By Devyn Ens
HAISLA chief councillor Ellis Ross has announced his resignation from the Haisla Nation Council, effective September 30.
Ross, who was named last month by Premier Christy Clark to be the B.C. Liberal candidate for Skeena in the upcoming 2017 election, said he is proud of the achievements accomplished over the past years.
Ross said he wanted to make sure there was a “clean break” from the council because of his candidacy so that there was no transition stage.
“It had more to do with making sure everybody knew exactly what was going to happen,” he said today.
“I’m going to miss some of the real positive files that we’re working on, I’m really going to miss the accomplishments for the people,” he said.
Ross said he was very proud of everything the council has achieved in recent years, as well as the stability the Haisla Nation has accomplished.
“Our people never fought amongst themselves, for six years,” he said. “Very few First Nations can say that,” he added.
“The other thing that I’m proud of is the council, more often than not, talked about membership. It was always on the top of our agenda to make sure the membership were well-informed and that the membership could see and feel the benefits,” Ross said.
Ross has developed a high profile regionally, provincially and nationally for supporting economic development, specifically over the prospects of a liquefied natural gas industry in the northwest, as a way of creating wealth and jobs.
The proposed Chevron-backed Kitimat LNG project, for example, is located on land owned by the Haisla Nation at Bish Cove on the Douglas Channel.
Ross was first elected as a Haisla councillor in 2003 and elected as chief councillor in 2011. He was unopposed in his bid for a second term.
Haisla Nation councillor Crystal Smith has been chosen to be acting-chief councillor until the next council election, scheduled for June 2017.
“It seems like a natural step,” Ross said of Smith’s appointment.
“She knows just as much as I do, and what I really like about it is that she’s a younger person and she’s probably got new ideas,” he said.
Devyn Ens is the editor of The Northern Sentinel in Kitimat, B.C.