City exploring twinning project with Argentinean towns

The City of Fort St. John may soon begin expanding its green efforts into Argentina.

At Monday’s City Council meeting, City Manager Dianne Hunter explained a possible twinning initiative with three communities in the South American country.

She says it all started when Director of Planning and Engineering, Horacio Galanti, attended the Amazon Summit in Manaus, Brazil. Galanti made contacts with a Canadian mining company, Xstrata, which has operations in three Argentinean communities: Belen, Santa Maria and Andalgala.

Xstrata suggested that Fort St. John and the three municipalities partner up, and exchange information on green-initiatives.

Hunter explained that the possible partnership reflects the ongoing discussions at the Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen.

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Galanti will be traveling to his home country of Argentina in the New Year. So, the City Staff suggested that he travel to the three mining communities, meet with the residents, and determine what their environmental needs are.

Staff also requested that the city fund his travel, and council agreed on a $2,000 limit.

Councilor Bruce Christensen is commending the City on its green-efforts, and agreed that the city should be open to sharing its successes with the world.

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If, after Galanti’s visit, there is an appetite to establish the twinning initiative, Hunter says there are funding opportunities available to assist the program.

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