It wasn’t a unanimous decision but council is officially endorsing the Shell-led LNG Canada proposal in a letter submission to the environmental assessment office (EAO).
The letter, to be signed by Mayor Phil Germuth, begins with “On behalf of Kitimat Council, I wish to extend our formal support for the proposed LNG Canada Export Terminal Project.”
Perhaps ironically, Germuth would have been the only person who didn’t vote on the matter, as he was away sick for the December 15 meeting.
The endorsement didn’t reach universal appeal.
Councillor Larry Walker said he couldn’t see a benefit of writing a letter, given that the EAO is in a technical review process.
Rob Goffinet agreed, said the EAO is not the place to be giving blanket support of projects. That isn’t to say he wouldn’t support the project, said Goffinet, but that this is not the place to do so.
An amendment was proposed for the letter, which softened the approach and included wording that would have given council’s support provisional on successful completion of the EAO process.
Mario Feldhoff was against the idea, saying it’s a given that the EAO process continues and didn’t like the idea of watering down the letter.
The amendment ultimately failed.
Economic Development Officer Rose Klukas also noted for council’s benefit that through her role on the environmental assessment working group, the District does continually add technical feedback to the application as well.
The motion to draft and send the letter approved, with Goffinet and Walker remaining opposed at a vote.