Kitimat mayor remembers long-serving northwest politician

Pieter Weeber Sr., a New Hazelton councillor, impacted many over the course of his life.

On Wednesday news broke of the passing of long-serving New Hazelton Councillor Pieter Weeber Sr.

The news drew reaction from Kitimat Mayor Joanne Monaghan, who knew Pieter well during her years as vice-chair and chair at the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine.

Pieter was a long-serving council appointee to the regional district.

“I could always count on him to have rational thoughts and think things through. He didn’t have knee jerk reactions,” said Monaghan. “It’s a great loss because we’ve lost someone who really thought things through and…had people as his first concern.”

Weeber wrote a letter to his constituents just before his passing,  speaking highly of his community and family.

He signed off saying that everyone should always stand up for what they believe in and to stay involved.

“My advice to you all (if you have the stones) is to stand up for what you believe in, get involved in your community, don’t hold a grudge and support your children because they will be running the place when us old folks are gone,” he wrote.

Premier Christy Clark also spoke of Weeber during closing remarks at this week’s Union of BC Municipalities conference.

She quoted Weeber concerning the prospect of a potential liquefied natural gas industry in the region.

‘You hear that sound of helicopters, that is the sound of money, that is the sound of growth, that is the sound of change,'” said Clark in quoting Weeber regarding the use of helicopters in natural gas pipeline survey work.

“Pieter died on Wednesday. But I am so glad that that great mayor of that small, plucky optimistic community got to see change again,” continued Clark.

I’m glad he got to be a part of that change as we get started on it in British Columbia. And now our job is to make sure that change keeps going,” she said.

(Although he has been mayor of New Hazelton in past years, Weeber was a municipal councillor when he died in the early morning hours of Sept. 18.)

He sat either as a New Hazelton councillor or as that community’s mayor ever since the municipality was formed in 1980.

Weeber had also been a school trustee.

He also ran for Parliament as the Progressive Conservative candidate for Skeena in the 1984 federal election but was unsuccessful in his bid to unseat NDP incumbent Jim Fulton.

– Files from the Terrace Standard