Friday, September 30, 2016

Province releases Prince Rupert Air Shed Study; states region can accommodate industrial growth

A long awaited study in the Prince Rupert Air shed was released by the provincial government on Friday morning, providing details in to examination of potential effects of industrial air emissions related to potential industrial projects for the North Coast.

The review examined a number of scenarios including the prospect of six proposed LNG terminals, existing and proposed Prince Rupert Port Authority developments and related rail and marine transportation.

According to a statement from the BC Government any potential impacts related to emissions will be manageable through the permitting and regulatory processes and are said to not significantly affect the health of residents or the environment.

The statement adds that the Province, along with industry will continue to monitor air, water, soil and vegetation to ensure that the resources of the region are protected.

The area that was reviewed stretches from the offshore approaches to Prince Rupert harbour to the west, the Kitkatla area to the south, just above the Alaska boundary north of Lax Kw'alaams and inland to the east along the Skeena River.

The Prince Rupert Airshed Study released September 30th examined
a large section of the North Coast from Lax Kw'alaams to Kitkatla and east
along the Skeena River

Among some of the recommendations that conclude the Study.

Follow the Guidelines for Air Quality Dispersion Modelling in British Columbia using the same meteorological data sets and same regional source emissions inventory.

Conduct critical loads analysis as outlined in the BC MOE Guidance for the Assessment of Acidification and Eutrophication of Aquatic Ecosystems and the Critical Load Screening Guidance for Acidification and Eutrophication of Terrestrial Ecosystems.

When assessing potential human health impacts, complement the characterization according to the CCME management levels with histograms or similar characterizations of the relative frequency of concentration estimates without background levels.

Undertake baseline studies for:

air pollutants,  deposition of nitrogen, sulphur and other important parameters for the assessment of critical loads,

vegetation, in order to document the composition, distribution, and health of the sensitive plant communities and ecosystems;

soil sampling and geochemical analysis for regions with deposition predicted to exceed the critical load of acidity;

lakes, to fill gaps in coverage of lakes in the northern part of the study region, as well as on various islands;

When development proceeds, conduct coordinated monitoring in the following areas:

air quality and deposition at the local level with collocated surface meteorological stations, particularly monitoring to confirm the magnitude and spatial extent of the predicted (modelled) concentrations and deposition, particularly in areas identified with predicted exceedances;

vegetation monitoring and assessment (with a focus on sensitive lichens); soil geochemical analysis to confirm critical load estimates;

lakes and streams within the predicted plume of deposition particularly north of Digby Island, and in the Prince Rupert, Port Edward, Metlakatla, Dodge Cove, and Lax Kw’alaams drinking water supply areas.

You can review the full report here.

Friday's release of information comes following a number of requests from North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice who had been seeking updates on the progress of the report for a number of months now.

The MLA regularly inquired as to when residents of the region could anticipate being able to examine the document.

More notes on Provincial politics can be found  on our Legislature archive page.

Prince Rupert Toy Run set to roll out Saturday afternoon

The roar of the Harley's will be echoing through the city tomorrow afternoon as the members of Prince Rupert Harley Riders community and other motorcycle enthusiasts take part in the 35th Annual Tory Run, Dance and Poker Run, a popular even that has delivered support to the Salvation Army in the city for many years.

The event is well known across the Northwest, and seems to grow in participation with each passing year, as riders from many communities along the Highway 16 corridor make their way to the city for the annual run.

Many of them taking advantage of special discounts on rooms that some of the city's hotels have to offer for the out of town participants.

The Riders will depart the Salvation Army on Grenville Court at 1 PM on Saturday, taking to a route that features a number of stops along the way around the Prince Rupert area.

The large group on their motorcycles always brings out the crowds as they roll by, many saluting the efforts of the riders to help make the upcoming holiday season brighter for many in the community.

The evening brings one of the top social events of the year, as Toy Run participants and their guests party into the early morning at Fishermen's Hall on Fraser Street across from Overwaitea.

Fishermen's Hall is hosting the wrap up party for the 2016
Prince Rupert Harley Riders Toy Run and Dance

Those attending Saturday's Dance at Fishermen's Hall might be able to
score themselves some Harley Rider's clothing 

Admission to the wrap up to the 2016 Toy Run is Ten dollars plus 1 new Toy (athletic or educational) or Non-Perishable food items. As well, those in attendance at tomorrow's event can purchase Toy Run Clothing, as well as have a chance to win a number of Door Prizes, or the jackpot from the 50/50 Draw on the night.

Last year over 100 riders participated in the annual run, raising thousands of dollars in cash and providing for a large volume of food and toys for local charities in the city.

Updates on the 2016 are being posted to a Facebook page that has been created for the Saturday event.

UBCM Convention comes to an end as municipal leaders wrap up week of networking

Members of Prince Rupert Council and City staff taking some time from the
week of political discussion to get in a photo on the Lawn of the Legislature

(photo from City of Prince Rupert Facebook page)

There haven't been many dispatches from members of the North Coast delegation to this years UBCM convention in Victoria, though from the few items of interest provided by Councillor Blair Mirau and Mayor Lee Brain, it does appear that members of the local group have had a full week of workshops, seminars and speeches to take in during the week long festival of municipal politics.

The five days covered a lot of material for community leaders from across British Columbia, with two days dedicated towards resolutions provided by a number of municipal governments prior to the annual convention, held this year at the Victoria Conference Centre.

Much of the policy work took place in the early days of the convention and some of the results from the Resolutions files can be reviewed below, as UBCM officials have been providing a rolling scorecard of sorts as to how each submission fared at the discussion level.

September 30th Resolutions Discussions
September 29th Resolutions Discussions
September 28th Resolutions Discussions

Friday delivered a major announcement from the Federal Government with 35 upgrades to water and waste water systems in the province listed as set to benefit from Federal and provincial funding, though much of the Northwest does not appear to have made this first wave of projects, with only projects in Burns Lake and Fort St. James listed in Friday's update.

The Federal announcement from today does note that additional projects will be identified following a new intake process which will come to an end on November 23rd.

The convention also provided an opportunity for political leaders from the federal and provincial level to address the gathering, with both Premier Christy Clark and NDP opposition leader John Horgan making use of their time at UBCM to chart the course for the upcoming provincial election.

The photo album from UBCM highlights the meetings and discussion sessions that provincial cabinet members held with municipal officials during the course of the convention.

Featured in the archive so far, digital keepsakes for Port Edward, Terrace, Kitimat and Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District some of the communities which have seen photos posted to this point.

Snapshots of any get togethers with the Prince Rupert representatives seem to still be in the developing room however, with none added to the list as we hit the post button on our item.

You can check here for any updates to the roll call of communities as they are posted to the UBCM photo site. ( All photos courtesy of UBCM photo feed )

Port Edward representatives meeting with Premier Clark
Port Edward Council with Minister Peter Fassbender
Some members of the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional
District group meeting with Minister Fassbender
Terrace Council members with Minister Peter Fassbender
Kitimat Officials sitting in for a session with Premier Clark

 When it comes to any Prince Rupert participation at UBCM, while there were no official civic updates through the City of Prince Rupert website, Councillor Blair Mirau offered up a glimpse at the fast face of the week through contributions to his Facebook page and twitter feeds through the week.

The councillor offered up occasional snapshots of some of the many events that he was attending, while Mayor Brain highlighted an award for the Prince Rupert Airport and announced that will be adding to his Mayoralty duties, taking up a new position as a member of the Municipal Climate Council.

Prior to their departure for Victoria, Council members had not provided much of a preview as to what they hoped to achieve, or to take away from their week in the provincial capital. However, there will be an opportunity for an update at the first public council session for October that comes up on the 11th of next month.

At that October meeting, those Council members who made the trek down to Victoria will have some time to share their thoughts on what they have discovered from other municipal leaders in the province, or share some of their observations from their sessions with provincial officials.

As for what those other communities across British Columbia are talking about from their five days of discussion, check our UBCM Talking Points archive for background on some of the issues and items of interest from the 2016 convention.

With the gavel now having sounded to bring UBCM 2016 to an end, municipal politicians will be working on their agenda plans for 2017 when the convention returns to its home base of Vancouver.

Rampage set to drop the puck on 2016-17 season with Kitimat in town Saturday

Update: Rampage defeated Kitimat Ice Demons 3-2

A fresh sheet of ice and hopes for a Coy Cup championship make for the start of October as Rampage hockey returns to the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre for the 2016-17 season.

The Rhinos dig into the ice for their season opener on Saturday night as they renew acquaintances with their Northwest rivals the Kitimat Ice Demons and the Prince Rupert squad will take to the ice this weekend with some changes to the line up from last season.

As is always the case in Senior Men's hockey, some members of the Rampage from past seasons have hung up the blades, creating space for new arrivals and hard working younger skaters to make their way into the Prince Rupert lineup for this season.

Prince Rupert heads into their season opener coming off an exhibition game win over the Terrace River Kings last weekend, when the Rampage topped the visitors by a score of 4-1 in front a large crowd of North Coast hockey fans gathered to remember the life of former coach and team founder Frank Pyde.

The lessons of the past from their former head coach and the impact on the team that he provided will mark much of the course of the 2016-17 season for the Rhinos, who finished third in the CIHL West last year with a 7-8-1 record, with five of those wins in the confines of the always noisy and boisterous Civic Centre arena.

This years version will be looking to add to last years offensive output which saw Rampage play makers find the net 78 times, though work will be required once again on the blue line where the Prince Rupert squad surrendered 81 goals through the sixteen games of 2015-16.

One thing is certain, visitors coming into the Jim will know that they have a battle ahead to take two points out of the city, the Rampage had their most success in front of the home town crowds and with Penalties in Minutes at 427, Rupert makes for a tough stop on the CIHL schedule for many teams.

One interesting note from the Rampage dressing room finds Derek Baker and Jared Andreeson stepping into the coaching ranks for the season ahead, taking up assistant coach duties behind the bench.

They join Assistant Coach Ron German, along with head coach Roger Atchison in guiding the mix of returning veterans and new arrivals as they look to improve on last years record.

The list of the 25 members listed to start the 2016-17 season for the Rampage can be found below, those returning for another year of CIHL hockey have their stats from last year noted  beside their name.

The full Rampage  scoring review from last year courtesy of  the CIHL can be found here.

The Rampage roster features 17 forwards, six new to the lineup for this year, all looking to put some scoring punch into this years lineup

Jordan Aubee ( 0 G, 4 A -- 2015-16 )
Cole Atchison ( 7 G , 2 A -- 2015-16 )
Kale Burns ( 1 G, 4 A -- 2015-16 )
Jared Carter
Mike Coolin ( 1 G, 2 A -- 2015-16)
Josh Cook  ( 14 G, 9 A -- 2015-16)
Jean Luc Fournier  ( 1 G,  6 A -- 2015-16
Hunter German
Tyler Halliday ( 7 G, 9 A -- 2015-16 )
Jared Meers ( 5 G, 12 A -- 2015-16 )
Kendall Mossini
Kory Movold ( 11 G, 11 A-- 2015-16 )
Tyler Matalone
Craig Munro  ( 6 G, 2 A -- 2015-16 )
Bryan Tates
Ben Towner
Jordan Weir ( 0 G,  0 A -- 2015-16 )

Six hold the blue line prepared to defend the Rhino's side of centre ice, a mix of three vets and three newcomers.

Marcus Atchison ( 0 G, 1 A -- 2015-16 )
Jared Davis ( 0 G, 4 A -- 2015-16 )
Dave Long
Hayden Long
Tyler Ostrom  ( 1 G, 14 A - 2015-16 )
Jacob Santurbano

While two returnees will make for the last line of defence in the Rampage nets.

Devon Gerrits ( 4 W , 1 L - 4.38 GAA--  2015-16 )
Jarrod Hildebrand ( 2 W, 5 L - 4.73 GAA -- 2015-16 )

The CIHL has also seen a slight change for the year ahead, with Lac La Biche stepping aside, owing to a number of community issues ranging from concerns over the local rink to an ability to recruit enough players to fill roster requirements.

And while the CIHL continues to look for new communities to sign up and add to new pins on the map for the league, for the 2016-17 season the league will be one team down with the four Northwest teams proving to be the strength of the six team circuit which also has teams in Quesnel and Williams Lake.

Puck drop Saturday is 7 PM and it should be another large crowd that greets the home side to the ice, Prince Rupert has provided for some of the most consistent attendance in the CIHL since the Rampage joined up, with residents of the North Coast making Rampage hockey a community event for each of the ten games that  mark the home schedule.

Such is the affection for the home town side, that Prince Rupert led the CIHL in attendance last year, with 5,049 fans heading to the Civic Centre on game nights. That made for an average of 631 per game, though on those prime time Friday or Saturday games, that mark was surpassed quite easily by some very passionate Rampage fans.

As we have in past years, you can track the progress of the Rampage in their quest for a CIHL championship through the year on our archive page here, which features a number of links both to the Rampage and stories of note from the other teams of the league.

As well as our features page, scores and results from both home and away games can be found on our Rampage Results page, which will provide updates and summaries through the season ahead. The permanent link to both features can be found on our right hand column under North Coast Sports.

Rampage Results/Schedule 2016-17

It's another season of Prince Rupert Rampage action, as the hometown squad looks to claim the CIHL Championship for the North Coast. See our season preview and full Rampage schedule listing here.

Below we will update the developments of the 2016-17 Regular season, posting the results and scoring summaries following each Rampage game. Results from the current week and an update on the next game to come will be posted below as the season progresses.

Those looking to keep up to speed on rumours and discussions on the CIHL might want to check in at the BC Senior Hockey Forum page, where CIHL News appears on a  regular basis.

2017 CIHL Playoffs

Full CIHL playoff coverage available here.

Next Game

Saturday, February 18
Terrace River Kings vs Prince Rupert Rampage
Puck drop 7 PM Jim Ciccone Civic Centre

Rampage Regular Season Record 2016-17

7 Regulation Win, 7 Regulation losses, 2 OT Loss, 0 Shootout wins,  0 Shootout loss

Regular Season Schedule and Results

Home Games in Red, Away games in Green, Winners highlighted in BOLD
When Game Summaries are available they will be highlighted in blue.

Game Summary

2016-17 Results to date
2016-17 Regular season has ended

Saturday, January 28
Prince Rupert Rampage 6 at Smithers Steelheads 11
Game Summary )

Saturday, January 21
Smithers Steelheads 4 at Prince Rupert Rampage 3 (OT)
( Game summary )

Saturday, January 14
Williams Lake Stampeders 6 at Prince Rupert Rampage 3
Game Summary  )

Saturday, January 7
Kitimat Ice Demons 0 at Prince Rupert Rampage 12
Game Summary 

Friday, January 6
Prince Rupert Rampage 5 at Kitimat Ice Demons 0
 ( Game summary )

Saturday, December 10
Smithers Steelheads 5 at Prince Rupert Rampage 3
Game Summary )

Saturday, December 3
Prince Rupert Rampage 2 at Terrace River Kings 7
Game Summary )

Sunday, November 27
Prince Rupert Rampage 9 at Quesnel Kangaroos 8
Game Summary )

Saturday, November 26
Prince Rupert Rampage 5 at Williams Lake Stampeders 9
Game Summary )

Saturday, November 19
Terrace River Kings 5 at Prince Rupert Rampage 4 (OT)
( Game Summary )

Saturday, November 12
Prince Rupert Rampage 7 at Kitimat Ice Demons 4
Game summary  )

Saturday, November 5
Quesnel Kangaroos 2 at Prince Rupert Rampage 6
( Game Summary )

Saturday, October 29
Prince Rupert Rampage 2 at Smithers Steelheads 6
( Game Summary  )

Saturday, October 15
Terrace River Kings 6 at Prince Rupert Rampage 3
Game Summary  )

Saturday, October 8
Prince Rupert Rampage 4 at Terrace River Kings 2
Game Summary )

Saturday, October 1
Kitimat Ice Demons  2 at Prince Rupert Rampage 3  
( Game Summary )


Pre Season game
Frank Pyde Charity Hockey Game

Saturday, September 24 
Terrace River Kings 1 at Prince Rupert 4


CIHL Standings  ( click here )

Full CIHL Scoreboard  ( click here )

Our North Coast Review Rampage and CIHL News Archives can be found here.

Rampage on Social Media

Prince Rupert Rampage on Facebook
Prince Rupert Rampage on Twitter 
Prince Rupert Rampage website

Reports suggest that Petronas is pondering sale of stake in Pacific NorthWest project

Days after receiving approval from the Federal Government for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, reports out of Malaysia are suggesting that the global energy giant Petronas is giving some thought to selling its majority share in the proposed multi billion dollar terminal project.

Reuters posted an article to its international website today that outlines the scope of the discussion that is taking place inside the Petronas board room these days as the company weighs such issues as global gas prices, costs and financial returns with its global ambitions.

The Pacific NorthWest LNG project is one of the largest foreign investments that the state owned Malaysian company has embarked on in recent years.

According to the Reuters report, the company has been considering selling its share of the project for months, though they apparently have a fall back plan should they not receive sufficient interest in their sale proposal.

In the Reuters report, its suggested that the company is considering plans to put the project "on ice" for the time being, with hopes of seeing gas prices turn around to provide more financial certainty for the development.

Reuters also notes that Petronas is offering no public comment on the potential sale or deferral of the project at this time.

Other investors in the proposed development are from China, India, Japan and Brunei.

You can review the Reuters article here.

In August, Petronas had noted that it would further review its Canadian plans once the Federal Government had delivered its decision on the fate of the North Coast project, a short statement from the company on Wednesday reinforced those plans.

Canadian and other news providers picked up on the Reuters theme today as well, providing more background on the latest twist to the long running Petronas story.

Petronas weighs sale to exit $27-billion B.C. LNG project: sources
Petronas faces US$27 billion question after Ottawa approves LNG project
Petronas can still thrive with PNW LNG approval despite potential sell of stakes: FSL for LNG founder
Report: Petronas considering sale of PNWLNG stake

Our overview of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be found on this archive page which has been following the progress and news developments for the project since it was first announced.

Update: As the day moved forward, the British Columbia Government responded to the early  morning reports out of Asia, with BC media outlets reporting that the Provincial Government had spoken with Petronas and was reassured about the status of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

Adding that they anticipate a statement from Petronas to provide their view on the Reuters story of the overnight period.

As of late Friday afternoon however, no updates have been posted to the Malaysian energy giant's website.

October 1 -- Petronas denies report it is considering sale of Canadian LNG project stake
September 30 -- Petronas denies report it wants to bail from LNG project
September 30 -- Petronas is not considering sale of proposed LNG terminal, B. C. government says

Prince Rupert Mayor to join BC Mayors Climate Control Council

Mayor Lee Brain and
Smithers Mayor Taylor
Bachrach taking a break
from UBCM work in Victoria

(photo from Mayor Brain's
Facebook Page)

As the UBCM convention wraps up in Victoria today, a stream of announcements is starting to gain traction as municipal leaders outline some of their work at the annual gathering.

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain had some news to share with North Coast residents on Thursday, highlighting through his Facebook page of a new step in his political career, joining the group of British Columbia Mayors that make up the municipal led initiative on climate change.

The opening on the BC Mayors Climate Leadership Council became available earlier this month when Burns Lake Mayor Luke Strimbold announced his resignation from municipal politics, leaving a spot open with the collective as the municipal leaders took to their work this week.

With his addition to the municipal organization, Mayor Brain will join Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach in representing communities of the Northwest on the ten member Council.

In his update for residents, Mayor Brain notes that he will bring some of the work currently underway in Prince Rupert to the municipal group, Mayor Brain is currently chair of the City of Prince Rupert's 2030 sustainable City Committee, part of the Hays 2.0 Vision plan which features a number of sustainable concepts.

Formed in September of 2010, the organization made up of mayors and council members from large and small communities across the province is designed to move the concept of climate action forward.

The focus of the BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council is to lead, educate and engage residents across the province in issues of climate action in their community.

You can learn more about their work here.

Further notes on developments at UBCM can be found on our archive page here.

NDP's John Horgan offers up a shift in provincial/municipal relations for UBCM members

The week that is turned over to speeches, presentations and workshops continued into its fourth day yesterday and the focus once again turned to the provincial scene as the opposition NDP had its time to bend some ears at the UBCM convention

One day following BC Liberal Premier Christy Clark's address to the delegates, NDP leader John Horgan had his time at the podium, providing a narrative for the province's municipal leaders that charted the future should the NDP form a government in May of 2017.

In his comments for the convention, Mr. Horgan talked of a new relationship, one which embraces a partnership with municipalities and ends what he called the divisive politics of the Liberals under Christy Clark.

“Instead of listening, learning and embracing partnership with local governments, our premier continues to deny, deflect and download costs,” ... “I want to restore people’s faith in the ability of government to make life better, to make change happen, to invest in our future, to come to the table with new ideas, [and] to make our economy work for all of us, not just a fortunate few,”

NDP Leader John Horgan covered a fair amount of
territory in his UBCM address on Thursday
Photo from UBCM Flckr feed)

Through the address the NDP leader put a significant focus on transportation infrastructure, telling delegates that an NDP government would make a four lane highway from Kamloops to the Alberta border one of its priorities for investment.

As well for those delegates from the population heavy Lower mainland, he touted an increase in provincial funding for transportation and transit improvements increasing provincial participation to 40 percent.

Horgan also touched on education concerns in the province, noting that the NDP would offer a different approach to what he suggested were the pre-election funding motives of the Liberal party.

Countering the flow of sudden burst of financial resources recently delivered by the Liberals, with  an NDP plan to deliver  stable and predictable funding, designed he said to allow for School Districts to address issues in their communities.

For the municipal leaders in attendance, Horgan also outlined a new approach when it comes to the delivery of community gaming, noting that an NDP government would improve the current system to provide for long-term, flexible funding to local governments.

Some of his key talking points from Thursday's address can be reviewed here.

Should Mr. Horgan be successful in the upcoming campaign he will have the marquee speaking time at the 2017 convention and members attending the Vancouver gathering will have an opportunity to gauge how fast a track the NDP leader will be on when it comes to his promised new direction.

You can review our notes on the week of UBCM from our archive page here.

More background on provincial politics is available on our Legislature archive page or through our political portal Darcy McGee.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue work fire on 7th Avenue West

Fire crews from Prince Rupert Fire Rescue were dispatched to a residence in the 200 block of 7th Avenue West on Thursday afternoon, as a smoke billowed over a residence tucked up the small path that leads east from near the corner of Thompson and Seventh West.

The first call came in around 3 PM with fire crews responding quickly to the residence which was already fully involved upon their arrival.

The hard to reach location made battling the fire a bit of a challenge for responding crews, which utilized both the aerial ladder and the work of ground crews from a second truck in attacking the blaze from different directions to try and bring the blaze under control.

Members of the RCMP were directing traffic away from the area and keeping onlookers back in order to allow the Fire crews access to the fire scene.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire, the cause of which has yet to be determined.

Fire Crews were still on the scene into the evening to watch for hot spots.

More items related to the work of Northwest Emergency responders can be found on our archive page.

Update: September 30 -- As Prince Rupert Fire Rescue begin their investigation into the cause of Thursday afternoon's fire, local residents have begun to contribute to a Go Fund Me Page for Lee Milnes the owner of the house.

You can learn more about their efforts and make a contribution here.

Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue launches Fall recruitment drive

The organization that stands ready to respond to requests for assistance whenever they come in is currently seeking new members, with the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue organization looking to add to their roster of dedicated volunteers looking to serve the community.

And while many might think that they don't have the kind of skills required to be of service to the group, the members of Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue note that they need help in a number areas beyond the physical needs of their search and rescue work.

From administration to grant applications, public relations and logistics the operations on the North Coast require a core group of volunteers behind the scenes to help keep the organization on track and able to respond to calls for assistance.

Prince Rupert Ground
Search and Rescue is currently
looking to add to their group
of volunteers
A full overview of the types of positions that they need to fill can be found from the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue Facebook page.

The information that is listed outlines the commitments as far as time and involvement, as well as the process that all applicant will be required to go through prior to becoming part of the local organization.

The group also outlines the various certification opportunities that are available for those who volunteer to serve, as well as the nature of the training that those that sign up can expect to find once they join.

Over the last few years we have noted some of their call outs through our archive feature on Emergency Responders in the Northwest, you can review some of those entries from our archive page here.

Trudeau Liberals feel the heat from NDP and Conservatives on Pacific NorthWest LNG

Prime Minister Trudeau faced some
strong comments of Tuesday's LNG
announcement from both opposition
parties during Question Period
The day after it's controversial LNG announcement approving the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal with its 190 conditions, the Liberal Government of Justin Trudeau found itself on the defensive back in Ottawa.

Opposition members, with some very different interpretations as to how the Liberals handled the file, clearly had been looking forward to the Wednesday session of Parliament, as they fired off a number of inquiries towards the Prime Minister, as well as to the Environment and Natural Resources Ministers.

The Wednesday afternoon Question Period provided the first opportunity for discussion of the Pacific NorthWest LNG approval and the bear pit that the daily question opportunity provides for did not disappoint, as the Prime Minister and his Cabinet found themselves taking shots from all sides of the house.

Things started off in a rather calm fashion with Bob Zimmer the MP for Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, using the Members Statements portion of the session to applaud the decision and calling for the Liberal Government to continue to work towards moving it forward.

However, when they got to the twenty minute mark of the session, the heavy hitters of the opposition benches weighed in, with NDP leader Tom Mulcair outlining the concerns that the New Democrats had with entire process, while the interim Conservative leader Rona Ambrose observed that with 190 conditions in place, the Liberals may have set the table for a decision that could see the Malaysian energy giant Petronas choose to not to move forward with the project.

The Conservatives Rona Ambrose
led off her questions with thoughts on
the Pacific NorthWest LNG announcement
Ms. Ambrose led off the Question Period attack, providing the Tories view of Tuesday's announcement, noting that even with Tuesday's events there won't be any jobs in place until there are shovels in the ground, calling for the Prime Minister to show leadership on the issue to make sure that the project gets underway.

She further outlined the Conservatives concerns over the approach the Liberals are taking, observing that they are providing for yet another level of consultation before any progress will be found.

The Prime Minister countered that argument by noting that after ten years of failed Conservative policies, the Liberals were actually finding progress when it comes to moving the project forward.

NDP leader Tom Muclair also
delivered a strong rebuke of the
Liberal announcement of Tuesday
NDP Leader Tom Mulcair took aim at the Liberals and noted that the Prime Minister and his Cabinet were not showing much respect for First Nations.

Observing that the trio of Cabinet Ministers that were part of the announcement of Tuesday's event, did not even travel to the area where the project is to be built to deliver their news.

Mr. Mulcair further noted that the Liberals had basically followed former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's blue print when it comes to the environment and pipeline development.

In response to some of the concerns directed the government's way, the Environment Minister Catherine McKenna touched on some of the factors related to the announcement on Pacific NorthWest LNG, taking a question from MP Zimmer that asked why the Liberals had introduced a 'poison pill' approach to their decision.

To knock down that impression, Minister McKenna retraced the range of consultations that the Federal government conducted and pointed to the 190 conditions that were introduced as part of the approval process and would ensure that the industry would move forward in a sustainable way

Those conditions continued to raise flags for the Prince George MP who called the Liberal approach to development as "one step forward and two steps backward".

The Liberal's plan for resources also provided for concerns from Alberta MP Shannon Stubbs who noted that just because they provided conditional approval doesn't mean that the Liberals actually intend to have the project built.

Adding that while the majority of the assessment took place under the process put in place by the Conservatives, she has a number of concerns over the nature of the Liberal government's plans for multiple regulatory changes that could affect other energy projects.

The Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr picked up the theme from there, noting that each energy project will be judged on their own merits and that they are not all the same, he also pointed to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project as one that will not only deliver jobs to the industry, but bring a pipeline to tidewater for the first time in ten years.

You can sit in on the full Question Period from the ParlVu archive service, the questions for the Prime Minister come up between the 14:20 and 14:30 portion of the session.

The participation of the Environment and Natural Resources Minister on Question Period took place from the 14:56 to 15:01 mark.

As we noted yesterday, while he wasn't in the House of Commons on Wednesday for Parliamentary proceedings, Skeena Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen, who was in Victoria for electoral reform events, did expand on his first impressions regarding Tuesday's Federal announcement, providing a fairly strong reproach to the Liberal approval.

Wednesday the MP also provided a clip of NDP leader Mulcair's questions for the Prime Minister focusing his attention on the NDP leader's call for the need for greater consultation with regional First Nations.

The Green Party didn't get an opportunity to take their concerns to the Liberal government during the Question Period, but earlier in the Day, Green Party leader Elizabeth May outlined the disappointment and anger that her Party had over Tuesday's approval announcement.

You can follow more items related to the Pacific NorthWest project from our archive page here, further background on the work of Mr. Cullen in Ottawa can be examined from our House of Commons archive.

We also have a companion blog, Darcy McGee that explores political themes on the Federal and provincial scene you can find it here.

Premier Clark test drives a few electoral themes for UBCM gathering

Premier Clark addressing the UBCM
convention on Wednesday
The Wednesday afternoon session of the UBCM convention was turned over to British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, who took to the stage at the Victoria Convention Centre shortly after 2:15 PM to deliver the BC Government's annual address to the group.

This year with the Premier's schedule seemingly ever changing to keep pace with events related to the visit of the Royal Couple and their family, her speech came a few days earlier than the usual Friday morning spotlight that is normally provided, which in most years effectively brings the convention to a close.

It wasn't too long into the speech that a few themes for the upcoming Provincial election of 2017 began to work their way into her comments, with much talk about the middle class and the need to provide opportunities for them, as well as to remove barriers for those on social assistance looking to transition back into the work force or to seek training to improve their opportunities.

Other themes through the address included proposals to address the housing issues of the Province, initiatives related to Clean Water and Wastewater and the need to address some of the growing drug concerns in British Columbia, with a focus on the current crisis related to fentanyl.

As the speech rolled out, the BC Government was delivering background information on some of the key themes that the Premier was providing, you can review a few of their notes on those below:

B.C. commits over $148 million to Clean Water and Wastewater Fund

Through the half hour, the Premier noted some of the challenges ahead for the province, with forestry which she noted was still a lifeblood for many communities in B.C.  facing a number of issues, concerns that the government will continue to work on to ensure that it remains a key element of the BC economy.

She also noted some of the new industrial growth in the province, with a particular focus on the tech sector which the Premier observed was continuing to grow in many areas of British Columbia beyond the Lower Mainland.

For the Northwest there were a couple of moments of recognition, the first coming with the Premier offering a quick review of Tuesday's announcement from the Federal Government that approved the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

On that theme, the Premier put her focus towards how the British Columbia project could be instrumental in reducing the effects of climate change in Asia. On that theme Premier Clark observed that the introduction of British Columbia Natural Gas, which she said would be the cleanest in the world could see nations such as China, Japan and India reduce their consumption of coal, slowing the growth of the world's emissions.

She outlined some details on the governments work on the BC climate charter and how when it come to the carbon tax in BC, the government will return all of that revenue to the residents of the province in the form of lower taxes, noting that the government "won't be taxing the people of the province out of their jobs".

Calling revenue neutrality the government's guiding principle, the Premier announced that the province will recognized by the UN on Thursday for its work in fighting climate change, with the global organization honouring the province on its revenue neutral carbon tax and how the UN believes that the province is a model for the world.

Ms. Clark also proposed making British Columbia a hub for marine shipping, where vessels can fuel up on natural gas, a concept that would reduce global emissions than all of the emissions that British Columbia generates today.

She also committed the province to 100 percent renewable clean power for BC Hydro, reviewing the province's plans for the Site C project, noting that it has become an employment generator in the northeast region of the Province.

As part of her comments on that project, the Premier observed that as municipal leaders know, making hard decisions is part of the job and that it is impossible to make everyone happy when a decision is a tough one.

There was one shout out for the North Coast this year, with the Premier noting Tuesday's announcement on Pacific NorthWest.

Ms. Clark highlighted the nature of that investment and how the province made sure that the project would be done right.  Noting that "in places like Port Edward, dancing Dave MacDonald was doing a jig right now", a salute to the Port Edward Mayor in the audience and a reference to his efforts to see the Pacific NorthWest project move forward towards development in his community.

As she wrapped up her speech which clocked in at just seconds short of thirty minutes in length, she outlined how the government had stuck to its plan and been able to get to their finances in order, worked to create jobs around the province and worked to invest in putting British Columbians first.

Premier Clark then delivered a string of what appeared to be position statements for her and the BC Liberals for the coming election, calling on municipalities to join the provincial government as they:

Stay the Course, 

Let's make sure we Keep Getting to Yes, 

Let's create jobs for our citizens in urban and rural communities.

Let's invest in them so that they can change their own lives 

Her final thoughts for the audience reinforcing the call of "Putting British Columbians first" something which it would appear will be the position statement for the Liberals through the fall and into the spring election period.

You can view the address to the delegates from the Province of British Columbia's YouTube feed:

As her address to the convention was taking place, there were a number of comments through social media to applaud, and in some cases question some of the Premier's commentary.

The one are that generated the most discussion appeared to be the Premier's thoughts on how the proposed LNG project for Lelu Island would improve the conditions of climate change, something that didn't resonate very well  for a number of those watching Tuesday's address.

For her part, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice took to twitter offering up her support for a note from the press secretary to NDP Leader John Horgan, observing that the largest amount of applause for the speech appeared to be coming from BC Liberal staffers at the back of the room.

As for the NDP leader, Mr. Horgan was putting his focus towards Tuesday's LNG announcement, relaying through a statement on the NDP website of  his belief that the Federal announcement was really a reminder of the Premier's failure to deliver even one LNG plant to the province.

Calling the LNG promises by the BC Liberals as still empty, noting how they had failed to deliver even one LNG terminal to this point in their vision of a made in BC industry.

“Christy Clark promised British Columbians an LNG windfall during the last election. She promised to have one plant up and running a year ago, and five by the end of the decade. She promised 100,000 new jobs and to deposit $100 billion in a prosperity fund. None of that has come true,”

A number of other BC NDP MLA's also offered up their critiques of the Premier's speech, calling attention to areas where they suggest the Premier is merely recycling past promises and others where they believe she is suddenly changing direction on a range of issues with an eye towards the upcoming election.

More items related to the UBCM Convention can be found on our archive page here.

Notes related to Provincial politics and be found on our Legislature archive page or from our Political Portal Darcy McGee here.

Prince Rupert Airport gains recognition at UBCM for recent renovations

The City of Prince Rupert can now use the slogan the 'award winning Prince Rupert Airport' after receiving the accolades of a major Canadian organization.

The recently completed renovations to the Prince Rupert Digby Island Airport were saluted Wednesday the Canadian Wood Council, a national  organization, which took note of the recent work on the Prince Rupert airport and recognized the creative use of wood as part of the new terminal look.

Mayor Lee Brain accepted the award from WoodWorks which is a program of thw Wood Council, taking to his Facebook page Wednesday afternoon, in order to share the news with residents shortly after the presentation.

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain has an award to bring back to the city
as the Prince Rupert Airport renovation project is saluted by the Canadian Wood Council
(from Mayor Brain's Facebook feed)

The work involved in the project saw project developers make use of the existing beam structure and made use of the existing wood structure to create the spacious arrivals concourse that now has become the focal point of the new terminal.

As well the structure which was seismically upgraded during the renovations, made use of a number of other sustainable features that were incorporated into the project.

The recently renovated Prince Rupert Airport Terminal was recognizzed as 
part of events taking place at UBCM this week
(From a NCLGA press release)
You can learn more about the project and the recognition that the award provides for it from this information page from the Woodworks Organization.

More notes on Air transportation in the Northwest can be found on our archive page.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Metlakatla and Prince Rupert offer up reaction to Pacific NorthWest LNG announcement

As local governments began to digest the Federal approval announcement  and the 190 conditions in place for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, local officials started to deliver the first of their comments towards how they see the progress of the multi billion dollar project moving forward for the Northwest.

The Metlakatla First Nation outlined its comments through a Statement from Chief Harold Leighton, who noted that the Metlakatla Governing Council was pleased that the Federal Cabinet has issued a decision statement that addressed many of its environmental and cultural concerns and noted of the involvement of the Metlakatla Stewardship Society through the review and assessment of Pacific NorthWest LNG process.

“Following a lengthy period of consultation and engagement with federal and provincial agencies and Pacific NorthWest LNG, the Metlakatla Governing Council is pleased that the federal cabinet has issued a decision statement with conditions on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project that address environmental and cultural considerations. 

The Metlakatla Stewardship Society has been fully involved in the review and assessment of the Pacific NorthWest LNG export facility since February 2013. During that time, our highly qualified staff have made a wide variety of recommendations to the provincial and federal governments and the company based on provided documentation, internal studies and third party reviews of existing modelling related to Flora Bank. 

This work has resulted in numerous conditions being recommended to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency to ensure any potential negative impacts are not only monitored and reported, but mitigated to the fullest extent possible."

The Metlakatla Council also expressed its satisfaction that many of the 190 conditions in place for the proposed development came through the efforts of the Metlakatla Stewardship Society.

Further noting that the Society will continue to be involved in all aspects of reviewing and monitoring the project to ensure that Pacific NorthWest is accountable to Metlakatla members and remain respectful of its culture and traditional territory.

A look at the full statement can be found below (click to expand):

The First comment on the Pacific NorthWest announcement from the City of Prince Rupert came around the noon hour, with Mayor Lee Brain offering his observations through his Twitter feed.

Mayor Lee Brain used an infographic to outline the City of Prince Rupert's approach to the Federal Decision, noting that while they see opportunity for growth and employment, they will be "reviewing the conditions for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project to determine how the City's previously raised concerns have been addressed during the Environmental Assessment."

Mayor Brain also observed that the City will also "look forward to concluding an impact/benefits agreement with Pacific NorthWest LNG", which he states "will contribute to securing a final investment decision"

So far to this point, there have been no comments released by the Lax Kw'alaams Band related to Tuesday's announcement.

You can review our notes on yesterday's decision from the Federal Government here, more items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be examined on our archive page.

NDP MP Nathan Cullen expands on his disappointment with Tuesday's Pacific NorthWest LNG approval

NDP MP Nathan Cullen is not very
happy with the outcome of the
Federal Government's decision
for Pacific NorthWest LNG
One of the strongest opponents of the potential development of an LNG terminal at Lelu Island has expanded on his first impressions of the Federal Government approval of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project on Tuesday.

Skeena-Bulkley River MP Nathan Cullen, delivered a blistering reproach of the Federal decision today, posting a lengthy review of his thoughts and expressing his disappointment at the path that the Federal government has taken on the Pacific NorthWest file.

The NDP MP who is currently in the Victoria area attending to his duties with the Parliamentary Committee on Electoral reform, took the Liberals to task on a number of themes related to their decision.

His statement, which was issued through his constituency website,  conveys his belief that the Prime Minister had betrayed First Nations, Science and Canada's climate commitments. In his commentary the NDP MP noted that the announcement runs against a promise of more engagement and renewal of relations with the First Nations of the Northwest.

"Justin Trudeau promised to be better than Stephen Harper," ... "Mr. Trudeau promised a new era of renewed relationships with First Nations, but now he is pushing ahead without proper consultation and in spite of opposition from First Nations here in the Northwest and across BC.

The NDP MP also suggests that after Tuesday's announcement, there may not be much difference for Canadians to take note of between the policies of the Liberal Government and those of the previous Conservatives under then Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"Mr. Trudeau promised he would fix Stephen Harper's broken environmental review process. Hundreds of independent scientists have warned the government about the potential for this project to imperil Skeena salmon - the 2nd largest wild salmon run in Canada which contributes $110 million to our economy annually. But instead of listening to scientists as he promised, Mr. Trudeau is basing his decision on Stephen Harper's disgraced review process and discredited company-funded science."

Another of Mr. Cullen's comments on the day offered up the observation that the announcement on Tuesday afternoon took place in Vancouver, far from where the project was to be developed, something he suggests is not the best way to create trust and respect with those of the Northwest.

"The government flew three ministers in to make this announcement from the Vancouver airport, 1,000km away from the people and the territory this project will affect," said Cullen. “This isn’t how you build trust and respect.”

The Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP has long been critical of the location of the proposed development, frequently calling for it to be moved to a location on Ridley Island once proposed for the now dormant BG Gas proposal.

You can follow more items related to the Pacific NorthWest project from our archive page here, further background on the work of Mr. Cullen in Ottawa can be examined from our House of Commons archive.