Tuesday, October 28, 2014

City Manager points towards City's Legacy Corporation for Dr. Faggetter hiring

The City of Prince Rupert offered up the mechanics of its Legacy Corporation on Monday as a partial answer as to the process, which has seen Oceanographer Barb Faggetter hired to conduct research work on the Tuck Inlet area, conducting her work on behalf of the Legacy Corporation.

That at least from a "clarification" for the weekly newspaper on Monday, from City Manager Robert Long who outlined that the Legacy Corporation, a wholly owned corporation of the City of Prince Rupert, and one created by City Council, technically made the hire of Dr. Faggetter to conduct work related to Lot 444, a portion of which has been earmarked for LNG developed..

As we outlined on the blog last week, word of Dr. Faggetter's hiring wasn't so much announced, as  it was mentioned more as an aside.  With Councillor Joy Thorkelson referencing the hiring, as she spoke to Council at the end of last Monday's Council session, making mention of Dr. Faggetter's ongoing efforts for the City.

No public notice from either the City, or the Legacy Corporation has been delivered previous to outline the scope the the work on this particular issue, nor it would appear to even  provide an announcement regarding the hiring of Doctor Faggetter, particularly on what would appear to be an in house Enviornmental Assessment.

Mr. Long's very brief overview of the situation, didn't really clear up much in the way of questions that should be raised about the process involved in hiring Dr. Faggetter, nor does it offer up any glimpse as to how the members of Council and the Mayor seem to have formulated the Legacy Corporation and its terms of operation.

You can review some of Council's past work on the Legacy Corporation process from this item of June.   As well, some background on the discussion at the Council session where the Corporation was announced can be found from our Council Timeline for May 26th.

As Mr. Long explained during a session of Council on June 23rd, the use of the Legacy Corporation for the purposes of LNG discussions regarding Lot 444,  could be be compared to the arrangement that the City has with CityWest.  

You can review the discussion of the time from the City's Video Archive, the discussions on Lot 444 and the Legacy Corporation arrive at the one hour eight minute mark until one hour sixteen minutes.

The comparison of the Legacy Corporation to CityWest does offer up an interesting dynamic.

As the relationship between CityWest and the City has in the past made for a very lively part of  Municipal Election campaigns, with more than a few Councillors in recent times vowing to seek out more transparency and accountability on the relationship between CityWest and the City.

Though it's fair to say, that CityWest is perhaps the one major topic in Prince Rupert that doesn't actually need an election cycle to quickly jump back into the political mix.

Any number of questions come to mind when you consider what little we know about the Legacy Corporation process and what role City Council has regarding it ( a quest using the City's search engine on their website provides no results).

For starters, how the Corporation is supposed to work as far as terms of reference, how appointments are made to it (and who may be appointed to the corporation at this time) and who the Legacy Corporation is ultimately accountable to at the end of the day.

Readers can probably add quite a number more to the list, all aspects of the City mechanism which should be reviewed in the public setting of the Council forum.

Some of our past items along the Lot 444 path which led to the Legacy Company formation can be found below:

May 17-- City receives approval of Province for Boundary Expansion
June 2-- A share of the LNG rush? City's newly expanded boundary to include LNG site
June 26-- Lot 444 becomes a talking point at Council
July 10-- Imperial Oil delivers an introduction to Tuck Inlet LNG proposal for City Council
July 11-- Bylaws, Buffers and differences of opinion for Lot 444
July 18-- Imperial Oil sets July 24th for Public Presentation on Tuck Inlet LNG proposal
September 1-- Council sends Lot 44 amendments back to staff for revision

At the time that the City introduced us to the Legacy Corporation back in May, it was as part of the delivery of items released from one of Council's many closed sessions this year.

The full review at that time of introduction was rather limited, with the added note of advisement during that review, that some aspects of the Corporation would have to remain undisclosed at the time. And for the most part, many aspects of the Corporation  appear to have remained that way into the fall.

So far, the only Mayoralty candidate to even mention Lot 444 has been Lee Brain, who in September addressed the need for more transparency on the theme.

To the midway point of the election campaign, neither Mayoralty Challengers, Tony Briglio, nor Sheila Gordon-Payne have offered up any comments related to the Lot 444 process.

Considering the limited overview of the Legacy Corporation and the Lot 444 process, it might just be this election's CityWest type of issue. Perhaps one which might just attract inquiries beyond those from Mr. Brain.

1 comment:

  1. I inquired at City Hall as to the mandate and terms of reference for the Legacy Corp and was referred to the poster in the hall. No public terms of reference, three directors who are unelected city employees, no public info on oversight, limitations, or reporting obligations. No BUDGET revealed. Marching off on our dime to 'do business' with the world's largest oil & gas corp. Wonder how this is going to turn out.....Hmmm.