As many eyes in the LNG world turn to Port Edward, municipal leaders are getting ready to take a look at the industry on the international stage.
Earlier this month council passed a new international travel policy, which sets per diems and expense allotments for out-of-country travel, in preparation for a trip to Malaysia next month to visit Petronas headquarters and tour an LNG terminal in the country. At the Oct. 22 meeting, council took another step toward foreign travel by increasing the limit on the district’s credit card.
“Typically what we do is provide councillors with an advance for hotel costs, but since we are going to another country and don’t know what kind of fees or whatnot they will have, the recommendation is to put all of this on the district’s card,” explained chief administrative officer Ron Bedard.
“My spending limit, and has been for about the past 18 years, is $25,000, so I recommend council raise the credit limit from the current $10,000 to $25,000.”
Council agreed to raise the limit, thought later discussions pointed to further travel south as opposed to east. Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem, Lax Kw’alaams Mayor Garry Reece and Metlakatla Chief Harold Leighton recently returned from a trip to visit an LNG terminal in Trinidad at the invitation of the BG Group, and councillor Knut Bjorndal said he took exception to Port Edward not being included in the invitation.
“I think it was a major faux pas,” he said.
However, Councillors Christine McKenzie and Murray Kristoff said a meeting with company officials left the door open for a visit for Port Edward as well.
“When and if we were able to go, they said to let them know and it could be arranged,” said McKenzie, with Kristoff noting part of the reason for the trip would be to see how much noise residents could expect from a terminal on Ridley Island.
“Herb [Pond] said once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, but it is important to see one … he said it was somewhat noisy up close and this is why we would be going,” he said.