Terrace city council voted last night to “not interfere” with Thornhill’s incorporation process in which the neighbouring unorganized rural community is looking to become its own municipality.
The resolution was introduced by councilor Stacey Tyers, seconded by councilor Lynne Christiansen, and was adopted in a 4-3 vote in the first full council meeting since it was sworn in following November municipal elections.
The resolution is “that we support Area E of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine in choosing their own form of self-government and that we will not interfere.”
This means that Terrace council will not request a study of amalgamation from the province until Thornhill, which is Area E in the regional district governance structure, has had a referendum on whether or not to incorporate, the tail end of a process that will take several years.
Amalgamation would mean the joining of Terrace and Thornhhill into a larger municipality and administration, and has been considered before though rejected years ago by Thornhill residents.
The issue arose when former mayor Dave Pernarowski, who did not run again in the November municipal elections, favoured an amalgamation in one of his last addresses.
Newly-sworn in mayor Carol Leclerc also spoke out in favour of a study to look at amalgamation during the election campaign.
Last night Leclerc attempted to table Tyers’ resolution pending further thought so as not to “box ourselves in”, but council decided to go ahead with the vote.
Mayor Carol Leclerc, along with councillors Brian Downie and Sean Bujtas voted against the resolution while Tyers, Christiansen, James Cordeiro and Michael Prevost voted in favour.
Tyers and Downie continued debating the resolution in an animated fashion outside in the rain after the meeting.