Monday, October 23, 2017

City issues Potential FLOODING ADVISORY owing to tides, weather

The current Pacific frontal system is providing for some headaches for the City's Public Works Department as we head into Monday evening, with the City of Prince Rupert issuing a Potential Flooding Advisory for the area.

The notice posted to the city's website on Monday afternoon highlights the dual concerns of a higher than average tide cycle and the extended rain event that the city is currently dealing with.

As we outlined last night, the current pacific frontal system is expected to deliver over 100 mm of rain before it has fully transited inland, bringing with it strong winds at times gusting to 110 km/h.

The system is expected to batter the North Coast through Tuesday.

Those conditions so far have resulted in a significant surcharge to the City's drainage system in residential, commercial and industrial areas of Prince Rupert, causing some localized flooding.

City residents are asked to clear any catch basins in their neighbourhood or to call the City's after hours emergency line at 250- 624- 3000 to report any issues.

City crews will be working into the evening to address the problem areas and the city continues to monitor the situation, with a particular concern noted for the industrial park area.

You can review the full statement from the City here.

More notes on past weather events on the North Coast can be found on our archive page.

Highway 16 reopened at Ridley Island Access road after morning collision

A collision during the morning drive into Prince Rupert had Highway 16 closed to traffic for about an hour or so, as RCMP and emergency officials attended to a two vehicle incident at the Ridley Island access road.

The collision which occurred at around 7:45 AM is being investigated by members of the Prince Rupert detachment, few details related to the incident, such as vehicle type or if any injuries occured have been released to this point.

Shortly after 9AM Drive BC indicated that the highway had been reopened to traffic.

For more notes related to the work of Emergency responders in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Salvation Army set to open registration process for Christmas Hamper program

Preparations are underway for the
distribution of the Christmas Hamper
program at the Prince Rupert Salvation Army
While the North Coast is still a few months away from the Christmas and holiday season, officials with the city's Salvation Army are already making plans for the annual distribution of their Christmas Hamper program.

As the economy of the North Coast has continued to struggle, the use of the hamper program has seen increasing numbers over recent years and the Salvation Army has had some challenges to ensure that the need in the community is addressed for those that are most require the assistance.

Once again this year, the Salvation Army is asking that those wishing to receive a Christmas Hamper stop in at the church on Grenville Court to ensure that their family is on the list.

The Dates to apply for a Christmas hamper start in November and are as follows, those making application are reminded to bring identification for everyone in their household.

Thursday, November 2 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Friday, November 3 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Wednesday, November 8 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Thursday, November 9 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Friday, November 20 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Wednesday, November 15 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Thursday, November 16 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Friday, November 17 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Wednesday, November 22 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Thursday, November 23 -- 9 AM to 2 PM
Friday, November 24 -- 9 AM to 2 PM

The date of the distribution of the hampers has not been announced as of yet, in past years it has taken place in the mid month period of December.

Last year the Salvation Army distributed 803 hampers in the community.

During a farewell address to the Prince Rupert Rotary club in February, Captain Gary Shiels noted that the need in Prince Rupert is significantly higher than in many other areas of the country.

At the time, the Captain observed that 1 in 4 residents of the region made use of the Salvation Army's services in Prince Rupert, compared to a national average of 1 in 15.

If you require more information on the program for this year you can contact Greg Silvey at 250-624-6180

Once we head into December, residents of the North Coast will begin to see the start of the annual Christmas campaign, with collection kettles set up at a number of locations around town to allow you one option for helping out during the holiday season.

In late September, Prince Rupert's motorcyclists got together for the 36th annual Toy Run, the popular local event raised thousands of dollars and delivered a large volume of toys for those in need for this season.

As the demand for assistance increases over the winter months, you can find out more about how you can lend a hand or contribute to the work of the Salvation Army with those in the most need in our community.

Call the Salvation Army at the number above, or drop into the Church at 25 Grenville Court to learn more.

Updates on their work and activities can be found on the Prince Rupert Salvation Army facebook page.

Liberal leadership hopefuls criss cross Northwest over weekend

Prince Rupert was one of a number of destination points on the political map this weekend, in addition to a tour of the Northwest from NDP Premier John Horgan, two of the candidates in the Liberal leadership campaign brought their tours of the region in the city on Saturday and Sunday.

The first of the Liberal candidates to arrive in town was Todd Stone, who hosted a meet and greet at La Gondola on Saturday, where he brought his themes of economic development to the gathering of local Liberals.

Todd Stone spent part of his Northwest Tour in Prince Rupert this weekend
(photos from the Stone Social media feed)

He also took to his social media streams during the visit, using the Atlin Dock as his backdrop for one of a number of social media features, the former Transportation Minister noted of the potential for the North Coast and making note of the Premier Horgan's tour of the region, called attention to the need to develop more industry on the North Coast .

Mr. Stone's appearance in town marked the wrap up to an extensive tour of Northern BC which took him from Prince George to the North Coast over a period of 48 hours.

Former Surrey Mayor and Federal MP Dianne Watts hosted a breakfast function on Sunday, inviting early risers to Java Dot Cup for coffee and muffins, as well as a chance to ask her questions or share some thoughts about the future of the BC Liberals and the province.

Dianne Watts was also in the region, exploring some of the industrial
areas of the Northwest while meeting with local residents

(from the Watts Social media stream)

Ms.Watts was in Terrace later in the day, with the tour moving further inland today with stops in New Hazelton and Smithers.

You can catch up to some of the themes of the various leadership campaigns through our Leadership tracker feature on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

BCGEU exec on Northwest tour of regional offices

Members of BCGEU, one of the major union groups in the province will have the chance to speak with their leadership this week, as Executive Vice President, James Coccola travels through the area visiting a range of work sites in the Northwest.

Mr. Coccola's journey started on Sunday in Prince Rupert, where he met with local members at the Crest Hotel for breakfast meetings, followed by a visit to the Prince Rupert BC Liquor store outlet.

Today he's moved inland, with a number of sessions planned with workers in New Hazelton and Smithers.

The union official will wrap up his tour of the Northwest with a two day stop in Terrace Tuesday and Wednesday, where a number of meetings have been scheduled with local union representatives and members.

The labour leader offered up an observation of his tour to this point through his twitter feed, making note of the weather forecast ahead for the next few days.

More on his tour is available here, while a wider overview of the work of the BCGEU can be found on their website.

You can follow the Northwest labour scene from our archive page here.

Prince Rupert RCMP outline some helpful reminders for Halloween

We may be eight days away from the night of haunting, however it's never too early to make preparations to keep the youngest of trick or treaters safe during their rounds on Halloween.

Towards that goal of a safe night of trick or treating, the Prince Rupert RCMP released some hints on Friday, to help parents and guardians get ready for next week's annual tour of the city's neighbourhoods.

Among some of their tips:

Bring a flashlight, and make sure you aren’t wearing all dark clothing so you can easily be seen  

Do not let your children go inside anyone’s house, and don’t get into cars with strangers 

Only visit houses that are lit and decorated 

Don’t pet animals you don’t know – and owners, keep your pets inside 

And to address the potential for pranksters getting carried away on the night, the local detachment had a warning related to vandalism, some advice that is no doubt helpful beyond the one night given over to trick or treating in the community.

Vandalism is not just a trick – it is against the law and will have consequences.

Along with the vandalism warning, the Mounties also issued a reminder for the public that it is illegal to sell give, discharge  and manufacture fireworks. Outlining the range of fireworks and the penalties for their use.

Fireworks include, but are not limited to: firecrackers, cannon crackers, fireballs, mines, roman candles, sky rockets as well as sky lanterns.Anybody found in possession of illegal fireworks are subject to a fine of up to $100.00.

The Prince Rupert detachment also called attention to the city's annual Halloween Fest at the Civic Centre which will get underway at 6PM, wrapping up at 8 PM when the always entertaining Fireworks display will explode over the skies of the City, with Mount Hays serving as the backdrop for the October 31st celebration.

A review of the RCMP's information statement is available here.

For more items related to the work of the RCMP and other emergency responders in the Northwest, see our archive page here.

Premier celebrates Rio Tinto anniversary, makes stop at AltaGas project in Prince Rupert

It was a quick trek to the Northwest this weekend for Premier John Horgan, making his first journey into the region since he was elected Premier.

It's been a while since Mr. Horgan has taken advantage of the chance to catch up on some of the economic development of the region, through the course of the May election campaign that propelled him to the Premier's office he never quite made it as far as Prince Rupert while on the campaign trail.

The Premier's tour of the Northwest began in Kitimat, where he had a tour of the new Rio Tinto Facility in that community and then took part in a community celebration of the first year of operation for the new smelter.

Energy Minister Michelle Mungall, who was touring the area with the Premier,  also offered up some comments on the fate of LNG for the Northwest as part of the tour of the Kitimat region on Saturday.

Premier Horgan was in Kitimat as part of his tour of the Northwest, celebrating
the first year anniversary for the modernized Rio Tinto smelter complex

(photos from the Premier's social media stream)

Mr. Horgan's travels to Prince Rupert provided the Premier an opportunity to take note of the progress of the AltaGas terminal project at Ridley Island, where a large storage tank is taking shape on the AltaGas site, located adjacent to the Coal Terminal property.

Along for the journey to the AltaGas Facility at Ridley Island was MLA Jennifer Rice,  Energy Minister Michelle Mungall, also noted as taking part in the tour of the site Sunday was Mayor Brain, Mayor Dave MacDonald in Port Edward, Mayor John Helin of Lax Kw'alaams.

AltaGas CEO Dave Harris and representatives from the Prince Rupert local of the ILWU were on hand to provide the review of progress on the industrial facility for the Premier. Once it is completed in 2018, the AltaGas terminal will ship Liquid propane to foreign markets making use of the Ridley Terminals dock.

You can learn more about the industrial project here.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice shared photos of the event (see above), as well as some notes on the Sunday tour through her social media portals of Facebook and twitter.

As the reviews of the Premier's tour of the region come in we'll add them to our Legislature Archive page here.

More notes on the province's political scene can be found on our D'Arcy McGee portal.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending October 22, 2017

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

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

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

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here.

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending October 22, 2017 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate, East Side, 
Week ending October 22, 2017

Prince Rupert Real Estate, West Side, 
Week ending October 22, 2017

October is shaping up to be the month of lethargy when it comes to our look at the ten top valued property listings in Prince Rupert, as once again there was no change to our listings of the last seven days.

That Graham/Atlin Avenue area continues to be the part of town attracting the most interest, with over half of our listings of ten found on that side of the city.

Overall, the area west of McBride Street accounts for seven of of the ten this week, while the east side of the city claims the remaining three spots,

With the latest results, the combined value this week of our ten high end listings increases to  $6,414,000

The lowest mark for the list of ten now sits at $498,000, while our top end from the last week is listed at $829,000.

Below find our findings as of the Week ending October 22, 2017

2280 Graham Avenue                   $829,000 --  Remax
2040 Graham Avenue                   $799,000 -- Remax
1881 Graham Avenue                   $699,000 --  Remax
1027 Borden Street                       $698,000 --  Realty Executives
2230 Graham Avenue                   $669,000  --  Remax
1942 Second Avenue West           $649,000  -- Remax
226 Heron Road                            $545,000 --  Remax
1208 Beach Place                          $529,000 --  Remax
1520 7th Avenue East                    $499,000 -- Remax
1805 Graham Avenue                    $498,000 -- Remax

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

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017

WIND WARNING/RAINFALL WARNING issued for North Coast - Coastal sections

The North Coast wraps up the week, much the way it started it, with Environment Canada issuing a weather alert for the region, posting a WIND WARNING and RAINFALL WARNING for the North Coast at 9 PM Sunday evening.

A strong active frontal system is making a rapid approach to the North Coast and is expected to bring South-Southeast winds  of 90 km/h, gusting to 110 km/hr to exposed sections of the coastal North and Central Coasts into Monday morning.

Winds will ease off as the system passes through and moves into the Central Interior region of the province.

As it moves through, HEAVY RAINFALL  is expected with 100 to 125 mm of precipitation to come before the heaviest of the rain eases off on Monday.

Kitimat could potentially see rainfall totals of 200 mm.

The twin forecasts can be reviewed in full below:

For updates on the weather system as it arrives and transits eastbound see the Environment Canada forecast page here.

Road conditions may change further eastbound as the system heads inland, you can get the latest conditions from Drive BC through their website and twitter feed.

More notes related to past weather systems can be reviewed on our archive page.

Blog Watching: Week ending October 21, 2017

An investigation into a homicide on the city's west side and some notes out of the Monday Prince Rupert City Council session, dominated much of the views for the week.

The release of information from the RCMP related to a stabbing of two seniors, which resulted in the death of one, was by far the most read item of the week.

From City Council, housing and concerns over the homeless provided for many of the themes from the Monday session, while the latest job opportunity with the City and a look at a proposed triplex development in the downtown area also attracted a strong audience.

A community project courtesy of Northern Savings also was of much interest to readers, as the Northern Savings community viewing stations for Terrace, Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert made for a popular item on the week.

The top story of the last seven days however keeps the focus on crime, with the stabbings of 9th Avenue West making for the most viewed item of the week.

RCMP investigation underway into west side stabbing fatality -- Our notes related to an incident of violence early Wednesday morning on the city's west side was by far the most read article of the week. The item relayed the update into the investigation by the RCMP into a stabbing which left one Senior Citizen dead and another badly injured. As the week moved forward, it was announced that the male teenager in custody would be facing charges of second degree murder and attempted murder   (posted October 18, 2017)

That article was followed by:

Councillor Thorkelson seeks solutions for homeless residents as wetter, colder weather approaches --  Themes related to this weeks Prince Rupert Council session found a large audience this week, with our notes on affordable housing of particular interest to residents. (posted October 19, 2017)

City seeks to fill staff opening in IT department --   There was quite a bit of interest this week on our look at the latest job opportunity posted by City Hall (posted October 18, 2017)

Northern Savings keeps the watch at Mariner's Park --  The Prince Rupert based financial institution Northern Savings delivered on a Canada 150 project across the northwest and Haida Gwaii, installing Binocular Viewing stations in a number of communities.. (posted October 17, 2017)

Council to get first glimpse of proposed triplex for 1st Avenue West -- Readers showed some significant interest in our preview Monday's Council session and a look at proposed triplex for the 1st Avenue West area in the downtown core.  (posted October 16, 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.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

MLA's Week: October 16-19, 2017

It was back to work for MLA's this week following their Thanksgiving Break of the 9th to 15th, with funding announcements among some of the themes of the last five days making for some news in the region.

For North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, the work in the Legislature offered up one speaking engagement as she outlined the preparations for Thursday's Great BC Shake out program.

While Prince Rupert issues may not have gained much traction on the week in the Legislature, back in the riding, Victoria was very much on the mind of local officials as a number of topics made for discussion on the theme of municipal-provincial relations.

Our look at the work week that just concluded, can be found below:

On the week, Ms Rice was listed once  in the accounts of the sessions of the Legislature from October 16 to 19.

Ms. Rice's moment in the Legislature spot light came on Wednesday, when speaking as the Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency preparedness, she reminded the members of the Legislature of Thursday's Great BC Shake Out exercise.

The North Coast's Ms. Rice, with some earthquake preparation advice

Prince Rupert and the North Coast and how the area engages with Victoria did however feature in some other notes on the week, included in the listings were:

Affordable housing results continue to elude Prince Rupert City Council
Media notes indicate John Horgan's coming to the Northwest and he's bringing a hard hat ...
Young Northwest entrepreneurs to benefit from Provincial funding
Councillor has high hopes for better relationship with Provincial government
Councillor Thorkelson seeks solutions for homeless residents as wetter, colder weather approaches
Prince Rupert organization to receive funding for Literacy program

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross also had opportunity to raise a few items of note on the week.

Among the areas explore at the Legislature, were his comments on Monday morning related to Diversity and Human rights,  while he put the focus on economic development for First Nations in the afternoon with questions on both the aquaculture and LNG industries.

Wednesday, Mr. Ross spoke at a Health Committee session, asking a number of questions related to the Mills Memorial Hospital replacement process.

The Legislature will return to their work on Monday morning, October 23rd.

There is more background on the North Coast MLA available from our MLA's Week Archive as well as our General Archive on the Legislature.

A larger overview of provincial issues can be found on our political portal D'Arcy McGee 

Skeena MLA seeks more info on Mills Memorial replacement plans

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross made some inquiries on the status
of the Mills Memorial Hospital replacement plan, speaking
during the course of a Health Committee session at the Legislature

The quest for some firm information on a timeline for replacement of Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace made for some of the discussion this week at the Legislature, with Skeena Liberal MLA Ellis Ross taking advantage of a Health Committee session mid week to review the status of the process.

During the course of the Wednesday evening session, the Skeena MLA made inquiries on a number of items related to the Mills Memorial proposal to Health Minister Adrian Dix, leading off his questions for the Minister with some background on the process from the Terrace side of the proposal.

I think we agree on the priority for hospitals all around B.C., but I think we also agree on the need for a replacement for Mills Memorial Hospital. I've talked with a number of different organizations. I've talked with a number of different MLAs. What I understand is that the concept plan was resubmitted back in February, and I assume that your government is actually reviewing it right now. Can I get an idea of the timeline on when the government will decide on whether or not the concept plan will be approved or not?

In response to the inquiry, Mr. Dix, observed that the MLA didn't have the overview quite correct, he then  reviewed how the government is approaching that process, noting that the previous government had not acted on the concept plan when first submitted and that the new government is seeking a renewed plan, one that takes into account some of the changing circumstances, such as industrial expectations, particularly around LNG and other areas.

When it comes to the Terrace proposal, the Health Minister also noted that the revised concept plan is expected by November of this year.

He also observed that within Northern Health, there are a number of other proposals to consider, with Dawson Creek, Prince George, Fort St. James and Quesnel all have projects that under review. However, Mr. Dix did however highlight, that Northern Health had identified the Mills Memorial project as a priority.

Ellis Ross raised the theme of the
Mills Memorial Hospital replacement
process during a Health Committee
session on Wednesday
As Mr. Ross continued to advocate for the Terrace hospital, he sought out some kind of ballpark estimation as to where the Mills proposal may be when it comes to priorities.

The Skeena MLA then reviewed for the Minister the strategic nature of the health care facility and how the lack of progress on a replacement is having an effect on recruiting health professionals in the Terrace-Kitimat region.

I guess I'm not really telling you anything that you don't already know about Terrace Hospital. It is a regional hospital. It services Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Niska, Smithers, even people from Haida Gwaii go there, and it is an outdated facility. 

 We're having a tough time attracting doctors in Kitimat as well as Terrace. Most of it's around, of course, the hospital and the facility and the services. That would go a long way to attracting and putting in a good medical system in advance of LNG coming to town. Last question. It was my understanding that the Mills Memorial Hospital was in the ten-year capital plan. Is that the case? If so, will it still be the case?

In response, the Health Minister offered up an overview as to the approach ahead for the Terrace hospital concept, making note for the Committee that Colleen Nyce had recently appointed as the new permanent chair of the Northern Health Board, having previously served as the interim Chair,  Mr. Dix added that she is from the Terrace area and has been a strong advocate for the Mills Memorial project.

Observing that it's been a long period of time since he's had the opportunity to visit the hospital in Terrace to see the condition of the hospital. He also outlined how he hopes to connect with the new Board Chair, along with Mr. Ross and with others in the Terrace region to look at the hospital together in the near future, though the timeline of that consultation would appear to be dependent on the Legislature calendar.

As for Mr. Ross's request to have the Mills proposal put into a ten year capital plan, Mr. Dix noted that there are still some important questions for the community to review when it comes to the Mills Memorial project, adding he understands the frustration and remains determined to moving the process forward.

You can review the full exchange from the Committee session here, it starts just before the 17:20 mark.

The Committee proceedings are also available for review from the Legislature Video Archive page, Mr. Ross's participation can be found in the Wednesday Health Committee listing.

More notes related to Mr. Ross's efforts at the Legislature can be reviewed here. While a wider overview of North Coast and Northwest legislature items, including the work of North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice is available here.

For more background on Health care in the region see our Health archive page.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Rampage head to the Aluminum City Saturday, looking for first win of the season

The Prince Rupert Rampage will be looking to build on some exciting hockey from last week in the Cariboo, as they head down the highway on Saturday looking to take two points from their hosts for the night the Kitimat Ice Demons.

The Rhinos who battled hard with the Williams Lake Stampeders last Saturday before giving up an OT marker for the loss, struggled a a bit more on Sunday as the Quesnel Kangaroos filled up the night in the Sunday finale for the road trip.

However, as is the case for many CIHL games, the 120 plus minutes of last weekend provided for some lessons for the team, which discovered those areas of their game that require a bit more attention.

The Ice Demons also were on a tour of the Cariboo last weekend, with similar results in the win loss column and significantly higher numbers in the Goals Against table.

Both teams head towards puck drop with two points in the standings, with Prince Rupert gaining one point each from their two overtime losses of the year so far.

As the Rampage prepare for tomorrow night's match up, they will be looking to continued offence from Kory Movold, Jared Meers and Craig Munro who lead the team in scoring after three games.

Getting pucks to the Kitimat net will be key for the Rupert attack, putting the Kitimat defensive units and goaltending to the test, the Ice Demons have surrendered a league leading 22 goals heading into their fifth game of the year Saturday.

Defensively the Rampage are on par with the rest of the league, with 13 goals against to this point of the year, those numbers just a shade higher than found in the rest of the league.

Fans that may not have plans to make the drive to Kitimat for the game, will be aiming for arrival in time for the 8PM puck drop at the Tamitik Arena.

The other game on the schedule for Saturday finds the Williams Lake Mustangs in Terrace for a match up with the River Kings, that game may be on CityWest community television this weekend, the game is on their TV schedule, an online feed to view that game may be available in Prince Rupert at 7PM.

Williams Lake will travel to Kitimat for a Sunday afternoon game at 1 PM.

You can follow the Rampage through our Schedule/Results page here.

Further notes on the Rhinos and the rest of the CIHL can be reviewed on our CIHL news archive.

Mayor Brain outlines details related to upcoming Hays 2.0 vision update

During the course of Monday's City Council session, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain offered up a short snapshot of some upcoming community engagement plans that are heading the way of the community, including the latest notes on the City's Redesign Rupert initiative.

Mr. Brain also took some time at the end of the Council meeting to reveal the plans for an Open House on a number of municipal issues, as well as a for a special night to be set aside for he Mayor to provide a presentation on the path forward for his Hays 2.0 vision plan.

Towards that Hays 2.0 public meeting, the Mayor took to his Social media account on Facebook on Thursday with a bit more background on what residents of Prince Rupert can learn more about should they attend the November 22nd session at the Lester Centre.

Among the themes that the Mayor will present to the public for the night are:

Infrastructure priorities and time lines
Strategies to increase City Revenues and Reduce Taxes
The City's Watson Island strategy

A portion of the night is to be allocated towards an information session called Prince Rupert Legacy 101, which one imagines will provide some further detail on the city's vehicle for distributing revenues gained from the sale or lease of city land.

How the City made use of the Legacy Fun in 2016 is outlined in this report from the City website.

Other areas to be explored include the city's Downtown and Waterfront strategy, as well as a New Regional logistics and Airport Access plan.

There is also the promise of more topics to be added to the night's show bill before the house lights come up in late November.

The roll out of the Hays 2.0 session which is titled A Blueprint for Prince Rupert's Future, almost reads like the advertising for a one man show, coming to town for one night only. With the focus on the Mayor's presentation prominent in the poster and social media campaign for the event.

It's a bit of information delivery which might leave residents to wonder as to what function the rest of City Council members and those on city staff might have for the night.

And in the case of the six council members,  just how invested they may be in the far reaching blue print that the Mayor plans to share with the public.

That level of involvement is perhaps is something we may learn more about, when the November 22nd info session takes place from 7 to 9:30 PM.

The information campaign for the Hays 2.0 overview also notes that residents can email their questions to

The deadline to submit questions is Friday November 17th at 5 PM.

It's not clear from the initial stream of information provided, if the night will also include an open microphone session with those in attendance who may have questions as all the details for implementation of the Mayor's vision plan are introduced.

The Mayor shared his enthusiasm for the November session through his Facebook page on Thursday.

Some background on the original version of the Hays 2.0 initiative can be found on the city's website.

While other notes related to Hays 2.0 and other related projects from the City can be found on our archive page.

West side sewer work means one to two weeks of construction

Sewer repairs are underway on the City's west side

Residents of the 1600 block of the Graham Avenue Area will be the centre of a construction zone for the next week or so, that as the City's Public Works Department attends to some sewer repairs required on the west side of the city.

Residents and those travelling to that area of the neighbourhood are advised that traffic disruptions will be taking place and that motorists should observe the posted signs and follow the lead of traffic controllers around the construction site.

No firm timeline related to the work was provided, but it is anticipated that the work crews will be in the area for at least one to two weeks.

The full notice to the work can be found on the City's website.

An overview of some of the city's ongoing work on infrastructure can be found here.

Rainmaker teams head off in many directions for weekend play

The final few weeks of the fall sports season for regional high schools is now underway, with playoffs, zones and wrap up road trips all part of this weekend's action.

The Charles Hays Senior Girls Volleyball squad is off to Terrace, where a large number of teams from the northwest will take to the court.

The Junior Girls Vollebyall team is also heading to the bus, with Terrace their destination as well for weekend play.

The Rainmaker Cross Country team is on their way to Houston  for the Northwest Zones on Saturday.

The Charles Hays Boys Soccer club wraps up the week's travel arrangements with a trip to Smithers set for a Saturday competition in the Bulkley Valley.

The Grade eight girls volleyball team from PRMS is off to Hazelton on Saturday

You can keep up to date on how all the teams fare this weekend through the CHSS Twitter feed, which features scores and occasional photos and videos of the Rainmakers in action.

For more items related to Rainmaker Sports see our archive page here.

Affordable housing results continue to elude Prince Rupert City Council

Raffles is one of the few options for
emergency shelter, as Prince Rupert
continues to seek out a solution to
a concerning affordable housing situation
A strong feeling of frustration was clear in a number of cases on Monday night, as the topic of affordable and supportive housing, or the lack of those options in Prince Rupert, returned to the discussion table at City Council.

The theme of housing gained some time at the Council session as Councillor Joy Thorkelson called attention to a growing concern for the well being of the homeless and near homeless in the community, particularly as the winter weather approaches.

"Again we are getting into rainy days and stormy days of the fall and we still remain, even after all of Council's engagement with Makola and other housing providers we still don't have a proper shelter other than Raffles" -- Councillor Joy Thorkelson at Monday's Council Session

As we reviewed yesterday, Ms. Thorkelson's strong commentary on finding solutions and to provide for those in need in the community, may have been the most important ten minutes from Monday's council session and an area where much of the attention of both the city and the public should be directed heading into the fall.

Councillor Joy Thorkelson introduced 
themes of affordable, supportive  and
emergency housing
at Monday night's Council session.
Her review of the current status of the city's housing initiatives came through her comments and observations on the alarming status of some residents that call Prince Rupert home , with the larger issue of affordable and supportive housing making for the final portion of the Monday meeting.

For his part, Councillor Barry Cunningham called attention the many, many meetings that the city has held on the theme of housing and how a solution has yet to be found.

"I just want to say that the time and effort that we put into housing and the results are just about nil are very frustrating, I know that people think that we've done nothing, but we've had meetings, we've had meetings ...  it's a provincial situation that we have to wrap our heads around and get more help -- Councillor Barry Cunningham on Council's efforts on affordable housing

As the Councillor notes, the topic of housing has been one of the main currents of discussion since this Council group was elected in November of 2014 and in fact the need for affordable housing was one of the key themes of that election campaign that brought the Mayor and six councillors to office.

However, after the initial push to raise the issue in public of the first few years, other than some success found in the prospect for more Senior's housing this year; the theme of affordable and supportive housing has not been quite as prominent during the Public Council sessions of 2017.

As part of Monday night's discussion on some of the issues facing the community, Mayor Lee Brain noted that he and Mr. Cunningham had met with MLA Jennifer Rice for an hour last week to discuss housing and homelessness.

From that session, the take away from the Mayor seems to be that he believes that now that she sits on the government side of the House,  there is an opportunity to work closer with Ms. Rice on the issue. Adding that Council could invite the MLA to attend to a future council session and present to Council on some of the province's plans for Prince Rupert.

As to where the city is at in the current discussion on housing the Mayor outlined a few of his  observations on the theme in response to Ms. Thorkelson's concerns.

"I do believe you're right, we have to do more for the community, we've done lots already and we have to continue with that effort"

The full overview of the discussion can be found on our Council Timeline feature and is available for viewing through the City's Video Archive starting at the one hour five minute mark.

As was noted on Monday night, there is some relief on the way, when it comes to needs of seniors in the community, with hopes that the Metlakatla proposal for the city's east side will soon move forward.

However, when it comes to finding a way to address the concerns for those in the most need , the frustration of both Mr. Cunningham and Ms. Thorkelson highlights just how much farther the community needs to go to produce some results.

Both Council members delivered some well thought out and interesting themes, recounting what appears to have been a stream of seemingly endless discussions on housing, with little tangible evidence to this point that we are getting closer to a solution to the housing concerns.

The exclamation point to the commentary provided through the jarring reminder of the issues facing the city's homeless and near homeless, as delivered by Ms. Thorkelson's review of the current situation found in the city.

Councillor Cunningham pointed to frustrations with the how the province has handled the file over the years, but what's puzzling about that narrative is that other communities of the region seemingly have found a way to get the ear of both the previous and current provincial governments.

As we've noted in our housing archives in recent months, both Terrace and Kitimat have moved forward with a range of housing options to address some of the concerns in their communities.

Affordable Housing units' construction underway
BC Housing spending more than $!5 million on Terrace housing projects
BC Housing converts Kitimat City Centre suites to shelter

During the recent UBCM convention, the town of Smithers was featured prominently as part of Premier John Horgan's roll out of an affordable housing project, making use of modular housing concepts to build residential units in that community.

Considering the success that those communities have had on the housing files, Prince Rupert's Council members might want to make a few phone calls and ask for the blue prints to their housing initiatives, in order to see how they might be able to deliver the same results as those found further east.

Whatever the reasons, Prince Rupert it would seem is having some problems getting their needs across to the provincial government and BC Housing.

A review of some of the recent announcements from the housing agency indicates that across BC the delivery of affordable housing options are moving forward.

Hopefully between the efforts of City Council and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, Prince Rupert may soon be included in the rolling list of provincial announcements.

For more items related to the housing issue in the region see our archive page here.

More notes on the themes of discussion at Prince Rupert City Council can be found on our Council archive page.

Media notes indicate John Horgan's coming to the Northwest and he's bringing a hard hat ...

John Horgan seen above on the campaign trail earlier this year.
Now the Premier, Mr. Horgan will be touring some industrial
sites in the Northwest this weekend.

(photo from BC NDP flickr site)

He may not have dropped by as Opposition leader during the Spring election campaign, but this weekend John Horgan, now the Premier of the province, will be touring a number of industrial locations in the Northwest.

So far, no itinerary has been posted through his range of communication options, while North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice appears to be keeping the pending visit off the radar for the moment. 

However, according to the Globe and Mail, Mr. Horgan would appear to have a busy few days planned for his quick jaunt into the region.

No dates or times were revealed by the Globe, but in this story, posted last night, the Globe notes that the Premier will be exploring the Rio Tinto Aluminum smelter in Kitimat, taking part in a celebration of the first year of the modernization project kin that community.

Mr. Horgan will also tour the site of a proposed LNG terminal in Kitimat before heading westbound.

Following that event, the Premier is destined for Ridley Island where he will be visiting the construction site of the AltaGas Propane Export Terminal.

As he travels along the Ridley site Mr. Horgan might be able to get a glimpse of a few political ghosts in the region. With a chance to explore where the Prince Rupert LNG Terminal project might have been built, and if he looks off into the not too far distance to the south of Ridley, the Premier will also be able to see the controversial topography that makes up Lelu Island, the one time proposed host site for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

Those large scale industrial LNG project proposals, along with the recently cancelled Aurora LNG project, could make for some interesting discussion points when it comes to the future for the North Coast's industrial prospects.

There is no indication from the Globe story, if the Premier also has plans to meet with any members of  Prince Rupert City Council to discuss some of the issues of note that the City has been speaking to since the NDP took power in May.

Should the Premier's office, or MLA Rice outline further itinerary items, or if any public events are planned for the North Coast are announced, we'll be sure to share them below in an update to this item.

For more items related to the Provincial government and the North Coast riding see our Legislature Archive page here.

Young Northwest entrepreneurs to benefit from Provincial funding

NDP Minister Doug Donaldson
announced another round of
Rural Dividend funding Thursday

The NDP government keeps rolling out the Rural Dividend funding announcements, making note on Thursday of close to 349,000 dollars that will be distributed in the Northwest to support the Futurepreneur Canada program.

The non-profit organization is best known in the Northwest for the ThriveNorth program which provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners from age 18 to 39 years.

Over the last year, the Thrive North initiatives have included the 2017 Business Challenge, the organization also features a range of resources that are made available to regional entrepreneurs as they prepare to take that first step into the business world.

In the Northwest, the partners for the program include:

Community Futures (Terrace),
District of Kitimat,
Lax Kw’alaams Band,
Nisga’a Lisims Government,
Northern Savings Credit Union,
Northwest Community College
Prince Rupert & District Chamber of Commerce

The funding announcement comes as Small Business Week in BC and Canada is about to come to an end. Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development outlined how the funding will benefit entrepreneurs in the Northwest.

“This new funding means Futurpreneur Canada and its partners can support young entrepreneurs, which, in turn, helps rural communities grow their economies and create jobs – now and for the next generation.”

You can review the background to Thursday's announcement here.

Last week we made note of the Rural Dividend distribution on the North Coast, which saw the City of Prince Rupert receive 150,000 dollars, which Mayor Lee Brain has announced will be put towards the city's Redesign Rupert initiative.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice celebrated the funding announcement this week for Prince Rupert and other locations in the region through her constituency website.

More notes related to the work of the provincial government and its engagement with the Northwest can be found on our Legislative Archive pages below:

Skeena constituency 
North Coast constituency

You can learn more about the Futurpreneur Program and the Thrive North initiative here.

More items of interest related to the Northwest Commercial sector can be found here.

Councillor has high hopes for better relationship with Provincial government

Provincial/Municipal relations was a topic of discussion for Prince Rupert
Councillor Barry Cunningham on Monday night

Councillor Barry Cunningham all but popped on an I love the NDP button at Monday's Council session, providing for a pretty strong endorsement of the city's percolating relationship with the new government in Victoria.

The City councillor launched into somewhat of a partisan declaration on Monday, a political review that offered up a number of ways that he finds the new cabinet team assembled by Premier John Horgan to be preferable to the government that held office up until May.

The theme of relationships with the provincial  government came as part of Council's discussion on their struggles in resolving the affordable and supportive housing situation in the city.

Mr. Cunningham introduced the topic by following up on the Mayor's notes related to a meeting that the pair had attended with MLA Jennifer Rice in the week previous, with the Councillor noting how he is hoping for more progress with the new NDP government.

Among the threads of his commentary, he observes that Ms. Rice, is more than willing to knock on doors to help the community and how that in his view, he senses a different approach is at hand than that of the previous government.

"With the MLA now being on the government side, and she's more than willing to knock on doors and help us, we might get some results. The last government, you know it was all tied into LNG. If LNG happens you'll get this, you'll get that, it was like a carrot they kept dangling in front of us. This government here, seems to be, after talking to them, a little more perceptive about situations like this. You know, there's a human side to them, it's their first time in government so they're looking at it a bit different than a party that was in government for three terms and was getting kind of arrogant and thinking that they were untouchable" --- Councillor Cunningham on the theme of relations between the City and provincial governments.

The Councillor also observed that after city's delegation had productive engagements with provincial officials at UBCM in September, that he hopes that the ongoing relationship will deliver solutions and bring some light to the end of the tunnel.

The fulsome praise of the new partners in governance can be found as part of our Council Timeline Feature as well as from the city's video archive of Monday's council session starting at the one hour, fourteen minute mark.

Mr. Cunningham is not the first City Council member to hail the city's recent engagement with the NDP government as positive.

During the UBCM meetings in Vancouver both Mayor Lee Brain and Councillor Blair Mirau took to their social media portals to make note of the relationships that they had started to build with provincial officials during the conference.

It might be a little early however, to declare a new era of cooperation and achievement just yet.

So far, when it comes to finding a solution for some of the larger issues of the region, there's been little progress seen from the new government, with many of the concerns of the last four years and beyond still outstanding.

As was noted yesterday in our notes on the most recent City Council session, the city's homeless issues and affordable housing concerns remain very much an active file, though there is little to be found in actual results considering all the discussions and stakeholder groups that are in play on those issues.

The School District is still waiting to hear if the NDP government will be any faster to action, than the previous one when it comes to the replacement for the Middle School in Prince Rupert.

And on the theme of Ferry Transportation, MLA Rice is counselling patience for residents of the North Coast and Haida Gwaii, most recently sharing her thoughts in a contribution piece in the weekly newspaper.

In her correspondence, which was a response to a previous item from Masset Councillor Bret Johnson, Ms. Rice offers up one of those clip and save quotes that we probably won't be seeing on the MLA"s Promises Made, Promises kept features in the near future.

The New Democrat government continues to work towards improving the ferry system, but I’m sure you realize that the government can’t solve all our problems immediately and make everything free.

Should there be no progress on any of the high profile files in the near future, one wonders if Councillor Cunningham will still find so many positive things to relay when it comes to his observations on provincial-municipal relations.

For more notes related to events out of Victoria see our archive page here.

A further review of the many issues of concern on the North Coast can be found on our Council Discussion archive page.