Plaque debate ongoing

Council decides tonight where to locate plaque commemorating 1976 wildcat strike

The debate over where to place a plaque commemorating the 1976 wildcat strike continues, with a final vote at last Monday’s committee of the whole meeting failing 3-3. Councillor Mary Murphy was absent.

Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to place the plaque in the museum courtyard, which was one of several options provided to council by staff, as well as for council to advocate for the placement of a plaque at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Other locations included the originally proposed Centennial Park, Lions Park, and Coghlin Park, among others.

“I don’t recall the placement of a plaque ever creating so much community animosity,” said Feldhoff, referencing the strong response council has received from community members in regards to the project, which is spearheaded by the BC Labour Heritage Board, and initiated in Kitimat by Unifor 2301.

When it was first announced that council would be supporting the placement of the plaque in Centennial Park and providing financial support of up to $1,000, many residents wrote letters to the District stating that they were worried the commemoration would correlate to a celebration of an event that drove a wedge through the town. Many residents also took issue with the proposed placement in Centennial Park, where most of the monuments recognize those who have given their lives in war or in the workplace.

The strike was a result of union members in Kitimat who were unhappy with federal wage control measures, and culminated in workers walking off the job in protest. The RCMP were brought in, and there is still seemingly a lot of bad blood in the community over the event.

“There are some vivid opposing memories of the CASAW wildcat strike of 1976, and how that should most appropriately be remembered,” Feldhoff continued. “Many of us on council did not become aware of those divisive feelings until after our original July 18 motion.”

At the subsequent council meeting following the initial decision to support the plaque on August 2, council voted to reconsider the motion, which prompted a presentation at the August 15 council meeting by members of Unifor 2301 and the retirees chapter of the union.

Those presentations asked council to continue to their support of the project, as they believed it was an important event to remember, to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

After discussion amongst councillors regarding the history of the event and the appropriateness of the plaque being located in Centennial Park, councillors asked that the motion brought forward by Feldhoff be split into three separate parts to be voted on.

Council voted unanimously to support the placement of the plaque, with a location undetermined, while councillor Rob Goffinet voted against advocation for a plaque at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Council also voted unanimously to provide financial support up to $1,000 for the project, but during the vote for placing the plaque in the museum courtyard, mayor Phil Germuth and councillors Edwin Empinado and Mario Feldhoff voted in favour, while councillors Larry Walker, Claire Rattee, and Rob Goffinet voted against, which negated the motion.

The matter will be discussed once again at the council meeting tonight.


Just Posted

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

Reported fire in Kitimat turns out to be smoking salmon

Fire reported at apartment on Albatross Street on July 10

Kitamaat Haisla Lightning strike against Terrace in soccer tournament

Women’s team wins during Kitimat Open Soccer Tournament

VIDEO: Visual recap of Vancouver Island MusicFest

Walk Off The Earth, Passenger, Arlo Guthrie among highlights

Trudeau’s youth council divided over Trans Mountain pipeline purchase

A letter signed by 16 past and present members was made public today, asking the federal government to reverse course

Hulk Hogan reinstated into wrestling Hall of Fame

Hogan had used racial slurs caught on video when talking about his daughter sleeping with a black man

‘Lava bomb’ through roof of tour boat injures 22 in Hawaii

“An explosion occurred near the shoreline hurling hot lava rocks towards the boat and injuring several passengers”

B.C. teen meets Nicolas Cage

Filming mob movie in downtown Vernon, B.C.

Critics claim Trump “defended a tyrant”

Trump questions US intel, not Putin, on Russia 2016 meddling

B.C. MLAs choose new children’s watchdog

Jennifer Charlesworth has worked in government, social services

B.C. reporter calls out immigration photo on social media as fake news

A Vancouver reporter is calling out a British politician for spreading fake news

Hundreds of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

Out of 1,773 glaciers, 1,353 shrank significantly between 2000 and 2016

Most Read