COUNCIL AGAIN REFUSES TO FAIRLY REPRESENT ELECTORATE
Terrace Councillor Bruce Martindale pointed out the dichotomy of his fellow Councillors. It was a display of intelligence lost on many.
The issue being debated was the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline. The Kitimat-Terrace District Labour Council (KTDLC) requested Terrace take a position and make it public just as their Council had. The KTDLC determined their membership collectively opposed the Crude Oil Pipeline and as a Council they passed a resolution to support their membership by publicly stating they opposed the project.
The Terrace Councillors decided not to do the same thing.
Martindale and Councillor Bruce Bidgood made their opinions clear stating they personally opposed the Northern Gateway project. In a challenge to claims made by Councillors Brian Downie, Carol Leclerc, Brad Pollard and Mayor Pernarowski, Martindale stated their claims to remain neutral on this project until all the information is in, until the Federal Joint Review Panel JRP process is complete, was not keeping with their own past history.
“To say that because there is a process in place, we can’t have a position on it; well we had a very firm position on a number of issues that had provincial and federal ramifications since I’ve been on this Council,” began Martindale as he argued against a motion made by Pollard that the Council maintain their neutral stance, “particularly the power line North, we were very much in favour of that. There was, and still is, a process involved there, but we were very very firm that that was something this Council wants to do.”
Pollard, Leclerc, Downie and Pernarowski were unswayed by this argument. Pernarowski countered with a long statement that completely disregarded all the statements made by the Labour Council and some of his own Councillors as they had all clearly stated the information provided by Enbridge had been complete, as had the information provided by opponents to the project; the process had been underway for years already.
“I think that we need to as a Council, as leaders in the Community, wait to hear all the information, and remain neutral. Whether we support it or we’re against it as a personal issue is important but as a council representing the community it’s, I think in our best interest to allow the process to happen, to see what the information is, to gather that information and hopefully we’ll all be able to come to that end conclusion.”
Bidgood spoke up again and referring to our previously posted article on Terrace being in poor form “Terrace Council being asked once again to take a stand on Enbridge”
asked the City’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Ron Poole, a question directly challenging a statement made from the following paragraph in our article, which began with this opening sentence;Terrace has stuck out in poor form from the rest of BC Municipalities as one of a very short list of Councils refusing to publicly take a position.
“Can you tell us,” began Bidgood, “has there been any municipality which has made a motion in favour or in opposition to the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project?”
Almost as if Poole had read the article as well he stated “I actually sent an email out in anticipation of this.”
Listing various communities on highway 16 through to Prince George, Poole stated only two had made resolutions regarding the proposal, Queen Charlotte City and Kitimat. Kitimat had made a resolution to remain neutral and Queen Charlotte City made a resolution in opposition, claimed Poole.
This appeared, on the face of Bidgood's question and Poole's answer, to challenge our reporting of the issue.
However directly after the opening sentence of the paragraph was the following.At the Union of BC Municipalities convention last year, October 1, 2010, Terrace representatives, Councillors Brian Downie and Brad Pollard staked a claim perceived as clearly supporting Enbridge by voting against two resolutions put forward by the Village of Queen Charlotte. The first resolution urged the federal government to legislate a ban on bulk crude oil tanker traffic through Queen Charlotte Sound, Dixon Entrance and Hecate Strait. The second resolution opposed the transport of tar sands crude oil by pipeline through British Columbia. Two District of Kitimat Councillors at the same meeting determined the best way to represent a neutral position was to abstain from voting so they would not be seen as supporting or opposing the resolutions.
These resolutions were passed by an overwhelming majority where those who voted against it were easily singled out. The Kitimat Councillors were even accused of being in favour of the project by abstaining (refusing) to vote. Terrace on the otherhand clearly staked out their position in favour of the project by voting in opposition to the motions.
The other Councils which were apparently not considered in Poole's email request to various communities challenging our assertion, almost as a reflection of how much the Terrace Council thinks about the majority of the population, was the First Nations Band Councils who have without barely an objection, all explicitly opposed the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project and have signed documents affirming their united opposition. The all white Council of Terrace appeared, on the face of it, to forget those who lived on the Northcoast and sustained themselves off of the natural bounty available long before the settlers and canneries arrived.
They also have, in this slight of hand, ignored the resolution made and adopted by their own Union, the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) of which, as a Union member, they are virtually obliged to adopt as their own position.
Terrace Councillor Carol Leclerc asked the Enbridge representatives at the Regional District Kitimat-Stikine (RDKS) meeting March 25, 2011, about the number of jobs the project would have long term for Terrace. The answer had her look shocked and she struggled to maintain composure; 2 (two). Watch the presentation by clicking here and watch the videos attached at the end of the story “Is China paying Enbridge Representatives to Lie?
. It remains to be seen if this claim is untrue as well, two may be an exaggeration.
The Terrace Councillors seemed to agree that they would be able to express themselves more freely, and the citizens would be able to show their approval or disapproval, during the upcoming municipal elections in November this year.
Watch the entire presentation, the Labour Council introducing their request, and the Terrace Councillors debating the issue by watching the video attached below.
Brian Downie (right) looks at Bruce Martindale (left) as he challenges Downies assertion of neutrality.
Terrace CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) claiming he emailed all the local Councils asking if they had made a resolution on this issue.
The Kitimat Terrace and District Labour Council representatives asking Terrace to take a position