Terrace Standard Wednesday, April 10, 2013
ow does this sound? “A housing shortage so acute that men — mostly men — are forced to sleep in their trucks or in overpriced motels or live in one of the prefab, dormlike “man camps” that serve as instant bedroom communities for towns and work sites. Streets clotted with noisy, exhaustbelching tanker trucks, gravel trucks, flatbeds, dump trucks, service trucks, and oversize, gas-gorging pickups. More crime, more highway accidents, more medical emergencies. People on fixed incomes forced to move because they can’t afford steep rent hikes. Overtaxed water and sewer systems. Prostitution.” Relax, it’s not a prediction for Terrace or even for Kitimat, it’s a description of present-day Watford City, North Dakota, currently experiencing an oilfracking boom. And it’s not from some left-leaning radical rag, it’s from the good ol’ National Geographic magazine. There is a familiar ring to it, though. I know several families here in Terrace, happy renters whose landlords have taken advantage of the boom to sell their rental homes. Oops, now what, where to move? Rising prices of course make it a great time to sell – and a tough time to buy or rent. I do not begrudge the landowner’s right to make a profit: they have privately-owned businesses and take on all the risks of ownership – mitigated only to some extent by damage deposits renters pay up front. I am using your place for a while, and if I trash it I’ll pay – not just a promise, more like a bail bond: if I fail to do as promised, I will forfeit the cash I put up front. There are many companies already here and more wanting to come here
W H AT ?
Moral Hazard and use our place for a while, but I don’t know if there’s any arrangements to first pay a damage deposit. Here in Terrace, we read the news about companies from out of province failing to pay contractors new to the area who then fail to pay local subcontractors, in a “domino effect.” The disputes up the line hurt employees and other locals who are left holding the bag. One commentator on the recently ruptured oil pipeline in Arkansas says: “They get the reward, our families are left with all the risk.” An economist can explain what is going on here. Steven Landsburg, in “The Armchair Economist,” says “things tend to go badly when people can escape the costs of their own behaviour.” Economists use a term borrowed from the insurance industry: Moral Hazard. This occurs when decision makers in risky situations reap the rewards without bearing all of the costs. “The ability
to pass downside costs on to others encourages imprudent decision making,” says The Walrus. In some cases, the profit is privatized and the cost/risk is socialized. So we have U.S. taxpayer funded bailouts of banks “too big to fail.” The owners of Yellowknife’s Giant Mine went bankrupt and left, so the $900 million expense of cleaning up six decades of arsenic tailings is now the responsibility of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Robin Rowland, a Kitimat writer, wonders why the federal government wants to make the private port of Kitimat a public one: “Enbridge has been saying the company would pay for all the needed upgrades to aids to navigation. It is estimated that those navigation upgrades would cost millions of dollars.” Now it appears the federal government is “going to take over funding for the navigation upgrades from the private sector and hand the bill to the Canadian taxpayer.” “Moral Hazard: the Scary Movie,” opening soon in a northcoast cinema near you. Here’s another scary story: “Take pollution from an expanded aluminum smelter and bottle it up in one of the world’s most constrained airsheds. Now add emissions from two or three liquefied natural gas plants burning massive amounts of natural gas and hundreds of LNG tankers moving up and down Douglas Channel. Add another 220 oil tankers to take oil from the Northern Gateway pipeline. Now add an oil refinery.” Don’t relax: that one is about us. Business in Vancouver says “Kitimat could face sky-high pollution from the B.C. energy boom.” Some of these potential renters of our place – our land, water and air – are making me nervous.
1-800-222-TIPS (8477) TEXT A TIP TO “TERRACE” send 274637(CRIMES) TERRACE
GO BABY GO In our new location behind McDonalds
April 25-27, May 2-4 & May 9-11, 2013
CITY SCENE TERRACESTANDARD
Fax your event to make the Scene at 250-638-8432. Deadline is 5 p.m. Thursday.
Clubs & pubs
■■ THORNHILL PUB: Free pool Wed. and Sun., karaoke night Thurs. Karin and Mark provide musical entertainment every Fri. and Sat. 7 p.m. Shuttle service if you need a ride. ■■ LEGION Branch 13: Meat draws every Sat. afternoon – first draw at 4:30 p.m. Steak Night is the first Fri. of every month. ■■ GEORGE’S PUB: Free poker Sun. 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Wed. 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Karaoke Sun. Live weekend entertainment. April 11 Body Heat Male Revue, buy ticket at door, show at 9 p.m.; April 12, 13, 19, 20 Accelerators; April 26, 27 Triple Bypass. Shuttle service if you need a ride. ■■ mt. layton lounge: Open daily noon to 11 p.m. Free pool, darts and shuffleboard. The lounge is at Mt. Layton Hotsprings just off Hwy37 between Terrace and Kitimat. ■■ beasleys mix: Karaoke is every Fri. night. Beasleys Mix is located in the Best Western at 4553 Greig Avenue.
■■ terrace art gallery presents Studio 115 Emerging Artists of Cale-
donia: Epic at the art gallery until April 27. Free.
tion in the Lazelle Mall. For more details, call 615-3215.
■■ Terrace Art Club is at the Terrace Art Gallery Mondays at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the library. Open studio format. Please bring your own art supplies. Free. All skill levels welcome. For more, call Maureen 635-7622.
■■ UNBC Speaker series presents “Indigenous Language Revitalization,” presented by Dr. Margaret Anderson, First Nations Studies, UNBC Northwest Region from noon to 1 p.m. April 24 at the UNBC campus. Free. For more details, call 615-5578 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
■■ Embracing Our Past: Collage Workshop with Joan Conway is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14 at the art gallery. Bring treasured photos to life with a number of techniques, such as acrylics and photo transfer. All materials included. WATER FLUSHING ADVISORY There is a cost to take part. Pre-register at ■■ Pacific Northwest Music the art gallery. For more details, call Joan The Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine wishes to advise its South Hazelton water Festival continues to April at the R.E.M.May 7 system customers that a flushing procedure will be 20 carried out Tuesday, 635-6753 or email@example.com. until Thursday,Lee May 9, 2013. Theatre. April 10 to 12 is Dance, April ■■ Come down to the Terrace Art 13 morning is Dance and evening Mu-in the This procedure is necessary to remove any sediment that may beis present waterand mains and to ensure the best possible water quality is maintained. During Gallery for workshops as part of Arts sic Theatre, April 14 daytime is Choral this procedure water pressures may fluctuate and water may appear coloured or Culture Week, April 22-26 from 7-9 p.m.You are and evening, is Music April 15 cocloudy. advised to run your water untilTheatre, it clears. Your ongoing operation is appreciated. Guest artists will assist participants withand understanding is Classroom Music, April 16 morning is painting a 6” x 6” canvas to be auctioned Classroom Music and afternoon is Choral off at the September 2013 exhibition - 30 Speaking, April 17 is Choral Speaking, years at the gallery. No cost for theSuite workApril and 19 is Orff. 300, 4545 Lazelle18 Avenue Terrace, shop. Canvases have a cost. For more de-BC V8G 4E1 250-615-6100 ■■ Pacific Northwest Music tails, see: http://bcartsweek.org/events. Festival Scholarship Night is at 6:30 p.m. ■■ TERRACE FRAME DESIGN and April 19 at the R.E.M. Lee Theatre. Gallery presents Photography Exhibition of Works by Allan Colton, Lori Jardine ■■ Pacific Northwest Music and Vi Timmerman until May 3 at its loca- Festival Gala is at 7 p.m. April 20.
WATER FLUSHING ADVISORY The Regional District of KitimatStikine wishes to advise its
NoRTh TeRRace commuNiTy customers that a flushing procedure will be carried out
april 17th – 18th, 2013 This
procedure is necessary To remove any sedimenT ThaT may be presenT in The waTer mains and To ensure The besT possible waTer qualiTy is mainTained. during This procedure waTer pressures may flucTuaTe and waTer may appear coloured or cloudy. you are advised To run your waTer unTil iT clears. your ongoing cooperaTion and undersTanding is appreciaTed.
Phone: (250) 615-6100
Published on Apr 10, 2013