Kitimat council passed a motion at their Mar. 21 meeting to give $1,000 in support of the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
The idea, borrowed from the City of Nelson that donated $1,000 towards Ukraine, was presented by Councillor Mark Zielinski who said that Kitimat could also donate to support the cause. Zielinski’s suggestion was met with a lot of support from the Kitimat council.
“I certainly support doing something on our part, the only thing I would suggest besides expressing our condemnation and some support is that we look at our options for donating,” said Councillor Terry Marleau. “If we were to donate I’d rather keep it broad and open, I’ve heard some people make some good suggestions as roots to follow.”
During discussions, council also considered what else they could do to support the cause and Councillor Mario Feldhoff brought forward the idea that they could do more than just donate.
“I think we should be looking beyond monetary donations, in our community we have significant potential to house people in our lodges, they’re not all being used,” he said. “As the need becomes more clear perhaps as a community we can do more.”
Councillor Rob Goffinet was also in favour of matching the City of Nelson’s donation saying it was symbolic. He also said that he would rather have the donation go to an international group.
“I believe we should focus on an international group, UN, Red Cross, some international group that goes government to government, but also encourage citizens to donate,” he said.
Goffinet also spoke to the idea that some of the beds in town could be used to house refugees before they get relocated to a more permanent place in society.
Councillor Edwin Empinado also asked staff where the money would be coming from. Staff informed council that they do have a budget for grants for community groups and travel and with the size of the grant being discussed it can be absorbed into that budget.
A motion was brought forward that the District of Kitimat matches the City of Nelson donation of $1,000 to be provided to the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis. The motion was passed unanimously with one councillor absent from the meeting.