ISWAC meeting in Port stormy

  • Feb. 11, 2005 12:00 p.m.

By Alex Rinfret–The islands solid waste advisory committee’s secretary left in the middle of Thursday night’s meeting (Feb. 10), saying she couldn’t listen to any more “BS”.
“I’m out of here, I am not sitting here listening to more,” Louise Burgess said during a dispute with regional district administrator Janet Beil about what date certain documents had been e-mailed from Prince Rupert to the waste management office on the islands. “This is BS. I’m not sitting here and listening to this again.”
Ms Burgess gathered all the material on her desk and left the Port village office, where the meeting was being held.
Ms Beil asked Debra Uliana, the secretary of the Queen Charlotte management committee, to take the minutes for the rest of the meeting.
Ms Burgess’s abrupt departure followed a heated discussion between the committee members and Ms Beil about why the committee never had the chance to review and discuss the collection and transfer station contracts before they were advertised. The committee also never got a chance to give its opinion on the awarding of the three-year contracts, which started Jan. 1.
“I personally would have liked to have seen the contracts,” said Skidegate representative John Wesley, an opinion echoed by almost every other committee member.
“It’s an island supposedly run thing,” said Old Massett rep John Bennett. “Island decisions should be made on the island.”
Other committee members like Paul Waring of Port and Al Hunt of Sandspit said they wondered why they were spending their time at meetings if all the decisions are being made in Prince Rupert with no input from them.
Mr. Hunt got into a brief shouting match with Ms Beil which culminated with Mr. Hunt telling the administrator that he didn’t “give a rat’s rear end who you think you are” and chair Janet Brown telling both to keep quiet.
Ms Beil said there had not been enough time to consult with ISWAC over the contracts and bids. In any case, the contracts were carefully reviewed by the regional district’s finance committee, which is made up of elected representatives from the islands, she said.
ISWAC members had already discussed the contract situation at its January meeting, at which point they told regional director Ian Hetman to take their concerns to the regional district board.
Ms Brown eventually ended the discussion, saying “the regional district is very, very well apprised of how we feel, it’s over, it’s done with. I would like to hear no more about it.”