Friday, June 17, 2016

Council to move forward with letters on Enbridge and oil tanker ban

Monday night City Council voted to
approve Councillor Thorkelson's
motions related to Enbrdige and a
ban on oil tankers on the North Coast
Prince Rupert City Council will be wading into the political waters of Enbridge in the near future, with Council passing a motion that will see the City send a letter to the National Energy Board, advising that regulatory body that Prince Rupert is against any kind of an extension for Enbridge Energy when it comes to their proposed Northern Gateway project.

That was one of two concerns raised by Councillor Joy Thorkeson in a notice of motion to Council which was acted on Monday evening, the other item of note and the subject of another soon to be written letter from the city will reinforce City Council's support for an oil tanker ban on the North Coast and Haida Gwaii.

The two themes were first introduced to Council at their May 30th session, when Councillor Thorkelson served notice that she would like to have them addressed at the June 13th council meeting.

Mayor Brain read out the lengthy preamble to the resolution, putting forward for consideration, with Councillor Thorkelson seconding the motion seeking its approval.

Prince Rupert City Council has approved a motion
from Councillor Thorkelson that will see the
City write letters related to an Enbridge extension

for Northern Gateway and supporting 
an oil tanker ban on the North Coast
(click to expand)

From that point, the Mayor invited discussion on the topic, though few Council members had anything to add to the conversation. The majority of Council members seemingly in agreement with the two points of concern raised by Councillor Joy Thorkelson.

Only Councillor Blair Mirau, offered up a few thoughts in opposition to the motion, noting that in his opinion the topics might be a little out of the scope of what the City Council for Prince Rupert should be dealing with.

"My only comment on this particular motion is that the call from the NEB was quite clear that they don't intend to rehear any issues that they have already deliberated on. I don't see us necessarily having any new information to provide and frankly, I don't think that a letter of this nature really deals with our jurisdiction as the City of Prince Rupert. Those are basically my comments, but again Democracy rules, and if anyone else has any comments I would like to hear them"-- Councillor Mirau speaking Monday night on Councillor Thorkelson's motion

That viewpoint however was challenged by Councillor Thorkelson, who provided a short response to his interjection, noting that Council has often taken on such issues outside of its jurisdiction, noting that she believes that the City Council represents the people of Prince Rupert. Adding that the city has provided advice to the government in the past on issues that impact on the region.

She reviewed her position for Council that the City should have a say with the NEB when it comes to any extension for Enbridge on the Northern Gateway process, following that up with a review of some of her concerns when it comes to oil tankers transiting the North Coast.

Councillor Randhawa also offered up a short comment of support for her motion, while the remainder of Council was content to just vote on the topic, with the motion passing with only Councillor Mirau voting against it.

The full text of Monday's resolution can be found on page 117 from the City's Agenda from Monday night.

You can review the short discussion related to the two letters from the City from the Council Video Archive, the conversation starts at the 24 minute point.

More on the issues related to Enbridge can be found on our archive page.

Further background on Monday's Council session can be found on our Council Timeline, while a wider review of Council discussion topics can be found from our Council Archive page.

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