Iron dumping project defended at Wednesday evening meeting

  • Oct. 25, 2012 8:00 p.m.

At five-hour meeting Tuesday night – which was closed to members of the media and people from outside the communities – Old Massett chief councillor Ken Rea defended the iron- dumping project to the 100 attendees. Project opponent Gloria Tauber said numerous people asked whether the $2.5-million was all gone, but there were no immediate answers. Mr. Rea has promised an audit to show residents how the money was spent, she said. “What came out was that a lot of money has been spent and a lot of money will continue to be spent, but if there’s any return it will be quite a while before they see any of it,” said Ms Tauber. Her son Clint, who also attended the meeting, said the hypothetical carbon credits are still being touted as a way to recoup the money, and so are restored salmon stocks when they return to the islands. Russ George, the controversial American carbon project developer, is one of four directors of the Haida Salmon Restoration Corp. created by Old Massett to oversee the iron- dumping project, according to the B. C. Corporate Registry. Others include Victoria resident Jason McNamee and John Disney, Old Massett’s economic development officer. In an interview Wednesday, Old Massett resident Marlene Liddle, the fourth corporation director, said she was not familiar with the financing of the iron dumping project. Documents obtained by the conservation group Living Oceans show the Village of Old Massett council voted on Feb. 11, 2011 in favour of securing a loan with the Northern Savings Credit Union for $2.5-million for the start-up of the corporation, secured with funds from the village and Gwaii Trust Society parity funds. In information released during a press conference Oct. 19, Old Massett leaders said the community decided to invest the $2.5-million after failing to raise funding from government or private investors.This story originally appeared in the Vancouver Sun