Joint meeting productive

  • Feb. 16, 2007 6:00 p.m.

Council members from Old Massett and Masset sat down together Monday night in Old Massett to talk about their communities’ shared projects and concerns. Masset mayor Barry Pages said the meeting, attended by seven Old Massett representatives and three Masset reps, was productive. “We typically have these joint meetings quite often but we hadn’t had one for a while,” he said. Council members heard that the north-end hospital is still on target for a fall opening, as are the assisted living units which will be attached to it. Western Forest Products has donated wood for the siding which is going to be milled by Abfam in Port Clements. The new secondary sewage treatment centre built by the two communities has been running smoothly since the fall, Mr. Pages said. Their joint concerns include the Ministry of Highways’ plan to sealcoat the highway between Port and Masset next year rather than re-paving it. Mr. Pages said the highway has taken a beating in the past few months from unusual weather conditions like packed snow and repeated freezing and thawing, and is in even more need of re-paving than it was six months ago. It’s an issue that all villages have an interest in, he said. “It’s island infrastructure,” he said. “Everybody from every community on the islands end up utilizing the highway.” Masset and Old Massett are also worried that the islands are on the verge of losing the $24-million South Moresby Forest Replacement Fund, due to inaction on the part of the federal government, and they are searching for more information, Mr. Pages said. The fund is set to expire on March 31 unless the Treasury Board decides otherwise, he said. The provincial government has already agreed that the money should go to the islands and operate like the Gwaii Trust. “There’s a lot of concern about that fund expiring and not being repatriated to the islands,” Mr. Pages said. “We haven’t heard of any good news.”