Kitimat council considers holding public forum on Northern Gateway

UNBC's First Nations Studies Program planning series of forums across north

12/21/2010

The District of Kitimat has been invited to co-host a "public education forum" on the Enbridge Northern Gateway proposal.

The First Nations Studies Program of UNBC is planning to facilitate a series of forums in five to seven communities across northern B.C., including Kitimat.

As outlined in a letter from the chair of the program, Ross Hoffman, the aim is to provide residents with "a range of perspectives on the merit of the project" with speakers representing Enbridge, local opponents and supporters of the project, and the Haisla First Nation.

Councillor Rob Goffinet says co-hosting such an event would not break council's position of neutrality on Northern Gateway.

"In fact, I think we should be encouraging public debate with both sides of the issue in a public forum ... sometime in the New Year."

Councillor Corinne Scott agrees, saying they're not being asked to take sides.

"It would be, in my opinion, like any workshop that's being held in town where the Mayor will welcome the people that are in attendance and that's just about it."

Last night, council tabled the matter in order to seek clarity on what the District's role as a co-host would entail.