Kitimat councillors push back on marine plan drafters

Kitimat expressed a need for the creators of a north coast marine plan to delay a comment deadline due to poor public consultation.

Councillors invited representatives of the Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP) to speak to their document and process, but were not-too-subtly challenged by councillors upset over the plan’s short time frame for comment and their seeming reluctance to offer an extension.

“Some type of extension I believe is warranted because for whatever reason a significant amount of people felt rushed,” said Mario Feldhoff following a presentation on the plan.

Speaking to the plan was Steve Kachanoski from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Craig Outhet for the North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society, and Andrew Webber with the Kitimat-Stikine Regional District.

The plan is a joint First Nations and provincial government initiative to craft a use plan for B.C. coasts and marine areas.

The plan won’t cover issues such as marine transport — that falls under Transport Canada, a federal jurisdiction — but the plan will point to areas of interest for things such as fish harvesting and renewable energy.

“It’s a partnership between 18 different First Nations including members of North Coast Skeena First Nation Stewardship Society [NCSFNSS],” said Craig Outhet, a marine planning coordinator for the NCSFNSS, in the May 21 Northern Sentinel.

An open house on the project to show the public the draft plan ahead of the conclusion of public comments on June 3 was held but it sparked a response from many, including council, who felt there was not a lot of local input.

“It seems locally, I know people who are part of every one of those groups and they had no idea this was going on,” said Phil Germuth.

He also questioned how the drafters of the plan assembled the advisory committee given a number of local groups were unaware of the process.

Kachanoski said they send communications out to known active recreation, commercial and tourism groups. For example the local Sport Fish Advisory Board was contacted to participate.

“We fanned out to known associations and users within the communities and just calling for representation,” he said.

But it’s not too late for Kitimat council to comment.

“If there’s information that comes specifically as a result of this meeting…we will do our best to incorporate those comments for our plan.”

Mayor Joanne Monaghan said she wanted Kitimat Council included in reviewing the final draft of the plan as well, pointing to feelings of exclusion given First Nations groups’ involvement in the process.

“Do we ever get to see it? Are you going to present it to us, the final endorsement?” she asked. “You’re saying the Aboriginal people are getting to see it, I wonder if we do too.”

Kachanoski said they’d take requests for extensions to the public comment to the advisory board.

The board for the Haida Gwaii plan did receive a two week extension under different circumstances, he added.

 

Just Posted

PHOTO GALLERY: Malicous Monster Truck Tour

The Malicious Monster Truck Tour sold out to crowds of 2,500 people… Continue reading

North Coast fishing grounds key to orca recovery: DFO

Plan marks waters from Langara to Rose Spit as critical habitat for northern resident killer whales

Chris Green, mother of scouts, passes away

Green, who was born near Kitimat, spent more than 60 years volunteering with Scouts Canada

Intertidal Music Festival back for round two

More than 20 performances throughout the day at the North Pacific Cannery on July 21

Alberta man missing on Kitimat River found dead

Body found on July 11 after going missing on July 7

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Kitten OK after being rescued from underground pipe in B.C.

An adventurous feline has been rescued after getting trapped in an underground pipe in Kamloops, B.C.

A day after back-tracking, Trump defends summit performance

Amid bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, Trump at first sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error Tuesday.

Thai soccer players rescued from cave meet the media

Members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave have left the hospital where they have been treated since their rescue.

Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

Musk called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile to his 22.3 million Twitter followers on July 15.

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffles his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Most Read