Old Massett village council is inviting Sandspit representatives to come to their community and work together on the economic challenges facing islanders.
The invitation was extended by Old Massett deputy chief councillor Judy Williams, at a public meeting in Sandspit Wednesday night (April 12).
Ms Williams said she understands all too well what some Sandspit residents are going through as logging jobs evaporate. Her own father and brothers were loggers, but lost their jobs about 20 years ago, she told the 100 or so people in the Sandspit community hall.
“My family has suffered just like you are suffering right now,” she said.
Ms Williams handed a formal invitation from her council to Sandspit regional district director Travis Glasman, to loud applause.
She said she hopes Sandspit comes as soon as possible.
“We want you to come and brainstorm with us,” she said. “If we could just brainstorm like that, we could come up with some solutions.”
The Sandspit residents also heard from Masset mayor Barry Pages, who said his town can sympathize. Masset went through a huge transition 10 years ago when the federal government drastically downsized CFS Masset.
“They ripped out half the economy,” Mr. Pages said.
Masset received some financial assistance at that time, and Mr. Pages said it might be time for another aid package, given the challenges facing the island right now, including the loss of ferry service.
The Masset mayor also urged Sandspit to think seriously about signing the protocol agreement with the Council of the Haida Nation. The CHN has offered the agreement to any community on the islands; so far, Masset, Port Clements and rural Graham Island have signed it.
The agreement has allowed Masset to sit at the table with the CHN to discuss issues and share concerns.
“I encourage you to take a look at that,” he said.
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