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COMMENTARY · 14th February 2012
Walter McFarlane
At most? Nothing.

Only two Councillors on Kitimat’s City Council appear to disapprove of the project. Councillor Phil Germuth and Councillor Rob Goffinet.

Germuth’s recent motion to poll the people of Kitimat was defeated on the same grounds where Kitimat Council remains neutral. This is the concept of collecting information about the project.

Of course, Councillor Mario Feldhoff talked about all the money Enbridge was going to bring in during the 2011 budget and Joanne Monaghan promoted the project in their magazine. Her publicizing the project was debated in Council between her and Randy Halyk in 2010.

Despite Council’s Neutrality, the District of Kitimat is still promoting the project on their website, misleading people to believe our Council has made a decision on it.

You get what you vote for…

Then again, the “Mayor of Boom” promised to unite the broken community in the 2008 municipal election. Why was the community broken? We had organizations working to divide it on the grounds of economic development.

They called themselves Concerned Citizens at the time, soiling the phrase for future generations and adding the word “Taxpayers” to their name later in an attempt to remind people these individuals were paying the bills in Kitimat.

This group, the “Concerned Citizens and Taxpayers” (CCT) had several objectives. Overthrow the local government, remove Trafford Hall from position as Municipal Manager and silence any concerns about the sale of power at Rio Tinto Alcan.

CCT did their job well. Any talk about the power sales issue in the media was met with a slew of comments from them attacking Kitimat’s Council. Where Kitimat Council went, rumours of their incompetence preceded them. Several members of this club now enjoy roles in the field of economic development for Kitimat.

When Former Mayor Rick Wozney stepped down, the issue was a community divided against itself, along the lines of power sales. The most notable division was between Rio Tinto Alcan and the community of Kitimat itself. Where did the community itself stand? No one bothered to ask.

While the CCT was not successful at first, all it took was the right Mayor, Joanne Monaghan, to complete their wish list. It’s been proven that she had a hand in the dismissal of Hall and one of the first things she told Council was that Council was not going to speak bad about Alcan any more.

So Council’s Neutrality on this issue is a good thing for it keeps the community from dividing again against Council again.

While Terrace’s motion to oppose the project, which passed at last night’s City Council Meeting in Terrace makes them look more progressive then Kitimat, Kitimat had the same opportunity to look progressive as well.

Germuth’s motion from the January 16th meeting of Council was to find out just what the people of Kitimat think of the project. Council turned it down for now deferring to ask the people of Kitimat what they think about the Enbridge Project, after JRP hearings.

No one is asking the people of this province what they think of the project, they are stating one side or the other has more numbers with no facts to go on.

Congratulations to Kitimat Council, you’ve been beaten by Terrace, yet again.