Sunday, December 31, 2017

Blog Watching: Year End Review Edition

For our Blog watching feature for year's end we offer twin themes this year on focusing on some of the key stories that reader found the most interest in as the calendar pages flipped from month to month,.

While our second theme explores those stories that generated the most interest from readers, highlighting some of items of interest that were generated out of City Council over the last year.

In the first segment of the review, 2017 delivered twelve months where much of the speculation over LNG development evaporated in rather quick succession, with a number of highly touted projects including the BG Gas proposal, Pacific NorthWest LNG and Aurora LNG projects cancelled, while the WCC LNG proponents have embraced a cautious timeline for any future development.

Not surprisingly, as all of those dominoes began to fall, our items related to LNG issues continued to generate large levels of readership, as North Coast residents tried to keep up to speed on the head spinning shift in fortunes for the once highly touted industry.

Along the way to also make news for the year, was a change at the top at the Port of Prince Rupert and the prospect of new industry in the way of Liquid Propane projects also captured the Big Story items for the year now at an end.

The List of twelve unfolds as follows:


With two LPG Terminals planned for Prince Rupert, rail safety is on the mind of MP Nathan Cullen


Statistics Canada Census results show Prince Rupert population continues to decrease


Shell Canada takes Prince Rupert LNG off the project inventory list


Petronas reportedly giving consideration for entire shift of Pacific NorthWest project to Ridley site


Australian LNG proponent keeps Canadian focus on Kitimat plans


Aurora LNG air quality the focus for presentation to Council this evening


A shoe drops for Petronas ... and Prince Rupert is not a good fit for Malaysia's LNG terminal plans


WCC LNG office staffers return to city next week 


Departure of the architect - Port of Prince Rupert CEO and President Don Krusel to retire


AltaGas hails progress of construction at Ridley Terminal Export site


LNG, pipelines and resource development issues make for themes of Financial Post article on Northwest BC


With two LPG Terminals planned for Prince Rupert, rail safety is on the mind of MP Nathan Cullen


The conclusion to our review of the year of blogging put the focus on those discussion topics that came out of Prince Rupert City Council, or reflected some of the themes that readers followed with interest over the course of the last twelve months.

The year offered up a sudden shift in attention to development for Watson Island, with the City changing its original plans to sell the property, to now serve as the landlord for the industrial site, with a first step the announcement that Pembina Pipelines is looking to the site for an LPG Terminal.

Housing issues also became a dominant theme around the Council chamber as the year came to an end, highlighted by a Tent City protest over the need for emergency shelter, which saw a facility quickly put in place on Third Avenue West.

As well, with the arrival of 2018, residents of the city will learn where the city plans to place the 44 modular homes that the province has promised for the community, with MLA Jennifer Rice advising Council in November that those units to be delivered by March.

Prospects for additional seniors housing also received a boost in 2017 with an ambitious plan from Metlakatla announced to develop an Elders/Seniors residence on the old King Edward school site.

What caught the interest of the readers through the year looked as follows:


Legacy Corporation Land plans turn gaze towards Watson Island


A not so inviting vision for tourists, or would be investors


City of Prince Rupert submission among many included in comment process for Aurora LNG


Mayor Brain offers short synopsis of Pembina plans for Watson Island


Metlakatla's Elders/Seniors project to be main focus for Council tonight


City looks to dispose of property through Legacy Corp. by way of thirty year leases


Expropriation plans signal significant shift in City's thinking for Watson Island future


City in search of new Director of Recreation and Community Services


Prince Rupert to send seven person delegation to UBCM next week


Councillor Thorkelson seeks solutions for homeless residents as wetter, colder weather approaches


As tents go up, Prince Rupert finds itself off the housing radar with Victoria


Supportive Housing proposal for 11th Avenue East moves on to consultation phase

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching for the year now ending can be found here.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Polar Bears of the North Coast to dip their toes into Rushbrook's waters January 1st

Prince Rupert substitutions will look significantly different on New Years Day
as North Coast residents take the plunge at Rushbrook Floats

Prince Rupert's annual tradition of Polar Bear Dip for New Year's Day makes its return on Monday afternoon, as the city's Rotarian's host the popular and well attended event at the city's Rushbrook Floats.

The event starts at1 PM on New Year's Day with participants encouraged to wear costumes, a tradition from past years that explored a number of themes.

For those new to town, Rushbrook Floats is located on the city's east side, follow George Hills Way to the very end, the Floats are located just past the Canadian Fish Company Plant at Drydock Road and George Hills Way.

To help keep participants and spectators warm, the Rotarians will be serving up Coffee, Hot Dogs and Hot Chocolate through the afternoon.

Once the day's underway, you may just find a good sample of the costumed Polar Dippers from the Rotary Club's Facebook page.

MLA Making plans for Poverty Reduction sessions in Prince Rupert in the New Year

She doesn't have a place, and there's no time in mind just yet, but North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice has provided the first advanced warning of an upcoming province led review on how to achieve Poverty Reduction in British Columbia.

The In person community meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, January 11th with the MLA to provide an update in the early part of the month as to where it takes place and at what time the Prince Rupert event will get underway.

The project was rolled out by the NDP in late October and you can find out more about what's ahead as 2018 gets underway from the resources below:

Getting to work on B.C.'s first Poverty Reduction Strategy

Meet the members of the Advisory Forum

Residents of the North Coast can also contribute to the work on the poverty reduction strategy though some on line options, you can review that initiative further here.

The Deadline to submit your feedback online is set for March 30th, 2018 at 4 PM.

Updates on the forum will be made available through the MLA's Facebook page

The Forum also has stops planned for Terrace/Kitimat on January 12 and Smithers on January 13.

For more notes on the work of the North Coast MLA see our archive page here.

All that good CBC Karma from Prince Rupert drifts away ... as holiday programming comes up short for the Northwest

A few weeks back we outlined the rather positive review of the CBC Radio service for the North Coast, as a pair of advocates for public broadcasting offered up a fair bit of praise for the increased attention to our part of the Daybreak North broadcast map.

During the course of the December  11th  Prince Rupert City Council session, Kathleen Palm and Evelyn Basso provided a short review of their monitoring of the local CBC programming in the region, finding much in the way of good things to share about the broadcasts out of the Prince George and Prince Rupert studios.

However, in a follow up letter to the North Coast Review this week, Ms. Palm, who has been a long time supporter and observer of the public broadcaster has a few points to share as to how the CBC has let down the region over the holiday periods. With the dedicated CBC listener putting a particular focus on the somewhat important theme at this time of the year of accurate weather and road reports.

Her account of her communication with the broadcaster observes that CBC officials had informed her that there were staffing shortages over the holiday period, which it would seem clearly impacted on the level of service expected for those that rely on the CBC for their news, weather and traffic updates outside of the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island area.

The letter, which we published in the comments of the original story of December 14th, provides a couple of documented instances where if you were listening in from the North Coast you might wonder if anyone at the CBC studios over the holidays had a road map handy ... and to that theme.

Well ... we'll let Ms. Palm provide the details ...

Thank you for your excellent summary of our presentation regarding CBC Radio One to City Council on December 11, 2017. Unfortunately, Christmas Day had a surprising, and preventable lapse in CBC quality. 

As expected, regional announcers were off the air. I'm just not sure who was guarding the hen-house in Vancouver. Marking the hour were news updates and weather... weather? 

 Noting from 4 pm and hourly on, until and including 11 pm, weather was not updated for the vast area of British Columbia outside the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. The same weather was repeated all evening. As a result we were told what the daily highs would be, and most surprisingly that the sun would be coming out in Dease Lake after 11 pm! Now there's a Christmas miracle!

Travellers from Rupert like to know weather inland so they can have some expectation of conditions on Highway 16 and vice versa for drivers from Terrace. From 4 pm on, the Terrace temperature was 3 degrees, so we were told; but how old was that forecast? So I called the CBC Vancouver newsroom. 

I was told they were short staffed. I suggested they stop running the weather, given its growing inaccuracy. This was after the 5 pm broadcast. Wednesday I called Environment Canada. The person I talked to said they were issuing reports all day Christmas Day. 

 This is one of the reasons it would be good to meet with Ms. S. Tobin, the Director for CBC news in B.C. The community could convey to her the value of CBC Radio One. She might be reminded that we expect CBC content to be accurate and timely. 

 Hopefully, our City Council will get a positive reply when they invite her here.

 Thank you for covering this aspect of our north-coast lives.
 -- Kathleen Palm, December 28, 217

As Ms. Palm notes in her conclusion, the goal of the local advocates for the CBC on the North Coast is to have City Council invite Shiral Tobin, the Director of CBC programming in the Province to come to Prince Rupert to meet with Council and  local residents.

Should Council issue the invite, and should Ms. Tobin accept the opportunity to travel north and share the CBC gospel, it would seem that there will be a few items set for the agenda, with the potential for additional discussion points s as 2017 transits into 2018.

You can review the group's initial report and view the presentation to Council through our blog item of December 14th here.

For more items related to the Communications industry around the Northwest see our archive page here.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Two Businesses operating in Prince Rupert make it to the Semi-Final round of the Small Business BC Awards for 2017

There could be a Northwest theme once again for an awards program that salutes Small Business from across province as the Small Business BC Awards Semi-Finalists have been announced with two contenders to move on coming from our corner of the province.

The pair will be looking to follow in the foot steps of The Argosy, which was a Small Business Award winner for 2016, one of three Prince Rupert businesses that made it to the List of Ten stage in last years competition.

One of the newest businesses in the City's Third Avenue Shopping District has not only made an impression on local residents, but has caught some attention from the province wide competition as well, with E'Klektik Trading finding itself nominated in the Best Concept category.

With a variety of items for shoppers ranging from candy to bath and beauty, as well as Chalk Paint, wool and dyed fibres and much more, the store more than lives up to its name as offering a little bit of something for everyone.

The local business which opened its doors in Prince Rupert in June of 2016 is taking on a diverse group of contenders, the majority of them found from the Lower mainland area.

You can check out what E'Klektik Trading has to offer from their Facebook page here.

Also gaining recognition and moving forward in the competition is Terrace based Technicon Industries which has a strong presence in Prince Rupert and have been involved in a number of residential, commercial and industrial projects over the last year.

Technicon is nominated in two categories for this years competition.

You can explore some of the work of Technicon from their Facebook page here.

The next step for both of the Northwest businesses will come in January as they provide a panel of judges a detail application outlining why they deserve to win the award they've been nominated for.

Should they find success with that task, they will then find their way into the Top Five Finalists, that list to be announced on January 19th.

With the competition winners announced at the Small Business BC Awards Gala to take place at the Vancouver Convention Centre on February 23rd 2018.

You can learn more about the competition here.

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

Time in the pool, mark the highlights for New Prince Rupert Recreation Director's resume

He's been on the  job for close to two months now and even though the City of Prince Rupert hasn't provided for the formal introductions yet, David Geronazzo is becoming a familiar face as he travels  around the city's recreation facilities.

The latest hiring from the City of Prince Rupert took to the duties of Recreation and Community Services Director in November, though as has been the case for many new hires in the past, the City has yet provide for any kind of official notice to their various information portals providing a welcome to the latest addition to the roster of the City's Management Staff.

Mr. Geronazzo, takes over from Willa Thorpe, the city's previous Recreation and Community Services Director who served the community from September of 2014 and left for Port Alberni over the summer.

The newest member of the team around the Recreation Centre would appear to have some strong background with the Aquatic side of recreation, having served in a variety of capacities in a number of locations over the last decade, including the Bulkley Valley Regional Pool and as a lifeguard/instructor for a number of years in Kelowna.

Prior to his arrival in Prince Rupert, his most recent stop was a short period of time working in the Recreation Department with the Village of Burns Lake.

Earlier this year Mr. Geronazzo  had completed two and a half years of work in Yorkton, Saskatchewan as the Manager of the Gallagher Centre Water Park, a City of Yorkton facility described by Tourism Saskatchewan as the best water park in the province.

And one which does seem to offer more than a few attractions for those with an aquatic interest.

Perhaps the new Recreation Director brought a copy of the blue prints for that facility for future reference, should Prince Rupert ever wish to expand what it offers in the way of aquatic options at the Earl Mah Centre.

He also brings to Prince Rupert some past experience in Sustainable Community Development through studies at Royal Roads University,  as well as Business Administration from his time at Okanagan College.

For now while he settles into his new duties, the more immediate challenge for Geronazzo will be the annual All Native Basketball Tournament in just a few weeks,.

The February tradition on the North Coast that makes the Civic Centre the beacon of all attractions for the community for the week long tournament and should provide for quite the on the job learning experience, as he looks to keep the Civic Centre in full motion during the course of the tournament.

You can introduce yourself to the new Director whenever you might happen to be visiting any of the City's recreation facilities at the McBride Street complex.

For more items related to City employment listing see our labour archive page here, for a look at City Council Discussion topics see our archive here.

Pee Wee Reps in action with Prince George team in town for two games today

A visiting PeeWee Rep team from Prince George is in town today, ready to put the challenge to the Prince Rupert Rep SeaWolves in Pee Wee Rep action at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

The first of two games on the day finds the teams on the ice at 10 AM, while Game Number two is set for 2 PM 

The two match ups should help to sharpen the skills for what is on the horizon for the Seawolves, as the Pee Wee Reps make plans for January and a trip to Quesnel for three days from January 12 to 14.

Later next month the Pee Wee Reps also have trips planned for Houston and Burns Lake towards the end of the month.

You can follow more notes about Minor Hockey across the Northwest from our archive page.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

East Side Pub looks to be the live venue of choice in Prince Rupert

They have only been open a few months, but in a short period of time the relaunch of the old Solly's location as the Seal Cove Neighbourhood Pub has created a fair bit of buzz in the city's entertainment scene.

Beyond the complete renovation of the pub itself, and a selection of menu items that would satisfy many appetites, the Seal Cove Road pub is taking on plans for an ambitious live music selection over the next few weeks.

Already having played host to Prince Rupert's Triple Bypass, the heart of the holiday season entertainment rolls on through this week with a number of artists lined up to help bid farewell to 2017 and showcase a New Year ahead.

Friday night it's an Elvis tribute with Randy Friskie

While Saturday features both a UFC bout and a Country Music Tribute 

New Year's Eve celebrations bring Randy Friskie back to the stage along with the Memphis Mafia to count down the hours to a New Year

And at mid-month the Seal Cove Pub celebrates its Grand Opening with a weekend featuring a Neil Diamond Tribute featuring Nearly Neil.

Seating for all events is based on a First Come, First Seated situation with the Cover charges all listed at the 20 dollar range.

Contact the pub at 250-624-2683  or check out their website or Facebook page for updates on the current events and those planned for the future.

You can find more items of note on the city's commercial scene from our archive page here, while Community Events Notes are available from our Community Events page.

Library's Children's programs to start in January

With the Prince Rupert Library starting to return to regular hours following the Christmas holidays, this week offers up an opportunity to explore some of the upcoming programs for January that they have planned.

Tales For Twos returns starting January 16th, a program for two year olds and their parents and caregivers it runs every Tuesday from 10:15 to 10:45 or 11:15 to 11:45

All Children must be accompanied by an adult, the program takes place until March 6th.

Story Hour, the popular program for children three to five years of age has two days on the schedule through until early march.

Wednesdays: 1:30 to 2:30 PM 
January 17th to March 7th

Thursday's: 1:30 to 2:30 PM
January 18th to March 8th

You can find out more about both programs and any other items of interest from the Library through their website or Facebook page.

You can also drop in to the Library at Sixth Avenue West and McBride, or give them a call at 250-627-1345 to sign up or get more information

The Library will be Closed on December 31 and January 1st, reopening for regular hours on the 2nd.

For more Community Notes for the North Coast see our archive page here.

Midget Hockey offers Christmas Tree Pick Up option starting December 28

The presents now unwrapped, the tree shedding needles
where, oh where do you get rid of your tree people?

If you haven't come up with a Christmas Tree Extraction plan as of yet, Prince Rupert Minor Hockey might be able to lend you a hand.

The local Midget Hockey team with the PRMHA are making plans for a trip to North Delta for an upcoming tournament and as part of their fundraising projects is a Christmas Tree Removal Service which features three dates for potential pick up.

The Midget players have picked December 28th, 30th or January 2nd, 2018 for the tree pick up and for a minimum donation of Ten Dollars they will stop by and claim your stumpage (and any remaining needles attached)

To arrange for a pick up call or test 250-600-0596

 f you have some time over the holiday period you can also check out some of the action on the ice, with Novice, Atom, Pee Wee  and Bantams all taking advantage of some ice time over the week.

See the PRMHA website for a schedule of what's happening and for the latest notes from the Association check out their Facebook page

You can review some of the Minor Hockey scene from across the Northwest from our archive page here.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Mild quake recorded off Craig, Alaska

A mild temblor rolled off the coast near Craig, Alaska just before midnight on Christmas Day, listed by the USGA as being of  3.6 magnitude at a depth of 7.8 kilometres.

The epicentre was marked at 122 kilometres West of Craig, Alaska,  making it 314 kilometres to the West-Northwest of Prince Rupert.

The seismic event was not of noticeable impact to any of the Alaskan communities nearby and did not generate a Tsunami warning.

It is the second mild event to be recorded in that immediate area this month, with a similar sized event noted back on December 12.

You can review our listings of recent seismic events along the North Coast, Haida Gwaii and Southeast Alaska here.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Santa's Journey underway -- Flight schedule on track for arrival in Northwest and HaidaGwaii for later tonight

The annual journey of the North Pole's Number One Delivery Guy is underway and as this Christmas Eve moves through the day on the North Coast and into the evening we will check out his progresses with some snapshots of Santa's journeys across the many time zones of the globe.

To follow the Man in the Red Suit and his team of reindeer you can find up to the second reports from the NORAD tracking stations across North America as they take note of stops along the way and where the flight plan is heading next.

The Radar and Satellite Feeds are live and ready to deliver news from this link.

Updates are also available through the NORAD twitter feed.

While a NORAD Tracks Santa YouTube page also features notes on the journey for today.

As well, while the youngsters of the Northwest and Southeast Alaska wait for Santa's stopover, you can explore the music, games and other features available from the NORAD Site Here.

Google as well has developed a page of entertaining fun for youngsters to pass the time until they have to head for bed and await Santa's arrival, you can check that page out here.

The journey began in Eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand a few hour ago and the busiest night of the year for the Team at the North Pole won't stop until Santa has wrapped up the night in Northwest BC, Alaska and Highway before he heads off to points unknown for a well earned rest.

Final Tally of Gifts Delivered in 2017:

Some short clips from the NORAD updates for the Day can be found below:

Lift off from North Pole

Australia, New Zealand and Eastern Russia made for the first Stops of 
the Day from earlier this morning

Heading into our early morning hours it was a stopover in Japan

India was next on the itinerary for this very, very busy day for Santa.

Making Good Time! The 9 AM satellite fix found Santa in Afghanistan

At 10 AM, Santa has just wrapped up the stopover in Moscow, Russia

Xa√≠pete from Greece, Santa was seen over Athens just before 
the Noon Hour British Columbia time 

Bethlehem,  Cairo, Jerusalem, Gaza City, Istanbul, Beirut, Riyahd 
and Damascus are just a few of the spots Santa has visited over the last hour.

And it's on to Europe for Santa, as he crosses over Italy on his way to points North

Paris, Warsaw and Berlin were among the stops as we hit the 3PM PT mark for Santa's journey, as he continues to fly his way towards the East Coast of Canada and first landfall at Newfoundland

Dublin, Edinburgh, Cardiff and London were the sightings for the last hour as Santa 
continues to drop  off the presents around Europe.

It was on to South America with stops in Brazil, Venezuela and the Caribbean to name a few of the locations on the travel plan 

Into the North again towards Greenland

Canada's CF16 jets out of 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec picked up the escort duties into North America as Santa made his descent into Newfoundland and Labrador airspace

The First sightings in the USA came out of Cape Code as Santa shuffles between Nova Scotia,  New Brunswick, Maine and Massachusetts 

A stop in Washington DC and a quick check of the naughty and nice list ...

Santa is making his way over the Manhattan skyline before starting his deliveries to the five boroughs  of New York City as well as New Jersey

Youngsters in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal report the sound of hooves on rooftops as Santa heads through Central Canada this hour.

With stops in Thunder Bay, Winnipeg, Chicago and Saskatoon, 
Santa gets even closer to the British Columbia border

Colorado, Montana, Alberta and the NorthWest Territories, those are the points punched into the GPS for this hour as Santa continues his trek towards British Columbia this evening.

The Video is a little slow coming in as Santa works his way back North from Stops in New Mexico, Arizona, and parts of California ... but his arrival is but minutes away from Southern British Columbia and all boys and girls should be nestled in their beds by this point ...

The first of the video images comes from San Francisco as Santa begins to line up his sleigh for an entry in British Columbia.

A satellite still photo captured Santa making his way across Kitimat on his way to Juneau, Alaska 


Moments later, reports first from Port Edward and then from the west side of Prince Rupert indicated that Santa had arrived on the North Coast, with the Seal Cove Coast Guard Base making note of some clatter up above Seal Cove Circle as Santa turned northwards towards Lax Kw'alaams and on to Alaska.

He sprung to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle 
And away they all flew, like the down of a thistle
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight

Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Blog Watching: Week ending December 24, 2017

Industrial themes dominated our review on the week, with four of our five most read items of the last seven days related to some of the industrial terminals in the community.

The most read of the list of five was our review of some of MP Nathan Cullen's comments related to rail safety, with the MP noting that with two LPG Terminals set to be built in Prince Rupert, the need for better training and rail safety measures across Northern BC will be an important topic for the months to come.

The progress for construction of one of those terminals also generated a strong number of viewers as readers explored our notes on the status of the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal.

BC Business magazine took note of all the industrial development notes in the Northwest this year and moved Prince Rupert into the Top Five spots of their Best places for work edition.

Our look at the second chemical related incident at Fairview Terminal in the last three months also proved to be a popular story this week, with a large volume of readers reviewing the background to Thursday's incident which sent two workers to hospital and resulted in a short shut down of the facility.

And news from City Council also caught the eye of our readers, with a good number exploring our notes on Council's plans to reduce their public council meeting schedule for 2018, a move which will completely eliminate any public sessions for September and October.

The top story of the last seven days however comes from the comments on rail safety issues across Northern BC from MP Nathan Cullen:

With two LPG terminals planned for Prince Rupert, rail safety is on the mind of MP Nathan Cullen -- With a recent rail derailment near Smithers fresh in the news cycle, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen speaks to the issue of increased training and rail safety along  the CN corridor through the North.    (posted December 20, 2017)

That article was followed by:

AltaGas Terminal project to reach construction milestone this month  -- Our look at the progress of the Ridley Island Propane Export Facility proved to be a popular item this past week. (posted December 21, 2017)

City Council to reduce number of public sessions for 2018 -- As they head into the Christmas and New Years period, City Council quietly has redrawn their work load for 2018 reducing the amount of public sessions they will have to hold, with no Council sessions scheduled for the months of September or October.  (posted December 18, 2017)

BC Business places two Northwest communities into Top Five of Best communities for work survey --  A survey from the Vancouver based BC Business magazine places Prince Rupert and Terrace in the top five place of the Best communities for work in the province. (posted December 19, 2017)

Mid-morning industrial incident sends employees to hospital; brings Fairview Terminal to a stand-still  -- An industrial incident at Fairview Terminal made for much discussion this week, as DP World addressed the second industrial chemical spill to take place at Fairview since September, the Thursday incident sent two workers to hospital and resulted in the evacuation of the work site, as well as a shut down for operations until Friday. (posted December 21, 2017)

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

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

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

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

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

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here.

Friday, December 22, 2017

A few more pieces in place at Atlin Terminal Community space project

Workers continue to add features to the Atlin Terminal public space project

Things have picked up a bit form our last trip down to the Atlin Terminal parking lot, where we had noted that the progress of the community space plans had slowed somewhat over the last few months.

However, since our update of November, some new features have become part of the scenery in the re-purposed parking lot, with some covered shelters installed in the community space area of the project, including one which now boasts of a sheltered spot to lock up your bike if you are cycling around the Cow Bay area.

The main stage feature of the project however, while now hosting a roof, still remains blocked off, leaving the opening for sometime in 2018 it would seem.

The Port of Prince Rupert hasn't had much to say of late when it comes to many of the expansion plans that were in the works for the Cow Bay waterfront area, you can review what some of the original designs and plans called for from this item from May of 2016.

For more notes related to Port Development in the city see our archive page here.

Competition is tough as Northern Health looks to fill positions in Prince Rupert and across Northern British Columbia

Prince Rupert Regional Hospital is just one of a number of hospitals
where Northern Health is trying to fill a growing list of vacancies
in the health care delivery system of the North

If you're considering a career in the Health care services, there's no better time to finish off your education and join the work force with the Job listings from Northern Health testifying as to the volume of jobs available and offering up an indication as to some of the difficulty that the Health authority is having in filling many of them.

With competition in the health services field growing and larger markets offering many of the social and recreational opportunities that young professionals are seeking, some of the rural areas of the Northern Health Service region are finding positions are remaining available for growing periods of time.

And that is making for staffing shortages that are being felt from Haida Gwaii in the far west, to the Peace Country of the North east along with many communities in between.

Earlier this month the Prince George Citizen highlighted some of the challenges facing Northern health.

The newspaper article cited a report which noted that there are 197 positions currently going unfilled, included in that number are 80 career positions that Northern Health has classified as difficult to fill.

According to the Northern Health website the Northwest Help Wanted listings are as follows:

Terrace  -- 32 positions available
Kitimat -- 17 positions available
Hazelton -- 20 postions available
Smithers -- 18 positions available
Houston -- 10 positions available
Haida Gwaii (all locations) -- 24 positions available 

In Prince George, which is the heart of the Northern Health system, the job listings offer 70 career opportunities at the moment.

As for Prince Rupert, there are currently 28 positions listed as available with Northern Health in the region, offering a range of positions with local facilities (click list below to expand or use the NH search engine here).

The hiring call an open ended one with the positions available until they are filled.

For more items of note from Northern Health see our archive page here.

Prince Rupert Port Authority seeks feedback on proposed Tariff revisions for 2018

The Port of Prince Rupert is looking to raise tariffs for use
of Port Facilities in 2018

Those who make use of the facilities of the Port of Prince Rupert will want to review some proposed tariff revisions that the Port is seeking comment towards, with eight separate fees set for an increase as of March 1st of 2018.

Most of the increases are directed towards the larger vessels that call on the Port's facilities on the North Coast, however some of the fee increase proposals could also have an impact on local users as well.

Among the increased fees that the Port Authority has in mind are:

Harbour Dues -- Increase of 1.55%

Wharfage Fees -- A 1.55% increase applied to all cargoes not otherwise specified, slack wax and container wharfage fees.

Lighterage Fees -- A 1.55% fee increase to be applied to project cargo, logs and all cargoes not specified

Berthage Fees -- An increase of 1.55% for both working and non-working periods.

Dockage Fees -- A 1.55% increase.

Services and Facilities Fees -- Increase Northland port call and security fees by 1.55%, no increase to line handling fees.

Water Service Fees -- Increase of 1.55% for water services at port facilities

Ridley Island Project Cargo Fees -- An increase of 1.55% for loading and unloading fees at the Ridley Island site.

Anyone with an interest in making a representation to the Port about the proposed tariff increases can do so by writing to the Port at:

Prince Rupert Port Authority
200 - Cow Bay Road
Prince Rupert BC Canada
V8J 1A2

More information can be accessed by phone at 250-627-8899,  by Fax at 250-627-8980 

Or by email at

The Port Authority has also provided a review of their proposed tariff plans to the PRPA website with the current tariff rates and those proposed for 2018 available for further study.

For more information on port related notes see our archive page here.

Tis the season for Holiday closures ...

With today the last day before the Christmas holidays begin a string of civic and regional services will either be closed, or on a reduced schedule during the festive season.

For quick reference you can find this listing as part of our North Coast Alerts Feature as part of our Right Hand Column listings.

A look at some of the seasonal hours for the next two weeks can be found below:

The City of Prince Rupert

Prince Rupert City Hall

December 24 -- January 1st -- Closed
January 2nd --Office reopens at 9:30 AM

Recreation Department for the City of Prince Rupert
(Facebook Page)

December 24 -- All facilities Close at Noon
December 25 -- 26 -- Closed
December 27 -- 30 -- Open at Regular hours
December 31 -- All facilities Close at Noon
January 1 -- Closed
January 2-- Facility returns to regular hours

Prince Rupert Library
(website) (Facebook Page)

December 24 -- 26 -- Closed
December 27-- 30 -- Open Regular Hours
December 31-- January 1 - Closed
January 2nd -- Library returns to regular hours

Prince Rupert Landfill Site on Ridley Island Access Road

December 23 -- 10 AM to 3:45 PM
December 25 & 26 -- Landfill Site Closed
December 27 -- 29 -- 8:30 AM to 4:45 PM
December 30 -- 10 AM to 3:45 PM
January 1 -- Landfill Site Closed
January 2 -- 8:30 AM - 4:45 PM

Consult Phone book for residential garbage pick up dates in your neighbourhood

City or Prince Rupert Public Works Department

December 25 & 26  -- Closed
December 27-29 -- Open Regular Hours
January 1 -- Closed
January 2 --Regular Hours resume  (8 AM -4- :30 PM) 

For 24 Hour emergency service from the Public Works Department call 250-624-3000

Should you require Cemetery Arrangements during the City Hall Closure call 250-627-0950

Regional District

Regional District Offices

December 25 -- January 1 -- Closed
January 2 -- Office returns to regular hours

North Coast Recycling Centre at Kaien Road

December 24 -- Noon to 4 PM
December 25 -- Closed
December 26 -- 11 AM to 4 PM
December 27-- 29 -- 8:30 to 4:30 PM
December 31 --Noon to 4 PM
January 1 -- Closed

Prince Rupert/Port Edward Transit
( PR website) (PE website)

December 24-26 -- No Service
December 27-29 -- Regular Weekday Service
December 30 -- Regular Saturday Service
December 31 --Special Evening Service Only (click here)
January 1 -- No Service

North Coasters looking to land the Big One in the Blue Knuckle Derby

Check out your gear, and pack some warm clothes ... the date has been set for the 25th annual Marc (Dezi) Desautels memorial Blue Knuckle Derby, with Wednesday, December 27th marked on the calendar for the North Coast's fishermen and women to head out from Daylight to Dark to try to reel in the Largest Salmon.

Sponsored by the Prince Rupert Lions Club, the event has been a popular fund raising event in the community since December of 1992, making for a great opportunity for families and friends to take advantage of the Holiday season in a friendly fishing competition.

From that first trip out in the early 1990's the annual event has grown, attracting larger and larger turnouts and providing a nice break from the frenzy of the holidays.

With the passing of Marc Desautels, the Lions picked up the torch for the event in 2009 and it has since become one of the most popular of the Lions Club activities in the course of the year, raising thousands of dollars for local groups.

The entrance fee for the 2017 Derby is 25 dollars per ticket

The Weigh in for the 2017 Event takes place at the Moose Hall from 5 until 6 PM, with Prizes to be awarded from 6 to 7 PM. 

A number of local businesses have stepped up to lend a hand when it comes to the rewards for a day out on the water.

First Place -- $1,200 courtesy of Harbour Machining
2nd Place -- $800 -- courtesy of Lighten Up Electric/R & R Rewinding
3rd Place -- $500 -- courtesy of The Port of Prince Rupert

As well, there are many Door prizes to be given away as part of the Weigh In and Prize Award festivities, including a $1,000 Cash Door Prize courtesy of Gateway Dental

As an additional feature for this years Derby, a raffle to win Return Tickets for 2 from Terrace to Vancouver has been provided courtesy of Central Mountain Air. 

Tickets for that raffle cost just 10 dollars.

Winners must be present to wind their door prizes.

The financial returns from this years derby will be distributed to the Salvation Army, Search and Rescue 15 and the Oldfield Creek Hatchery

For updates on the event see the Lions Club Facebook page here.

For more background on Community events on the North Coast see our archive page here.

SD52 publishes framework for enhancing student learning

One of the key expectations from the provincial School Act is that each Board of Education in the province is required to prepare a District Planning Document, something that is known as The Framework for Enhancing Student Learning.

It's a project School District 52 has been working on over the last year, and a process that they began with a survey of students, parents, staff and members of the community in February of 2017.

The Framework document serves to address SD52's mission: "To ensure each student successfully completes their educational program with a sense of hope, purpose and control"

The Focus points from the Framework provides a glimpse into the range of areas that SD52 was looking to approach as they created their vision for three year period.

From the February consultation the Board of Education has developed two Guiding Principles and six goals for the period from 2017-2020.

Guiding Principle Number One -- By increasing authentic, life-long and experiential learning opportunities will we see more engagement and therefore greater student achievement?

Towards that there are three goals associated with the principle:

1. To develop an appreciation of Reading

2. To enhance student Application of Numeracy

3. To Explore the Big Ideas

a) Through Aboriginal Perspectives and other local issues 


b) a love of learning through problem and project based opportunities

Guiding Principle Number Two -- How can we strengthen relationships and a sense of belonging at all levels?

The three goals associated with that principle include:

4. Our schools are places where students, families and staff all feel a sense of belonging.

5. To ensure every student can identify multiple, positive relationships they have with peers and staff within the school community.

6. Purposefully teach pro social skills and provide opportunities to practice

The completion of the Framework meets the three requirements of the Ministry of Education which include:

"A system-wide focus on intellectual, human and social and career development. These goals broaden the focus of the previous framework to better reflect the whole learner and be developed with careful consideration of the local context"

"Meaningful and effective planning for continuous improvement, Under the Framework, school districts and schools will be expected to continue to develop district and school plans, but in a manner that is more relevant to local contexts and needs."

"Plans will be expected to reflect local efforts to support each student and specific groups of students, including Aboriginal students, children in care, and students with special needs"

"The plans will be public reports to and for their local community"

The Two Guiding Principles and Six goals receive a comprehensive overview as part of the document, with each theme expanded on with additional background as to what is hoped to be achieved and the expectations that have been considered as part of the Framework.

The full document, which is now available on the SD52 website can be accessed here.

You can find more background on items of interest from the School District through our archive page here.

A look at other School Districts around the Northwest is also available through our archives here.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Mid-morning industrial incident sends employees to hospital; brings Fairview Terminal to a stand-still

Work was suspended at Fairview Container Terminal today
following an industrial incident on the site

(photo from Port of PR Website)

Update(December 22) : Port activities  have resumed at Fairview Terminal, after the substance in question from Thursday's incident had been identified as Butyl Acetate, a chemical used for synthetic food flavouring.  The source of the irritant had been discovered after an on site air quality assessment. DP World has indicated that there was no inhalation hazard to the community associated with the incident.

(Original story)

Details remain limited when it comes to an Industrial incident at the Fairview  Container Terminal in the mid-morning period of Thursday, with work suspended at the container terminal and the site evacuated after what appears to have been some form of employee contact with a chemical agent.

Container operator DP World has not provided a great deal of information on the nature of the incident other than that around 9:45 AM two employees were sent to Prince Rupert Regional hospital with respiratory issues and have subsequently been discharged.

After the incident was reported, work was halted and those working the day shift were evacuated from the terminal site. The situation was handed over to DP World's emergency response team, which is working with emergency services to address the situation.

There is no clear timeline as of yet, as to when the Terminal will reopen for service.

No additional information has to this point been released to the public living in the immediate area of the Terminal on the west side of the city. DP World hosts a website and twitter feed, neither of which offers up anything of note for residents at this time.

As well, the Port of Prince Rupert has not as of yet, provided any information related to today's events through any of their communication options.

Today's incident marks the second time in recent months when work has been suspended and  employees have been sent to the hospital,  the September incident resulted in the closure of the terminal for a number of days before work resumed.

That work stoppage, also resulted in a backlog issue for the Terminal to deal with in the weeks that followed, you can review notes from the Terminal as part of our archive page.

More accolades for Port of Prince Rupert, as Journal of Commerce rates them Top Performing Port

It was another successful trip to a trade event for representatives of the Port of Prince Rupert as Port officials received a salute from the organizers of the Journal of Commerce Port Performance North America conference earlier this month.

The Prince Rupert delegation were in attendance for the two day conference on December 12 and 13 in Newark, New Jersey, with port officials engaged in a number of sessions related to theme for the 2017 gathering of 'Improving Port Performance amid a sea of Disruption"

While taking part in the conference, the Port was recognized as an industry leader and named a Top Performing Port by the influential shipping industry magazine, with the Port celebrating their success with recognition of the partnership between CN Rail and DP world to achieve the standards that put the Port in the spotlight at the event.

The Port also paid tribute to those working the docks at the Fairview Facility, noting that through their efforts Prince Rupert was providing an industry leading service and gaining global recognition.

CN Rail and DP World were also quick to their twitter feed to celebrate the success of the Port and to highlight the supply chain advantage that Prince Rupert has to offer to the global shipping industry.

The success in Newark may herald even better news to come for the year ahead for the Port.

In the JOC rankings for the year ending 2016, the Port of Prince Rupert had cracked the Top 25 in North America, holding down the 16th spot and closing in fast on Montreal, with Vancouver still the top Canadian port on the list.

Those results could change significantly once the 2017 numbers are tabulated, with increased capacity and shipments through the Prince Rupert gateway as this year comes to an end, the prospect of jumping over the Montreal facility would seem close at hand and with it the potential to enter the Top Ten listings of port facilities in North America as we head into 2018.

A recent report from the Port of Prince Rupert highlighted the economic impact that port operations have on the entire Highway 16 corridor from Prince Rupert through to Prince George, with prospects for continue growth in the year ahead, that economic footprint will continue spread and create jobs across the region.

You can learn more about the operations of the Port of Prince Rupert from our archive page here.