Last minute Motion on Garbage Incinerator at Duke Point

At the Monday, December 2, 2013 Nanaimo council meeting there was a last minute motion brought forward by Councillor Anderson regarding the proposed garbage incinerator at Duke Point.

Anderson was absent from the November 4, 2013 council meeting when the options were discussed (write a letter, amend the zoning, or allow the selection process to run its course). At that meeting, Council opted to allow the selection process to proceed.

The online agenda did not describe the motion being put forward. It was listed under Other Business: “Councillor Anderson – Motion re: Waste-to-Energy Facility.”

The topic was introduced at 9:40 pm.  Mayor Ruttan waffled around unsure of whether to introduce the motion or listen to the four delegates first. Several minutes of discussion ensued on procedure.

Anderson’s motion: I move that council forward a letter to Metro Vancouver that it does not support a waste to energy facility in Nanaimo which uses garbage from outside our region and that any such application currently being considered be removed from Metro Vancouver’s process.

McKay: How can we be receiving delegations for something that is not on the agenda? How did they [delegates] know about this? How did they have time to prepare something to say? Can we hear delegates for ‘Other Business’ items in this section of the meeting?

Swabey: …Council can choose how it runs the meeting. Although it could run afoul of the delegation bylaw…

Four delegations then spoke to council. The following are highlights of Council’s response:

Kipp: I would rather listen than shut the door on the proposal —I didn’t have enough time to look at this motion. I have learned a bunch…we are going to have to do something about all this crap…I got this motion last thing on Friday and I find that disrespectful… People move here NOT because it is a beautiful place to live but because of the JOBS and we need jobs.. We have to pay for all that culture… I would like the proponents of this project to go out and talk to the public.

McKay: I want more information on this, I need more evidence. I like Kipp’s idea of a waste capital.

Johnstone: I want to know what the footprint looks like…I have more questions.. We need to hear the other side…There is no rush to make a decision…

Pattje: …It is absolutely necessary to give the proponents of the incinerator a chance to engage with the public…

Ruttan: …I don’t know if there is a right or wrong with this issue…

Bestwick: …I want to hear from a broader section of the community…

Anderson: As councillors we have all known about this garbage incinerator proposal since March.  Many of us sit on the Regional District Board and voted on this issue in July and voted to say no we are not interested in this project. I have done my research, that is what I have been elected to do. Council has said we need more time. We have waited, we waited to see if we made the short list, and we have made the short list for the garbage incinerator as of November 15th. I think it is time we sent a message we are not interested in taking Metro Vancouver’s garbage.  In Nanaimo we are diverting close to 70% of our garbage;  in Metro they are only [diverting] 50%. My motion was sent out and all councillors received it on Nov 29th, and all replied back by 5:06pm the same day.

Councillor Anderson’s motion was defeated by Councillors McKay, Kipp, Johnstone, Pattje, Bestwick and Mayor Ruttan.  Only, Councillors, Greves, Brennan and Anderson voted against receiving garbage from Metro Vancouver.