastime...not a “past time.” Might I suggest you get an education for a pastime before barging in to the business of others to display your incredible ignorance and coming off like a condescending and arrogant p*#*k.

Peace, Bill Vollrath in Kitimat
Comment by Sarah Artis of SNCIRE on 5th October 2012
Thank you for your interest in the Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics (SNCIRE).
To clarify, SNCIRE and KTIDS are still separate organizations with independent visions, missions, mandates and boards. In the spirit of regional collaboration, however, we have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The purpose is to clarify the similarities and differences between the organizations to avoid duplication of efforts. It also states a commitment to help and support each other, and keep each other abreast of relevant regional activities and events.
SNCIRE has also signed a memorandum of understanding with the Northwest Science & Innovation Society and has plans to develop agreements with many diverse organizations over the next few months. At SNCIRE, we believe communities and agencies must work together to build a stronger, more prosperous region.
Finally, SNCIRE is not only an industrial development promotion organization. We are a non-partisan non-profit focused on building a resilient and sustainable natural resource economy in the Skeena-Nass region. Through innovation and research, we identify, develop and promote opportunities for the Skeena-Nass region. Our projects range from hosting leadership forums to researching bio-energy opportunities to helping promote Northwest Coast arts with the idea of extracting the highest value from our forests.
If anyone would like more information about SNCIRE, please go to (Note that we are in the process of redesigning our website with hopes of launching our new site up next week.) The MOUs between SNCIRE and KTIDS, and SNCIRE and NSIS will be available on the new website.
Thank you for your time.
I wonder if it was in a Black Press np?
Comment by gemlog on 2nd October 2012
In black press newspapers I read that an overwhelming percentage of BC-ers are in favour of the faux refinery at this end.

Elsewhere that it's hard to find BC'er's (this from the cbc radio) that hardly anyone is in favour of a tar pipeline at all in bc.

Needless to say, I don't believe black press about anything. Mysterious out of town "letters to the editor" appear all the time. 'Guest' columnists and so on. He is transparently manipulative imo.