Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Mayor Mussallem provides an update at Council on the Watson Island situation

Perhaps spurred on by discussion around town over this interview with CFTK Television last week, (a rather dire announcement that we reviewed on the blog here) the Mayor took time out of the Monday Council Session to deliver an update on the issue of Watson Island.

As part of his Mayor's report (see City Council Timeline) he provided the review of events thus far. Providing for those attending at council Chambers and those viewing at home,  a bit of background as to the current status of the Watson Island Situation.

Recounting the numerous meetings that he and some council members have already attended on the file so far on the topic. And in particular, taking time to express his and Council's concerns over the nature of the environmental clean up that will be required at the Watson Island site.

He provided a list of those items pertaining to chemicals and other issues related to their presence on the Watson Island  site and the need for a full clean up of the site. A long delayed clean up, that it would seem that the Mayor is quite anxious to have the Province of British Columbia become involved with.

He also reviewed the nature of unpaid taxes on the site and how the unpaid taxes legislation from the Province has impacted on the City's efforts on Watson Island. He provided some background on the steps that the City has taken to try and draw the attention of their plight with not only the provincial  Liberal government of the day, but with the NDP opposition.

He also delivered an account of some conversations with a number of provincial Cabinet Ministers on the topic of the tax legislation and the length of time and cost to the City as it has had to deal with the situation at Watson Island

Among some of the details that he revealed from those conversations was the assistance of the Liberal Cabinet Minister Pat Bell on the file, who according to the Mayor helped to support a meeting for the Mayor and Dan Rodin with Chinese representatives in Vancouver.

From that discussion, the Mayor, Mr. Rodin and Minister Bell  met with the Consul General of China for the People's Republic of China, the Vice Counsel and other representatives of the Chinese consulate in Vancouver.

From those conversations with the Chinese officials, he was advised that while the company was considered a private company by China, that they would make mention of the Mayor's request for a meeting with Sun Wave representatives.

Following that discussion, the City did have opportunity to meet with a representative of Sun Wave, and the Mayor remains hopeful that further discussions with Sun Wave representatives will follow, in order to address some of the issues that the City has over the site.

Though for the moment it would seem that the ongoing legal course will continue, as the Mayor outlined the court schedule ahead for the early part of the summer and the Mayor is hopeful that those sessions may provide some relief to the situation.

You can review the Mayor's points from the City's Video Archive of the Monday night council session (1 hour 2 minutes to 1 hour and nine minute mark)

For further items of note on the Watson Island file you can examine our Watson Island Archive section.

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