Northern Gateway: bite the bullet

Dieter Wagner of the Douglas Channel Watch appeared at city council’s February 20 meeting...

Dieter Wagner of the Douglas Channel Watch appeared at city council’s February 20 meeting to castigate it for its continuing neutral position on the Northern Gateway project – it will not take a position until after the Joint Review Panel delivers its verdict.

Telling council that his group and many others could not comprehend why they did so, he added, “We are requesting you abandon it and officially oppose this project.”

Then, referring to the February 15 editorial in the Northern Sentinel, he went after councillors Edwin Empinado and Mary Murphy for having said at November’s all-candidates that they would support a referendum, but then did not support colleague Phil Germuth’s proposal to hold a survey of Kitimatians on the issue.

“Promises were made and not kept,” Wagner said.

Responding to that charge, Murphy said, “Once we become councillors, we represent the whole town, not just one particular group.”

In the same vein, what she had said at the all-candidates was her personal opinion and now she was a councillor she had to represent “every citizen in Kitimat”.

Without wishing to put words in Murphy’s mouth, her comments imply  she believes not “every citizen” wants council to take a stance of opposition.

And that perhaps even a large number actually support Northern Gateway.

Actually, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the latter were the case.

Yes, we have fervent defenders of the environment in our community.

But we are, and always have been, an industrial town. Take industry out of the equation and Kitimat simply ceases to exist.

Given we have lost two of our three industries, it would be understandable if a significant body of opinion here aggressively supported replacing them.

I have no doubt there will be those who, having read the above, are nodding their heads in agreement.

And others who are outraged.

Who is right?

There’s a simple way to find out – hold a referendum.

Let’s get this over with rather than go through the unnecessarily protracted and divisive debate that characterised the later stages of the power sales war.

 

Malcolm Baxter

 

 

Just Posted

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Stellar musicians, performers recognized at 54th Pacific Northwest Music Festival

More than 150 awards, scholarships given out to Northwest B.C. participants

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Northwest B.C. leaders divided over oil tanker ban

Senate hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace show Bill C-48 is at a crossroads

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Police pursue pesky porker on Vancouver Island

‘This was allegedly not the pig’s first escape’

Westjet tries again to dismiss proposed class-action lawsuit alleging discrimination

Former flight attendant claims airline broke contractual promise to create harassment-free workplace

Man airlifted to hospital after apparent hunting incident in East Kootenay

The man was in stable condition when he was flown out of Fairmont Hot Springs to a Calgary hospital

Most Read