Port McNeill mayor slams US foundations

City council regularly receives copies of letters sent by other municipalities to other senior bodies explaining their position on various subjects.

City council regularly receives copies of letters sent by other municipalities to other senior bodies explaining their position on various subjects.

More often than not these are ignored – it’s called “Receive for information”.

But Mayor Gerry Furney of Port McNeill’s letter sparked a small tempest.

To give the background, on March 31 the Federation of Canadian Municipalities e-mailed every member with its proposed “key messages” to the parties about to enter a federal election.

Those focused on issues like money for infrastructure, housing and policing.

Furney, however, was not impressed.

In a letter to FCM president Hans Cunningham, he said the FCM memo was strong on “housekeeping” issues but “barely touches on the importance of our resource industries and the struggle that these industries face with the vast amount of US money being pumped by ‘charitable’ organisations into the anti-resource industry campaign of the so-called ‘Green’ movement.”

Furney said forestry, mining, aquaculture, oil and gas exploration and tanker traffic “are all affected by people and organisations that seem to see our country as a nice place to visit when the sun shines.”

But people who lived here had to impress on politicians of all parties that they already had enough challenges “without having to put up with harmful undermining of our economy by these so-call ‘charitable’ organisations and their multi-millions of dollars.”

Furney added he had written to prime minister Stephen Harper asking him to review those groups tax-free charitable status.

In it’s own letter to Cunningham, Kitimat council said that while it respected him as “a strong advocate for resource development”, it was concerned his letter dismissed “the important municipal objectives detailed in your communique.” And Kitimat supported those objectives.

As for resource development, Kitimat’s supported it if it could be demonstrated “compatibility with protecting the natural environment for future generations.”

It therefore asked the FCM to work with the federal government “to encourage environmentally responsible resource development and encourage more value added processing of our resources.”

However, councillor Randy Halyk decided to take it a step further, writing directly to Furney and copying the letter to the Sentinel.

Which drew a response from Furney, also copied to the Sentinel.

To read those, go to Letters.