Send letters to the editor at newsroom@terracestandard.com (File image)

Send letters to the editor at newsroom@terracestandard.com (File image)

OPINION: Terrace Standard accused of stifling letters

Well, here are all the letters

The Terrace Standard has been accused of suppressing views it does not agree with, particularly by not publishing letters to the editor that oppose the proposed inland train port development being considered for the former Skeena Cellulose mill site.

Charles Claus, a core member of Heart of Terrace at a Crossroad, a local advocacy group dedicated to opposing the proposed inland port development, has circulated an email stating that The Terrace Standard ignores local letters to the editor. He noted that our Oct. 1 issue featured two letters to the editor from people in southern B.C., while letters to the editor from the Terrace area, including one submitted by Claus, remain unpublished.

Read more: Terrace Standard letting citizens down – Charles Claus

André Carrel, a regular columnist for The Terrace Standard who has also been outspoken in his opposition to the development, then sent a follow-up email suggesting that our newspaper has been withholding letters for political reasons and suppressing viewpoints that our publisher does not agree with.

Read more: Terrace Standard will lose readership – André Carrel

It’s true that we have not published some local letters, but the assertions about our reasons for doing so are false.

We published an article about the proposed development in our July 23 issue. The project had gone before city council, and council passed first and second readings of zoning and official community plan amendments necessary for the development to proceed.

That meant the developer and the City were required to collect public feedback before bringing the issue back for third reading and a public hearing leading to adoption or rejection.

Shortly after, we received a letter to the editor from Claus outlining his opposition to the project. We published this letter in our next issue, on July 30. We received two more letters opposing the project, from Robert Hart and Ian Gordon, which were published in our August 13 issue.

In the following weeks, we received several more letters from locals opposing the project. These letters, while thoughtfully written, essentially repeated points made in the initial three letters sent by Claus, Hart and Gordon.

The letters page in our newspaper is a place where fresh, interesting conversation is fostered. Our editorial staff agreed that printing letters opposing the inland port development each week would not be a valuable use of that space particularly because we were not printing any news stories about the proposed development, which was still in the aforementioned public input phase.

Instead, we saved those opposing letters, planning to publish at least some of them when the development went before city council again for a public hearing. (This is set to happen in October, though the City hasn’t finalized a date.)

Claus then visited The Terrace Standard office on Sept. 18 saying he wished to submit a three-page article, written by the Heart of Terrace at a Crossroad group, opposing the inland port project.

Our newspaper generally does not print articles that were not written by our staff. A submitted article is different from a letter to the editor in several ways: submitted articles would typically be placed in the news section of the paper instead of the opinion section, and they would appear similar to regular news articles.

Claus was told we would not run a submitted article written by a special-interest group, but we would consider running it as a letter to the editor instead.

Claus stated he would prefer his submission to be printed as an article, adding his goal was to encourage further opposition to the project by continuously bringing attention to it. He said he felt our approach would not be helpful to his goals.

We prioritize local letters to the editor over letters from elsewhere in the province, but there are other factors to be considered. Sometimes we don’t receive any appropriate local letters, so we print letters that were sent to other newspapers within our company.

We wish we received more local letters, but we aren’t going to print every local letter just because they are local.

It’s fair to disagree with our reasons for not printing those letters, but implications that we are stifling one side of an issue for political reasons are totally below the belt.

Journalists are human and therefore not free of bias, but we here at The Terrace Standard are professionals and we care deeply about our community.

We will report on further developments in the inland port process, and we will continue to curate letters to the editor to match our coverage of the issue.

Jake Wray is a reporter with The Terrace Standard.

In the sake of transparency, we have published below nearly every local letter to the editor that our newspaper has received, published or otherwise, between July 21, (the date that our first article about the proposed inland port development was published), and Sept. 25 (which was deadline day for our Oct.1 issue). Please note that one letter has been omitted from this list because it contained hateful language.

1.

Dear editor,

As a local citizen I have serious concerns regarding the proposed CN Inland Rail Port Facility at the former Sawmill site, east of Kenny street. Quite simply this is the wrong place for an industrial facility of this nature. We do not need an industrial rail transfer station at the heart of our community. This proposed Rail Transfer Station has no place a stone’s throw away from the Terrace downtown area. However one sugar coats it, it will be an unsightly industrial facility emitting noise pollution, light pollution and diesel engine emissions from transport trucks and trains idling and shuttling back and forth. Oh and don’t forget the additional train horns all the time day and night. This would be our new lot in life!

A community such as Terrace cannot be serious about downtown revitalization and yet allow an industrial facility of this nature and this size to occupy a huge chunk of real estate in the middle of town. A proposal of this size and scope would be permanent – it would be here to stay. Once built there would be no going back! Trains will block the Kenney street crossing and it will be less and less of an option. Expect the Sande street overpass to get busy and have lots of traffic bottlenecks.

Several years ago the city planners asked for input on the future of this parcel of land that formerly housed a sawmill. I appreciated all the work and effort that went into this plan which proposed a mix of light industry, commercial and residential properties. While the developer has stated a commitment to work with this earlier plan, in effect this Transfer Station would dominate this parcel and completely supersede and redefine earlier plans.

I propose that we as local residents have a serious conversation about the type of community we wish to live in. Since we are in summer mode and in the midst of a global pandemic people are preoccupied. I suggest we need at least 6 months minimum to fully engage and process the preferred future of our community.

As people who make Terrace our home we need to ask some basic questions about the future look and feel of the place we call home. Do we want to be part of a vibrant, livable, attractive, northern community? Do we want a community that draws people in and engages them or are we OK with noisy industrial activity at the centre of our town?

sincerely,

Charles Claus

Received July 27

Printed July 30

2.

Dear Premier Horgan,

Re: A call for a New Forest Framework in British Columbia

There is an urgent need for a new forest framework in BC. Forests have covered two-thirds of our land base. Thriving ecosystems have provided a wide range of ecological services and still have the potential to provide more and diverse employment than we now have. Healthy forests are critical to communities and especially to the culture of Indigenous peoples and therefore to our journey of reconciliation. But we do not presently have healthy forests, nor a healthy forest economy in BC

The forest industry does not appear to believe in forests. They focus first on trees as a commodity and so clear-cut ecosystems into tree farms to grow that product. We profoundly disagree. Biodiversity has the capacity to create and maintain ecosystems that are the richest possible expression of life within their geography, and therefore the richest possible forests, tested for health and resilience for millions of years and capable of producing some of the finest wood on the planet in 400 to 800 year old trees. But that system is now almost wholly hollowed out, only 1% is left. Industrial forestry, aided by your government, has converted the rest into a monoculture to be harvested every 40 to 80 years. Over the decades, they have managed an incredibly rich gift into precipitous decline.

Our communities have suffered boom and now bust economies, our mills have steadily closed, our job numbers have continued to plummet as have the species our forests once sheltered and forest health has subsequently declined. We are left with a devastated landscape and industry from which we increasingly receive less. We export raw logs to foreign industries. Clearly our present paradigm of industrial forestry has failed by any measure. Our forests and our communities deserve better.

Heathy forests = healthy communities. Intact forests provide critical ecological services from required habitat to urgently needed carbon storage to buffeting pest outbreaks, fires, floods and droughts. We need to rebuild and restore natural ecosystem richness, complexity and resiliency as quickly as we can to help us adapt to a rapidly changing climate. That we do not yet have an accounting system that is sophisticated enough to create a figure for the public value of these services, and the cost of doing without them, does not relieve us from the responsibility to begin to do that accounting and acting on it now.

Ecoforestry offers us a better approach to forests by viewing them as thriving ecosystems, rich in the biodiversity that is required to produce the healthy and resilient forests required the base for more productive economies. The environment and the economy that are not in competition but they are out of synch. This approach requires an ecologically appropriate level of harvest but it results in greater job creation when the full range of economic values is realized.

To regain community health and resilience, we require an economy that is as richly diverse as our forests. We require a community-based forestry policy that pays equal attention to ecosystem restoration as it does to timber harvest and is capable of working in a deeply integrated way with value-added industries, the recreation and tourism sectors and local governments. This is especially so for Indigenous governments. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples cannot be fulfilled without healthy forests and including Indigenous communities in the responsibility for creating that.

This is not yet a priority area of public policy shift. But it should be. We are calling for this because government isn’t. The forest industry has long since passed any criterion of public good. If industrial forestry is able to adapt to the challenges we face, they are welcome to join us. But we no longer support business as usual in the management of our forests because it has involved both the destruction of those forests and the hollowing out of our communities . Our health, and our future, are dependent on the health of the entire forest ecosystem. We can do better together.

Is your government able to place a moratorium on old growth logging now?

Sincerely,

Robert Hart

Received July 27

Printed Aug. 6

3.

In any crowded situation there are unspoken rules about how we treat one another. Just be courteous mostly. What then of our Round-a-bout? is it “Stop” and proceed on right of way? or “Yield” and merge?

The previous 4 way stop worked for less volume traffic-how? Consideration and Courtesy is How! So why not NOW.

We witness drivers actually speeding up as they enter the doughnut: no mind given to the ramp entrants. The round a bout system works and saves lives and crashes- all over the world! So not here. As traffic picks up ( with LNG etc…) we must be courteous and considerate to make this system work well. thanks for reading.

Frank Donahue

Terrace, B.C.

Received Aug. 6

Printed Aug. 13

4.

I am writing in response to the proposed inland port facility that is being fast-tracked by Progressive Ventures and the City of Terrace.

Not only is this project , by its nature, against the City’s long range plan for the old mill site, it will significantly increase vehicle traffic, both truck and rail, with little or no change to our already congested road and rail crossings.

The Progressive Ventures consultants report on traffic suggests installing lights at Molitor, and the Keith and Kenny intersection, but no mention of the level rail crossings at Kenny and Frank, except to say business as usual.

Pedestrian overpass? A new overhead vehicle crossing? Not in the discussion. There might be a bike lane though.

Ask Prince Rupert what they think of dozens of trucks carrying containers driving right through town. They are building a bypass road specifically to deal with the problem.

The real question should be why this project is not being properly subjected to the public scrutiny , with a number of months, not weeks , for the community to discuss the project.

Ian Gordon

Terrace, B.C.

Received Aug. 8

Printed Aug. 13

5.

Not So Fast

This is a MAJOR development for our city that will effect it long into the foreseeable future. The proposal needs far more review and discussion than the minimum legally required. Progressive Ventures and CN will obviously profit greatly. The benefit to the city and its citizens is far less clear. Accordingly, holding an Open House in the middle of the summer in a time of pandemic is self-serving and cynical in the extreme.

That large parcel of lands is right in the middle of our city, adjacent to our downtown. Is that where we want more industrial development? What do our existing plans recommend? How will the proponents deal with the increased traffic and the noise that will pervade our residential areas for decades? Can we create a better proposal with sound buffers, parks, public spaces and small businesses along both Keith Ave and the Highway? Can we create better crossings to connect our community rather than continue to divide it? if we cannot move to a world-class urban development, should we give greater consideration to the similar Kitsumkalum proposal that will contribute the same service to the regional infrastructure but move it away from the city core? Perhaps that is a timely move to a wider, more integrated community economic development and a reconciliation between our peoples that is overdue? These are questions we need to discuss. They are larger than the tiny window for comment that has been offered to us.

We require leadership from City Council to extend the period of public review and their active facilitation of the public’s contribution to these questions.

Robert Hart

Terrace, B.C.

Received Aug. 10

Printed Aug. 13

6.

Dear City Council,

RE: CN Inland Port Idea

I was surprised to learn that the idea of developing a major container

terminal on Keith Avenue was not dismissed out of hand by Council.

What to do with or about what the property was the subject of an extensive

public consultation in 2014, resulting in Council incorporating the Keith

Estates Neighbourhood Concept Plan as Appendix G to the Official Community

Plan.

This Plan acknowledges that the property “was historically an industrial

enclave”, and considered how the land in question could serve the

community’s future land needs “for additional housing, businesses and

amenities”.

According to the public consultation survey results and analysis,

“respondents were excited about

removing heavy industry from the core of

Terrace.”

The “overarching interests” emerging from public consultation indicated

that a development of the site “should have these qualities:

– Aesthetically pleasing;

– Connected and integrated;

– A mixture of uses’

– Flexible;

– Green and natural; and

– Maintenance of view corridors.

The Plan calls for a “mixture of land uses” as “as the site has the

potential to accommodate a variety of land uses including light

industrial, commercial, residential, recreational, and institutional.”

Significantly, the Plan notes “those who participated [in the planning

process]

were unanimously in favor of restricting heavy industrial use

on the site”.

The development process set out in the Plan for the property in question

specifies that “piecemeal and unconnected development patterns are not

encouraged”; calling for a “detailed site master plan” prior to Council

considering a development application, and, most importantly, that a

development plan “appropriately reflect the vision and policies set out in

the Neighbourhood Concept Plan”.

I am assuming that every member of Council has a copy of the Keith Estates

Neighbourhood Concept Plan in her or his desk, and I am also assuming that

every member of Council has read that plan – all 100 pages of it.

It may save valuable time for Council to adopt a policy requiring every

application, however tentative or ambiguous, to be preceded by a written

confirmation by the applicant to have actually have read the Keith Estates

Neighbourhood Concept Plan. A proposal for the development of the site, in

part or in its entirety, should also link every aspect of the proposal to

the key aspects, land use concepts, and design and character guidelines

set out in the Concept Plan.

Yours truly

André Carrel

Terrace

Received Aug. 15

Not printed

Reasons:

– André Carrel holds a paid columnist position with The Terrace Standard and therefore already has a large platform on our editorial pages

7.

We lost power this morning, the Facebook Theorists suggested street racing. B.C. hydro outages have occurred before due to bad drivers, any vehicle accident that is violent enough to take down our electrical distribution grid, is violent enough to kill a person. Maybe there should be serious Criminal charges in such events?

Moe Naguib

Terrace, B.C.

Received Aug. 17

Printed Aug. 20

8.

The benefits of this development to the City of Terrace and especially to its citizens are not clear to me; however, the probable results of this project include:

1. Traffic congestion; inadequate road and overpass infrastructure

2. Further divide between North-South residential, commercial, hospital, recreational services

3. Safety concerns regarding railyard incidents and railway crossings

4. Noise, light air pollution

5. Diminished capacity for development of pedestrian and bicycle access/infrastructure

6. Diminished capacity for development of a multi-use plan such as the City’s 2014 Keith Estates Neighbourhood Concept Plan.

The development bears no resemblance to the proposal of a multi-use plan proposed and approved in principle in the 2014 document (business, commercial, light industrial, residential, green space). It is also counter to the vision expressed in the 2050 City of Terrace Sustainability Strategy which states:

• Terrace will prosper from its surrounding natural abundance through access to outdoor recreation, sustainable resource‐based industry, full‐use of its agricultural potential & the ingenuity of its citizens.

• Terrace will be a dynamic city with a small town feel. Compact development & prominent pedestrian paths & bikeways will connect people in their daily travels & for frequent community festivals & events.

• Terrace will celebrate its diversity in heritage & culture & the social strength that comes from all ages & walks of life working together to create an inclusive, affordable & vibrant city.

I am dismayed that the community input and participation which the City’s own Sustainability Strategy promises to engender has not guided or informed this development:

1. This is not the way the City proposed developing this property and not what the citizens of Terrace participated in creating and approving. The inland port is simply a giant rail yard right in the middle of town

2. The reality of the Covid 19 pandemic has prevented the participation and discourse which this proposal requires and is itself reason enough to delay major development decisions. To not do so is unreasonable, even irresponsible, but certainly inadequate. (Do we want our Council’s legacy and our local history to record that this most major development was approved during the globally unprecedented 2019-2020 Covid pandemic?)

I ask the Mayor and Council to halt this current proposal and return to a plan resembling that proposed back in 2014. I suggest the Mayor and Council review the inland port proposal through a much more holistic lens such as the Vision Statement that its own Sustainability Strategy promotes.

Sincerely,

Judy McCloskey

Terrace, B.C.

Received Aug. 17

Not printed

Reasons:

– Letter mostly repeats points made in earlier letters

– No longer timely. Letter was received weeks after original article about the proposed project.

9.

I am writing to voice my concern over recent news that the City of Terrace is entertaining putting a rail cargo facility on the former Skeena Cellulose property. I have many concerns but will highlight the ones that are foremost for me:

Safety: Placing such a large facility in the centre of town is short-sighted and dangerously foolhardy. Just this morning I witnessed a CN train SPEEDING through town at 9:15 am. I have reported it to CN but feel CN openly flaunts following the rules. There are speed limits but apparently they don’t need to abide by them. This kind of reckless behaviour will only increase if such a facility is built. I feel the location is an extremely poor choice. An industrial accident scares me. Our ambulance station would be rendered useless in its close proximity. The actual City of Terrace office is also in the “blast zone.” Have we learned nothing from the Lac-Mégantic Rail Disaster?

Division of town: I live on the Southside of Terrace. Already there are inequities to get from this part of town into the downtown. We have needed a second overpass for years. As one who is able to drive around and take the Sande Overpass, it is merely an inconvenience for me, but that’s not true for those who are on foot or bike. This reality will only become worse with such a busy facility. How many more lives will be lost or injured as more rail traffic compounds the problem? In effect a rail cargo facility will divide the town in half geographically. I doubt very much CN would offer up the funds to provide an overpass that this municipality can not afford. The Sande Overpass can not handle the added traffic that will entail. There will be more accidents there as well.

CN as a poor corporate citizen and “land sovereignty”: CN virtually owns land all over the country with its right away along the track system. If we give up this part of the property to CN I am certain they will continue to exercise their monopolized ownership and I feel that threatens our municipal rights. Their record is well known. Openly giving away the right away to 27 acres in the middle of Terrace is not a sound decision.

Short-term gain: I think a cargo facility is needed but putting it smack dab in the middle of a town is unwise. Beyond Progressive Ventures getting the contract to build, what are the real financial gains for Terrace? Can we trade safety and well being of the community over some shiny short term coins? If a facility is built further down the track, either west or east of Terrace it would be safer and more amenable to many in opposition but outside of Terrace’s control and I suppose that is why the city is making this “bid.” If the cargo facility was outside of town, Progressive Ventures could still bid to build it thus employing locals and providing employment opportunities.

Wasting our tax dollars and ignoring community input: There was a plan that was very community based in its scope and vision that appears to have been completely ignored. What an insult to the taxpaying citizens who invested both their time and taxes in the community plan. I get the feeling council is trying to sneak this idea in during a pandemic hoping no one will notice the complete reverse of long term planning. This new project is completely out of line with the Official Community Plan that describes a liveable downtown. The Keith Estates Neighbourhood Plan seems to have been completely ignored with regards to this large tract of land and its usage as well.

I know the municipality will seek funding from both the province and federal governments for this project so that is why I have reached out to all concerned parties; they need to understand the issue is being rushed without proper community consultation. Proper and honest consultation is needed. If people were aware of the risks over gain I suspect more people would oppose the proposed location of the facility.

I also hope that councillors with a conflict of interest (CN involvement) will recuse themselves from any decision making with regards to this matter.

Let me conclude by stating I am not opposed to such a facility, just not on this particular property. I hope council decides to not rush such a potentially damaging decision through and allows for meaningful input before starting any construction or preparation of such.

Sincerely,

Greer Kaiser

Terrace, BC

Received Aug. 18

Not printed

Reasons:

– Letter mostly repeats points made in earlier letters.

– No longer timely. Letter was received weeks after original article about the proposed project.

10.

Dear Mayor and Council,

The very basis of the proposal by Progressive Ventures to construct a

transloading facility in the Keith Estates is based upon an unproven

assumption.

The assumption is that people of this community feel differently now than

they did in 2014 when Urban Systems completed the Keith Estates

Neighbourhood Concept Plan.

The people of this community made it abundantly clear in that study

exactly how they want the Keith Estates to develop and there was no desire

for heavy industrial activity for many good reasons.

In fact, those who participated throughout the week with Urban Systems

were unanimously in favor of restricting heavy industrial use on the site.

The proposal by Progressive Ventures will give the people of this

community absolutely nothing of what they want to see in the future for

the Keith Estates area.

And I have not seen any factual evidence to lead to the assumption that

the people of this community feel any differently today about this parcel

of land located right in the middle of our town. It is wrong to jump to

conclusions without supporting data from a community study.

I feel the Keith Estates Neighborhood Concept Plan resulted in a long term

vision based on long term thinking.

The people of this community have spoken….. or maybe that doesn’t matter?

Mary Ann Shannon

Terrace

Received Aug. 19

Not printed

Reasons:

– Letter mostly repeats points made in earlier letters.

– No longer timely. Letter was received weeks after original article about the proposed project.

11.

The Terrace Standards headline on August 13, 2020 read ” The science

behind Terrace’s soggy summer.”

In the Interior News (Smithers news paper), August 19, 2020 had an article

“Wettest Summer on record.”

In that article it pointed out that weather data has been kept for

Smithers since 1942, they had the wettest summer since that year and the

second coldest, only 1976 was colder. Up to August 15, 2020 ‘summer’ in

the town of Smithers was a full 2 degrees lower than the average as from

1080 to 2010. As I heard on the local radio station, recently, last week,

they had high stream flow warning for Kitimat, mudslides in our pacifc

north, even highway closures because of them. The Skeena river, from my

observation was at it’s highest level this year, sometime between Sunday

night and Monday (yesterday). Other river upstream, that feed the Skeena,

must have had high rainfall events. But why all this in August? River

levels like this ocour with either spring run off, or in the fall. The

level of the Skeena may have set an August record.

Why do we see weather like this? Does anybody know? And how does it

compare to the whole time period, for our weather data?

Martin Holzbauer

Thornhill, BC

Received Aug. 25

Not printed

Reasons:

– Letter simply poses questions that are answered in the articles referenced.

12.

Does Terrace City Council’s eagerness for the NSD Inland Port serve us well?

The inland transload rail facility proposed by Progressive Ventures (PV) for the former mill lands in the centre of town offers development. But at what cost?

Both PV’s promise to “fit into the neighbourhood” and Council’s duty of care with the Official Community plan would benefit from noise and light data to determine their affect on neighbours.

The “Open House” of PV’s “24/7” operation has no reading or comparison of decibel and lumens for NSD (see nsdinlandport.com); has Council sought them? The neighbours of Prince Rupert’s container port would enlighten. Perhaps dissuade.

Further, to what regulations do potential hazards in the containers conform, and what emergency response is built-in if hazardous material threatens—maybe not PV’s concern, but Council’s? This is to say nothing, either, about dubious container-trade economics. The recent mailbox circular on propane offers cautionary analogy.

Columnist Andre Carrel has identified Council’s odd attempt to amend the Official Community Plan to facilitate NSD. At present, NSD appears to need another draft, and Council must rise above suspicion.

David Heinimann

Terrace BC

Received Aug. 30

Not printed

Reasons:

– Letter mostly repeats points made in earlier letters.

– No longer timely. Letter was received weeks after original article about the proposed project.

13.

I am very worried about the next US federal election and the prospect of another 4 years of Donald Trump.

In his excellent book ‘The New Despotism’, John Keane of the University of Sydney warns that there is a subtle new form of political control that masquerades as a democracy. The new despots, Keane suggests, are populist leaders like Number 45, a term Keane applies to the 45th president of the United States. Leaders from the new despotism often use elections to gain power, and once elected are extremely difficult to remove from power. Number 45 has indicated that any election that does not put him on top is rigged, so he has already set up his base for a revolt if he loses the election. He has looked enviously at China’s Xi Jinping, who abolished term limits to become ‘president for life.’ A repeal of the US Constitution’s 22nd amendment could become part of his playbook and he has hinted at this more than once.

The new despotisms cannot be accurately described as autocracies or dictatorships, neither are they authoritarian or fascist regimes or other similar single-leader strong-arm governments but are a new breed which is much harder to define. Countries on the top on the list of the new despotisms include Hungary, Russia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and China. While they don’t abandon democracy altogether and do hold elections of a sort, they often apply crony capitalism, appeal to ‘the people’ of the middle class to the detriment to all others by keeping their base occupied and ‘content’ with such things as more shopping malls to deflect attention from a better, more sustainable way of life. They tend to exhibit a distain for science and the press and establish a judiciary that can be molded to their liking. Donald Trump has done all this and much more, including his chaotic mismanagement of the COVID19 pandemic by abandoning sound epidemiological knowledge, and the WHO at a critical point, while leaving the individual States to their own devices rather than leading a unified approach for the whole country. Under his watch, the US is in the unenviable position of being within the top 5% of worst performing world countries with outbreaks and death rates from COVID19.

I worry that another 4 years with Donald Trump and the other members of his family currently occupying in the White House will mean a continued degradation of civil law, science, and what paltry environmental protections remain in the United States after his administration effectively hobbled the function of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Canada and the rest of the world cannot afford another 4 years (or more) with the United States set on a path of destruction by this dangerous buffoon. I, for one, hope this November is the last we see of Number 45.

Dave Shannon,

Terrace BC

Received Aug. 31

Printed Sept. 10

14.

It’s a common mistake to consider “fascism” a far-right phenomenon. A cursory search would reveal it derives from an Italian word meaning “bundle” (i.e., metaphorically, “stronger together”) and was used by Mussolini to garner support from trade unions. Fascism is actually leftist in origin – not unlike the National Socialist German Workers Party, i.e., the Nazis. It is nationalistic in approach (not in itself a bad thing) and often ethno-centric in application (never a good thing).

Al Lehmann’s latest guest column (“The Standard”, August 27th) was similarly rife with mischaracterization. The US constitution does stipulate the separation of church and state – but it was to protect the church from being controlled and persecuted by the state, not to prevent people of faith (with their values) engaging in the process and helping to determine public policy. Yes, the church has failed to assume its post and engage civically, but not because of a “dogmatic slumber” in deference to some sort of charismatic leader. It’s deeper than that.

Enter Donald trump, stage right. The hope that Trump inspires is like that of a developer who inherits a colossal mess and goes about his business to bring order to the chaos. It is precisely his loyalty to the constitution and rule of law that attracts support – even from people that don’t like him. When Democratic leaders permit and even encourage riots (uh, “peaceful protests”) and war zone theatrics, Trump abides by the constitution. He will at some point, I presume, invoke the “Insurrection Act” and send in the Federal Reserve – to ensure the rule of law prevails; not exactly the arbitrary dictates of a fascist despot.

Trump comes from the hyper-elitist class but he is not one of them. This is one of the reasons many powerful people hate him. His “America First” and his loyalty to the “deplorables” is a threat to the big money old boys club. That the common man (of any colour) doesn’t know what a friend they have in the White House is due to the success mainstream media has in streaming an anti-Trump narrative.

Case in point: “when Trump turned military forces on ordinary citizens (so he could be) filmed… holding up a Bible… (reminiscent of) Hitler screaming out his invective beneath a swastika” – you gotta wonder if there is any way back from this alternative universe? Some of those “ordinary people” had lit a hundred-year-old church on fire and were, presumably, also capable of conjuring a Trump-Hitler comparison – oblivious to history, truth, and meaningful discourse.

Irwin Jeffrey

Terrace, B.C.

Received Sept. 2

Printed Sept. 10

15.

Dear Editor,

This Labour Day, as we pause to recognize the historic contributions of working people in Canada, it feels like there is little to celebrate and much to hope for.

This COVID-19 crisis has been very hard for workers across the country, in Terrace, Kitinat and the communities around them are no different. We’ve seen workers who have lost loved ones, who were put out of work, and who were deemed essential and had to keep working at great risk to themselves and to their families.

As the dust settles, we will need to start to rebuild. And if we need to rebuild, why not rebuild a fairer and more just society?

We should all be calling on our governments to replace lost jobs with better ones. Ones that pay better wages, have better benefits like pensions and health benefits, and are environmentally responsible.

We should be demanding that ALL workers deserve paid sick days, to ensure the health of our people and of our economy.

Canada is a nation built upon very different values than those of our neighbour to the south. We all must reject American-style cuts, austerity, and remember, we’re all in this together. It is in our national interest to make sure every member of our communities are healthy physically, mentally, and financially. It’s time to disaster-proof our nation.

Sam Raven

Kitimat, Terrace & District Labour Council

Received Sept. 4

Printed Sept. 17

16.

The Editor:

Does Terrace City Council’s eagerness for the NSD Inland Port serve us well?

The inland transload rail facility proposed by Progressive Ventures (PV) for the former mill lands in the centre of town offers development. But at what cost?

Both PV’s promise to “fit into the neighbourhood” and Council’s duty of care with the Official Community plan would benefit from noise and light data to determine their affect on neighbours.

The “Open House” of PV’s “24/7” operation has no reading or comparison of decibel and lumens for NSD (see nsdinlandport.com); has Council sought them? The neighbours of Prince Rupert’s container port would enlighten. Perhaps dissuade.

Further, to what regulations do potential hazards in the containers conform, and what emergency response is built-in if hazardous material threatens—maybe not PV’s concern, but Council’s? This is to say nothing, either, about dubious container-trade economics. The recent mailbox circular on propane offers cautionary analogy.

Columnist Andre Carrel has identified Council’s odd attempt to amend the Official Community Plan to facilitate NSD. At present, NSD appears to need another draft, and Council must rise above suspicion.

David Heinimann

Terrace BC

Received Sept. 10

Not printed

Reasons:

– Received exact same letter Aug. 30 (see above)

17.

Dear Sir,

The Coast Mountains School District (SD 82) is a wide spread school district.

During my days as trustee of now defunct SD 80, I did proposed an Australian education model, contactless radio school for outback(eqv. to our rural areas). In 1996 I went to Australia’s Alice Spring (at my own expense) to gather info of the operation.

Australia had operated that option since 1951 in Western Australia, Queensland and Northern Territories and proved to be successful.

The Kitimat ward of SD82 has 2 rural areas – Klemtu and Kemano, (at my own expanse)during my time as trustee I offered a 1-800 toll free number for concerned parents/students there.

In view of the cash scrapped SD82, can this option be considered ? It may be helpful to other SDs too. I have to stress this is not a job killer.

Anthony Yao

Coquitlam, B.C.

Received Sept. 11

Printed Sept. 17

18.

Im disappointed to read negative comments concerning people suffering addictions in our society. Addictions are considered disabilities and people suffering from them are protected from discrimination by our constitution and human rights codes. We have many self-inflicted conditions including health problems from tobacco which kill 45,000 people a year. Tens of thousands additional tobacco injured people tax our health system including second-hand smoke victims. We look after our people in Canada and shouldn’t ignore or abandon anyone in need of whatever could be done to help. Attitudes should evolve. For example legalizing marijuana and allowing outlets has taken money from the underworld, eliminated contamination with fentynal and sales to children. Let’s save lives where we can.

Gayton Nabess

Terrace, B.C.

Received Sept. 14

Printed Sept. 24

19.

Because of the pandemic a large number of jobs were lost. But we have an option to create a number of new future long term ones.

The federal government has discussed spending billions on a ‘green recovery.’ Our provincial government also announced incentives to boost our economy and reduce pollution and emissions.

Some of these programs would use public funds to assists in retrofitting residential, commercial and institiutional buildings to be more efficient and resilient to climate change or more severe weather, which would create jobs.

However if our provincial and federal governments would implement the proven program called Property Assessment Clean Energy (PACE), it would make private funds available for those retrofits and reduce the strain on public funds and potential future tax increases.

Such retrofits create not only local jobs, all over our country and province, but reduce pollution and benefit everyone’s health and save us money by reducing heating and cooling costs.

Locally, some of us have already taken steps to reduce our costs, polltuion and emissions. Examples would be the solar panels on Terrace city hall and the incentives for electric vehicles. The new Terrace Search and Rescue building exceeds the required energy efficiency by the B.C. building code.

Others have been building or retrofitting buildings to be more energy efficient and cutting costs for heating and cooling by installing heat pumps, solar panels and others alternative energy systems around our communities.

The best way to tackle a common problem is for all of us to work together and do the best (or better) that all of us can.

Martin Holzbauer

Thornhill, B.C.

Received Sept. 18

Printed Sept. 24

20.

The Heart of Terrace is at a Crossroad

The largest vacant lot in the centre of the City of Terrace is at a critical development cross-road. The land in question is the former industrial site on the south side of the CN tracks. It is bordered by the Sande Street Overpass on the east, Kenney Street on the west and Keith

Avenue to the south.

What do you believe should happen next?

For over 100 years, Terrace’s ‘centre’ has been industrial. The first sawmill was built in 1908 to supply railway ties to the Grand Trunk Railway construction. The post-war era boom brought Columbia Cellulose and a much larger Keith Avenue mill to this tiny community of 350 residents. As the forest sector grew, so did our town, spreading out around the sawmill and

train tracks.

What started as a hamlet became an ever-expanding network of neighbourhoods and service areas. Terrace eventually became a ‘city’, surrounding the mill and CN yard. Sadly, demand for wood products declined sharply after the turn of the century, and the large mill on Keith Avenue closed under a cloud of bankruptcy. It was subsequently dismantled and sold.

While forestry was declining, the world market for liquid natural gas was improving. Terrace became a service-centre for a wide range of LNG companies exploring opportunities to construct pipelines to the coast. Pressure mounted to demonstrate that our town could provide housing and

land for the anticipated influx of workers and service businesses required for such a project.

In mid June of 2014 the City of Terrace invited “all community members to participate in a “Neighbourhood Concept Plan (NCP) in a Week event” for the vacant Keith Avenue property. The promotional material explained “that once complete, the NCP will guide future decisions regarding the use and development of the area”. As local citizens, we were encouraged to make

our voices heard and “have a genuine impact on policies that were shaping our community.”

Many residents participated in the planning exercises, walking tours and a multi-day community engagement process which culminated in the October 2014 Keith Estates Neighbourhood Concept Plan (KENCP).

The KENCP was subsequently written into the Official Community Plan (OCP), designated in the “Diversified and Coordinated Economy” section. As stated in the OCP, the KENCP “was developed through a collaborative and community-driven process seeking to align community members’ broader vision for the City with future development of this area.” The KENCP proposed “a mixed-use community offering a variety of commercial, residential,

institutional and industrial activities.”

Having been incorporated in the OCP, and pursuant to the Local Government Act, the KENCP became – and still is today – “a statement of objectives and policies to guide decisions on planning and land use management” for the City of Terrace. The KENCP includes direction to complete a market study “to demonstrate demand for the type of land use(s) proposed and to guard against overbuilding that may diminish the success of the Keith Estates”.

On June 20, 2018, Council issued a press release to announce that CPCS Transcom Ltd. had been awarded a contract to work with local partners to undertake the study. City Council received a report on CPCS preliminary findings in January 2019, which were made public. Included was a project management outline for completing land use analysis of un-named locations, as well as the promise of more detailed economic analysis. No further public communication on the content of this publicly-funded work has been shared by the city. CPCS submitted their final report to the city on October 11, 2019. Now a year has passed and the content of this report has not yet been released by the city.

Significantly, on May 21, 2019 the province announced a new hospital for Terrace, to be constructed across the street from the now-proposed inland port facility. This $447 million dollar project is a significant boost to our city and the local neighbourhood, and will bring the hospital in very close proximity to the Sande overpass and the proposed inland port

development. A hospital precinct is a key feature in most urban landscapes. The development envisioned by the KENCP is a far more attractive and desirable neighbour to a major regional hospital than a transloading facility as envisioned by the CPCS report.

At the July 13, 2020, Regular Meeting Council, by unanimous vote, gave first and second Reading to a bylaw amending the OCP (if passed, eliminates the KENCP), followed immediately by first and second reading to amend the Zoning Bylaw to designate the entire area for heavy industrial use. When council voted on the Zoning Bylaw amendments they were unanimously approved.

It is important to ask if City Council’s decision was premature, given that the $125,000 publicly funded viability analysis was never shared publicly, nor had they engaged with the stakeholders who participated in the KENCP only 6 years ago.

The Corporate Values listed in Council’s Corporate Strategic Planning and Priority Settings 2018 to 2022, include the following:

∙ Ethical, honest and with integrity

∙ Accountable and transparent

∙ Just, fair and balanced

Public awareness of this cross-road appears to be extremely low. Terrace has many newcomers that are not aware of the history of this site, nor the plans that have been developed for it.

A small group of people, several of whom were involved in the KENCP process, are working to get the full context for this planning dilemma into the public’s hands. Their hope is that our City Council will ensure that appropriate planning and engagement occurs for the next steps in developing the Keith Estates property that is at the center of Terrace’s urban landscape. And, that all options for an inland port development can be discussed in an open public forum that includes all stakeholders.

Anyone interested in this planning issue should let City Council know before a Public Hearing on the OCP amendment is held sometime in late October. Anyone interested in learning more about the KENCP stakeholder group is invited to contact Charles Claus at charles.claus@gmail.com.

Received Sept. 18

Not printed

Reasons:

Letter mostly repeats points made in earlier letters.

– Letter’s author already had similar letter published.

– Letter is too long to fit in ‘letters to the editor’ section.

Terrace Standard