Monday, August 31, 2015

Rampage release home schedule for 2015-16

As the members of the Prince Rupert Rampage shake off some of that summer rust in preparation for the upcoming CIHL season, the Rampage ticket office is getting pretty pumped about the home schedule for the squad which features eight regular season home dates, all of them a Saturday game with the exception of a Sunday evening match in October.

Last week, the Rampage posted an update to their Facebook page to reveal the home schedule for the year ahead.

The puck drops at a new home season at 7 PM on October 3rd when the Williams Lake Stampeders come to town, followed by the Quesnel Kangaroos one night later.

The Kitimat Ice Demons make the first of their two trips to the North Coast on October 17th, they return to the Jim on December 12th.

The Terrace River Kings also have two dates circled on the calendar for a Rupert road trip, the River Kings first game comes up on October 24th, they bring the Rampage regular  home season to a close with one more trip to Rupert on January 9th.

November 7th marks the only appearance of the regular season in Prince Rupert for the Lac La Hache Tomahawks, while Smithers also has but one trip to the North Coast to pack for this year, a December 19th appearance.

The first road game of the year for Prince Rupert comes up on October 10th when they travel to Terrace to take on the River Kings.

A trek to Kitimat also comes up in October, when the Rampage take on the Ice Demons at Tamatik on October 16th, part of a home and home weekend.

The CIHL has yet to update its website or post the full schedule for all teams for the 2015-16 season.

Tickets both single game and season packages can be picked up at Farwest Sports, Oceanside Sports, Stuck on Designs, Northern Savings and Rupert Cleaners.

The full home Schedule from start to finish can be found below:

For more on the CIHL for 2015 see our Rampage/CIHL archive page here.

Watson Island legal process seems destined to carry on until February of 2017

August 20th wasn't the City of Prince Rupert's best day at the British Columbia Supreme Court House in Vancouver.

That. following a ruling from the Honourable Justice Dev Dley that indicates that the city's legal requirements over the Watson Island files will carry on for at least eighteen more months.

The majority of the discussion in the Vancouver courtroom on July 30 and 31 revolved around the Certificate of Pending Litigation, known as a CPL, that order is currently is in place when it comes to the site and is the main impediment when it comes to the City's efforts to conduct a final sale of the industrial site.

Justice Dley observed  in his judgment of August 20th, that it appears that the CPL has provided the City of Prince Rupert with a fair bit of a burden owing to an inability to derive much in the way of revenue streams from the old pulp mill site.

Noting hat it appears that the CPL has already resulted in one potential buyer taking their leave of discussions for purchase of the industrial site. Yet, even with those observations noted in his judgment, Justice Dley doesn't at the moment see any need to remove that burden from the city.

The main focus from the recent court appearance by the City appears to be their quest to suggest to the court, that the Watco claim was one that was bound to fail, an approach that Justice Dley addressed as part of his lengthy review of the proceedings of late July.

If the evidence needs to be assessed then the City has not established that it is “plain and obvious” or “beyond a doubt” that the claim must fail. The result is that I have not been persuaded that Watco’s claim is bound to fail.
Since I have concluded that there is a triable issue regarding the claim of specific performance, I am, therefore, not convinced damages will provide adequate relief to Watco if it is successful at trial. The CPL shall not be cancelled.

A further review of the ruling outlines some of the particulars related to trial matters. Highlighting some of the differences of opinion on the nature of how much security related to the site, should posted by WATCO as the case moves forward.

On that theme,  Justice Dley rejected the City's suggestion of 5.7 million dollars in security as unnecessarily high, ruling that the appropriate amount of security should be set at $3,240,000

An amount that WATCO could recover, or lose outright, depending on the outcome of the trial to come.

To bring the August 20th proceedings to an end, Justice Dley then relayed the four key conclusions in the ongoing legal dispute between the City and WATCO

The City’s application for summary judgment is dismissed. The City’s application to remove the CPL from the Property is also dismissed. 

The CPL will remain on title to the Property. Watco shall enter into an undertaking that it will abide by any order the court makes regarding damages flowing from the registration of the CPL. Watco shall also post the sum of $3,240,000 either into a trust account agreeable to the City or into court. The undertaking and the posting of security shall be completed within 21 days of this judgment; failure to do so shall result in the CPL being cancelled. 

Watco has been generally successful in defending the application. It has succeeded in retaining significant aspects of its claim regarding specific performance and the continued registration of the CPL. 

Watco should therefore receive most of the costs associated with this application. Watco is awarded 2/3 of its costs on Scale B in any event of the cause.

As highlighted in the conclusion, should Watco not post their security sum by September 10th, the CPL would be cancelled, an outcome that one imagines the City would welcome.

However, it would seem unlikely, that WATCO having come this far with their legal efforts, would abandon their quest to become the eventual owners of the Watson Island site at this point.

Particularly after their rather successful day in the courts earlier this month.

With that as at the latest backdrop to the long running saga of Watson Island, the next important step in the legal process was noted by Justice Dley,  observing as part of his judgment, that it is expected that the trial related to the issues of the Watson Island case can be scheduled for February of 2017.

You can review some of the history of the dispute, as well as how the two day July trial went forward and where things stand at this point from the full release from the British Columbia Supreme Court.

With the prospect of more legal proceedings to come, it would seem that the prospect of more legal bills from the City of Prince Rupert lawyers will also continue to arrive in the mail.

The most recent tally of legal costs that the city made available to the public, was as part of its Budget Review of earlier this year, which noted that the law firm representing the City had received $699,891 for their services from 2014.

This years legal bills won't be finalized until the end of December and if the courts timetable holds true, it would appear that we will still be reading about the city's Watson Island legal fees obligations well into Budget preparations for 2016 and 2017.

Considering it was only a few weeks ago that the announcement of the Pulp Mill Clean up was described by the Mayor as a "big step forward and major win for the community", perhaps now is a timely moment for an update on the latest on the legal situation for the industrial site from the Mayor and Council.

The last public comment on the legal aspects of the Watson Island story came from Mayor Brain back in May, speaking to CBC Daybreak North's Carolina de Ryk, the Mayor at the time suggested that the end of the legal woes appeared on the horizon.

The latest ruling from the courts would seem to suggest differently.

Justice Dley's decision provides for an opportunity for the city's elected officials to speak publicly to the whole Watson Island situation, offering up some of their thoughts on the current status of the legal efforts related to the industrial site.

As well, a public update might provide the city's residents with some idea as to just how much more money the City will have to put aside, as they move forward with the required work to prepare for yet one more return to the court room.

Not to mention, if the prospect of a yet longer term engagement on the Watson Island case may impact on any of Council's other civic plans for the next eighteen months.

You can review some of the past history of the Watson Island files from our archive page here.

Lelu Island is a focal point for many, for a number of reasons

The last seven days have seen Lelu Island take the to the forefront of discussion on a number of themes.

For Pacific NorthWest LNG, the week brought some early investigative work on the island, the required preamble for any future development of the site as an LNG terminal location.

While for some in the First Nation community of Lax Kw'alaams, that step in the Lelu  process was a call to action, as well as an indication that events on the island are playing a larger role in what appears to be ongoing differences with the current Band Council government.

On the development front, Pacific NorthWest LNG outlined what is currently taking place when it comes to any movements planned for the proposed LNG terminal site. Offering up a synopsis of some of their plans though a string of observations to a number of news outlets

In the publication Business in Vancouver, Michael Culbert of Pacific NorthWest LNG is reported to have suggested that another modification to the the suspension bridge proposal is one possible solution that the company is exploring, however through the course of the BIV article, Pacific NorthWest LNG seems to rule out any actual site relocation for the project.

As well, the Vancouver Sun has reported that the company is also investigating the possibility of transplanting eel grass from Flora Banks.

The article notes that Pacific NorthWest LNG has engaged two world leading restoration scientists on that proposal. With the company now offering the concept to area First nations and DFO officials as a new an option for addressing concerns related to the project location.

On a more local level, Pacific NorthWest LNG also explained some of its current exploratory plans though a post on their Facebook page last week.

With those developments as a bit of the backdrop to the current story, some members of Lax Kw'alaams , continue to set up their base of occupation on Lelu Island. Entrenching their claim to the island related to their aboriginal rights and title, while also expressing their concerns over the nature of any Pacific NorthWest LNG work on the proposed site.

The environmental group Skeena Wild posted a You Tube video last week that  provided a review of what the current occupation of Lelu Island is all about.

And while the environmental case for their efforts has been outlined fairly well, at times it appears that a good portion of that conversation related to Lelu Island also highlights some of the current and past differences found in the community between some members and the Band Council leadership.

Lelu Island Occupation (video)
Lelu Island Occupation Update

The Band Council outlined the latest developments related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project through an item posted to its website on August 25, that advisory noted that a protocol has been established to do investigative drilling in aid of determining an alternative site away from the Flora Bank area.

The Lax Kw'alaams Band Council also notes in its information notice, that any further discussion by the Band Council in connection with a project at Lelu Island would require extensive community meetings.

As well the Band Council highlights that further steps include consultation and a referendum for all eligible Lax Kw'alaams members, with voting by secret ballot to approve or reject such a project.

Lax Kw'alaams First Nation comments on discussions with Pacific NorthWest LNG

More background on last weeks events can be found below

August 27 -- Lax Kw'alaams First nations monitoring proposedLNG site for environmental damage (audio)
August 27 -- First Nations confer over B. C.'s approval process for industrial development
August 26 -- Search on for alternate LNG site near Prince Rupert
August 26 -- Lax Kw'alaams Still engaged with PNW LNG; Against proposed facility near Lelu Island
August 26 -- Lax Kw'alaams First Nations Band Asserts Right to Lelu Island, Slated for LNG plant
August 25 -- Members of Lax Kw'alaams Setting up Camp at Lelu Island

For more on the proposed LNG development for Lelu Island see our Pacific NorthWest LNG archive page here.

Real Estate Tracker, week ending, August 30, 2015

Our weekly review of the listings of the local real estate agents, tracking those properties which appear to be driving the local price structure for the North Coast.

Every Monday, we look over the listing prices of the past seven days and outline the Top 10 asking prices in the area, providing a snap shot as to where the Real Estate market may be trending on a week to week basis.

The listings below are purely for information purposes, for further background on the properties recorded, see our links page for access to the individual real estate listings.

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here.

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending August 29 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate
West Side Aug 29 2015
Prince Rupert Real Estate
East Side Aug 29 2015

The return of a property on Conrad Street to the listings marks the main bit of movement among the ten highest priced opportunities available for the week.

However, as it has been for a number of months now, the east side still trails the west, when it comes to the bulk of the entries from our listing of ten. With the majority of the high end properties found west of McBride Street the majority of those centred around the Graham Avenue area.  On the east side of the city's main North/South artery road, three properties crack their way into the list of ten.

The high end overall is now marked by a 2nd Avenue West Avenue entry, with a property on Prince Rupert Boulevard claiming the tenth position on the week

Below find our findings as of the Week ending August 29, 2015

1942-46 2nd Avenue W                 $659,000  --  Royal Lepage
527 4th Avenue East                      $650,000  --  Remax
160 Van Arsdol Street--                 $649,900   -- Remax
1724 Graham Avenue                    $558,000  --  Royal Lepage
2040 Graham Avenue --                 $595,000  -- Royal Lepage
2126 Graham Avenue --                 $595,000  -- Royal Lepage
1433-1437 Sloan Avenue --            $579,000 -- Remax
2025 Graham Avenue --                 $559,000 -- Remax
1229 Conrad Street --                     $525,000 -- Royal Lepage
896 Prince Rupert Boulevard --     $489,000 --  Remax

For more items related to Real Estate see our archive page here.

For background on Housing issues in the region see our past items here.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A little break from the blog, to bring the summer to an end

You may think you might have lost a few days today, what with some of our usual features of the end of the weekend making an appearance on a Saturday morning.  

But have no fears, no time warp has arrived to reshape the North Coast continuum, we're just clearing the blogging to do list before we take advantage of the last few days of the summer.

We'll be away from our post for about a week or so, taking advantage of the dwindling days of another summer, heading out on the road for a bit of a step away from the day to day of our blogging efforts.

With our sabbatical, our regular review of Council issues and many of our other features that require attention on an ongoing basis will be in hibernation for that period.  

As we have in the past, we'll try our best to play some catch up when we make our way back to the North Coast.

For those new to the blog or regulars looking for something that they may have missed, we invite you to scroll the right hand column, where you'll find a string of topics that may provide for some reading during our break.

We expect to be back and catching up on any North Coast notes well before you get ready to celebrate the Labour Day weekend.

Real Estate Tracker, week ending August 22, 2015

Our weekly review of the listings of the local real estate agents, tracking those properties which appear to be driving the local price structure for the North Coast.

Every Monday, we look over the listing prices of the past seven days and outline the Top 10 asking prices in the area, providing a snap shot as to where the Real Estate market may be trending on a week to week basis.

The listings below are purely for information purposes, for further background on the properties recorded, see our links page for access to the individual real estate listings.

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here.

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending August 22 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate
West Side Aug 22 2015
Prince Rupert Real Estate
East Side Aug 22 2015

No new entries worked their way into the list of ten this week, with the shift of recent weeks slowing down a bit, leaving our listings to be once again unchanged from one week ago

As we reviewed at this time last week, the bulk of the entries from our listing of ten can be found west of McBride Street the majority of those centred around the Graham Avenue area, while there are three homes listed east of the city's main North/South artery road.

The high end overall is now marked by a 2nd Avenue West Avenue entry, with a property on Silversides continuing to claim the tenth position on the week

Below find our findings as of the Week ending August 22, 2015

1942-46 2nd Avenue W                 $659,000  --  Royal Lepage
527 4th Avenue East                      $650,000  --  Remax
160 Van Arsdol Street--                 $649,900   -- Remax
1724 Graham Avenue                    $558,000  --  Royal Lepage
2040 Graham Avenue --                 $595,000  -- Royal Lepage
2126 Graham Avenue --                 $595,000  -- Royal Lepage
1433-1437 Sloan Avenue --            $579,000 -- Remax
2025 Graham Avenue --                 $559,000 -- Remax
896 Prince Rupert Boulevard --     $489,000 --  Remax
272 Silversides Drive --                 $469,000 -- Remax

For more items related to Real Estate see our archive page here.

For background on Housing issues in the region see our past items here.

Blog Watching Week ending August 22, 2015

We're getting a head start on a late summer getaway today, so a bit of housecleaning of the weekend features one day early.

A pair of LNG related developments with the Aurora Terminal Project proposed for Digby Island took the top two spots in this weeks review of our top five items.

As the company makes plans for some exploratory work on the Site on Digby in the near future, as well as announcing that an Open House is planned for September 23rd.

Our notes on a tragic workplace incident at the Wainwright Marine yard also found a wide audience over the last two days since it was posted.

The arrival of another major shipping line to Fairvew Terminals made some waves this week as well,  as did our review of a local member of the Prince Rupert Marine Rescue Service making her plans for a trek to Germany in September, set to take part in an international exercise.

However, when it comes to the most read item of the week, some signs of momentum for the Aurora LNG project on Digby Island dominated our review of the week just passed.

Nexen looks to launch Digby Island evaluation for Aurora LNG Terminal project   -- The Chinese led project makes an application for an Investigative Use Licence for the proposed LNG terminal site on Digby Island (posted August 18, 2015)

That article was followed by:

Aurora LNG sets September 23rd for Community Open House -- As part of the early stages of the environmental assessment process required for the Aurora LNG project, Nexen makes its plans for a Community Open House in September(posted August 20, 2015)

BC Coroners Service, Worksafe BC and Prince Rupert RCMP to investigate Workplace fatality in Industrial Park area -- A tragic Industrial incident at the Wainwright Marine Yard in Prince Rupert left one worker deceased this week  (posted  August 20, 2015)

Maersk Shipping Line introduces Port of Prince Rupert to its East-West Network  -- One of the largest shipping lines in the world puts Prince Rupert on its routing maps (posted August 19, 2015)

North Coast Search and Rescue member off to Germany in international exchange session -- Prince Rupert's Amber Sheasgreen will be heading to Europe in September as part of an international search and rescue exercise  (posted August 18, 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.

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.

Legislature's Summer Vacation ends September 28th

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice has but one month left to get in some recreational activity on her summer break, as the Provincial Government has outlined its plans for the Fall session with a return to work for all MLA's to arrive on September 28th.

The Six week session is expected to introduces themes from the Liberal government related to modernizing government, eliminating red tape for citizens and expanding on a popular theme of the Liberals of trades training.

It's expected that Government House Leader Mike de Jong will expand on the Liberal's agenda and timeline as the September reopening gets closer. The early stages of the Fall session will take place at the same time of the Federal election campaign, which comes to an end on October 19th with the Federal vote.

The most recent scheduled session of the Spring came to an end in May, while a Special session dedicated towards the passage of the province's LNG arrangements with the Malaysian energy corporation Petronas came to an end in July.

Victoria Times Colonist -- Premier announces fall sitting of B. C. Legislature

You can review Ms. Rice's efforts in the Legislature from the last session, as well as some of her summer activities since the Legislature last sat in July as part of our archive page.

Friday, August 21, 2015

When it comes to forward momentum for development, Port Edward seems to be on a quicker pace

Port Edward District Offices are making
for a popular destination for proposed
development in the region
While Prince Rupert City Council has spent much of the summer going over the same material and tried to find a focus on where they wish to see development move in the community, twenty minutes out of town, some actual decision making has been moving forward with little of the apparent frustrations found in Prince Rupert.

Port Edward Council most recently announced it had provided approval for a housing project in the community that would see the introduction of a number of new homes created for the community, the start of some long range planning that one day may also bring some significant Commercial developments to the District as well.

Work Continues on development
of an Industrial Park for Port Edward
Looking to keep pace with the interest in development on the North Coast, the District also has plans for a major Industrial park and has initiated discussions for the development of a worker camp for the area, which would serve as a base for some of the large scale projects planned for the region.

As we've outlined on the blog in the past, the District of Port Edward has a fairly ambitious blue print for development ahead of it, hopeful that this may finally be the time where major growth will be delivered to the community.

Compared to some of the recent developments over the summer in Prince Rupert, getting a project moving seems to be a main focus for the elected officials of the District these days.

No better examples of the rather confusing and lengthy process of navigating Prince Rupert Council when it comes to land development can be found from the Monday night session.

At Monday's Council session the majority of the two hour plus meeting provided for much discussion, but little progress, when it came to decision making related to housing issues in the community.

Councillors Thorkelson, Cunningham at odds with Mayor over Agenda addition and concerns on land use
Housing issues again dominate Council's attention, leading to some heated discussion
Re:Think, Re:Build, Re:Design ... new mantras for a new Prince Rupert?
More LNG Go Plan math with Professor Krekic

When you look at the various  directions that Prince Rupert's councillors seem to be taking when it comes to development of late, and the length of time involved in finding any forward momentum for proposed projects, it could soon be common  to find that any would be developer will be stopping in at the Port Edward District offices first.

They may soon be knocking at the door of Mayor Dave MacDonald and his council looking to see what the lay of the land is there and whether their investment dollars and plans are welcome in their community.

Considering the reception and approval process that seems to be in place so far in Port Edward, for some developers, it could mean that a similar trip to Prince Rupert City Hall just won't be required.

More items of interest related to housing can be found on our archive page here.

For background on more items from Port Edward see our background page here.

Further review of Prince Rupert city Council discussions can be found from our Council Archive page here.

Hit the ice to wrap up your summer

New ice at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre is not just an indication that a new Rampage season is on the way, and while members of the North Coast's CIHL team have started their pre season training plans, next week Prince Rupert's youth will be taking to the ice as the City's Recreation Department offers up a pair of Stick and Puck sessions.

The program which runs twice a day from Monday August 24 to Friday the 28th is divided into two sections, with the morning session from 9 to 10:30, designed for youngsters ages 7 to 9, who can pick up some skill development in a fun environment.

In the afternoon the 10 to 13 year olds take to the ice where they can shake off the rust of an off season and pick up some tips on skating, shooting and puck handling skills.

The afternoon sessions run from 1 to 2:30 PM

Goalies are welcome at either level, registration for either the morning or afternoon program costs 35 dollars. Registration is underway now, you can contact the Recreation Centre at 250-624-6707 should you have any questions.

You can learn more about the Stick and Puck sessions from the Recreation Department's Facebook page.

The new ice at the Jim and skills sessions for next week are just another reminder that the Minor Hockey Season is about to start up on the North Coast, you can find more information about the Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association from our archive page here.

More LNG Go Plan math with Professor Krekic

Prince Rupert city Council received another update on the recently completed LNG Go Plan surveys as City Planner Zeno Krekic digged a little deeper into some of the findings from the data collected from the survey period of June this year.

At Monday's Council session Mr. Krekic reviewed some of the background from the city's Go Plan process, which had selected 1,284 households of of 5,586 for its baseline survey, of those 1,284 households selected the city received an 80 percent response rate for their study.

A secondary study as part of the Go Plan process was on a voluntary basis and conducted on line for the most part, that information gathering process received 400 responses, however those results have yet to be fully examined and the details of information from the review will be made available as part of a future analysis.

As for what was reviewed on Monday, Mr. Krekic made note of such things as shadow populations, those that may be moving in and out of the city for employment or other purposes, that number at the moment would appear to number in the range of 500 people. The City Planner noted that those numbers could grow significantly as the region moves closer to development should some of the major projects proposed for the region move forward.

He observed that the potential increase of that population could have an effect on both the availability and affordability of rent in the community.

On the theme of the Non Market Housing Survey which was another aspect of the LNG Go Plan process, Mr. Krekic observed that during the course of that engagement in June, the City had received 131 responses to their questionnaire, a good portion of that number delivered through a Block Party hosted by Councillors Thorkelson  and Cunningham at the Fishermen's Hall that month.

Those numbers highlighted the increasingly transient nature for some of Prince Rupert's rental community, with renovations and rental increases impacting on how the city's renters look at their living accommodations, with a number of respondents indicating that they plan to move to a new home within the next year owing to the changing rental picture in the community.

The City planner noted that the data collection will serve the community well heading into the future
providing for a baseline for future study and offering an ability to track such things as the shadow population, housing stock and changing attitudes towards rental accommodation in the community.

And while the data may be helpful to the City in the future, Councillor Barry Cunningham had concerns more directed towards the present times, noting that while he appreciates the work that has been done as part of the Go Plan Survey he's a bit frustrated that at this time the City still has no real picture as to what the actual immediate need for housing in the community is.

Councillor Cunningham would like to have some data that offers up an indication where the City should direct their housing right now when it comes to housing concerns in the community.

"All I'm concentrating on is the housing, we were told at the beginning of this Go Survey we would have answers to our housing problem and that's the one thing, you know I don't want to find out that we've identified all our parks and people are camping in them, cause they don't have a place to live  " -- Councillor Barry Cunningham on the theme of the LNG GO Plan data and guidelines for housing need in the community

Mr. Krekic noted that some of those conclusions could be delivered within four to five weeks, once the review of data could be examined further. Adding that a look at affordable housing could be delivered in the next two to four weeks, while a further review of sustainable housing prospects might take a little bit longer.

As for the larger picture of the full scope of the LNG Go Plan surveys, the City Planner outlined a timetable that would see the current work complete by January of 2016 with a public engagement session to follow.

As part of the discussion on Housing, Mayor Brain first thanked Mr. Krekic and staff for their work on the Go Plan Survey and noted that other communities were watching the city's process with interest.

He also urged patience for council noting that the volume of data that has been collected will serve the city well in the future, offering it some hard data to take such agencies as BC Housing and other government agencies on the theme of housing.

He also noted that Council will be holding housing workshops in the fall and that the City could host a public information session at the Lester Centre later this year.

At the end of his presentation to Council, Mr. Krekic advised that the latest data from the Go Plan Survey process will be made available today,  to be found on the City's Website, as part of the Planning for Major Projects section when it is provided.

You can review the full presentation from the City's Video Archive, Mr. Krekic's presentation starts at the 41 minute mark and continues through until the one hour five minute point.

For more items related to Housing in the community see our archive page here

Further background on Council Discussions can be found from our Discussion Archive page.

A Malaysian Final Investment Decision for the North Coast to dine out on

Work continues on a new dining
spot for Prince Rupert which will see
a Malaysian Restaurant open at the
old Fairview Restaurant location
Perhaps it's a sign of what's to come, and much larger Malaysian investment, there's no timetable for an opening yet, but sometime in the near future the North Coast it seems will be getting a culinary sample of Malaysian life.

Those driving along the two hundred block of Third Avenue West no doubt have noticed the sign on the old Fairview Restaurant location, heralding the arrival of a new Malaysian restaurant for the city.

Renovations have been taking place at a fairly good pace through the month of August, with what appears to be a fairly extensive overhaul of the inside of the restaurant, which once open will add one more option for international dining for the city's restaurant scene.

No indication has been posted yet as to when the new dining spot, which has yet to be given a name will open for those on the North Coast looking for a new dining experience.

For more items related to Prince Rupert's Commercial sector see our archive page here.

Fraser Street puts finishing touches in place for its Block Party on Saturday

They're promising the biggest Block Party yet for the Fraser Street area and maybe even for the City, as Prince Rupert's Friendship House hosts what has become a popular community event on Saturday.

The Fraser Street Block Party, takes place from 11 AM to 4 PM on Saturday  and features a number of activities for young and old, among some of the main attractions for the Day, a Bouncy Castle ready to inflate  and entertain for hours and musicians tuning up their instruments to join in on the fun with Live Music through the event.

Face Painting, Sidewalk Chalk Art, Games and Giveaways will also run through the five hours of celebration in the heart of the city's Fraser Street Area.

The Start of the annual Kids Back to School Back Packs distribution, which is coordinated through the Salvation Army and other community partners will also be part of the day's events.

It's the third anniversary of the Friendship House hosted event, which makes for a good way to wind down the summer season and get the young ones ready for Back to School.

The Party will take place along all of Fraser Street and half way up 7th Street where the Friendship House can be found. Joining in on the fun for the day will be many of the business groups along the Fraser Street area as well as the RCMP and a number of community groups in the city.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

BC Coroners Service, Worksafe BC and Prince Rupert RCMP to investigate Workplace fatality in Industrial Park area

An industrial accident at the Wainwright
Yard in Prince Rupert claimed the life of
a worker on Wednesday afternoon
A worksite accident at the Wainwright Marine yard on Duncan Road in the Industrial Park has claimed the life of a North Coast worker, with the incident now under jurisdiction of Worksafe BC for further investigation.

The Prince Rupert RCMP outlined some background on the Wednesday afternoon incident through a media release today, noting that they had been called to the Wainwright site shortly after the noon hour yesterday to investigate a report of that an embankment had given away with one male trapped in the water.

Despite the efforts of co-workers, BC Paramedics and the Prince Rupert Fire Department, the 49 year old male was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The identity of the deceased has not been released by the RCMP.

The investigation is now being conduced by WorksafeBC, with assistance from the Prince Rupert RCMP and BC Coroner's service.

Workers at the Wainwright location were turning away vehicles at the gate today as the investigation continued in the yard below.

For more items related to emergency response activity on the North Coast see our archive page here.

Liberals turn to Telkwa for candidate in Federal election

For the Northwest, it's a case of lose one, gain one when it comes to candidates for the October 19th election, as we noted earlier today, the Christian Heritage Party candidate Rod Taylor has left his Bulkley Valley base, choosing instead to seek out his political future in an Ontario riding,

But while one candidate is gone from the listings of those seeking office, another has stepped up to contest the election in the Northwest.

The Liberal Party of Canada is going to mine the apparently bountiful stock of politicians in the Bulkley Valley, selecting Brad Layton, a member of the Telkwa Town Council as the candidate for the Justin Trudeau team in Skeena - Bulkley Valley.

Mr. Layton, who works in the forest sector when he isn't tending to council business in Telkwa, was named as the candidate following a nomination meeting in Smithers on Wednesday.

He was acclaimed as the candidate for the Liberals, after no other would be candidates stepped forward to seek the nomination for the October 19th vote.

So far the National party hasn't updated either their Skeena-Bulkley Valley website or national listing of candidates to announce the addition to team.

As for the candidate he has told the Smithers based newspaper The Interior News that he won't be launching a full time campaign until after September.

Mr. Layton joins, incumbent NPD MP Nathan Cullen and his Conservative challenger Tyler Nesbitt in the political battle towards election day in October.

The CHP Plan to nominate a replacement for Mr. Taylor by September, while the Green Party of Canada has yet to announce their plans for the election campaign.

For more items related to the Northwest campaign see our archive page here.

Aurora LNG sets September 23rd for Community Open House

With the Nexen led project of Aurora LNG set to head for its Environmental Assessment Process, the company planning the LNG Terminal development for Digby Island is set to host an Open House to explain the assessment process to the public.

Aurora LNG has booked the North Coast Convention Centre at the Chances Complex as their host venue for the event, which will take place on Wednesday, September 23rd from 4 until 8 PM.

As part of the assessment process, the Environmental Assessment Office will be accepting the submission of comments from the public in relation to  to the draft Application requirements, the comment period will take place starting September 1st and come to a conclusion on October 1st.

It's noted in the EAO advisory that all comments received during this comment period will be considered, those with an interest in submitting their comments can do it through the online form process at

By way of mail addressed to Sean Moore, Project Assessment Manager, Environmental Assessment Office, PO Box 9426, Stn Prov Gov't, Victoria BC, V8W 9V1

Or by Fax at 250-387-0230

The Draft Application Information process is just the start for the oversight related to the proposed development, another opportunity to comment will be provided during the Application Review stage.

Aurora LNG will hold a community Open House
on September 23rd at the North Coast Convention Centre

As we outlined on the blog earlier this week, Nexen has applied to the Ministry of Land Resources to commence with its geo-techincal studies of the proposed Digby Island terminal site.

For more background on the Aurora LNG proposal see our archive page here.

City moves forward with re-zoning approval for creation of impound yard in Yellowhead Centre

One piece of business that did find some forward momentum at Monday's City Council session was a request for a re-zoning of an area in the Yellowhead Centre to allow for the introduction of a vehicle impound yard on Saskatoon Avenue.

The process of approval began with a Public hearing, with City Planner Zeno Krekic offering up the synopsis of the proposed re-zoning, highlighting for council how at the moment access to land for industrial development in the city is limited and to address some of the issues re-zoning of existing industrial land is a measure that the City should consider.

As for the amendment of the night for zoning of the Yellowhead centre area, Mr. Krekic noted that the city had received of three letters of concern related to the proposed development of an impoundment yard on Saskatoon Avenue, with noise, light pollution and visual issues of the main concern.
Council moved forward with re-zoning in the Saskatoon Avenue area
to allow for the creation of an impoundment yard for the Yellowhead Centre area

Following the short overview, the public was invited to offer comment on the proposed re-zoning amendment, however no one in the audience came forward to speak to the issue.

The process would then be picked up later in the evening's Regular Council session, with Council members giving the topic one more review and then discussing some of the concerns of note from the correspondences that city staff had received and noting that they would like to see those concerns noted as part of the amendment process.

Councillor's Mirau and Thorkelson had comments related to some of the concerns of those in the immediate area and asked as to the nature of the city's engagement with the proponent to this point of the process, with Councillor Thorkelson focusing on what steps the Council can take to put in place some rules on activity surrounding the site.

Councillor Cunningham also acknowledged the concerns of those of the area, however did observe that the proponent of the impoundment yard was a long established business in the community and he observed that he would be likely to take note of the concerns of those in the area and make attempts to be a good neighbour.

"We have a situation here where we have a proprietor of a business, who has been in business for a very long time in this city and I don't think he is going to go out of his way to antagonize a neighbourhood he's going to work with the neighbourhood I would think  " -- Councillor Cunningham offering his support to a zoning amendment for the Yellowhead industrial area of the city.

Following the discussion Council voted to give third reading to the amendment, with Councillor Thorkelson then adding a motion to the resolution to ask the proponent to follow the guidelines on noise and lights that council had concerns on.

Among the remediation items to be considered, screening around the impound yard to reduce the visual impact of the site, adjustments to lighting on the site and the reduction or elimination of noise such as back up horns and flashing lights during those hours outside of the normal business day.

The latter concerns are issues that City staff will have to investigate further to ensure that it complies with any safety regulations

The process will now move forward through the Development Permit Stage, the impoundment yard is to be operated by Jay's Custom Towing.

You can review the Public Hearing presentation from the start of the Council meeting through to the point, the Council discussion on the topic arrives at the 1 hour 15 minute mark and continues for ten minutes or so.

Further items related to commercial development on the North Coast can be reviewed from our commercial sector archive.

For more items related to City Council discussions see our archive page here.

Tourism Prince Rupert looks to chart a stakeholder driven course for the future

Tourism Prince Rupert's Scott Farwell
provided an overview of proposed
changes to the Tourism organization
Tourism Prince Rupert outlined their plans to revise the organizations constitution moving forward, looking to shift from a membership driven focus to one that engages a number of stakeholders in the tourism sector in the region.

Tourism Prince Rupert's Chair Scott Farwell, provided the presentation to council offering up some background on the decision to make the shift and what impact it may have on tourism decisions into the future.

Mr. Farwell noted that one of the changes would be the reduction in number of the members of the Board of Directors, with the intention ahead to reduce the number by two members fixing the number at seven.

He also noted that they were changing the nature of the language around appointments from the City of Prince Rupert to the board, noting that it dates back to the days of budget funding from the City of 200,000 dollars or more, while this year the grant in aid for Tourism from the city was 31,500 dollars.

He posed an observation to Council, asking if sitting on the board was the best use of time for Council members considering the important issues that Council is dealing with at this time.

Councillor Barry Cunningham
had a number of questions for
Tourism Prince Rupert's Scott Farwell
at Monday night's council session
Councillor Barry Cunningham asked some questions related to what Tourism Prince Rupert is looking for when it comes to voting rights and stakeholder payments.

He also took note of the funding amount noted from Tourism Prince Rupert, reminding Mr. Farwell that the funding provided by the City this year, was what had been requested by the Tourism organization.

Councillor Cunningham also had some concerns over the prospect of reducing involvement of the City of Prince Rupert with the Tourism organization, noting that he did not have any problems with the time required in his case for participation with the organization.

Adding that he wold like to see more meetings held by Tourism Prince Rupert, seeking out more input from the community regarding some of their proposed changes.

"I consider Tourism a very large part of this city and I don't consider it a waste of my time going to your meetings at all, it's just that I think we should have more regular meetings, I would like to see TPR should have meeting three, four or five times a year. in this new constitution you have that in there but it's a board meeting, but I would like to see a General meeting called more often" -- Councillor Barry Cunningham seeking more not less input on Tourism matters in the community

He also sought out clarification on the nature of the proposed constitutional changes towards the stakeholder concepts and whether they had been given a legal review.

On that theme Mr. Farwell noted that the proposed shift in focus was presented by Northern BC tourism, which uses the same bylaws for its operations, adding that much what has been proposed now is in place with Smithers tourism.

Mayor Brain noted that there is a lot for the City to review the changes before they have any comments to pass along.

Councillor Randhawa asked for an update on the status of the current tourism season, Mr. Farwell noted that there appears to be a significant increase in those that are visiting the new visitor centre in the Atlin Terminal.

He believes that overall tourism is on par with last year which was the strongest year since 2006.

You can review the full presentation from the City's Video Archive, it starts at 28 minutes and continues through until the 41 minute mark .

You can learn more about the work of Tourism Prince Rupert from their website.

Further background on the topic of Tourism on the North Coast can be reviewed here.

 For more items related to City council discussions see our archive page here.

Re:Think, Re:Build, Re:Design ... new mantras for a new Prince Rupert?

Mayor Brain offered a glimpse Monday
into a proposed new city initiative
to review what the city may look
like in the future
When Councillor Joy Thorkelson introduced her failed attempt to add an item on to Monday night's agenda topics, she appears it seems to have spurred on discussion regarding the delivery of yet one new initiative from Mayor Brain when it comes to community engagement and study of land use issues.

And we imagine that the Mayor might have wished for the details of the project to be sorted out before he had to break the news of his latest community engagement plan, through the discussion related to Councillor Thorkelson's moves of Monday it seems that Mayor was pushed towards an early introduction for the program

During the course of the rather animated and at times heated discussion on the Councillor's agenda request, Mayor Brain offered up the first glimpse of what he has planned in association with the University of Northern British Columbia's Community Development Institute.

The function, focus and mission of the CDI which is based in Prince George, is to support the research, information and development needs of Northern British Columbia's rural and small town communities as they adjust to change in the new economies of the region.

Mayor Brain is looking to bring in the
UNBC based CDI to assist
with community engagement on
a number of land use and housing issues
Mayor Brain provided council with a short synopsis of the engagement of the city to this point with the CDI, outlining what he believes the Institute has to offer Prince Rupert and advising that negotiations to start up an eighteen month engagement project with the institute are now underway.

He provided a review of a process that would see the UNBC institute examining and helping to create a vision for the future that would take on many of the topics such as land use and housing that have been of concern to council over the last six months or so.

As part of his presentation, the Mayor noted that the project would carry a mission statement, suggesting something along the lines of Re:Design Prince Rupert.

That suggestion would seem follow the same path of some of his previous concepts over the last nine months.

The first of which was through the Mayor's election campaign as he offered his vision for the future asking Rupertites to Re-Think Prince Rupert, most recently the city's new infrastructure program has been given the mission statement or slogan of Re:Build Prince Rupert.

The Mayor observed how the project with the Community Development Institute would be an all encompassing approach which makes use of a professional facilitator and staff to address some of the unprecedented challenges that change in Prince Rupert may bring. With the City just one stakeholder in the process, "making it a community wide initiative that has an independent, honest broker, not run by the City particularly, not run by proponents, not run by different organizations that actually builds a vision for this community."

Councillor Cunningham provided for most of the commentary from Council members when it came to questions about the new UNBC initiative, inquiring as to cost and how the city planned to pay for the project.

On those themes, Mayor Brain outlined that the budget of the project with UNBC was set to be around the 150,000 dollar mark, which the Mayor says has already been allocated through the City's funding for Major Projects.

Mr. Cunningham also questioned whether an eighteen month project  would not address the immediate concerns facing Council and also wondered whether it would not also require the use of staff time. He would later in the discussion add the observation that like Councillor Thorkelson, he believes that Council should be engaging the public in discussion on land issues and in his opinion not taking the process to outside interests such as UNBC.

Councillor Mirau also spoke to the proposed initiative with the UNBC institute, highlighting the key aspects of what the City could realize from the project.

"This Community Development Institute process that we are engaging in as stakeholders, like you were saying Mr. Mayor, will be the largest consultation process that the city of Prince Rupert has ever taken part in and I think that will go a long way in informing and updating our vision of what we want the community to look like after this construction boom ...  " -- Councillor Blair Mirau looking to what the City hopes to achieve with its consultation process with UNBC

Later in the evening towards the end of the council session, during a wide ranging and once again charged discussion on housing issue, both Mayor Brain and Councillor Mirau would also offer up further comments on the nature of the project with UNBC and what they hoped it would accomplish towards some of the current discussion on both land and housing issues.

More on the back and forth of commentary between the Mayor and Council members over the initiative can be reviewed from our Council Timeline feature.

The introduction of sorts to the new Re:Design Prince Rupert concept can also be found as part of the discussion at the very start of the Regular Council session, from the 12:30 minute mark to 27 minutes, more on the  proposed partnership with UNBC is examined during the housing conversation from the one hour twenty six minute mark.

For more background on City Council discussions see our archive page here.