After severing his own ties with the Enbridge Community Advisory Boards, councillor Randy Halyk tried to get the city to do the same.
At the January 17 council meeting he brought forward a motion for Kitimat to stop having official representation on the local CAB and to explore an alternative process with Enbridge.
“I felt very comfortable with it for some time but, as things progressed, I’ve noticed the tables were turning a little bit, and less and less were there opposition members and more and more were there members that were totally in favour unquestionably,” Halyk explained.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff responded, “It’s one thing for the councillor to come to that personal conclusion and to withdraw from participating in the CAB, it’s another thing to have the District of Kitimat follow suit.”
Colleague Rob Goffinet reflected on Kitimat’s position of neutrality regarding the Northern Gateway Project and how the city’s withdrawal from the CAB would be seen in that context,
“If we say we will sever ties and not even sit on the CAB, that could be perceived as ‘we think that this CAB is only for proponents’.
“But having a district representative we are not a proponent so we demonstrate the ability to be either neutral or questioning to a degree that we think is necessary.”
Goffinet also commended Halyk’s work on the CAB as a reason for Kitimat to maintain its position.
Halyk noted the BC Wildlife Federation no longer participates in the CABs and he wasn’t sure if the Outdoor Recreational Council was continuing to participate since they had been absent from consecutive meetings.
More recently, Halyk argued, he alone was raising probing, critical questions.
Before he was elected Halyk had participated on the CAB as a private citizen and agreed to be council’s representative after winning his seat.
In a written statement provided to media immediately following the Think Pipeline event at Riverlodge Sunday, December 5, the councillor announced his resignation.
“It has become clear to me that the CAB is nothing but a front for Enbridge to advance their cause,” he said.
Gina Jordan, an Enbridge spokesman wouldn’t respond directly to the councillor’s allegations,
“I can’t speak to his particular reasons for resigning, what I can tell you is the purpose of our CABs is really for communities to work collaboratively to design ways to identify project risks, to explore and design ways to ensure that negative environmental and community or cumulative impacts are eliminated, or avoided, or minimized to ensure that the benefits of the project are maximized.”
Halyk’s motion was defeated with only himself voting in favour.