Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Differing opinions at Lax Kw'alaams mark the discussion over Eagle Spirit Energy proposal

Last week's commentary from Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Gary Reece  who spoke to issues related to the proposed Oil Terminal development from Eagle Spirit Energy has provided for yet another exchange of opinion.  Part of what is now an ongoing media campaign by some community supporters of the project.

The most recent instalment of the duelling statements came yesterday through a media release which outlined  the "surprise" of some in the community to learn of Mayor Reece's comments of last week.

As we outlined on the blog on June 4th, Mayor Reece had offered up the opinion that it was a handful of residents in support of the proposed development and added that the group would require the "approval of the entire community, not just a few representatives"... Until we hear from our people to see if they're going to support oil, no matter what kind of oil it is, it has to come from our people"

The response to those talking points came yesterday with a lengthy information statement from the supporters of the Oil Terminal proposal which opened with this passage:

Elders, Hereditary Chiefs, and community members of Lax Kw'alaams were surprised to learn of Mayor Gary Reece's comments that there was no support for the proposal of Eagle Spirit Energy to build a pipeline that would ship upgraded/refined crude oil to the north coast. This was particularly astonishing in light of many well-attended meetings where overwhelming support has been shown (two of which were band called meetings chaired by the Mayor). -- An excerpt of a statement from a group of supporters for a proposed Oil Terminal project the Grassy Point area near to Lax Kw'alaams.

Following that opening statement of the information package, a number of community members were quoted in response to the Mayor's comments of last week. The fairly expansive listing of commentary outlines a number of thoughts on the project and offers up some thoughts related to  the discussion that appears to be heating up significantly in Lax Kw'alaams.

A proposed oil terminal project
is proving to be a contentious
topic for Lax Kw'alaams
Some of the observations however moved a fair bit from beyond information related to the proposed Terminal, instead swerving more into the personal.  Making Mayor Reece the clear target for their thoughts when it comes to how Band governance should work in the community and who speaks for the residents of Lax Kw'alaams.

Some of the contributors to the latest document make the Mayor's handling of community issues the main thrust of their commentary, a theme that would seem to suggest that some of the previous issues in the community have yet to have found a resolution for some.

You can review those comments in full here.

The tone of the information release is one that seems to highlight a sense of polarization on positions that seems to be dividing the supporters of the Oil Terminal proposal and the Mayor and Band Government.

A situation that would seem to be leaving the residents of Lax Kw'alaams to try and figure out which position is the one that will serve the community best.

Previous items related to discussions on issues from Lax Kw'alaams can be found on our archive page.

We have more background on the proposed Oil Terminal project here.

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