Story edited and links corrected, 1:30pm February, 10, 2012
Monday evening, February 13, 2012, at 7:30 pm the Terrace city councillors will be sitting for their regular twice monthly official board meeting. Last Council sitting, January 23, 2012, Councillor James Cordeiro introduced a motion under new business. His motion was a follow-up to his (and almost every other Councillor including the mayors) electioneering promise to oppose the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal.
The motion Cordeiro presented for the rest of the Council and the Mayor to consider during the intervening three weeks was very straight forward. He stated he didn’t want to spring this on his fellow council body; he wanted to give them time to consider it fully.
Monday evening he will formally put the motion forward, another person will need to second the motion, and then it will be discussed. After discussions it will be put to a vote. Of the seven people representing Terrace; Mayor Pernarowski, Lynne Christiansen, Brian Downie, Bruce Bidgood, Marylin Davies, Stacey Tyers and Cordeiro, four will need to raise their hands in favour for the motion to pass.
The motion Cordeiro presented on January 23 reads this way;That the City of Terrace support the UBCM resolutions: B140 opposing the shipping of the tar sands oil in pipelines across northern BC for loading onto crude oil tankers and;
B139 opposing any expansion of bulk crude oil tanker traffic in Dixon Entrance, Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound.
The last three pages of the agenda package for Mondays Council meeting contains the details regarding this effort by Cordeiro. Click here to read it on pages 115 and 117.
The Terrace City Administration has informed Cordeiro they first need to rescind a previous motion to remain neutral made on April 11, 2011 . Read report on meeting here
. Then they can vote to support the resolutions made by the UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) as is being requested by Cordeiro.
During the April 2011 meeting Pernarowski made the following statement reflecting his desire to remain neutral.
“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.”
This past Friday, the Mayor stated the UBCM AGM (Annual General Meeting) resolutions put forward by the Village of Queen Charlotte weren’t clear enough.
“I guess I’m going to need to get a little bit of clarification once we’re in the meeting from James on the intent.” stated Pernarowski, “The UBCM resolutions wasn’t very specific to any one particular project.”
When the UBCM vote took place on October 1, 2010, the general understanding was it was specific to the current Enbridge proposal. Read CBC’s report here.
An excerpt from this CBC report is as follows;Delegates at the UBCM conference in Whistler overwhelmingly passed two motions brought forward Friday by the Village of Queen Charlotte.
The first urged Ottawa to legislate a ban on bulk crude oil tanker traffic through Queen Charlotte Sound, Dixon Entrance and Hecate Strait, while the second opposes the Northern Gateway pipeline between Alberta's oilsands and the B.C. coast, proposed by Enbridge Inc.
A number of Terrace City Councillors were attending the UBCM, as they do every year, along with Councillors from the District of Kitimat. As these two communities were most connected to the project media cameras were focused on them when the vote was taken. Most Terrace Councillors, save Christiansen, voted against the motions put forward by the Village of Queen Charlotte while the Kitimat Councillors neither voted for or against. It appeared to observers Terrace was taking a position in favour of Enbridge while Kitimat, by abstaining from voting, was appearing neutral.
This became a significant election issue but not before the entire Northern Municipal representative body accepted what was essentially a bribe from Enbridge in May of 2011, allowing them to sponsor the AGM (Annual General Meeting) of the NCLGA (North Central Local Government Association) along with their official Public Relations spokesman, Kevin Brown, as the MC, (Master of Ceremonies) for the entire three day conference. Watch a video of our questioning the Mayor of Prince Rupert regarding this unethical conflict by clicking here
The NCLGA is just like the UBCM except it only represents the Northern Communities of BC. In 1976, when another Pipeline Company funded the same AGM held in Kitimat a Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District Director didn’t mince words and called it a bribe. Read about this by clicking here
. This past year another Government official also expressed the same level of integrity regarding Enbridge funding the NCLGA gathering.
In a letter to the NCLGA President, Mayor Bernier of Dawson Creek, John Jones, Chief Councilor for the Old Massett Village Council wrote the following;My council has a representative slated to stand with BC Parks reps to deliver this presentation and we were excited to be part of this event that is hosting two expert keynote speakers; Dr. MacDonald who is a green energy expert and Bruce Vincent who is listed as a US champion of the environment.
It was with dismay therefore we learnt that one of the conferences’ Platinum Sponsors is Enbridge, especially since the UBCM’s motions B139 & 140 were fully endorsed by the municipalities. As part of the Haida Nation and fighting to save the integrity of our coast line with the large economy and employment that depend on it, I can not allow our council’s representative to attend your conference. Taking money and support from Enbridge sends entirely the wrong message in our minds.
Therefore it is with regret that we will not be part of this year’s NCLGA convention in Prince Rupert.
When the 2011 election forum was held the Mayor of Terrace stated he was firmly opposed to the project and that he would be “Arm in Arm” with the citizens of Terrace opposed to Enbridge and acknowledged his acceptance of money from Enbridge was wrong. Watch a video of his public statements during the campaign to be Mayor by clicking here.
This past Friday however he was back to the same position he took during the April 2011 meeting when the council voted to remain neutral.
“I continue to feel that council needs listen to all of the input and facts and information through the process that’s currently playing out right now, so I think my thought would be that it would not be helpful [referring to Cordeiro’s motion] regardless of our personal opinions, to hear out the JRP and then be able to put a knowledgeable comment when we go into do our intervener piece.”
Pernarowski then concluded with this statement regarding his influence on the Councillors, “I think that’s probably how I would want to continue to position our Council, again, regardless of our personal opinions.”
The City has registered as an Intervener but failed to take advantage of the JRP attending in Terrace to specifically hear from those registered as interveners.
The full agenda for this upcoming meeting, Monday, February 13, is more lengthy than most meetings with numerous presentations and reports. As the motion being put forward by Cordeiro will be heard near the very end of the meeting it will in all likelyhood be a bit later in the evening.
Municipal mayoral election foum. Pernarowski states he will oppose Enbridge with the citizenry.