Council taken to task over PNW motion

Council taken to task over PNW motion

The business community made their voices crystal clear during the city’s latest council session on Nov. 28

The business community made their voices crystal clear during the city’s latest council session on Nov. 28: to approve, or even consider Coun. Joy Thorkelson’s motion to not support the Pacific NorthWest LNG project would be a grave mistake.

A group of 10 citizens, partly made up of business owners and operators, along with a couple politicians, came out in full force to express their displeasure and disappointment over what transpired during council’s discussions on Nov. 14 when the motion was introduced.

The line of community members making their way to the microphone before council was extensive as one by one, residents told council their thoughts on a number of points, mainly how the behaviour by audience members at the previous meeting was deplorable, with many clapping, jeering, holding anti-LNG signs and shouting at members of council, reminding the city of the scope of its mandate in relation to the project, reminding them of the extensive three-year process of the environmental work that has already been completed with monitoring power in the hands of area First Nations, and finally the economic benefits that the Pacific NorthWest LNG (PNW LNG) project would bring to the community.

Rupert resident Scott Farwell told mayor and council that he was disappointed in the ‘hijacking’ of the last council session by outspoken audience members, which lacked respect for the elected officials and city staff.

“The office of the council chambers is really one where people should be able to come in and speak their mind without fear of retribution from others or intimidation. Anything that doesn’t allow that is disrespectful and should not be allowed in our community,” he said.

Farwell added that the PNW LNG motion before council is out of its mandate.

“I urge council to defeat the motion – handily defeat the motion – and let that segment of bullies know that council is not going to be hijacked anymore,” he said. “It’s fortunate that [PNW LNG] is interested in negotiating or entering some benefit agreement with the City of Prince Rupert, because truthfully they probably don’t have to.”

Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce president Keith Lambourne had the same sentiments for council, saying that the Chamber chose to support the project after the Draft Environmental Assessment Report was released, saying there would be no significant adverse effects to salmon in the area with mitigation measures.

“The salmon are important to us as they are to everyone else. We’re satisfied that the process has been thorough and all the legal pieces are in place for the project to proceed,” said Lambourne.

Business owners John Farrell and Brian Musgrave also added their thoughts to motion, which were to encourage council to look out for all Rupert residents, not just those in a specific industry.

“Unlike the organizers of the protests we saw a week and a half ago, I have faith in my neighbouring communities of Kitkatla, Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams. They have already said they will be monitoring this project, ensuring the salmon and Skeena estuary are safe,” Farrell said.

Musgrave added that while previous councils have cut expenses so clean there is nothing left to cut, it’s necessary to increase revenue for residents to thrive and eliminate the infrastructure deficit.

Candidate for the North Coast B.C. Liberal nomination Rodney Proskiw also ensured that mayor and council recognize the gravity of what’s at hand, saying the members of the community have worked too hard for the project to be halted at the 11th hour.

“I certainly hope that you would never ever consider [this motion]. There is too much at stake. The future of our entire region is at stake with either this project, or ones that are upcoming,” Proskiw said.

“There are some industries in this region that are not prospering right now and haven’t prospered for a long time. Is it fair to hold everyone hostage to these industries and not allow forward movement and forward growth? I don’t think so.”

Lax Kw’alaams Band council member Chris Sankey also provided an update on the Band’s work with the proponent, saying that Lax Kw’alaams mayor and council won’t be bullied by outside interests.

“We respect other people’s opinions and I think Lax Kw’alaams government and Mayor John Helin and council have been very respectful of those opinions,” said Sankey. “It is the Coast Tsimshian territory of Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla and we are not going to be dictated by other communities or individuals or groups who think otherwise. We would never do it to them and we respectfully ask they not do it to us. So we will follow through on the process that was set out and mandated by our membership that voted in favour of the process to continue on.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Local health authority maps are updated each week. The brown maps show the number of confirmed and active cases of COVID-19 for the week of Jan. 15 to 21, with the blue map showing cases over the past year. (Image supplied)
COVID-19 outbreak numbers increase at Acropolis and exposures are up in S.D. 52

Business COVID-19 safety plans are law, public needs to follow health protocols - Northern Health

Asher Hauknes shows his strength with Prince Rupert Gymnastics head coach Erin Hipkiss looking on Nov. 13. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Gymnastics Association benefits from Community Gaming Grant

Prince Rupert sports club to receive just less than $90,000 to build new facility

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was dispatched to a boat fire on Jan. 21 at Fairview Marina. (Photo: supplied)
Boat fire under investigation

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue attended boat fire at Fairview Marina

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Most Read