Friday, October 31, 2014

Rampage will be looking for a home win to send them off on lengthy road trip

Fans of the Prince Rupert Rampage will want to pack the Jim on Saturday night, as it's the last chance to see the home side for the next few weeks.

The Rampage take on the Kitimat Ice Demons on Saturday with an 8 PM puck drop, looking to pick up two points for the standings before their journey of the weeks ahead, part of which takes them deep into the Cariboo.

The Ice Demons are the only winning mark so far on the Rampage score sheet, as the Prince Rupert squad kicked off the 2014-15 CIHL season on October 4th with a shoot out victory over the visiting Kitimat squad.

Since that time, the Rampage have been in some tough contests, coming close to the win column on a number of occasions, but still head into Saturday night's home game with a 1 and 3 record.

Despite those missed opportunities to make a move,  the Rampage are still in a good position in the West Standings. Staking a claim for third place heading into the weekend.

The team is holding their own when it comes to offensive stats with fifteen goals in the For column, however a focus on defence seems to be the task ahead, as they seek to slow down the pace of the goals against which now stand at 20.

A win on home ice on the weekend will be highly desired by the home side, once the final buzzer sounds on Saturday night, the Rampage will be loading up the team bus for a fairly extensive tour of the province.

Next weekend Prince Rupert is off to Williams Lake and Quesnel, they then return home for a one week break before hitting the highway again.

November's extended cruise of the province will find the Rampage in Smithers on the 22nd and 23rd, with one final road trip set for the 29th of November when they will be in Kitimat.

They finally return to the welcome confines of the Jim, on December 6th and 7th when the Smithers Steelheads will make the trip to the North Coast for a weekend doubleheader.

You can find more information on the Rampage from our CIHL results page, as well as from our CIHL and Rampage news page here.

LNG seminar set to chart course to Prince Rupert in November

. .

While the time lines for development may be flexible and the proponents looking to be prudent, the province is still pushing forward with its plans to prepare the province for an LNG future.

Towards that theme, the BC government is hosting seven interactive community seminars across the province, with the Northwest set to host two of them in November.

On November 9 and 10, the caravan will pull into Terrace, with Prince Rupert the destination for November 18 and 19.

The Terrace sessions will take pace at the Best Western Terrace Inn and when the project travels the extra  ninety minutes down highway 16, it will set up shop at the North Coast Convention Centre, part of the Chances complex on 1st Avenue West.

Those that attend the two day event, will have an opportunity to learn some basic facts about natural gas development and take part in a range of activities.

Representatives from Science World are participating in the tour, offering seminars and presentations on the fundamentals of energy science.

Young adults in attendance will be able to explore more on LNG with the government and industry representatives on hand, as well as to take part in an interactive event called Find Your Fit.

That portion of the two day event will allow students from Grade 6 to 10 to get hands on experience with the skills required for the types of jobs that could be available across the province, should the LNG ambitions take off.

Some reviews of the first stop on the seven city tour, which just wrapped in Prince George can be found below:

Prince George Citizen-- LNG showcased at Civic Centre
Prince George Free Press-- Hands-on experience with LNG
Prince George 250-- PG hosts LNG seminar
CKPG TV-- LNG Tour visits Prince George (video)

You can learn more about what's in store for the Prince Rupert and Terrace stops from this item on the BC Government website. Information specific to the Energy Seminars can be accessed here.

For a review of other General LNG items see our overview page here, for projects proposed for the North Coast see our listings of proposed projects here.

Gurvinder Randhawa highlights jobs and training as part of his Council campaign

Hey came within 200 votes of claiming a seat in last years Council by-election and this year, Gurvinder Randhawa is no doubt hoping to push those vote levels just a bit higher as he seeks a spot on the Council of Six at City Hall.

Mr. Randhawa finished second to Barry Cunningham in that by-election, collecting close to 32 percent of the vote one year ago, with some lessons taken from that effort, he once again is on the campaign trail and delivering many of the same messages that he had to share in 2013.

His campaign is stressing a number of themes, including the need to ensure that the population of the North Coast is prepared for any jobs that new industry will bring and that training opportunities are available locally.

He also outlines the need for the building of mutually beneficial relationships with both the  First Nations of the region, as well as other neighbouring communities.

Infrastructure concerns and the need for repair to them also features high on his list of things to accomplish at City Council, as does the need to provide for new policies that will attract new opportunities and encourage existing business to grow and prosper.

One year ago, he impressed a good portion of those that took the time to vote, his next opportunity to firm up that support and build up more comes on Tuesday at the All Candidates Forum taking place at the Lester Centre.

Then, in two weeks, Gurvinder Randhawa will see if his latest bid for municipal office has resonated with the voters and if their response takes him to City Hall.

For more items on this years Municipal Election campaign see our archive page here

Now here's a method to help get out the vote!

At last week's Prince Rupert City Council session, Councillor Anna Ashley closed off the meeting with a few observations on the upcoming election and how there is a need to help get the vote out in the community.

It's a theme she has brought to Council before, particularly in the recent weeks as the municipal campaign moved into a more active phase.

The Councillor was quite correct to highlight the nature of past elections, where the turnout has not been in large numbers, something surprising considering that of all the levels of government, the municipal scene provides for the closest interaction between voters/residents and those that they elect.

The 2011 Municipal election had but a 35 per cent participation rate, with only 3,184 of the 9,024 elgible voters making the trip down to the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

Last year's by-election to fill the seat of former Councillor Jennifer Rice had a participation rate of only 26.4 per cent, as only 2,376 voters cast a ballot of the 9,015 on the election roll.

Considering the growing number of issues that Prince Rupert has faced in just the last decade, one would have thought that residents would have delivered a far more engaged participation rate.

Like those elections of recent years, this one as well makes for an important point for how the City will be governed for the next four years, (the additional term of office was added this year).

As we outlined yesterday, the City has offered up a number of advance polling opportunities for residents to take advantage of, something that those who know they won't be in town on election day should take advantage of.

Other communities in the Northwest are taking some interesting initiatives to try and help to get out the vote.

In Kitimat, the District has announced that the entire Kitimat Transit system will be Free on November 15th.

While in Terrace, officials there have outlined that they will be providing a shuttle bus between between the Skeena Mall and the voting location at the Terrace Sportsplex.

Now perhaps, those plans won't result in huge increases to the usual levels, but they do show how those communities are making efforts to engage their populations with the process, in this case trying to find a way to at least get voters to the door of the voting station.

The transit options being used in Terrace and Kitimat, might just be one that Prince Rupert might wish to "borrow" from their neighbours for the 15th of November.

For more items related to the 2014 Municipal election see our archive page here.

Pacific NorthWest LNG to use monitoring equipment to learn more on marine and weather on the North Coast

While the larger issues of LNG development on the North Coast will play out in discussions between the Provincial Government and the parent company Petronas  in mid November (see our item of yesterday).

On the local front, Pacific NorthWest LNG continues on with its preliminary work on the project.

The most recent addition to their technical look at the Lelu Island site comes with word of the installation of an enhancement to their monitoring equipment positioned in Prince Rupert Harbour.

On Tuesday Pacific NorthWest LNG outlined the scope of the monitoring program which is designed to collect a wide range of weather data, such things as wind speed and direction, air temperature and air pressure and such.

Captain Davie Kyle, Pacific NorthWest's Head of Marine Services reviewed the project through this media release, providing some background as to what use the company will have for the data collected.

“This data is helping Pacific NorthWest LNG learn more about the complex marine and weather environment on the north coast. We are making use of the information to assist in the design of our marine terminal and to determine operating procedures for LNG carriers that would be calling on the facility. It only makes sense to share this information with the wider marine community”

Pacific NorthWest is sharing its data with all mariners in the region, as well as the Prince Rupert Port Authority as part of an ongoing project to help enhance marine safety.

You can review more of our items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project from our archive page here.

Recreation Department to celebrate Earl Mah Aquatic centre re-opening November 3rd, with free admission day

Workers begin the process of filling
the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre Pool
(photo from Rec Dept Facebook page)
The mechanical issues now solved, the City is filling up the pool at the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre in anticipation of Monday's re-opening and to celebrate the Recreation Department is opening the doors to the Aquatic Centre on Monday to free admission for the day.

In addition to the free swim opportunity at the Aquatic Centre, visitors on Monday will also be able to make use the weight room at no cost as well.

As an added thank you for the patience of the public, those that do drop into the Centre on November 3rd will receive a 2 for 1 pass for a future visit.

The free swim session runs all day Monday from 6:30 am to 6:30 PM, with limited use provisions in place.  From 7 to 8:30 the full facility will be available.

As we reviewed back in August, The Earl Mah Aquatic Centre shut down for what was supposed to be routine maintenance, a common occurrence each summer.

However, this year the timeline required an extension, the reopening first anticipated for the third week of September was delayed a number of times, as the city waited for a replacement exhaust fan for the pool complex to be delivered.

The extended shutdown was announced on September 19th, with each passing week since that point making for growing frustration for both the City and those that use the popular recreation facility in the community.

For most though, perhaps all will be forgotten when they dip their toe back in the water Monday, marking the first time since August that the main area echoes with the splash of swimmers hitting water.

Pamphlets will be the path to the voters door for Ray Pedersen

A relative newcomer to the city and the political scene in Prince Rupert has been handling the introductions with a pamphlet campaign over the last few weeks, with Ray Pedersen providing some background on himself and his positions for this years City Council race.

The pamphlet offering, which closely mirrors much of what is available on the candidates website provides a Biography section, a review of his platform and a wide ranging essay of sorts on what his impression is of the city and how he would like to be a part of the transformation in the region.

Through his household mailer, he touches on the need for leadership and vision with an eye towards developing Prince Rupert as the "next great Port City"

Among some of his platform offerings are concepts related to development of the port related economy, and the need to seek ways to increase the number of men and women in the community to get access to high paying jobs.

As well, he would like the City to embrace what he calls the "triple bottom line" those being social, economic and environmental stewardship, a process which he suggests will lead to balanced development a high level of civic service and affordable housing.

Like many of the other candidates for Council, Pedersen as well is calling for better cooperation among all members of the community, along with the area's First Nations and New Canadians who have chose to make the region their home.

One item that may generate a bit of interest among the public are his thoughts on renewable energy, Pedersen has offered up the creation of a Renewable Energy fund to address the need of a green economy. Towards that goal he offers up the prospect of a fossil due tax to create the Green Energy Venture Fund, which would be invested into green energy innovation and projects on the north coast.

That final note might take a bit of selling to the residents of the region, the next opportunity to share that vision with Prince Rupert will come up on Tuesday night at the all candidates forum at the Lester Centre.

More on Mr. Pedersen's campaign can be found from his website offerings, for those that haven't seen the pamphlet in their mail box yet, click on the items below and you can get a quick glance at some of his talking points for the campaign.

Ray Pedersen pamphlet 1
Ray Pedersen pamphlet 2

For more information on the 2014 Municipal Election campaign see our Archive page here.

Ghosts, Goblins, Goodies and Fireworks for Hallowe'en Fest!!!

The annual ritual of door to door candy collecting and a grand celebration at the Civic Centre has arrived once again, as Prince Rupert awaits the evening hours and the arrival of Hallowe'en.

As in the past, much of the celebrations of the evening will be centred on the Civic Centre Complex as a battalion of volunteers put on the two hour spooktacular known as Hallowe'en Fest.

The evening of fun for the whole family comes about thanks to the work of those volunteers as well as from assistance from a string of sponsors.  All combining their forces to help to get Hallowe'en Fest into swing tonight, among those that have stepped up to participate are:

Prince Rupert RCMP, Prince Rupert Fire and Rescue Department, Community Service Clubs and Volunteers, VIA Rail, HawkAir, Overwaitea, Safeway, Children First Early Years, Northern Savings Credit Union, the City of Prince Rupert and a number of Local Businesses

Following the fun inside the Civic Centre which starts at 6 PM, things will move to the outdoors as Mount Hays forms the background for the annual Hallowe'en Fireworks show, which is scheduled to start at 8:15 PM.

The forecast for witches, warlocks, monsters and such calls for partly cloudy skies this evening, with temperatures steady at around 6 degrees. With a bit of luck the rain holds off til after the witching hour!

You can review how Hallowe'en fest came together this year from our item of earlier this month which highlighted the work involved to get things up and running.

Nisga'a reach agreement on gas pipeline and keep their own LNG ambitions on track

An agreement between the Nisga'a Lisims Government and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Limited, will provide a route of transit for gas from Hudson Hope in Northeastern BC, to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG Terminal project at Lelu Island.

The two groups announced the terms of their arrangement on Wednesday, with the provincial government hailing the moment as another step for the Nisga'a Lisims government and people to become more involved in the province's developing LNG industry.

A full review of that arrangement can be found from the Nisga'a Lisims Government website .

Further information related to Wednesday's agreement can also be reviewed from the Government of British Columbia website.

As part of the agreement, the executive of the Nisga'a Lisims Government passed a resolution on the rights of way for a portion of the project through Nisga'a Lands,  as well as an endorsement of a amendment to the Lava Bed Park boundary that would allow the pipeline to travel along a 12 kilometre corridor through the Park generally adjacent to the Nisga'a Highway corridor.  In total, the pipeline will transit 85 kilometres of land in Nisga'a territory.

Map of the proposed pipeline through Nisga'a land
(photo from Nisga'a Lisims website)

An overview of the progress of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project can be found here.

While the arrangement will in the short term provide for a path to Prince Rupert for the pipeline company and Pacific NorthWest LNG, for the Nisga'a it also sets in place infrastructure for any future LNG development on Nisga'a land.

A key portion of the agreement specifies how the Nisga'a Nation has the option to secure PRGT expansion capacity, for use by an LNG developer who would locate an LNG facility at a site on or near Nisga'a lands.

As we outlined earlier this year, the Nisga'a have also been showing interest in entering the process of LNG terminal development, having outlined some of the available locations on Nisga'a land through their website.

You can review some of those plans from our archive page.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mayor Mussallem warns of inexperience of rivals as campaign heads into November

Mayor Jack Mussallem once again took to the pages of the weekly newspaper on Wednesday, continuing on with his theme of experience and the risks of changing the city's leadership when election day arrives on November 15th.

Mr. Mussallem reminded those browsing through the ads of the paper, that no other Mayoralty Candidate has held the Mayor's office and stressed, though not by name, that one candidate in particular has "never been elected to council".

And while it seems obvious that one target of the ad was relative newcomer to local politics Lee Brain, the sideswipe at the delay in the learning curve seems to be focused on both Sheila Gordon-Payne and Tony Briglio.

Regardless, we imagine that when Tuesday's City Council Forum at the Lester Centre comes around, all three will be quick to address that particular theme of the Mayor's approach to the campaign. Most likely to perhaps review their own resumes and to remind him that they haven't exactly just fallen off the pumpkin truck.

On the theme of not having experience at the top job of local elected office, the Mayor asked the voters to consider one thing, "Can our City at this time withstand the delay while one of them learns?"

Another point that Mayor Mussallem stressed in his ad was the need to "Protect our City With Good Government and Proven Leadership." In addition, he highlights his knowledge, experience and solid performance as Mayor as his major push for the voters.

The latest in a series of ads for
Mayor Jack Mussallem

For those looking for the Cole's Notes on that experience, Mr. Muassallem has served as Mayor of Prince Rupert from 1996-1999 and again from 2009-13, and features a resume of work in local government for close to three decades.

A helpful review of his work and that of the current council can be found on our City Council archive page.

The Mayor wrapped up his print presentation with a call for the voters to re-elect him advising as to how "he has the knowledge and experience which makes him the most capable candidate".

With three challengers currently staking out their positions on a variety to topics so far, it would seem that the Mayors positioning points may be put to the test as we head into the final few weeks of the campaign.

You can review some of his previous discussion points as delivered through his advertising campaign from our item of September 4th.

For more items on the 2014 Municipal Election campaign see our archive page here.

Roof Repairs required quickly for Prince Rupert Church

The roof is leaking and the wind is howling
The opening line from Phil Collins, Roof is Leaking, 1981

The church organist at St. Andrew's Anglican Church might not be familiar with Phil Collin's 1981 hit song from the Face Value recording, but the congregation is fairly in tune with the sentiment, as roof troubles continue to make life difficult for those that sit among the pews of one of Prince Rupert's historic churches.

Towards a solution, and with the approaching November rains no doubt on their minds, St. Andrew's began looking for ways to raise funds to provide for repairs at the 4th Avenue West church, a landmark building which sits above the eastern portion of the downtown core.

The congregation recently held a Garage Sale and this evening, St. Andrew's fundraisers will be hosting a Loonie Auction at the Nisga'a Hall on Third Avenue, with the doors opening at 5:30 PM.

Organizers of the fund raising drive also remind those that wish to contribute that any donation over ten dollars will be issued a tax receipt for tax purposes.

If you wish to help out, or require more information on the fund raising efforts, you can call 250-627-1143 to learn more.

More details of the situation facing St. Andrew's can be found from their Facebook page

Advance Polling Opportunities start next week for 2014 Election

For those that won't be in Prince Rupert on November 15th for election day, or those who may have other commitments that day, the opportunity to cast your vote in advance polls is less than one week away.

The First of three Advance polls is set for Wednesday, November 5 between 8 AM and 8 PM, with the ballot station to be set up at City Hall's Council Chambers.

Similar opportunities for Advance polling at City Hall will take place on Friday November 7th and Wednesday, November 12th, the polling hours are the same 8 AM to 8 PM.

There will also be an Advance Poll opportunity in the lobby of the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital on Thursday November 13th from 1 to 5 PM. While a similar advance poll takes place at Acropolis Manor on the 13th from 2:30 to 5 PM

As well the City is offering  Special Voting Opportunities made available for those that are currently living at Acropolis Manor, or admitted as patients to Prince Rupert Regional Hospital.

Both of those voting opportunities take place on Thursday, November 13th, with the Hospital voting to take place between 1 and 2:30 PM, while the Acropolis Manor ballots will be available between 2:30 to 5 PM.

Only those living at the Manor or admitted to the hospital can vote at those polling locations.

There are also provisions in place for a mobile voting procedure for those have mobility issues and cannot leave their homes, you can learn more about that as part of this notice on the advance polling.

You can review more information regarding the 2014 Municipal election, including the registration process for those that have yet to register from this information page from the City of Prince Rupert website.

For more items related to this years Municipal election campaign see our archive page here.

Councillors Cunningham and Thorkelson to host Open House on November 1st

Two of the incumbent candidates for the November 15th City Council election will be hosting an Open House this weekend at Fisherman's Hall, the long time meeting place for the labour movement in the community.

The Hall, located on Fraser Street across from Overwaitea, is a logical place for Councillor Joy Thorkelson and Councillor Barry Cunningham to hold their public gathering, as they are perhaps  the two who most represent the views of  labour on the current City Council.

Saturday both councillors will be in attendance at the Hall, welcoming supporters and interested Rupertites from 2 until 4 for their meet and greet.

Councillor Barry Cunnigham at
a recent Council session
The afternoon will provide an opportunity for voters to learn more about some of their positions from this most recent Council session, as well as to learn more about what direction they would like to see the city move towards in the future.

While Councillor Cunningham will only have one year of time on Council to draw on, Councillor Thorkelson has been a fixture on City Council for a number of years now.

She is currently seeking her fourth term of office, her previous three terms no doubt having provided her with a range of topics to share with the curious this Saturday.

Councillor Joy Thorkelson at
a recent City Council session
In this last year of council work, both Councillors have been in sync on a number of discussion points, the majority of them related to issues related to the Port, Pinnacle Pellet and waterfront concerns, as well as Housing and Social concerns to name a few.

For their Saturday Open House they are looking to hear from the voters, seeking feedback on their work at City Hall in this term, as well as to receive ideas as to what local residents are looking from their Council for the years ahead.

For more background on their work during this current City Council session see our archive page here.

We have more items related to this year's City Council session available on our archive page.

Harbour Debris Society puts a wrap on extensive harbour clean up project

On Wednesday, the Prince Rupert Harbour Debris society heralded the successful completion of an extensive harbour clean up campaign, the third such community effort to take place since 2011.

Through the year, debris including such items as logs, untreated wooden docks, float and derelict fishing vessels to name a few of the items collected, are transported to a specially designated spot at Osborne Cove on the north end of Tuck Inlet, where once the levels collected reach a designated level  the debris is burned by Wainwright Marine Services.

Gary Paulson,  the President of the non profit group outlines the scope of that work over the previous two years: “In the two years since our last successful sanctioned burn, the amount of debris in the harbour has been manageable, and the Prince Rupert Port Authority patrol vessel has handled most debris delivery and storage at the site,”

Through the rest of this week, weather permitting, some 200 cubic metres of debris will be disposed of at the Tuck Inlet Burn site.

Incorporated in 1983 with the goal of controlling and reducing the dangers to navigation caused by the debris, as well as to promote safe use of Prince Rupert Harbour.

As the number of vessel movements through the Port of Prince Rupert increase through the years to come, the familiar site of the billowing smoke off in the distance up Tuck Inlet will continue to highlight the work of the volunteers of the Harbour Debris Society.

November 11th set as date for Petronas and Provincial Government to meet on Pacific NorthWest LNG

With yesterday's announcement of delays into the next decade for the BG Group's Prince Rupert LNG project, all of those watching developments on the LNG files of the Northwest now turn their attention to the Pacific Northwest LNG proposal and a November 11th meeting in Malaysia.

That is the date that has been set up for the next set of discussions between officials from the British Columbia Government and Petronas executives, with the Rakyat Post, a Malaysian newspaper speculating as to whether that date is a deadline for the project.

Yesterday's developments regarding BG would seem to have caught the attention of the Malaysian press, which provided a review of the decision from the British energy giant to slow down its development plans.

Malaysians have been following the progress of the Petronas plans through their media, most recently to make note of the ongoing Environmental process of the project, highlighting the focus of how the Lelu Island Terminal proposal may be derailed over protection of wild salmon.

For it's part the Province continues to express confidence on their LNG plans, observing that they believe the November 11th meeting is a positive step.

Minister Rich Coleman at the
Opening of the PacificNorthwest
LNG offices in  December 2013
Speaking yesterday, as part of his reaction to the BG Gas decision, Rich Coleman the province's Minister of Natural Gas Development touched on the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal.

Going so far a to suggest "that we wouldn't be asked to go to Malaysia to sit down with the board and the CEO on a one-to-one basis if we weren't getting somewhere in our project development agreements, which we are."

The November 11th meeting would appear to be an extension of the previous deadline of October 31st which was issued by Petronas on October 6th.

In late September the Malaysian energy company put a cloud over the UBCM gathering in Whistler when it expressed concerns over issues related to taxation and environmental timelines for the project.  Suggesting at the time that there was a possibility that they could delay their project for up to fifteen years.

The BC Government will get the update on that dire warning next month, and there will be no greater interested observers awaiting the news than those living on the North Coast, whether they are pro-LNG development or against LNG development.

You can review our past items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project from our archive page here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

When "prudent" becomes "pause": BG announces pause for Prince Rupert project

The rumblings of a shift in time lines for LNG development of Tuesday became the thing of possible delays of up to ten years by Wednesday, as the BG Group delivered a bit of a setback for the region's LNG aspirations.

As we outlined in our item of yesterday,  the BG Group released its third quarter report on Tuesday, with some significant financial declines to report and with it a cautionary outlook for it's Canadian plans.

By Wednesday morning, a wide collection of Financial news services were reporting that the British based energy giant was look to put it's Prince Rupert LNG project on pause, while they assess how the conditions in the LNG market evolve towards 2020.

A transcript of a conference call regarding BG's third quarter results and prospects world wide outlined the current view on Prince Rupert, with Interim Chairman of BG Andrew Gould advising that the company isn't abandoning Prince Rupert, but at this point pausing on Prince Rupert.

On Price Rupert, as I’m sure you’ve seen that estimated volumes of LNG from the US have been calculated closer to 90 million tonnes per annum as opposed to the 60 million that was previously forecast. So as a result of this, coupled with weakness in gas pricing generally, there is a risk that the market be very well supplied post 2020. 

And all we’re doing at this point in time is pausing on Prince Rupert, we’re not abandoning Prince Rupert, we’re pausing on Prince Rupert to see how the market evolves particularly in function of total supply that will come out of the US. We will continue to work on the project but not at the same rhythm as perhaps we were working in 2014. -- Interim BG Chairman Andrew Gould on the company overview of Prince Rupert LNG and their plans to pause development.

You can review the full transcript of that conference call here, it provides a fair bit of insight as to the nature of the business decisions that BG make and what factors they take into account as they review their world wide LNG ambitions.

The Prince Rupert LNG project is one of eight LNG terminal developments proposed for the immediate Prince Rupert area, you can review our items on all of those here.

As well, you can access our past items related to the BG project for Prince Rupert here.

As for the news of the Prince Rupert decision, reviews of the news of the pause of the LNG plans for British Columbia is making for a growing archive of articles.

Most of which suggest that a delay into the next decade may be in the LNG cards for the BG Project. You can review those articles below, we'll update the list as further items become available.

School District 52 Trustee Forum set for Monday

While probably not as a high profile as the race for the Mayoralty or City Council seats, the election for trustees for School District 52 is a race that does warrant a share of our attention.

Particularly as education on the North Coast is a topic that in the past has generated a great deal of interest and at times emotion.

A chance to learn more about what the ten Prince Rupert candidates for School District 52 would bring towards the Education debate in the community, comes up on Monday evening with a Candidates Question and Answer forum.

The election event takes place at Charles Hays Secondary School starting at 6 PM on November 3rd.

Hosted jointly by the Prince Rupert District Teachers Union and The Prince Rupert District Parent Advisory Council, it's an evening which could provide an opportunity for those who are looking to address issues and learn more about a wide range of items related to education on the North Coast.

This years School District election features four incumbents seeking a return to office: Tina Last, Bart Kuntz, Terri-Lynn Huddlestone and Lousia Sanchez.

Challenging them for positions on the Council will be soon to be former City Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson, James Horne, June Lewis, Fanny Nelson, William Spat and Kimberly Williams.

Six positions from Prince Rupert will be filled on November 15th, while the one rural position already has been claimed, as Janet Beil ran unopposed for that seat.

For some background on education issues on the North Coast see our archive page here.

UNBC Timberwolves work on their game plan for season start November 7th

The UNBC Timberwolves have ten days remaining to take the notes of a challenging pre season and make their adjustments as they prepare for the 2014-15 regular season, which tips off on November 7th at the Prince George campus.

The Lady Timberwolves and their captain, Rupertite Sarah Robin, had one last tournament of the pre season last weekend, a three game set as part of the University of Manitoba's Shoot for the Cure Tournament.

A challenging string of games that provided the squad with some tough competition and by the time Sunday rolled around, more than a few things to work on.

While they didn't have success in the win column over the weekend, Robin provided some leadership on the court, as she paced the squad with high scores in two of the three games.

Friday night she led the Timberwolves with 15 points in the 70 - 56 loss.

Saturday found the UNBC squad up against a formidable North Dakota squad, as the University of Jamestown Jimmie's took the play to the Timberwolves claiming an 81-43 victory.

Prince Rupert's Sarah Robin in action at the
University of Winnipeg tournament

(Photo from U of Manitoba Bison web site)

Sunday was wrap up day for the tournament, and  Ms. Robin once again topped the T-Wolves scoring with 14 points on the afternoon, UNBC started off fast in the final match of the tourney, holding the lead in the first quarter but eventually falling behind the University of Manitoba Bisons, the final score was 61-47 with the Timberwolves finding themselves in foul trouble late in the game.

The U of W Wesmen and Jamestown Jimmies settled in for the championship game of the tournament on Sunday, with the hometown side claiming victory 90-77

The early season struggles are not a surprise for the UNBC coaching staff, as we outlined earlier in the month, the Timberwolves are putting a very young team with few veterans on the court this year, as the core of the team from last year has graduated.

Sarah Robin, is one of the few returning vets with game time experience, so the burdens of moving the offence will fall to her while the T-Wolves get more established in their positions.

Fans of the Timberwolves will get their first view of how the regular season will shape up next weekend when UNBC travels to Kamloops to take on the Thomson Rivers University with games on Friday and Saturday evening.

You can review more of our Timberwolves here, for more items on Rupertites playing outside of the North Coast see our archive page here.

City's Engineering Department set to grow

The City of Prince Rupert is about to expand some of the oversight on engineering matters, with the posting of Employment Opportunities in the Engineering Department.

While the City may be facing some tough times when it comes to the financial challenges, the need to fill civic positions seemingly  doesn't go away.

Towards that requirement, the City has posted the Help Wanted sign for two full time positions for Engineering Technologists, with a deadline for applications of November 14th.

Among some of the many duties of the position for the successful candidates, will be the inspection of ongoing public infrastructure, assisting in contract administration and providing direction to a variety of developers, contractors and suppliers, to name but a few of the work related requirements.

Those making submissions for the available positions will be required to provide proof of all relevant certification, as well as to include three references with their resume.

Among the selling points for the positions available a salary of 30.16 per hour plus premiums and what are described as a great benefit package and pension plan.

The career opportunity is a union position and those hired on will be working under the CUPE Local 105 Collective Agreement.

More background on the two positions can be reviewed from the Career Section of the City website.

You can also learn more about the Qualifications required and scope of the work duties from this item on the Civic Info BC website.

Coast Tsimshian Academy seeks input on Education priorities

The Coast Tsimshian Academy in Lax Kw'alaams is looking for some feedback from the community, as part of a new program of engagement to improve communications with teachers, parents, guardians and those in the school community

In particular they are looking to learn more about the education priorities that parents and guardians may have for their children and how the process of communication can be improved with the Academy.

Towards that goal they are conducting a survey available online, or by way of a paper version that was sent home with students a few days ago.

The survey is fairly short and includes three parts, a segment about the participant, the review of your values and Education priorities and a third and final portion which provides feedback on improving communications.

You can access the online survey here.

More information regarding the process can be found on the Coast Tsimshian Academy website

Those that take part in the survey will be entered in a draw for an iPad mini.

For more items related to education on the North Coast see our archive page here.

Sheila Gordon-Payne to focus on LNG opportunities as part of her campaign

Photo from Sheila Gordon-Payne website
While the news cycle of late hasn't been delivering any great movements forward on the LNG file, one Council candidate is looking to make it a high profile topic as we move into the final few weeks of the Municipal Election campaign.

Yesterday, Sheila Gordon-Payne's campaign provided some of that new focus through her website, with LNG becoming a key part of her message for November 15th.

Listed as one of her Primary Platform reviews:

Sheila’s objective as Mayor of Prince Rupert is to take advantage of the opportunity that LNG and other new industries present, to rebuild our economy, and improve the quality of life in our community. 

 The establishment of the Fairview Container Terminal and Pinnacle Pellet added hundreds of permanent jobs. These terminals and the businesses that support them signify growth; however, this growth has not kept pace with the loss of jobs in our fishing and forestry sectors. It has not replaced the lost revenue to the city from the closed fish plants and pulp mill. 

Our retail and service sector have not returned to the levels of fifteen years ago. Taxes for small business and residents have risen with no improvement in services or quality of life. We can no longer afford to be complacent. We need be seen as interested in rebuilding the industrial sector of our economy. 

We must make the LNG opportunity work for us starting now. For the city, even one LNG facility will provide hundreds of permanent well-paying jobs for our families, bring new tax dollars for improved services, attract people to the community, and create opportunities for small business growth.

You can review further background on the candidates position from the platform page of her website.

Her statement towards the proposed LNG opportunities for the region, came on the same day as the BG Group outlined how it was looking towards a prudent approach for its Prince Rupert LNG project.

Today, a number of Financial news services have reported that the Prince Rupert LNG project may be delayed by at least a decade.

For Ms. Gordon-Payne and the other challengers to Mayor Jack Mussallem, that cautionary note and the recent developments for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project offer up a real time lesson in the pace and shifting sand which makes up the LNG development path.

It also poses a pretty important question for those seeking a seat, whether in the Mayoralty or on Council as to what kind of Plan B they might have in mind in the LNG aspirations continue to shift on the North Coast.

While there is not much that a local council can do about larger international issues related to the prospects of the proposed plants, how the local issues are introduced and examined in the campaign could give us a glimpse into what the candidates may think when it comes to the ongoing dialogue required between the City and industry proponents.

You can review more items related to the 2014 Prince Rupert Civic Election from our archive page.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BG Group to approach Prince Rupert LNG project on a prudent basis

Depending on how one parses the word prudent, an announcement from today by the BG Group could offer up a variety of outcomes for the Prince Rupert LNG project, proposed for Ridley Island,

As part of their third quarter financial statement for the end of October, BG outlined the state of its world wide reach on Tuesday, highlighting the future for their Canadian plans with this short observation.

Canada BG Group continues to investigate the best way to advance the Prince Rupert LNG project. However, given current uncertainty about the size and number of North American projects, BG Group is taking a prudent approach to development in Canada by moderating future expenditure.

The words of caution, come after reports in the financial press of a significant decline in profits for the British company.

As stated in their media release (full version can be found here) , there is a fair bit of uncertainty on the number of North American projects and in recent weeks, much has been made about the nature of the financial returns, as markets decline and the energy giants seek more concessions and tax relief from the different levels of government.

The British Columbia in particular has been feeling some of those pressures, as highlighted by the Provincial Liberal's recent tax regime announcement which set the taxation level significantly lower than previously anticipated.

And still, even with those concessions, one of the leading prospects for LNG development on the North Coast is now taking a prudent approach to development in Canada. A term that might suggest that BG will be slowing down it's plans and taking stock of the prospects moving forward.

No word of the plan for the future has been outlined on the local Prince Rupert LNG website as of yet.

The first alert for British Columbians on the announcement came through the twitter feed of the Globe and Mail's Brent Jang, who reviewed the news out London.

Today's announcement from the BG Group provides a glimpse for locals as to how developments in far off locations can change very quickly and have an immediate impact on industrial plans for the North Coast.

For more items related to the BG Group project see our archive page here.

Update:  Various Financial News Services across Canada have started to reveal more of what may lay ahead for the Prince Rupert LNG project, some of their items can be found below:

Globe and Mail-- BG Group to delay LNG terminal on B. C. coast
Wall Street Journal-- BG Group to delay LNG Terminal on Canada's Pacific Coast
Financial Post-- BG Group to delay LNG terminal on Canada's Pacific coast: report
CBC-- BG Group to delay planned B. C. LNG Terminal
News 1130-- LNG export terminal proposed for northwestern BC delayed

For the latest items related to the Prince Rupert LNG project see our updated item of October 29 here.

Northern Expedition sets sail after holding in Skidegate

While the weather on the Prince Rupert side of Hecate Strait has been fairly calm, it hasn't been that way on the Haida Gwaii side, with BC Ferries having held back the sailing of the Northern Expedition today.

Conditions however appear to have settled down enough off the coast of the Islands, allowing the Northern Expedition to set sail.

BC Ferries updated the schedule for the vessel at Noon hour today, advising that the Northern Expedition has now left Haida Gwaii and will be arriving in Prince Rupert at 6 PM.

You can keep up to speed on any further schedule delays through the BC Ferries Service Notices page.

CityWest makes major changes to Board of Directors

The City of Prince Rupert owned communication company CityWest has announced a number of changes to the make up of its Board of Directors and a number of the new arrivals have significant ties to the Administration offices of the City of Prince Rupert .

In fact, all of them are either current employees of the City of Prince Rupert or recently retired from their positions.

Joining the Board are the City's Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben, the City's Corporate Administrator Rory Mandryk and the former member of the City's Engineering Department Bob Thompson.

The three new arrivals will replace outgoing members Bruce Kerr, Steve Lake and Frank Parnell. As well, Directors Jack Payne and Lael McKeown have stepped down from their positions on the Board,.

Robert Long new Chairman of the Board 
for CityWest, Corinne Bomben, 
new member of the Board
Rory Mandryk, a new Board
member with CityWest

In addition to the wide scale exodus from the Board, it was announced on Monday that Robert Long, the City Manager for the City of Prince Rupert, has now been appointed Chair of the Board for CityWest. He previously served CityWest as a Director.

The review of the new Board members came from the CityWest website, as CEO Don Holkestad outlined the list of the changes you can review the announcement here.

The timing of the announcement is fascinating, with but one more public session of Council to come in the mandate for  the current City Council and Mayor, before Prince Rupert residents go to the polls to elect a new Council.

CityWest as most Rupertites know is a frequent topic of conversation around the city and has made for controversial discussions in the past, you can review some of those items from our archive of this year and from those of previous years.

Interestingly enough, no mention of what appears to be a return of active City interest in the communication company can be found on the City's own website, or through the variety of social media options that they use.

With three current City employees now sitting on the board and a fourth member with experience with the City coming on board as well, the shift towards a larger civic overview on the communication company seems to be in motion.

What it means for the company in the future and what the City hopes to achieve by having its own people in Board positions is something that the City should expand on further.

Perhaps City Council will provide the public with a bit of background as to just what's going on with CityWest at their next council session of November 3rd.

Even more interesting, will be whether the topic of CityWest's new focus will be part of the conversation at the All Candidates Forum for the November election, that public discussion opportunity arrives on November 4th at the Lester Centre.

Triton LNG takes another step forward with export licence approval

Of the many proposed LNG projects for the region, not much had been heard of late regarding the Triton LNG, however on Friday, their plans for a terminal development for the North Coast showed some signs of stirring, with the approval of the National Energy Board for an export licence.

The document from the NEB dated October 24th outlines the scope of their approval which allows for shipment of Liquefied Natural Gas for a period of ten years, effective the date of approval of October 8th.

The notice advices that the approval is for a liquefaction terminal to be located in the vicinity of either Kitimat or Prince Rupert. Not much has been revealed in recent months regarding the Triton proposal as far as for any plans for Prince Rupert.

The most recent developments the plans of Alta Gas and Idemitsu of Japan the parent corporations for Triton, were outlined by the Calgary Herald last week.  That review outlines the plans  of Alta Gas, to buy the barge based Douglas Channel LNG project out of insolvency procedures.

While we await further information when it comes to their Prince Rupert plans, you can review our archive items regarding Triton here.

City Manager points towards City's Legacy Corporation for Dr. Faggetter hiring

The City of Prince Rupert offered up the mechanics of its Legacy Corporation on Monday as a partial answer as to the process, which has seen Oceanographer Barb Faggetter hired to conduct research work on the Tuck Inlet area, conducting her work on behalf of the Legacy Corporation.

That at least from a "clarification" for the weekly newspaper on Monday, from City Manager Robert Long who outlined that the Legacy Corporation, a wholly owned corporation of the City of Prince Rupert, and one created by City Council, technically made the hire of Dr. Faggetter to conduct work related to Lot 444, a portion of which has been earmarked for LNG developed..

As we outlined on the blog last week, word of Dr. Faggetter's hiring wasn't so much announced, as  it was mentioned more as an aside.  With Councillor Joy Thorkelson referencing the hiring, as she spoke to Council at the end of last Monday's Council session, making mention of Dr. Faggetter's ongoing efforts for the City.

No public notice from either the City, or the Legacy Corporation has been delivered previous to outline the scope the the work on this particular issue, nor it would appear to even  provide an announcement regarding the hiring of Doctor Faggetter, particularly on what would appear to be an in house Enviornmental Assessment.

Mr. Long's very brief overview of the situation, didn't really clear up much in the way of questions that should be raised about the process involved in hiring Dr. Faggetter, nor does it offer up any glimpse as to how the members of Council and the Mayor seem to have formulated the Legacy Corporation and its terms of operation.

You can review some of Council's past work on the Legacy Corporation process from this item of June.   As well, some background on the discussion at the Council session where the Corporation was announced can be found from our Council Timeline for May 26th.

As Mr. Long explained during a session of Council on June 23rd, the use of the Legacy Corporation for the purposes of LNG discussions regarding Lot 444,  could be be compared to the arrangement that the City has with CityWest.  

You can review the discussion of the time from the City's Video Archive, the discussions on Lot 444 and the Legacy Corporation arrive at the one hour eight minute mark until one hour sixteen minutes.

The comparison of the Legacy Corporation to CityWest does offer up an interesting dynamic.

As the relationship between CityWest and the City has in the past made for a very lively part of  Municipal Election campaigns, with more than a few Councillors in recent times vowing to seek out more transparency and accountability on the relationship between CityWest and the City.

Though it's fair to say, that CityWest is perhaps the one major topic in Prince Rupert that doesn't actually need an election cycle to quickly jump back into the political mix.

Any number of questions come to mind when you consider what little we know about the Legacy Corporation process and what role City Council has regarding it ( a quest using the City's search engine on their website provides no results).

For starters, how the Corporation is supposed to work as far as terms of reference, how appointments are made to it (and who may be appointed to the corporation at this time) and who the Legacy Corporation is ultimately accountable to at the end of the day.

Readers can probably add quite a number more to the list, all aspects of the City mechanism which should be reviewed in the public setting of the Council forum.

Some of our past items along the Lot 444 path which led to the Legacy Company formation can be found below:

May 17-- City receives approval of Province for Boundary Expansion
June 2-- A share of the LNG rush? City's newly expanded boundary to include LNG site
June 26-- Lot 444 becomes a talking point at Council
July 10-- Imperial Oil delivers an introduction to Tuck Inlet LNG proposal for City Council
July 11-- Bylaws, Buffers and differences of opinion for Lot 444
July 18-- Imperial Oil sets July 24th for Public Presentation on Tuck Inlet LNG proposal
September 1-- Council sends Lot 44 amendments back to staff for revision

At the time that the City introduced us to the Legacy Corporation back in May, it was as part of the delivery of items released from one of Council's many closed sessions this year.

The full review at that time of introduction was rather limited, with the added note of advisement during that review, that some aspects of the Corporation would have to remain undisclosed at the time. And for the most part, many aspects of the Corporation  appear to have remained that way into the fall.

So far, the only Mayoralty candidate to even mention Lot 444 has been Lee Brain, who in September addressed the need for more transparency on the theme.

To the midway point of the election campaign, neither Mayoralty Challengers, Tony Briglio, nor Sheila Gordon-Payne have offered up any comments related to the Lot 444 process.

Considering the limited overview of the Legacy Corporation and the Lot 444 process, it might just be this election's CityWest type of issue. Perhaps one which might just attract inquiries beyond those from Mr. Brain.