Northwest B.C. regional district director resigns

Kitimat-Stikine regional district rural area director Doug McLeod has resigned, saying his constitutents are being denied the opportunity to comment on key issues. - MARGARET SPEIRS PHOTO
Kitimat-Stikine regional district rural area director Doug McLeod has resigned, saying his constitutents are being denied the opportunity to comment on key issues.

After fighting for two years for his constituents, and having his latest motions defeated, Kitimat-Stikine regional district rural area director Doug McLeod has resigned.

“There is a time when actions speak more than words. The actions, in this case, are my resignation and the defeat of my three referendum motions at the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine board meeting Aug. 8, 2014,” he said in his resignation letter Aug. 21.

“...All will affect the public for years to come. The referendum questions were to be included on the Nov. 14, 2014 regional district election ballots.”

McLeod's three motions were to have referenda on mandatory garbage collection, whether the MK Bay Marina outside of Kitimat should continue to be owned by the regional district, and the location of Forceman Ridge as a site for a regional garbage dump.

The people who vote for the directors haven't been able to give their opinions on these topics for at least a decade because most of the discussion has taken place in camera, he said.

“The public and my constituents in particular are being denied a basic democratic process in the form of a referendum. I made the referendum motions as a last resort, after many efforts, trying to keep my 2011 election commitment that the regional district wins broad public consent before making decisions,” he continued in his letter.

McLeod represents Area C, the rural area surrounding Terrace, south to include Lakelse Lake and the rural area around Kitimat.

McLeod wanted to speak about the motions first when they were introduced at the regional district's Aug. 8 meeting and then let the other directors speak, but board chair Bruce Bidgood told him he was to speak after all the other directors instead, said McLeod.

“As I understand the rules, the motions can only be brought back before the board if there is a majority vote by the directors at the September meeting to do so,” said McLeod.

McLeod said the regional district has mailed out a notice to residents that it would be proceeding with mandatory curbside garbage and recycling collection, he said.

“I am convinced the majority of my Area C (rural Terrace area) constituents were not in favour of the mandatory garbage collection, but wanted a one-stop recycling centre.”

McLeod was elected in 2011.

“The outright rejected referenda and rural area consent concept, by the board of directors of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine means I can no longer effectively represent my constituents, so I resign as the Electoral Area C Director,” said McLeod.

It's expected that Diana Penner, the Area C alternate director, will finish the remainder of the McLeod's term until regional district elections are held this November.








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