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REPORTING · 10th October 2012
Walter McFarlane
The beach has been reopened. So said Mayor Joanne Monaghan over the phone this morning, Wednesday, October 10th.

“Alcan has finally reopened the beaches to the public,” said Monaghan. “The whole thing about closing it was the public safety risk.

In a news release issued by Rio Tinto Alcan (RTA) and the District of Kitimat, RTA writes: “Both Rio Tinto Alcan and the District of Kitimat understand the value and importance of ocean access to residents of the area while at the same time, continuing to respect and ensure that safety is the number one priority.”

According to Monaghan, they held a noon hour meeting with Rio Tinto Alcan representatives on Thursday, October 4th.

“I just said: ‘I didn’t want my people who have grandkids going up to the view point, looking at the ocean and saying, hey kids, we can’t take you down there,” said Monaghan.

She let Alcan know they were holding the community ransom and the community deserves better so Alcan came up with a plan. Monaghan explained to us the plan has been instituted for a couple of weeks.

In its news release, RTA states: “Over the last few months, while hearing the disappointment and concern about Hospital Beach, the KMP Construction Team took action to mitigate the public safety risk. The massive rock trucks hauling heavy loads will be re-routed; a new bridge over Anderson Creek has been installed; new traffic lights will be installed near the Construction Village; and an extra construction road has been built from the former Eurocan Haul Road. All these measures have enabled the decision to accommodate the wishes of the community to access Hospital Beach, the boat ramp and Moore Creek safely.”

“We are very happy about that and we are very thankful for it,” said Monaghan. “Council is very happy, I’m very happy. It’s one of the things that was concerning the public greatly because they did not have access to the beach. When you’re living on the ocean and you don’t have access to it, it’s something that people can’t… they can’t tolerate that.”

In their press release, Rio Tinto Alcan reminds residents Alcan is in the middle of constructing a mega project to modernize the Aluminium smelter for the benefit of both them and the community.

“This is the highest priority with many demands and intense focus. To that end, Rio Tinto Alcan will continue to assess traffic patterns and will likely need to make short term closures again as construction dictates. It is imperative that residents respect the company’s right to manage activities on its private property as it deems in the best interest of its business, including the KMP and public safety,” stated Alcan.

Mayor Monaghan wishes everyone a safe return to boating and recreation on the ocean.
Another thorn for Alcan
Comment by Joseph K on 11th October 2012
Your highness Joanne has demanded Alcan reopen Hospital beach. Come on Joanne, you can do better. Why not ask Alcan to pay for the inconvience of the beach being closed. I think we all desevere monetary compensation. Don't you.
I am expecting a cheque to be forwarded to me here in Terrace.
Comment by Terry on 10th October 2012
You do know its October right ?