Some of the more than 30 feral cats who are in need of a new rural property to call home. (Barbara Gosselin/Facebook)                                Some of the more than 30 feral cats who are in need of a new rural property to call home. (Barbara Gosselin/Facebook)

Some of the more than 30 feral cats who are in need of a new rural property to call home. (Barbara Gosselin/Facebook) Some of the more than 30 feral cats who are in need of a new rural property to call home. (Barbara Gosselin/Facebook)

Port Edward councillors say feral cats should be put down, no help from district to spay and neuter

Council: Funding for The Northern View Cannery Road Race, UBCM resolutions, float station a go

The feral cats of Port Edward are out of luck after council decided to turn down a request to help fund a resident looking to spay and neuter a colony.

At Tuesday’s council meeting resident Brenda Telchak requested that the District of Port Edward assist with $2,400 in payments to spay and neuter three feral cats in a colony of 20 that live behind her home, as well as other medical costs.

Telchak said with the Prince Rupert SPCA being over capacity and the Trap Neuter Release Program, a charitable program that helps feral animal colonies – maxing out their funding for the year, she is unable to find financial support.

Telchak said in addition to spay and neuter, she needs to cover transportation costs, medication for cats with ring worm which can also affect humans in contact with the animals, rabies shots, anti-fungal shampoo, and food to feed the kittens.

Councillor Dan Franzen said that the district should not involve themselves in personal affairs, saying other residents might request money to deal with colonies in their backyard.

“It shouldn’t be the taxpayers burden. Unfortunately, the should be put down,” Franzen said, also noting later that he is an animal lover but sees no alternate solution.

READ MORE: Rupert SPCA says new traps will get the drop on cats

READ MORE: COCULLO: What to do about Port Edward’s feral cats? It’s a moral question.

Councillor Christine Mackenzie and Mayor Knut Bjnordal echoed his statement saying the district should not provide funding to spay and neuter the cats, despite the alternative. Councillor Brown said Telchak would be “opening up a can of worms” and suggest she apply to corporations for assistance or start a Go Fund Me page.

Telchak noted that feral animals is a problem for the whole district and the three cats would be a start in addressing a larger problem.

“The perpetual cycle is why I am here. To stop the cycle, and it’s a small step to stopping a larger problem,” she said.

The Northern View Cannery Road Race

The District of Port Edward approved $1,000 in support of The Northern View Cannery Road Race hosted by Rupert Runners and also sponsored by the North Pacific Cannery, Zikhara Yoga, and Pembina. The funds will help keep the 1km run for kids free of charge.

Adults have the option to run or walk the 5K, 10K and half-marathon. The annual Northern View Road Race will be held on Sept. 14.

READ MORE: The Northern View Cannery Road Race is only one month away

Permanent residents voting rights and other UBCM news

The District of Port Edward became the third municipality in the northwest region to support voting rights for permanent residents after Prince Rupert and Kitimat.

Council voted in favour of endorsing a motion at Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in September requesting that the province change their laws to grant permanent residents the right to vote in municipal elections.

The vote came after council heard a presentation from Rodrigo Samayoa, representing a group called Fresh Voices, about the Lost Votes Initiative regarding their campaign to help permanent residents participate in local democracy.

Council will also be sending a letter of support to the UBCM supporting a motion put forward by the City of Prince George requesting provincial funding to cover the costs of cleaning up needles and other drug paraphernalia. They are also supporting a separate motion put forward to share seizures of proceeds of crime (money or assets seized) with local government to help address protective services costs.

READ MORE: COCULLO: Permanent residents deserve permanent voting rights

Kids Don’t Float Station gets the go-ahead

Council gave the go ahead to the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR) Station 64 to develop a Kids Don’t Float Station at the public boat launch in addition to the one at the Port Edward Harbour Authority.

The station will provide personal flotation devices for families to use for free. The program was started in 2015 at the Cow Bay Marina and Rushbrook Floats where child-sized lifejackets are available for use to the public free of charge.

The total cost for one station is $7,500 for a total of $15,000 for both stations in Port Edward. Alta Gas, Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI) and the RTI Community Fund funded the project.

The next council meeting is schedule in September.

READ MORE: RCM-SAR Prince Rupert Station 64 saves sinking boat at last second

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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