Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Pride in achievements, hopes for the future mark the final comments for Councillor Blair Mirau as he steps aside from municipal politics

Councillor Blair Mirau shared some final thoughts upon the end of his
second term on Council on Monday evening

Looking back over eight years is a challenging thing to condense, but Monday night's farewell to Council offered Councillor Blair Mirau the opportunity to revisit some of the pivotal moments for him from his two terms of elected office on Prince Rupert Council.

From His Blair's Note's review, Mr. Mirau opened his commentary with a nod to some previous comments in the evening from Councillor Skelton Morven, on how it's easy to lose sight of the wins along the way. 

To the theme, the Councillor first made note of some words that former Mayor Jack Mussallem had sketched out related to the hell hole of Watson Island and how it never ends as to what they were in for over their time in Council.

"Sometimes it's easy to forget some of the wins in the monotony of what this job can entail sometimes. 

But,  if I can rewind our memories back to 2014, you know people placed their trust in a new council, you were 29, I was 24 years old as green as a council I think as people could have possibly elected. 

And I'm never going to forget sitting in these chambers, in the first bench, for the last meeting.  The equivalent of now, the last meeting of the last council and the former Mayor looked us right in the eye and said something to the effect of you know we have a new group in here that is about to learn the hell hole of Watson Island and it just never ends.

And I remember thinking to myself what have we gotten ourselves into. A little bit naive I think, but optimistic and ambitious to get something done. 

But you know what a couple of weeks into the job everything that he had been saying about it being a hell hole was pretty darn accurate"

Mr. Mirau then focused on Watson Island for much of his farewell, noting some of the history of the industrial site, wrapping his review at his pride at how Council views the transformation of the island from a liability and now as an asset.

"If we're going to be remembered for anything, I can't really prognosticate what the legacy of this council is going to be. But to me, that's one of the proudest, if not the proudest thing I've been happy to be the smallest part of.

Where we've transformed that Island from the City's biggest liability, that could very likely have bankrupted us if things continued on the status quo, to now one of our greatest assets. Generating you know, millions in tax and lease revenues and is actually now up for a national brownfield revitalization award.

So if that's how the next chapter of Watson Island ends, then, if that's the only thing that we had accomplished as a group, then I would be proud to hang my hat on that"

He also put forward  "three different, once in a generation infrastructure projects" as Council achievements over their last two terms, noting of the Water Dam, Landfill Expansion and final decision on an RCMP station site.

For a final thought, he observed as to how the City Council has fixed some of the most urgent financial and infrastructure issues and how the foundation is now much firmer than when they took office in 2014.

The Councillor looking ahead for the community, with the potential for expanding housing and commercial opportunities, along with the wastewater pilot project and the waterfront projects that has the potential to create waterfront amenities.

"The stage has been set for some very transformative projects and initiatives that will not start paying dividends probably for months or even years to come"

Mr. Mirau observed how CityWest and its role in Connected Coast is poised to transform the municipally owned  corporation into a major player in the province, as well to make note of a string of housing proposals that are heading to the finish line.

The Councillor's final thoughts of his terms in office can be viewed through the Council Video archive page, starting at the 23 minute mark.

More notes on Monday's Council Session can be reviewed from our Council Timeline Feature.

You can travel back in time over the course of those eight years of service through our Council Discussion archive.

1 comment:

  1. Watson Island generates millions in revenue apparently, but what did the project cost and what is the pay-back period? Those basic details don't seem to have ever been disclosed.