Prince Rupert residents seeking answers around Westview Terminal issues

People want answers when it comes to issues surrounding Westview Terminal in Prince Rupert.

People want answers when it comes to issues surrounding Westview Terminal, and Counc. Anna Ashley said a response from the Prince Rupert Port Authority simply isn’t enough.

Ashley brought a number of concerns about the Pinnacle Renewable Resources pellet export terminal to council chambers at the Jan. 20 meeting, making it the second consecutive meeting issues with Westview have been raised. Although concerns around noise persist, Ashley said she has heard a wide range of complaints.

“One concern that I thought was quite valid is that people cannot find a local number or office number for Pinnacle posted anywhere because the road to the waterfront office is closed off. People would like to have a number to call if they have a complaint rather than go through a third party, in this case the Prince Rupert Port Authority … the overall gist of what residents told me is that a lot of them felt going to the port authority, not a lot was going to be done. They want to talk to someone directly involved with what is going on,” she said, noting the phone number was just one of several calls and email complaints she has fielded.

“Another resident I spoke to talked about a chemical smell, not on a consistently basis but in a number of instances … I’m also pretty sure they said they would live within our noise bylaw, and that is certainly not happening.”

Coupled with the removal of plans for a waterfront walkway that was part of the public discussion around the terminal, Ashley said residents don’t feel Pinnacle is holding up its end of the bargain.

“People understand this is industry, but they want what was promised,” she said.

“And people may think this is just a Water St. Issue, but it’s not. The calls I’m getting aren’t just from Water, but from Atlin, Graham and houses in that area.”

Counc. Barry Cunningham, who said he was invited to meet with the Prince Rupert Port Authority as a new councillor, said the city and the port need to put any differences aside and sit down and talk.

“Right now it’s like two kids in the playground. It’s like ‘I’m not talking with him because he’s not talking with me’,” he said, suggesting Pinnacle advertise their phone number in the media.

“Let’s get it out on the table and find out what the hell is going on. They are more than willing to sit and talk with us.”

To that end, council passed a motion directing staff to arrange a meeting between the city and port authority.