Comox resident upset with council’s decision not to hear resolution on tanker traffic

Dear editor,

As a Comox property owner I was among several others who attended the July 16 Comox council meeting in hopes of presenting a resolution. Instead council spent 12 minutes debating and ultimately voted not to even hear our resolution.

Why?

Mayor Paul Ives stated the proposed resolution are matters that “arguably fall outside our jurisdiction.”

Coun. Barbara Price countered, “We’ve voted on many resolutions [outside our jurisdiction] such as free trade agreements.”

Coun. Tom Grant sputtered he was “very uncomfortable” speaking on behalf of 13,500 residents. “It’s just not right. We should stay away from it.”

Coun. Price responded by pointing out that in “every council meeting we vote on behalf of citizens of Comox. It’s what we do!”

Coun. Hugh MacKinnon suggested “at the very least let’s hear the resolution,” a sentiment echoed by Coun. Patti Fletcher.

Curious about the contents of this contentious, as yet, silent resolution despite similar resolutions passed by 21 municipalities, including Kitimat, Vancouver, Victoria, Prince Rupert? Comox stands to be affected by both bitumen export pipelines (Northern Gateway and Kinder Morgan).

Here’s a snippet: “…the Town of Comox urge the provincial and federal governments to use whatever means available to stop the expansion of crude oil tanker traffic on our coast, to encourage them to use and conserve the oil sands for domestic benefit, to encourage them to refine this natural resource in Canada to enhance job creation and tax revenue, to encourage them to develop long-term alternative energy programs…”

Councillors who voted against hearing the resolution were Tom Grant, Ken Grant, Maureen Swift and Mayor Paul Ives. I encourage readers to listen to the council meeting video on Town of Comox website (time stamp 24:54 to 36:54).

Coincidentally, on the same day, Prince Rupert had a 228-metre freighter (the largest supertanker is 458.45 metres) rip a hole in its hull while moving to Anchorage from terminal.

With municipal elections this November I now know exactly who has my vote.

Susanna Kaljur

Courtenay

 

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