Thursday, December 31, 2015

A year of anticipation best describes the waning hours of 2015

For our Year End Review we are turning the content over to the readers and what captured your interest this year.

Making use of our Blog Watching feature and a quick scan of our statistical review over the last 365 days to determine those stories which most resonated with regular readers of the North Coast Review through 2015.

Not surprisingly among the leading areas of interest of the year are developments with the proposed LNG industry on the North Coast, while readers also found a wide ranging interest in our items of note related to Municipal government in Prince Rupert.

It was a year that for the most part found us in a holding pattern in many areas for the region, whether it be the plans of LNG Proponents, or housing issues at City council, to name a few of the current items of note that continue to make for the debate around the region.

The flip of the calendar would seem set to deliver some form of resolution to many of the topics that dominated the news cycle since January.

And while there is still some uncertainty when it comes to number of the key topics of the region, one area of importance to the region, that being port development plans seem to be making some important progress. With expansion concepts for Fairview Terminal and other Port related facilities to be moved forward in the year ahead.

Considering the large amount of interest on those themes, you can explore the past items of 2015 further from our archive pages dedicated to those key areas.

City Council Discussion Points
LNG on the North Coast
Prince Rupert Port Authority

As well, for those items of note from Victoria and Ottawa and the impact on the North Coast, you can  look back the political scene both on Federal and Provincial issues below:

House of Commons

For those that are interested in the political scene we also offer a purely political portal designed  to track items of note on the provincial and federal scene, with a few contributions from the North Coast that fit into that particular theme.

The Monthly review from our blog listings can be found below.

Featuring those stories which attracted the most readers, it offers an interesting cross section of some of the stories that caught the attention of North Coast residents over the last year.

The Hub Opens its doors in downtown Prince Rupert

Finishing Touches in place as All Native Basketball Tournament launch on the horizon

Special Announcement planned by Prince Rupert Port Authority for Tuesday

Councillor Mirau's motion spurs on discussion on need for new ideas on revenue generation for the city

Council members to attend Housing Forum in Terrace

Prince Rupert's Rainbow Crosswalk one step closer to approval

Kanata School lands rezoning sparks more discussion at Council

Nexen looks to launch Digby Island evaluation for Aurora LNG Terminal Project

Metlakatla stakes a claim to the discussion over Lelu Island

Lax Kw'alaams releases Science Report related to Lelu Island

Canfisco to bring an end to Salmon canning operations at Prince Rupert plant

Lelu Island LNG Opponents continue media push against proposed terminal

You can also check out the week by week items of review from our Blog Watch feature, our snapshot that is provided every Sunday, making note of the most read items of the week previous.

The review of the week to week findings can be found here.

For all our readers, our thanks for taking some time from your busy days and nights to check out some of the items that we have found resonating around the North Coast over the last 365 days.

As well, our thanks to those that have taken the time to drop us a note with story ideas or feedback on the items we have featured over the year just past, it helps us to provide a focus on the items that you are interested in and which we will continue to explore in the year to come.

Readers can contact us at

You can also follow the blogs latest items through Twitter or Pinterest.

We hope that New Years Eve is an enjoyable one for all those who spend some time with our work, and as they say, everything in moderation makes for wise counsel on this final night of the year.

May 2016 bring you a successful and healthy year ahead and provide for  some fascinating stories for us all to explore as the year unfolds as it will.

Arctic Outflow Warning for North Coast Inland

Those looking to Ring in the New Year in Terrace, Kitimat or points east will want to bundle up with Environment Canada issuing an Arctic Outflow Warning for the North Coast Inland areas today,.

Outflow winds are expected to strengthen through this evening and with them bringing wind chill values of -20 a situation that will persist into Friday and through the weekend according to the long range forecast for the inland areas.

Things will be significantly more moderate on the North Coast coastal regions and on Haida Gwaii with a Pacific front working its way towards us with rain anticipated by Saturday and temperature highs of around 8 degrees.

Prince Rupert Forecast
Haida Gwaii Forecast

A refreshing Dip to start the New Years as the Rotary Club hosts its annual Polar Bear Swim

The boat launch at Rushbrook will be a festival of costumes and the brave this New Years Day as the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert hosts its annual Polar Bear Swim.

The Rotarians will be setting up their tents around 11 AM, with Hot Dogs, Coffee and Hot Chocolate ready for those in attendance by 12:30 PM

The Dip itself takes place at 1 PM, as Rupertites take to the chilly waters of Prince Rupert Harbour to welcome in 2016.  As in past years, the family friendly event encourages participants to arrive in their favourite polar bear swimming outfits, with the theme for their creations left only to the imagination of those brave enough to wade into the New Year at Rushbrook Floats.

The Polar Bear Swim takes place Friday afternoon at 1 PM at
Rush brook Floats on the city's east side
The Polar Bear Swim ties in nicely to this years Resolution Run. As we outlined on the blog yesterday, the first running/walking event of the year for the city's running club the Rupert Runners takes place around the east side of the city, with the start finish point just a few strides away from Rushbrook.

You can find more background on the Polar Bear Swim from the Rotary Club Facebook page or website

North Coast Transit Goes Free for New Years Eve

Travelling around the City this New Years Eve will be easily accessible as Prince Rupert and Port Edward Transit Open the Bus Doors for a schedule that takes New Years Eve revellers into the early hours of Friday morning.

Whether travelling across the city or into the downtown area for the many celebrations at local bars and lounges tonight, the regional Transit Service is ready to take residents to their destination.

Service on the routes that run across Prince Rupert will be for free from 6:45 until 3:30 AM this evening and into New Years Day morning.

For Port Edward the route to and from Prince Rupert will feature seven trips this evening, departing Prince Rupert at 6:10 PM, 7:10 PM, 9:30 PM 10:10 PM, 1 AM, 2 AM and 3 AM

Once the final run of New Years Even comes to an end in the early hours of January 1st, the buses will be parked for 24 hours with NO Transit service scheduled for New Years Day itself with regular service returning to all routes on Saturday, January 2nd.

You can find more information on the New Years Eve schedule here.

More on Prince Rupert Transit can be found here, while notes on the Port Edward route can be found here.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Rotarians look for help with Syrian family sponsorship plans

The Rotary Club of Prince Rupert would appear to be taking the lead in local efforts to help sponsor Syrian Families in this community, with the first notes on the possible plan ahead posted to the Rotary Club or Prince Rupert Facebook page this week.

The local club is following up on national events in recent weeks, which have seen a number of Syrian families brought to Canada from the Middle East. Part of a national resettlement program in the wake of the Civil War currently underway in that nation.

So far, for the most part, those that are being resettled in the country have been putting down their roots in the larger communities, though there is growing interest across the nation in providing opportunities in smaller centres.

To that theme, the local Rotarian's are currently looking to local families, individuals and for wider community support to help sponsor families on the North Coast. With Kristi Farrell listed as the contact person for those seeking more information on how they can help out.

You can contact her at 250-600-1647 or at for more information

You can review the notes from the Rotary Club from their Facebook page here or through their website

Gary Coons reels in the Big One in Blue Knuckle Derby

Gary Coons reeled in the winning
catch in this years Blue Knuckle Derby

(photo from Lions Facebook page)

Gary Coon's will be telling the fish tales for the next few months as the former MLA claimed the title in this years Prince Rupert Lions Club Blue Knuckle Derby

Coons brought in a 17.86 pound Spring Salmon which bested all competitors at the annual event, with Mr. Coons the recipient of the 1200 dollar top prize donated by Harbour machining.

Second Prize in this years Derby went to Norm Shenton who came  just short of the champ with a catch at 17.58 pounds, Shenton picks up $800 thanks to Lighten Up Electric's donation.

Michael Juetten was the third place finisher, the 15.98 Spring brining him $500 courtesy of the Prince Rupert Port authority.

The weigh in and celebration of the Blue Knuckle Derby took place at the Moose Hall on Sunday evening, you can learn more about the Derby from our item of last week.

You can check out more photos on the December 27th event from the Lions Club Facebook page here.

Victoria temblor timely reminder of need for earthquake preparation

If we're all looking for a resolution or two for the New Year, last evening's 4.8 temblor that struck near the provincial capital is a timely reminder of the need to make preparations for such events on the North Coast, living as we do in an active seismic zone.

Last Night's quake which has been pretty well the news cycle for the Vancouver based media today struck at 11:39 a moderate quake that rattled residents of Victoria, Vancouver and into Washington State.

And while it was an attention getter, Tuesday' evenings temblor did not generate any tsunami danger.

The nature of last night's event was much the same as those of earlier this fall between Haida Gwaii and Vancouver Island, however owing to the large population base of southern half of the province it has become the topic of the day.

The late night shake up has however provided opportunity for the Province of British Columbia to remind residents of the need to be prepared, something you can learn more about here.

Some of the media notes on last nights seismic event can be found below.

Earthquake hits Greater Victoria, shakes houses
Earthquake 4.8 magnitude shakes southwestern B. C.
Moderate earthquake that struck near Saanich felt across Lower Mainland
No Damage, injuries reported after earthquake rattles B. C.'s South Coast
B. C. earthquake wakes up Vancouver, Victoria-area residents
Earthquake hits near Victoria
4.8 magnitude earthquake north east of Victoria

Rupert Runners Resolution Run rings in 2016

It's a Prince Rupert tradition and for many the original mind clearing exercise, offering a chance to shake the cobwebs of the night before and take a brave step into a brand new year as the Rupert Runners Club hosts its annual Resolution Run on New Years Day.

The 2016 Resolution Run starts and finishes in front of
the Canadian Fish Cannery on George Hills Way and Drydock Road

This years event starts at Noon on Friday and is a 5 kilometre run or walk from the bottom of Dry Dock Road, with the starting point the Cannery at Cow Bay Road, the run finishes in the same spot following a marked route around the east side of the city.

The focus of the 5km Resolution Run is along the
east side of the city starting from the Canadian Fish Cannery

The New Year's Day forecast is calling for Cloudy conditions with a chance of Showers and wind in the daytime hours with a high of 8 degrees.

The contacts for this years Run are Ryan Staschuk and Emma Payne.

The Resolution Run launches the 2016 Running season on the North Coast, with a number of other events planned through the year including, the Cannery Road Race, Crest Glory Days Run, Prince Rupert Half Marathon and Skeena River Rally as well as the popular Learn to Run clinics hosted by the Club.

You can find out more about both the Resolution Run and more on the Rupert Runners from their website

More on past events from the Rupert Runners can be found on our archive page.

Auditions beckon in the New Year for Prince Rupert's Got Talent

The New Year will start off with a chance for Prince Rupert's entertainers to claim their spot in the annual Prince Rupert's Got Talent show, with auditions set for Saturday, January 9th at the Lester Centre.

The popular show to be held in February brings many of Prince Rupert's most talented performers and newcomers to the stage with the competition open to all forms of talent - whether they be singers, dancers, musicians or comedians.

The contestants can be either solo acts or part of group or duet, though all participants must be under the age of 19.

Auditions can be booked through Crystal at the Lester Centre she can be reached at  or you can call the Centre at 250-627-8888

Now entering its fifth year, Prince Rupert's Got Talent has become one of the community's signature events, highlighting the thriving arts scene found on the North Coast.

The winner of this years competition will take home the top prize of $1,000.

Tickets for the February 6th Show go for ten dollars and are available at Cook's Jewellers or the Lester Centre of the Arts.

You can find out more about the audition process from the Facebook page here.

Taking Stock: North Coast Business Scene -- December 2015

December was a month of little change for the North Coast business scene, with few items to share of note from the last thirty days of our wandering of the shopping district and mall locations in the city.

While the number of changes to the commercial district are small, there have been a few items of note, with a relocation, closure and an addition to an existing business of interest for the last thirty days.


The long anticipated opening of the Ice Cream shop in Eddie's News took place this month, as Rupertites got their ice cream  or frozen yogurt fill from the new addition to the popular Prince Rupert location on Second Avenue West.

Rock and Soul played hopscotch around the city once again, making a shift from their Third Avenue location to a spot in the Upper level of the Rupert Square Mall.

On the departures side of the scale, Traylings wrapped up their operations on Second Avenue West this month, their final items sold off through the month, leaving only the store fixtures and furniture in the store by month's end.

You will be able to find the archive for Taking Stock as a part of our larger page dedicated to the commercial sector of the North Coast found here.

We imagine we probably have missed a few here or there, so if you know of a business having opened, or seen the Going out of business sign appear somewhere in the area, drop us a line at our email account of

Or send us a short message through our twitter feed of @CharlesHays

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Blog Watching, week ending December 27, 2015

For our final edition of Blog Watching for 2015 we find some familiar themes returning to the top of the weekly listings.

As it has for much of 2015 items related to proposed LNG developments in the region top our rankings, this time from an item of this week related to the proposed LNG terminal site at Lelu Island.

Port Development also made for some reading for this years final list, with a look at the growing concern over available land for development in Vancouver, something which could provide another window of opportunity for further Port Development in Prince Rupert.

The Rainmakers continue to claim some space to the blog, this time around with a look at the annual Alumni Tournament, while an item related to Prince Rupert City Hall also proved popular this week.

The end of the year is the time for lists and for Prince Rupert some improvement was found in the annual notes of BC Business magazine when it comes to employment opportunities in BC.

However, as it was last week, LNG topped the listings over the last seven days, as an error in a recently delivered information mailer from Pacific NorthWest LNG proved to be a popular discussion point this past week.

Graphics error stokes more discussion on Lelu Island project  -- Some wrong information from a  recenlty delivered information mailer for Pacific NorthWest LNG brings an apology from the company and some observations from the project opponents  (posted December 21, 2015)

That article was followed by:

Vancouver land issues offer opportunities for Prince Rupert to take advantage of  -- With the Prince Rupert Port Authority exploring the prospect of expansion for Fairview Terminals, some developments in Vancouver provide some notes of interest for those plans  (posted December 22, 2015)

Rainmaker Alumni Tourney wraps up with Mel Bishop honoured for years of service to the Sport -- The annual Rainmaker Tournament took place over last weekend and celebrated the work of head coach Mel Bishop with the local program (posted  December 21, 2015)

City of Prince Rupert sells two properties at Tax Sale process
  --  The owners of two properties sold as part of the City's Tax Sale process have until  September of 2016 to address their tax issues with the City (posted December 23, 2015)

Prince Rupert claims its spot in BC Business Best Cities for work review --  Prince Rupert moves up a few notches in the annual review from BC Business magazine of where the employment prospects are in the province (posted December 21, 2015 )

You can find our Blog watching featured posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, a handy way to catch up to the week that was, at a leisurely weekend pace.

You can also review the full listings of the week just past from our Blog Archive index page found on the right hand side of the page.

For those looking for updates to items as they are posted to the blog, don't forget about our email alert access.

A daily review of the latest items on the blog can be delivered to your email in box, simply by entering your email address into the information bar, items posted to the blog will be delivered to your e-mail account each day.

You can find the link to that feature on the upper, right hand side of the blog. Underneath the Follow the North Coast Review by Email indicator.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching  can be found here.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Winter Weather could provide for holiday challenges with Boxing Day Blast on the way

The first notes on what may be a Boxing Day Special from Environment Canada came on Christmas Eve. With the National weather service providing an update on a weather system currently forming off the Pacific Coast, one that appears destined to make for some significant snowfall in areas of the Inland North Coast and Bulkley Valley.

The Weather Watch of Christmas Eve was upgraded to a Weather Warning by the time Christmas Day had arrived with the most recent forecast is calling for up to 30 cm of snow to fall in that region through late Christmas Day and into Boxing Day.  Brisk winds and cold temperatures will also deliver wind chills of minus 18 C both tonight and tomorrow.

All of which could provide for conditions that travellers through the region should take note of and explore further before taking to the roads if bound for points east.

For the North Coast and Haida Gwaii, it appears that the weather system will be for the most part a rain and wind based event, with Haida Gwaii to feel the effects first, as the Pacific front works its way towards the BC Northern Coast.

Some snow could fall in the morning with possible accumulations of 2 to 4 cm, but Rain and Wind appear to be the main focus of the system for the coastal region and Haida Gwaii with Rainfall amounts anticipated to be towards 25mm on Saturday and more for Sunday.

Winds will be from the Southeast at 50 km/h increasing to 80 km/h after midnight, diminishing into Saturday evening.

The Full Forecast for the North Coast can be found here

Updates on the Weather Warning for areas inland can be found here.

Road Conditions can be found from the Drive BC website and twitter feed.
As well you can check the various highway cameras along the way inland here.

While BC Ferries updates can be found here

The status of flights out of Northwest airports can be found as follows:

Prince Rupert

Should there be any updates made to the forecast  you can find them posted to our North Coast Alerts feature on the right hand column of the blog at the top.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A break over the holidays

There will be a reduced number of items flowing from the blog over the next week, as we take a break to recharge after a fairly busy year of tracking events around the region.

And while we'll have a limited presence over the next few days, should something of importance for the North Coast arrive requiring attention, we'll put down the short bread and Egg Nog for a bit to check things out and report back as required.

(Travel alerts and other notices of interest can be found in our North Coast Alerts section of the right hand column)

For our loyal and growing readership, the slower news period of the holidays offers a chance to catch up on some items you may have missed, the month by month archive can be found on the right hand column for those that may want to investigate items of interest over the holiday break.

As well, the search engine at the top left of the blog home page is a helpful way to find past items on any topic that may be something for further research.

We trust that most have been on the nice side of Santa's list for this year and the reward for that arrives under a tree later tonight. There will be one more item for review today, our annual tracking of Santa, which you can find here.

Until our return to regular blogging, Merry Christmas and all the Best for the Holiday Season we hope that all find time to take advantage of all that it has to offer.

Reindeer and Sleigh sightings as Christmas Eve arrives

The Santa Countdown is officially on!

There are no more sleeps until Santa makes the annual journey, the reindeer, sleigh and Jolly Old Elf now airborne and travelling around the globe.

Ahead is a lengthy list of destinations that  it is estimated will take the travellers onto the North Coast sometime after the midnight hour.

Santa and the Reindeer have already arrived in many areas of Asia and  Australia
with North America on the list for a little later tonight

And while we wait for our first reports of roof top visitors around the Northwest you can find a number of things to keep everyone occupied until bed time from a helpful website designed by the organization that keeps a watch on the skies for Santa each year at this time.

Even the Ministry of Highways
is watching for low flying reindeer
The NORAD Tracks Santa website gives youngsters a number of games to play, music to listen to and stories to read and of course for the main event, everyone can also follow the path of Santa and his team.

Checking in through the NORAD Tracking site and NORAD Twitter feed.

Another chance to keep up with the Jolly Old Elf is by way on an international radar tracking service flight tracker which is also offering updates through the day and into the night. They also have updates through their twitter feed.

And while at times it might look a little congested up there in the sky, Santa of course receives priority landing rights in all locations.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Holiday Season heralds a number of closures

With the Christmas and New Years period almost upon us, there will be reduced hours for services and closed locations over the next week and a bit.

The Regional Recycling Centre will head into Holiday mode with a shift in Hours of Operation.

The Kaien Road Recycling Depot will be open until 4:30 on Christmas Even, Closed on Christmas Day and Boxing, December 27th it will be open from Noon to 4 PM.

Regular Hours go into effect from December 28-31 and the Centre will be closed again on New Year's Day.

The Kaien Road Transfer Station operates during hours when the Recycling Centre is closed.

The Regional District Office Hours will be on a holiday schedule as well, Closed from December 25 to January 4 (see Regional District information sheet here)

The City of Prince Rupert closes the doors to City Hall at Noon on December 24th, reopening for business on January 4th at 9:30 AM (see media release)

Your Garbage collection schedule in Prince Rupert will also be impacted by the Christmas and Boxing Day holiday, requiring you to shift your usual collection by two days to catch up to the schedule in place (see schedule here)

The District of Port Edward will commence it's Holiday hours at Noon on Christmas Eve, with the offices closed from December 25 to 28.  It's business as usual for the District from December 29-31 with a Noon hour closure on New Years Eve. District offices will be closed on New Year's Day.

Garbage collection will take place on December 29th in the District (see information here)

The Prince Rupert Landfill site will close at 12:14 on the 24th and remain closed on the 25th to 27th, reopening on December 28th to 31st with a New Year's eve closing time of 12:15. The Landfill site will also be closed on New Year's Day.

Prince Rupert and Port Edward Transit buses will stop at 6:45 PM on December 24th.

There will be No service provided from December 25 to 27, with regular service resuming on December 28.  New Years Eve The Free Evening Service will begin at 6:45 PM and continue through until 3:30 AM on New Year's Day.  There is also and expanded New Year's Eve service to Port Edward (see information update here)

To Find out the hours of operation over the Holidays for the Recreation Centre and Library contact those facilities at the numbers below:

Prince Rupert Recreation Centre  250-624-6707  (facebook)
Prince Rupert Library 250-627-1345   (website)

The Holiday season also means travel for those heading to or from the North Coast over the holidays, you can find Road Conditions available from the DriveBC website and twitter feed.

The status of flights in and out of YPR can be found from their Departure and Arrival page

While BC Ferries updates its travellers through their Service Notices feature and twitter feed

Works of North Coast Artist Kelli Clifton on display through January

This  holiday season provides a chance for North Coast residents to see some of the highly acclaimed work of Gitga'ata artist Kelli Clitfon, with a wide range of her work on the themes of fishing, Sm'algyax and Life on the Coast now on display at the Museum of Northern British Columbia.

A reception to introduce the works of Ms. Clifton was held on December 11th and since that point the gallery has been a destination for many looking to learn more about the artist, her work and the connection to the North Coast.

The Museum of Norther BC
is hosting an exhibit from
North Coast artist Kelli Clifton
As we outlined on the blog earlier this year, the artist has most recently been part of the community at the Sante Fe Art Institute, her work was recently feature as part of the popular SFAI 140 project.

You can contact the Museum at 250-624-3207 to learn what their holiday hours are,  and your chance to explore some of the region's history, offering up an interesting way to spend an afternoon during the holiday break.

More on the Museum of Northern British Columbia can be found from their website here.

To learn more about the work of Ms. Clifton see her Facebook page and website

Blue Knuckle Derby set for December 27th

The Blue Knuckle Derby, Prince Rupert's popular ritual of the holiday season and testimony of the resolve of many a local angler is set for December 27th, when the Lions hosted event will take place.

It's the 23rd Anniversary of the Derby now held in memory  of Marc (Dezi) Desautels and will take place from Daylight until Dusk in the tidal waters of the region on the 27th, with proceeds from the Day to go to the Prince Rupert Salvation Army and Loyal Order of the Moose.

The Derby is called a Blue Knuckle event for a pretty good reason, the weather traditionally is cool and in some years the precipitation has been heavy, though this year's forecast to this point isn't too bad with rain on the horizon but a temperature of around 4 degrees above for much of Sunday.

The Weigh in for the day of fishing takes place at the Moose Hall from 5 until 6 PM with Prizes awarded from 6-7 PM

Prince Rupert's Moose Hall is the home for the weigh in
for this years 23rd Annual Blue Knuckle Derby
The three main prizes for this years Derby are as follows.

1st Place is $1,200 in cash from Harbour Machining
2nd Place is $800 in cash from Lighten Up Electric and R & R Rewind
3rd Place is $500 in cash from the Port of Prince Rupert

There are also Dozens of Door Prizes to be Given Away, with participant required to be in attendance to claim their prizes.

The Entrance Fee is 25 dollars per ticket

You can find more information and how to purchase your ticket to participate in this years Derby from the Lions Club Facebook page

City of Prince Rupert sells two properties at Tax Sale process

The City of Prince Rupert has posted the first advisory of the results of their 2015 Tax Sale process.

With two notices appearing in the weekly newspaper last week making note of the conclusion of the two Tax Sales.

A process which now puts the original owners on a clock now to address their tax payment tardiness, or face the loss of their properties.

The Tax sales were conducted under Section 94 of the Community Charter, with the Two properties in question located at the following locations:

801 Fulton Street
711 5th Avenue East

The full listing for the two properties can be found from the City's original notice of September

The Date of the Tax Sale for both was September 28, 2015
With the Date of Redemption listed as September 28, 2016

The property owners are asked to contact the City of Prince Rupert Finance Department at 250-627-0964

Some background on how the City Tax Sale process works can be found from this item which appeared on the blog earlier this year.

Pinnacle Renewable Energy fined 56,000 dollars for issues at Burns Lake facility

A Blast door at the Pinnacle
Pellet Plant in Burns Lake

(photo from WorkSafe BC report)
The Pinnacle Renewable Energy company will be required to pay a $56,000 fine assessed by the Provincial Government Agency WorkSafe BC, that after an investigation by the industrial compensation authority into an industrial incident and procedures in place at the company's Burns Lake pellet facility.

WorkSafe put in place the fine after the release of their findings into a 2014 explosion at the Burns Lake wood pellet plant that injured three workers.

The three employees were injured while standing outside the dryer door and were thrown back and suffered burns as a result of a blast inside the burner combustion chamber.

As part of their inspection notice, WorkSafeBC noted four areas of violation, noting a number of concerns, in regard to Pinnacle operations.

Failed to take sufficient precautions for the prevention of work related injuries or illnesses

Had not complied with  five sections of the Regulation

Had not maintained a safe work place or safe working conditions

Did not exercise due diligence to prevent these circumstance

The amount of the penalty was determined in accordance to WorkSafe BC policies, based on the employer's payroll and the nature of the violation.

You can review the WorkSafeBC documentation related to their Pinnacle review here

Some background to the incident and the fine can be found below:

Burns Lake mill fined $56,000 over pellet plant explosion that injured three
WorkSafeBC fines company$55,000 after 2014 explosion at Burns Lake
B. C. mill fined $56,000 over pellet plant explosion that injured three
Pinnacle Hit with Penalty for Blast
Pinnacle Explosion Fine (video)
Pinnacle Energy hit with WorkSafeBC Fine

Pinnacle Pellet operates and ships its pellets through the Port of Prince Rupert at its Westview Terminal facility.

For more items related to the Prince Rupert terminal operations see our archive page here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Sports: Skiing in the Northwest 2015-16

Our archive of items related to skiing in the Northwest

Shames Mountain Website (Terrace)
Hudson Bay Mountain Website (Smithers)

2015-16 Season


December 22 -- Shames Mountain celebrated in Western Living Magazine  NCR
December 3 -- More Travel Options to and from Hudson Bay Mountain
December 2 -- Hudson Bay Mountain opening pushed to Saturday

Pre Season

November 24 -- Ski Opening delayed in Smithers
November 8 -- Mountain rescue team celebrates 40 years of volunteer service
August 13 -- Ski hills offer pass options
July 27 -- Shames Mountain season passes se to go on sale in August  NCR

Items from Previous years

Province of British Columbia launches program for excellence in Aboriginal Sport

Achievements in Aboriginal Sport will be honoured in 2016, as the Province of British Columbia introduces a new program of excellence for the year ahead.

Aboriginal Youth athletes under 25 years of age are invited to apply for one of the 12 Premier's Awards that will be presented annually, with the First Ceremony to take place as part of the 2016 Gathering Our Voices Aboriginal Youth Conference in Victoria  on March 21, 2016.

Successful applicants will be assessed on five main areas Sporting Achievements, Leadership Qualities, Education, Cultural Awareness and Future Goals.

In addition to the above criteria for applicants, nomination requirements include:

Nominee must have been a permanent resident of British Columbia for the last 12 months

Is of Aboriginal ancestry (First Nations, Metis and Inuit)

Is currently registered  with a B. C. Provincial Sport organization and/or involved in a Partner's Council Program (including recognized regional/traditional sports)

Under the age 25 (Born in 1991 or later)

Is actively participating in one or more sports (recognized provincial sports, as well as regional/traditional  sports) and show evidence of high athletic performance results

Demonstrates leadership both on and off the field of play

Is committed and dedicated to learning and academics and is actively pursuing or planning to pursue a post-secondary education.

One item of note to keep in mind for would be applicants, Recipients of the Premier's Awards for Aboriginal Youth Excellence in Sport are not eligible to apply for or receive the award in subsequent years.

All of the nominees will notified by February 21st of the selection committee's decisions, those selected will receive funding for the recipient and one guest to attend the Premier's award ceremony.

The selected recipients will also have their sots covered to attend the Aboriginal Youth Sport Leadership Forum.

You can learn more about the program here, while the nomination form can be found here.

Shames Mountain celebrated in Western Living Magazine

The popular Shames Mountain ski facility is getting some rave reviews thanks to an article in the current edition of Western Living, where the background on the history of the mountain and how people around the Northwest worked together to keep the ski hill a fixture on the Northwest recreation scene is capturing the attention of many who like to hit the slopes.

Andrew Findlay provided the words, while the photographic work of North Coast writer and photographer Frances Riley is featured throughout the article, providing a visual sense of why so many in the region have become fond of Shames.

The main focus of the article finds Findlay tracing how the mountain co-op project got its start and how quickly those living in the communities around the region responded to the call. A burst of community interest from around the Northwest that kept the dream of a regional ski hill alive through some of the darkest days back in 2011.

It's a good read and helpful reminder of the efforts from many around the Northwest that continue to make Shames Mountain a destination for ski enthusiast from near and far.  With prospects looking good for the mountain east of Terrace as they move into full operations for the winter and early spring months.

You can review the article here.

Shames opened for the season on December 11th and ramped up their operations for the Holiday season with some extended days as of the 19th,  the mountain will be open every day until January 3rd with the exception of Christmas Day for those looking to test the slopes.

More information on what Shames Mountain has to offer can be found from their website and Facebook page.

For more items related to Shames Mountain this season see our archive page.

Vancouver land issues offer opportunities for Prince Rupert to take advantage of

The announcement of last week from the Prince Rupert Port Authority and DP World of plans to study the potential for an expansion to the south for the Fairview Container port, has offered up the prospect of even more development for the North Coast.

The background to the proposed study which we outlined on the blog here, will be a welcome concept for many hoping to see the local economy rebound, more high paying jobs and the  population begin to grow once again.

And while the planning is clearly still in its early stages, there's some optimism to be found that the two major partners on the North Coast will find some cause to move forward with the ambitious plan for the area south of Fairview.

Particularly if you begin to review some of the current of conversation taking place in Vancouver these days when it comes to where transportation and shipment facilities found around that region of the province.

Port officials in Vancouver are continuing with their planning for future expansion of the industrial footprint that the Port of Vancouver holds over the Lower Mainland, but while an extensive plan is in place, there's one small problem for the Lower mainland, actual land is becoming fairly scarce when it comes to large industrial use.

The issue has become one that is quite the topic of conversation in the Lower Mainland these days, as some of the items below indicate.

Ports desperate for land
The Biggest Real Estate Challenge Facing Vancouver You've Never Heard Of
Port troubles by lack of industrial land
What's the point of Vancouver?

As the old saying goes, it's all about real estate and for the most part they're not making any more of it...

Something which would appear to offer up an advantage to the Port and DP World as they consider their options for the future when it comes to development of further container shipment opportunities for the North Coast.

Those early thoughts for potential expansion have already caught the attention of the shipping world.

With many trade magazines and websites dedicated to transportation and logistics in the global community making note of the study to be launched on the North Coast.

A bit of early interest and enthusiasm for a study that many will be watching with interest both in foreign ports and on the North Coast.

DP World Studies Prince Rupert Expansion
DP World mulls expansion of Canadian Container Terminal
DP World and the Prince Rupert Port Authority sign feasibility study agreement
Agreement signed to study expansion of Fairview Container Terminal
Prince Rupert considers further container terminal expansion
DP Word in new Prince Rupert expansion feasibility study

For more background on the future plans for the Port of Prince Rupert see our archive items below:

Prince Rupert Port Authority
Fairview Terminal

Some North Coast votes could put Houston over the top in sled town competition

For most living on the North Coast, the concept of hopping onto a snowmobile and tearing off down a trail is but the tales of those brave adventurers who enjoy all four of our seasons.

The evidence is however on display around town that some in the region do enjoy the cold weather and all that it has to offer and for them.

And as the winter months kick off, there is now a chance to celebrate the excellent conditions found just a few hours to the east where Houston has some of the finest conditions to offer when it comes to a weekend out in the snow.

Houston has been taking on all comers in the finals stages of a competition with other Western Canadian communities in the Sledtown Showdown.

And now the Bulkley Valley community finds that it has made it into the Final match up

Voting opened yesterday as Houston takes on Yorkton, Saskatchewan for the title. And so far, so good with Houston into a fairly solid lead in the voting, which wraps up on December 31st

You can learn more about what the competition hosted by SnoRiders and sponsored by Polaris is all about and cast your vote here.

There's some helpful background as well on what Houston has to offer for outdoor enthusiasts, with a listing of the area trails found here and more articles of interest to review here.

The momentum for Houston has been impressive as communities and Chambers of Commerce from around the region rally the votes, looking to put the Bulkley Valley over the top by the time the voting stops at the end of the month.

UFAWU dealing with dual issues on Canadian Fish Cannery closure

UFAWU-Unifor, the union representing workers at the Canadian Fish Oceanside Plant is working two themes as the final days of December wind down, the first a continued effort to get  their message across related to their Campaign on Adjacency.

That union initiative is designed to take the issues of the North Coast Fisher to the Federal Fisheries Minister in Ottawa, a proposal to have fish caught in Northern British Columbia waters processed in Northern BC.

More on that union quest can be found from this item from last month.

Towards that campaign, UFAWU has been hosting a two day Letter Writing Campaign at the Union Hall on Fraser Street, with today the final day of the efforts to keep the pressure on the federal government in Ottawa.  Shore workers have two options when they arrive at the Union Hall, they can sign a prepared letter or they can compose their own.

The letter writing continues at the Fraser Street hall through to the end of the business day today.

While that campaign continues, the reality of the closure of the cannery lines means that a readjustment to the jobs available and Seniority lists will be required and on that theme work continues with UFAWU outlining some of the background on their Facebook page last week.

UFAWU is currently working on a revised Seniority List
in the wake of the closure of canning lines at the Oceanside Cannery
According to the short outline provided, Canadian Fish has told the Union that the plan for the year ahead will have workers unloading and operating the Iron Butchers on pink salmon, with the salmon roe operation also to continue at the plant on George Hills Way.

As well there will be fresh fish hand butchering, as well as supplement work to be available.

Work on the Revised Seniority plan will continue through December and in January the Union intends to meet to elect a committee to negotiate the new Seniority Plan with the Company. With the workers to be provided an opportunity to vote on any new Seniority Plan created.

You can review more on those developments from the UFAWU Facebook page

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

BC Ferries and unionized workers ratify five year labour deal

For North Coast travellers, the only delays to sailing out of Prince Rupert, Port Hardy or Skidegate for the next five years will most likely be only weather dependent ones. With word from late last week that BC Ferries and its unionized workforce have ratified a new labour agreement which will span half a decade.

The agreement will provide employees with an 8.5 percent wage increase over the life of the contract and will cover period that reaches back to October 31st of 2015 and carries forward to October 31, 2020.

The contract negotiations spanned a number of months and the announcement of successful terms comes following a similar notice of success with the Union's Provincial Executive and Ships' Officers' Component in November.

Mike Corrigan the President and CEO of BC Ferries offered up some notes on the nature of the negotiations and observed that with the agreement with BC Ferries now in hand, British Columbians have seen almost 2 decades of labour stability when it comes to their marine transportation.

Calm labour waters ahead for BC Ferries
with a five year agreement concluded
“The five-year agreement provides for fair and modest wage and benefit increases for our employees while continuing to provide an efficient and dependable service. This agreement will mark 17 years of labour stability at BC Ferries,”  ... “We had a very productive round of bargaining with the Union, which included meaningful dialogue and negotiations. We thank the bargaining teams on both sides for their collaborative efforts.” --  Mike Corrigan, BC Ferries’ President and CEO.

There are 3500 employees covered by the agreement, members of the BC Ferry and Marine Workers' Union. Prince Rupert is the home port for the two routes of the Norther service.

Graeme Johnston, the Provincial President hailed the agreement as a validation of the collective bargaining process and noted that it was reached without the intervention of a third party.

You can review more  background to the agreement from this media release from BC Ferries.

For further items related to Marine Transportation on the North Coast see our archive page here.