After years of silence, the City of Prince Rupert is looking for answers from Canpotex.
Four years ago this month, Canpotex packed the Lester Centre for a public forum to discuss their potash export terminal on Ridley Island and received almost unanimous support from the community. At the time, Canpotex expected the terminal to be operational in 2012.
But since then, communications with the company and the community have been sparse, and Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem said that is unacceptable. At the Mayor’s request, council will now invite the company back to town to host another public forum to update Prince Rupert residents on the project, the reasons for the delay, challenges they face and any way the community can offer support.
“Out of respect to the people of Prince Rupert … that is the decent thing to do to continue the rapport they created at the initial public forum,” said Mussallem, noting several agencies have pushed to help Canpotex through the creation of a road, rail and utility corridor on Ridley Island.
“Canpotex has the support of the City of Prince Rupert. The Government of British Columbia, the federal government and the Prince Rupert Port Authority have all pitched in to help Canpotex.”
Those sentiments were echoed by Councillor Joy Thorkelson.
“We spent a lot of our political capital pushing to get that road, rail and utility corridor. It could have been used for other purposes, like a bypass road … you can only ask for so much,” she said.
The idea of returning to the Lester Centre was discussed, but council said they would move to a smaller venue if more appropriate. Regardless of where the meeting would take place, council agreed it needed to be a public forum.
Canpotex declined to comment on the request.