Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More infrastructure work underway; west side water/sewer project to take two days

Construction and associated traffic delays will be the focus for the west side over the next 48 hours as City crews go into action to attend to some water and sewer work in the Pillsbury, Sloan and Cassiar Avenue area of the city.

A notice to the City's Website today advises that with the work residents may experience traffic disruptions while the crews are on site, with the 500 block of Pillsbury the primary focus for the crews.

Single lane traffic will be in effect in that area and road closures may be required as the work progresses.

The city's public works department anticipates that the work should not take more than two days to wrap up.

You can review the Notice to the public here.

More notes related to infrastructure issues for the city can be found on our archive page.

They're canning up some laughter at North Pacific

Hot on the heels of their success with the Intertidal Music Festival, another night of entertainment is on the way at Port Edward's North Pacific Cannery Historical Site.

Whether you're a shy giggler, or feature an uproarious belly laugh you can unleash it in a public setting on Friday night from 7 to 9 at Canned Laughter.

Those taking the stage at the Cannery site will be students and grads from Charles Hays Secondary continuing on with their comedic stylings fresh from this years Udderfest in Prince Rupert, a number of sweet treats will also available for those taking in the show.

Tickets for Friday night's improv night will be available at the door on the night of the show, 10 dollars for adults, five for youth under 18 gets you into the show.

Find out more about the night's events from the North Pacific Cannery Facebook page.

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

Green Leader Weaver calls out NDP Grizzly Hunt ban as 'political spin'

It's certainly not enough of a fracture to put the fate of the new NDP government in peril, but John Horgan and Andrew Weaver have just had another political spat, this time with the terms of Monday's announcement of a ban on the BC Grizzly Bear hunt serving as the point of fissure.

The ban was trumpeted by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice as an NDP promise kept, however that's not quite how the leader of the NDP's new partner  in the Legislature sees things, with Weaver observing that in reality the announcement is just more political spin and one which will in the end make for a wasteful situation in the province's forests.

While noting that he was encouraged that the BC NDP is respecting the wishes of Coastal First Nations with their moratorium on the hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest, Weaver had a few cautions for the Horgan government when it came to their roll out of the new initiative, observing that it does not end grizzly bear hunting as many environmental groups have advocated for.

“I’m not sure how this will appease the concerns of anyone. It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies. “What we really need in BC is science-based approach to wildlife management, not a populist approach to species management."

Among his concerns related to the new NDP ban is that it creates a system in which not all of the animal will be harvested, with resident hunters no longer allowed to possess the hair, head and hide of grizzlies, something that is noted as wasteful by the hunting community.

The Green Party leader also expressed concerns over how the new regulations, set to go into effect at the end of November, will still allow for foreign hunters to shoot grizzlies in British Columbia, take a picture of themselves standing over the bear and then head home without harvesting any of the animal.

The Green leader has some company when it comes to those who consider the new NDP plan as not fully thought out, Steve Hamilton, the head of a Prince George based hunter's association outlined some of his concerns over how the NDP have rolled out their ban to the Vancouver Sun.

It seemingly won't be the last we hear from the Green leader on the issue, Mr. Weaver concluded his statement on the NDP announcement of Monday by advising that he will be working with the government in the months ahead to ensure the introduction of species at risk legislation.

You can review his full statement here.

More notes related to North Coast representation in the Legislature can be found here.

A wider overview of British Columbia politics is available on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

Recreation Department to offer Hockey Camp next week

Another chance for North Coast hockey players to shake off the rust of the summer comes up next week as the City of Prince Rupert Recreation Department hosts a one week hockey camp at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

The camp which has two skill level sessions set, is designed for players ages 7 to 9 and 10 to 13, and will help to work on skill development while also keeping the fun on the ice for participants.

The week long sessions run from August 21 to 25, taking place from 9 until 4 PM and offer both on ice and off ice activities and games for those that sign up.

Cost of the one week camp is 150.00 and full hockey gear is required for those that sign up to participate.

You can find out more about the program by contacting the City of Prince Rupert Recreation Department at 250-624-6707 or 250-627-7946.

The 2017-18 Minor hockey season is just over the horizon, for some of the latest notes on the sport in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Election Revenue/Expenses numbers released for North Coast campaign

When North Coast Residents went to the polls in May, the short economic burst of the BC election campaign came to an end for the region and with it the rush for fundraising and campaign spending.

Documentation released yesterday by Elections BC, provides the financial road map of sorts that was leading the three North Coast hopefuls towards the Legislature in Victoria.

The Statement of Election Income and Expenses for the three North Coast candidates provides a glimpse as to how the NDP, Liberals and Green party financed the quest for the seat in the Legislature, with British Columbia's two major parties making for the largest portion of the accounting numbers from the May campaign.

Jennifer Rice, the eventual winner of the seat in the BC Legislature and returning MLA posted a total income of $48,229.56 as of General Voting Day as a result of campaign donations and fundraising, with Expenses listed at $51,662.68.

Beyond the individual donations, the majority of the NDP funding came through transfers with $55,000 directed towards the North Coast efforts.

Of the expenses the largest amount was directed towards salaries and benefits ($11,000), Newsletters or promotional material ($8,000) and Travel ($4014.25).



Runner up Herb Pond, who sought the seat in the Legislature under the Liberal banner had the largest amounts both in political donations and expenses in the 2017 campaign.

His campaign claimed income by way of fundraising and donations to a total of $105,146.53, with expenses of $80,703.33 to election day, leaving $24,443.20 unspent.

The documents filed indicate that the BC Liberals put some significant money towards trying to unseat Ms. Rice the incumbent MLA, having transferred $103,246,53 towards Mr. Pond's campaign through to election day.

Of the expenses through April and May, media advertising claimed the largest chunk at $36,631, followed by newsletter and promotional material at $10,000 plus and office expenses at $4200 plus.



The Green Party's Hondo Arendt ran the most parsimonious campaign and one that was for the most part self funded, a total of 445 dollars is listed, with an additional contribution of 50 dollars declared to round out the statement declaration.

The only significant expense listed as part of the summary of expenses, 495 dollars worth of newsletter and promotional material.

There were no transfers recorded from the BC Greens towards the local campaign.


In the end, as the votes were counted, it would seem that Ms. Rice received the best return on investment for the 2017 campaign, claiming the North Coast seat by a significant margin over Mr. Pond.

The Green party's Hondo Arendt was the third place finisher on the North Coast.

2017 Final Results from Elections BC

Jennifer Rice -- 5,243
Herb Pond -- 3,079
Hondo Arendt -- 826



The full summary disclosures for each candidate from the 2017 North Coast campaign can be examined in detail from the links below:

Jennifer Rice -- NDP
Herb Pond -- BC Liberals
Hondo Arendt -- BC Green Party

More background on the North Coast's representation at the Legislature can be found on our Legislature Archive page.

Further notes of interest related to the provincial political scene can be reviewed on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Jennifer Rice hails "a promise kept" with end to Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt in BC


On Monday, the new NDP Government led by Premier John Horgan outlined its plans to bring to an end the annual Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt in British Columbia.

Monday's announcement means that this years hunt, which is officially underway in the Peace country as of today, is set to be the last in the province.

Doug Donaldson, the Minister of Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development made the announcement, providing the background to the government's plan to bring the hunt to an end.

“By bringing trophy hunting of grizzlies to an end, we’re delivering on our commitment to British Columbians, This action is supported by the vast majority of people across our province. 

In particular, we owe it to generations past and future to do all we can to protect the beauty and uniqueness of the Great Bear Rainforest. We believe the action we’re taking goes beyond the commitment to Coastal First Nations made as part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest agreements.”

The news was greeted with enthusiasm by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who in a Facebook post this morning noted that the end to trophy hunting for Grizzly Bears was a promise made to citizens by the NDP, reflecting how the hunt is "not within our collective values".



To go with her update on the NDP announcement Ms. Rice included a You Tube video, reviewing a discussion with Chief Councillor Doug Nealoss of the Kitasso/Xai'Xai  First Nation on the theme of the grizzly bears and wildlife management in the region.




It's estimated that there are some 15,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia, with 250 of the animals taken by hungers each year. While the trophy hunt will come to an end, hunting for meat will continue to be allowed in British Columbia.

The province will consult with First Nations and stakeholder groups this fall to work on a the next steps towards bringing the hunt to an end and engage in a broader consultation process on wildlife management.

More notes related to the end of the trophy hunt, which comes into effect as of November 30th can be found here.

Further background on notes of interest from the Legislature can be reviewed on our archive page, while more expansive notes on BC Politics can be found on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

CityWest awaits federal funding decision on subsea fibre plans

CityWest is casting its eyes southbound for what may be their next initiative, with the city of Prince Rupert owned communication company awaiting word on their application for funding for a Connect to Innovate grant,

Should they find success in their quest, the program would provide the financial assistance required for the construction of a subsea cable connecting Northern and Southern British Columbia.

If CityWest were to move forward with the infrastructure project, the proposed link to the south could offer up a solution to some of the land based challenges that the buried cable along the Highway 16 corridor can face through natural or human caused incidents.

CityWest continues to keep much of the details related to their plans internal for now, as they wait to hear of the fate of their application.

However, in a short update for the North Coast Review, CityWest officials noted that a project of this scale would not only improve the experience for customers in the Prince Rupert market, but also for their customers in other markets served by the Northwest communication company.  

CityWest  has long been seeking a solution to provide a redundancy for the cities located along Highway 16 to Prince George.

A subsea connection along the caost from Prince Rupert to the
Lower Mainland could be the in the future for Internet users should CityWest
find success in a grant application with the Federal Government
While its anticipated that the the Federal government will announce its funding by this fall, there has to this point, been no timeline offered as to when the Connect to Innovate grants will be delivered, or how much in grant money is set to be allocated.

You can learn more about the Connect to Innovate program here.

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


North Coast shore-workers bearing brunt of troubled fishing season

Employee call outs at Canadian Fish have been fewer and fewer this summer
as Prince Rupert feels the impact of another troubled fishing season

The North Coast fishery once an economic engine for Prince Rupert in the summer months and beyond, continues to show its strains and struggles this year with low stock returns and changing corporate planning providing for a double hit on the local industry and with it setting the scene for what will be a challenging fall and winter months for those that work at local plants.

Anyone who has walked or driven past the giant Canadian Fish plant at the foot of George Hills Way and Dry dock road can't help but notice the empty parking lot and significantly reduced level of trucks transiting to and from the plant this summer.

With few hours of employment for those workers that are even called in to work this year, the prospect of EI qualification could be a significant issue for the community as what little employment available begins to wind down by late September, something which could see local social services once again stretched to the breaking point.

A CBC British Columbia News story from yesterday offers up the testimony from local workers as to just how dire this year has been so far, along with with their fears for the future of the industry on the North Coast and what that may mean for the community as local workers no longer can find work here.

Such has been the news out of the fish plants this summer that UFAWU-Unifor the labour organization that represents the workers in Prince Rupert has already telegraphed its plans to seek out some assistance from North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, a post on their Facebook page of a week ago indicating their plans to discuss fishery issues with her once the summer wildfire season has come to an end.



UFAWU's Northern rep, Joy Thorkelson also offered up some commentary on the impact of DFO decisions on the commercial sector this year, as well as to offer up some background related to the themes of the Northwest recreational and sport fishery, as well as the First Nations fishery, providing her review through a letter to the editor for the Terrace Standard on August 6th.

This years salmon fishery has once again put the focus on the declining fish stock returns, as well as reinforced the impact that has been felt in the community from the decision by Canadian Fish to remove their canning lines at the George Hills Plant, a move which has meant a large number of former workers to try and seek out other employment options as the fishing industry continues its retrenchment.

More notes related to fishing in the Northwest can be found on our archive page.

Add a Wi-Fi break to your highway travels in British Columbia

Hitting the highway doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be out of touch, with the province of British Columbia rolling out a new highway initiative this week to start the process of making for wifi hot spots on the provinces highway system.

One Northwest location has been included in the Free Wi-Fi Hot Spot program to this point, with Glacier View rest area on Highway 16 north of Smithers now Wi-fi live, offering a chance for travellers to take a break, avoid using their phones while on the road and hopefully aid in the quest to reduce distracted driving situations.

The program which has expansion plans in mind for next year is a partnership with Telus and ICBC.

A full list of the current Wi-Fi Spots in BC, as well as more background on the program can be found here.

More notes related to travel along the Highway 16 corridor can be reviewed here.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance members hail new government's engagement on revenue issues


A delegation of members of the Northwest Resource Benefits Alliance recently met with officials of the new NDP government in Victoria, and when they came out of their meetings with provincial team,  the Northwest delegation offered up some enthusiastic reviews of their get together.

Representing the Northwest at the discussion were: RBA Chair Bill Miller, Co-Chair Mayor Phil Germuth, Co-Chair Barry Pages and Mayor Lee Brain

As part of their engagement on a number of resource topics, the group met with  a range of provincial officials which included Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Carole James, Minister of Finance, Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary, Emergency Preparedness.

Also in attendance were Premier Horgan’s Chief of Staff, Geoff Meggs and Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver.

Resource Benefits Association Chair Bill Miller seemed to capture the spirit of the engagement with the provincial government group with a statement issued today:

“We commend the new BC NDP government’s steadfast commitment to the RBA,  ... Revenue sharing is the single most important issue to Northwest BC communities. We are pleased and grateful that the ministers, Mr. Weaver and senior staff made time for us and offered such strong support at this very busy time of transition for the government.”

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain
was recently in Victoria part of
a Northwest delegation engaged
in discussions on resource benefits
Following the meetings, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain expressed his confidence as to how he sees the process moving forward.

“The provincial government will now determine which ministry and senior staff representatives will lead negotiations with the RBA, ... The ministers are already familiar with the RBA issues, so we are confident that the right team will be put together quickly.”

For his part, Kitimat Mayor Phil Germuth outlined his observations on how the collective engagement could bring the entire Northwest closer to reaching its economic potential.

 “One of the main messages we heard from the ministers was how important and significant it is to have all 21 local governments from Vanderhoof to Masset, working together,  ... Coming together in solidarity on an issue that faces all of us is going to be key to ensuring the Northwest gets what it needs to move from a have-not region to achieve its full potential.”

The northwest delegation noted that they had received an overwhelming reaffirmation from the NDP provincial government of their election promise to begin negotiations for a revenue sharing agreement fit for the Northwest, with those discussions expected to begin in earnest later this fall.

The municipal and regional officials will re-connect with their provincial counterparts next month, when British Columbia's local government leaders assemble at the annual Union of BC Municipalities conference in Vancouver.

The full statement from the organization can be reviewed here.

A short overview of what the Alliance hopes to achieve from its negotiations with the province can be examined here.

You can learn more about the efforts of the Northwest Benefits Alliance from their website  and Facebook page.

For more items related to the provincial government see our Legislature archive page here, while a larger overview of provincial issues can be found on our portal D'Arcy McGee.

Census time for Metlakatla


Members of the Metlakatla First Nation will be answering a number of questions this month, part of what has become an annual census hosted by the community to collect information and provide feedback on topics of note as part of the upcoming treaty process.

Residents over the age of fifteen are asked to participate in the membership census, with a census team set to go door to door in both Metlakatla Village and Prince Rupert to collect information.

An online link to the census is also being made available for community members.

This is the third year that a team of census takers have been asking questions of members that is put to use by community officials. This years survey period will come to an end on August 31st.

Those that participate in the annual information gathering project can qualify to win over a thousand dollars worth of prizes.

You can find out more about the Metlakatla census from the community Facebook page

More on topics of interest from Metlakatla can be found on our archive page here.

Northern Health Connections on summer maintenance schedule until end of month



The transportation system operated by Northern Health is now on its summer maintenance schedule, a with the summer break now on, those on the North Coast with medical appointments in Prince George, Terrace or Vancouver will have to make their own arrangements until the end of the month.



The two week shut down went into effect on Friday and the return to service for Prince Rupert won't come until Sunday August 27th, a look at the schedule as it effects the Northwest can be found below:



The call centre will remain open through the maintenance shutdown and will be available for the return of regular service after August 27th, you can contact them at 1-888-647-4997 or by email at
NHConnections@northernhealth.ca

More background to the summer cessation can be found here.

More notes related to Northern Health can be reviewed on our archive page.


One month window for Prince Rupert groups to submit applications for Community Grants

Non profit/Volunteer Community Groups in Prince Rupert have a little over thirty days to put together their application for funding from the City of Prince Rupert's Community Enhancement Grant process, with the deadline for applications for this years intake set for mid- September.

The annual call for applications sets in motion the decision making process for City staff and council members as they look to balance civic finances with community requests each year.

A guide to some of the community groups that have been assisted through the city's grant process can be found from the City's Annual Statement of Financial Information released each May.

The most recent listings, released earlier this year highlight the grant recipients as of December of 2016, with the City distributing over 1 million, 300 thousand dollars in funding that year.



An announcement from Friday (see here) outlined the scope of this years application process, the city is targeting January of 2018 as to when they will notify the successful applicants.

Completed application forms (available online here) must be completed in full with supporting documentation attached and submitted to City Hall by 4 PM on September 15th.

Some aspects for how the city is approaching grant money for civic groups have been under review over the last few years, with City Council looking to provide for more stable funding for larger groups such as the Prince Rupert Library and Lester Centre.

However, the smaller groups will continue to be considered under the current process of yearly applications.

For more items related to the City of Prince Rupert see our archive page here, further background on City Council discussions can be reviewed from our Council Discussion page.

A new look at Provincial politics is on the horizon



For those that can never quite get enough background on provincial politics some good news in the offing, as an Ontario based publication makes its plans to enter the British Columbia new market.

An ad seeking a Victoria based reporter for a new publication called British Columbia Today has been listed, offering up a bit of a twist on the skill testing question aspect of employment searches.



Beyond the listing of the required skills that BC Today will be looking for, samples of your past writing will be required to be attached to your application, along with answers to three questions requiring a paragraph of your finest observations:


1) Did Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon make the right decision when she swore in John Horgan as premier? Why or why not? 2) 

If you had to hold one cabinet portfolio in the Province of British Columbia, which would you want to hold and why? 

 3) Explain in your own words how a government bill will get passed into law under the current B.C. government.

We're not sure what the timeline of employment might be suggesting, with the full time job listed as a contract position that lasts four months, with a potential to renew

(perhaps BC Today doesn't expect the drama in BC politics, or the minority government situation at the Leg to continue beyond November).

Those with an interest in covering the Victoria beat for the new publication have until August 20th to submit their resumes and their essay observations on the questions provided.

You can review the full job ad here.

BC Today would appear to be heading towards a September launch, with the Legislature position set to begin at the end of August.

The subscription based journal in Ontario, is that of a newsletter style, numbering towards six pages or so each day, offering up a synopsis of the day's events  and appears targeted towards the public service, politicians, and those that interact with them on a daily basis.

A sample version of the Ontario version is available here, offering a glimpse as to what the BC version may look like once it hits the Internet.

Alison Smith, the publisher hosts a twitter feed that offers up political commentary through the day, as well as background notes on the Queens Park Today version of the service.

More notes related to Northwest representation at the Legislature can be found on our archive page here, while a larger overview of the political scene is available on our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending August 13, 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 August 13, 2017 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate, East Side, Week ending August 13, 2017

Prince Rupert Real Estate, West Side, Week ending August 13, 2017

There was no change to our line up over the course of the last seven days, with no new properties cracking the top ten to claim a spot among the top end listings for the city.

The Graham/Atlin Avenue area continues to see the most significant attention with six of our ten properties featuring addresses on that west side roadway, with a property on Beach and one one Borden rounding out western listings on the week.

The east side of the city claims two spots this week in the top ten, both in the Conard/PR Blvd area of the city.

The combined value this week of our ten high end listings is $6,262,000

The lowest mark for the list of ten remains at $499,000, while our top end from the last week is listed at $789,000.

Below find our findings as of the Week ending August 13, 2017

1027 Borden Street                       $789,000 --  Realty Executives
1830 Graham Avenue                   $759,000 --  Realty Executive
1881 Graham Avenue                   $710,000 --  Remax
2230 Graham Avenue                   $689,000 --  Remax
1810 Graham Avenue                   $660,000 --  Remax
1232 Conrad Street                       $569,000 --  Realty Executives
1208 Beach Place                          $559,000 --  Remax
2008 Atlin Avenue                        $529,000 --  Remax
1805 Graham Avenue                   $499,000  --  Royal Lepage
1119 Prince Rupert Blvd               $499,000  --  Realty Executives
   
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, August 13, 2017

Blog Watching: Week ending August 13, 2017


North Coast residents continue to devour items related to the recently cancelled Pacific NorthWest LNG project, with a number of our items on energy issues grabbing a large share of our readership views on the week.

Two of our five most read items were related to the PNW LNG project, while a third focused on the approach that the new NDP government is taking on a energy issues in the province.

Civic issues also carved out some time for readers of the blog, with our review of some growing discontent at the pace of progress on the Mckay Street Park project attracting a large number of readers.

As well, readers appeared to be rather curious about how the Federal Government had delivered their Federal Gas Tax money across the region.

The top story of the week however returns the focus on the latest items on interest related to the recently cancelled Pacific NorthWest LNG  project.

Petronas CEO provides detailed glimpse into the cancellation of Pacific NorthWest LNG --  A bit more background related to the decision process that led Petronas to terminate their Port Edward terminal plans was outlined for a Malaysian magazine this week (posted August 10, 2017)

That article was followed by:

Petronas partners still seeking terminal ... somewhere -- While the Malaysian energy giant may have abandoned its plans for a Canadian LNG terminal, some of the Asian partners they brought to the table are keeping their options open  (posted August 8, 2017)

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross raises concerns over NDP"s Kinder Morgan pipeline approach -- With energy issues quickly becoming the main themes for the new NDP government, the Northwest's Liberal MLA Ellis Ross has quickly taken to his duties as his party's LNG and petroleum resources critic  (posted August 11, 2017)

Lack of momentum on McKay Street plans making for growing Facebook conversations  -- Another summer of weeds and overgrowth in the fields of McKay Street have some of the area's residents wondering when progress may be seen for the highly touted remediation project (posted August 10, 2017)

Federal Gas Tax Fund to direct $580,000 to Prince Rupert -- Prince Rupert is in line for its share of federal funding from the Federal Gas Tax Fund, we review just how much each Northwest community has received. (posted August 8, 2017)

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

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

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

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

You can find the link to that feature on the upper, right hand side of the blog. 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, August 11, 2017

City set to launch six week upgrade project on 7th Avenue East

Road and infrastructure work is on the horizon for residents
of the 400 block of Seventh Avenue East


The pace of construction work in the area near the site of the proposed Metlakatla Seniors Residence is set to pick up over the next six weeks, as the City of Prince Rupert prepares to launch necessary Capital Utility upgrades in the 400 block of the east side street.

In an information statement released on Friday morning, the city outlined the scope of the work ahead, which will require the closure of that stretch of road from 8 to 4:30 during the hours of work on the site, with the roadway re-opened to one way traffic in the evenings.

Further background on the Traffic advisories and the need for vehicle relocation in the construction area are included in the city's statement.

In addition to the road and infrastructure work, water interruptions may be necessary to the water supply of the homes in the affected area.

In their advisory, the City notes that water shut offs will be kept to a minimum and that city staff will notify residents in the area by way of a notice to be affixed to the front door of each home to be affected.

Those water interruptions will take place during regular working hours of 8 to 4:30.

It's anticipated that the major work that is required will be completed within 4 to 6 weeks, with minor upgrades including sidewalks, paving and curbing to follow once the major work is complete.

You can review the full update on the plans here.

For more items related to the City of Prince Rupert see our archive page here.

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross raises concerns over NDP's Kinder Morgan pipeline approach

The Kinder Morgan pipeline is going
to be one of the NDPs first political battles
Yesterday's announcement by the governing NDP that they would be securing the services of a legal team to try and stop the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline is giving the opposition Liberals an early talking point, with Skeena's MLA Ellis Ross taking the lead in challenging that NDP position.

At a new conference held on Thursday, George Heyman the provinces Environment and Climate Change Strategy Minister, along with Attorney General David Eby outlined the government's position on Kinder Morgan.

“We are committed to fighting for B.C.’s interests and it is government’s desire to seek intervenor status in legal challenges to federal approval of the pipeline expansion and increased oil tanker traffic off B.C.'s coast,” ... “Mr. Berger will provide legal advice to government on the options for participation in legal challenges, and those hearings are scheduled to begin in federal court later this fall.” -- Attorney General David Eby on Kinder Morgan

Among the tools that the NDP plan to use, will be the services of Thomas Berger a long serving legal mind on issues of First Nations affairs in Canada and a former leader of the NDP, he will serve as external counsel to the government as part of their legal action related to the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion plans.

You can review the government's complete announcement here.

The announcement to set in motion the legal challenge to the planned expansion quickly caught the attention of Skeena's Liberal MLA Ellis Ross, a former Chief Councillor with the Haisla Nation.

Mr. Ross who is serving as the Liberal's natural gas and petroleum resources critic outlined his concern over the message that the NDP is sending to investors in the energy sector.

Speaking to Mike Smyth of the Vancouver Province, who was hosting the CKNW"s Simi Sara show today, Ross expressed his shock and dismay offered up the view that the NDP were now sending a message that even if an energy proponent achieved all its benchmarks and regulatory approvals, there is no guarantee that the NDP government will respect that process and allow a project to be built.

During the course of his interview with Smyth, Ross offered up a range of observations on First nations concerns in addition to the theme of rights and titles, as well as putting some focus on the impact of NDP decisions on economic growth for the province and the message that it is sending out beyond B.C.'s borders.


"I can't believe that they have run out of tools so quickly, that they are going to use First Nations as a tool to stop a project in BC ... to use consultation as a reason, that's a very vague general reason, you're not going to get 100 per cent consensus on any project. when you're talking about rights and title." -- Ellis Ross speaking to Mike Smyth on CKNW Thursday 


Skeena MLA Ellis Ross on the NDP's Kinder Morgan announcement

You can review Mr. Ellis's full interview with Smyth from the CKNW audio portal, starting at the 12:17  point from the noon hour portion of the Thursday August 10 version of the show.

Also weighing in on the discussion over the NDP's legal moves was interim Opposition Leader Rich Coleman, who observes in a statement released today that British Columbians should be concerned that their government is spending tax dollars to stop a project that not only boosts British Columbia's local economies but would also be of benefit for the rest of the country.

Energy issues have quickly provided some of the early focus on the new NDP government of John Horgan, since coming to power last month, the NDP have seen a major LNG project at Port Edward cancelled by Petronas which cited market concerns for their decision.

Fallout on LNG issues also came from their handling of the the banishment of Gordon Wilson, with the Premier offering an apology for some of the comments related to the termination of Wilson from his duties promoting the prospects fo LNG development in the province.

As well, the NDP were quick to address their concerns over the proposed Site C hydro development in Northeast BC, putting that mega project under a review process.

More background related to the Legislature can be found here.

For further items related to British Columbia politics see our political portal D'Arcy McGee

Port announces plans for upgrades to Westview Terminal

The Port has announced plans for upgrades to infrastructure
related to the Westview Terminal, with work to continue
through until the end of September
(photo of terminal from Pinnacle Pellet handbook)

Residents of the west side of the city may notice a bit more activity below their homes over the Westview Terminal location through the course of the next 45 days, with the Port of Prince Rupert announcing planned upgrades to the Terminal through the rest of the summer.

The Westview Terminal is home to the Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group's shipment facility on the city's waterfront.

In a post to their Facebook page yesterday the port outlined scope of the work ahead, which will involve excavation, blasting, backfilling and installation of a new water main, as well as the construction of a new shed to house the backflow preventer and water meter.



The work will take place during regular work hours and the Port notes their plan is to have minimal disruption to the area, with noise and dust management procedures in place.

The Port anticipates that the project timeline will see completion in place by the end of this September.

Residents with any questions or comments are asked to contact the Port's Community Information line at 250-627-5621 or through their email address of info@rupertport.com

More background on the Westview Terminal can be found on our archive page.

For further notes related to the Prince Rupert Port Authority can be reviewed here.



CityWest puts out the call to North Coast photographers

Last year's winning submission
for the CityWest telephone book
cover competition was from
Robb Rydde
The annual call for submissions for cover photos the Prince Rupert phone directory is now underway as the city owned communication company CityWest seeks some of the best that local photographers have, offering up a chance for some high profile exposure, not to mention bragging rights.

Submissions for the cover art quest can be emailed to CityWest until August 20th for consideration in this years competition.

10 finalists will be chosen among those entries that arrive by August 20th, with the final ten announced on August 28th, the public then will have their opportunity to decide which photograph will make the cover, voting for the one they like the most, the voting process will take place until September 4th.

You can email your submission to marketing@cwct.ca

More details on the 2018 cover competition can be found here.

More notes related to CityWest can be found on our archive page.

City looks to sell east side property

Piggot Avenue is the location for the City of Prince Rupert's latest
property disposition sale
(
Map courtesy Google Maps)


The City of Prince Rupert is taking on the role of real estate agent this month, putting in motion the process to sell off an east side lot and structure.

Over the last two weeks, the City has taken out a public notice in the weekly paper listing 1329 Piggot Avenue as a property up for disposition, with the sealed envelope opening offers to start at 95,000 dollars, which is based on the 2016 BC Assessment.

The war time era home was built in 1942 with BC Assessment putting the valued of the land listed at $28,300 and the building valuation pegged at $67,000.

The city of Prince Rupert
is looking to dispose of 
a building and lot
on the city's east side
(photo from Google maps)
The City will be hosting an Open House for those wishing to inspect the property, that viewing is set for August 18th from 1 to 4 PM and it is the only public viewing planned as part of the City's property disposition.

Any offers or enquiries related to the property can be addressed to Rory Mandryk, the City's Corporate Administrator, he can be reached at rory.mandryk@princerupert.ca or by fax at 250-627-0999.

Deadline for offers is listed as 4 PM on August 25th.

You can look up the lot through the city's online mapping portal here, enter the PID number of 012544311 to review the details.

BC Assessment information related to the property can be examined here.

For more items related to the City of Prince Rupert see our archive page here.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

CityWest on quest for a Customer Service Rep in Prince Rupert

Calling all job applicants,
CityWest is hiring 
One of Prince Rupert's most established firms is once again looking to add to their staffing roster, with CityWest currently seeking applications for a Customer Service Representative for their Third Avenue offices.

The communication company, which is owned by the City of Prince Rupert is a local business that is high on the list of many job seekers in the community, with past resume calls providing for a strong reply from North coast residents.

The Job posting notes organizational ability and initiative, as well as good customer skills are key elements for consideration, two years experience in customer service over the last five years, as well as familiarity with multi-programmed cash registers are also areas of skills that CityWest will be looking for.

A full overview of the job qualifications and required experience can be reviewed below:

CityWest CSR position job description for Prince Rupert
(click to enlarge)



The company which has been on an ambitious expansion program over the last few years is also looking for some help in the Smithers area, seeking the services of a cable technician for the Bulkley Valley community.

More background on both positions, as well as instructions on how to apply for the job opportunities can be found here.

A review of past job opportunities with CityWest and the City of Prince Rupert can be found here.

For more notes related to CityWest and other communication services in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Summer of changing personnel for weekly paper continues

More change at the weekly paper
For regular readers of the Northern View, the go to page these days isn't the front page, but rather one somewhat more towards the middle of the print copy of the weekly delivery, with readers perhaps now gravitating towards the spot where the listings of the current roster of journalists can be found.

Change is once again in motion at the North Coast's weekly newspaper, with recently arrived reporter Joseph Jack, now apparently a recently departed reporter.

The only indication that he has taken his leave of the paper coming with the removal of his picture on the page six roster listings.

Mr. Jack was here for what became a fairly short stay, making his introductions in June, and while his bylines perhaps were not plenty in the two months and a bit that he chased down news leads, he did get some taste of local fame.

As part of his duties with the local media outlet he sat in as the co host for the paper's weekly online podcast, a recently re-branded project that has departed the car showroom at MacCarthy GM and now is recorded in the spacious office setting at Hecate Strait Business Development and other outdoor locations near Mariner's Park.

Mr. Jack played the role of faithful sidekick to host Tyler Portelance, as the pair provided for the paper's version of reading time accounts of the stories from the print edition and focused on local events during four instalments of the online feature through July.

Joseph Jacks (top right) one of two new reporters at the Northern View
has left his post at the weekly paper

(photo from Northern View Instagram feed)

Regular readers will however take note of a familiar face and name returning to the paper, as Quinn Bender settles into the rotation at the weekly, he has been a regular addition at the Northern View during summer months over the last few years.

A look back the paper's summer of change and more notes related to the region's media scene can be found on our archive page here.

Lack of momentum on McKay Street plans making for growing Facebook conversations

Some residents are taking to Facebook  to express disappointment that there has
been no progress seen when it comes to clearing the brush
and launching the ambitious McKay Street Park development

The announcement in June of the success for McKay Street in the recent BCAA Play Here competition provided for a boost in optimism and much commentary on social media, with many in the community celebrating the  prospect of the much discussed remediation of the long abandoned baseball field was finally set to move ahead.

That public quest for the BCAA funding of 100,000 dollars was led by Mayor Lee Brain, who provided for frequent updates on his social media portal on Facebook, with the Mayor pushing the community (and many beyond) to get in the vote to claim the top spot in the annual competition to help fund outdoor spaces in British Columbia.

Such was the enthusiasm in the community for the competition that it quickly became part of the daily routine for many North Coast residents, as well as for those that have left the region, but who still have a strong attachment to Prince Rupert.

However, with May morphing into August and little to show in the growing urban forest that now makes for the lot at McKay and Kootenay, some residents of the area are wondering just what the status of the project might be.

The topic has taken on some life on the Facebook page Prince Rupert Customer Review and some of the comments offer up a few themes that the City of Prince Rupert might want to take note of, with a number of those participating in the discussion expressing their concerns over the delays, making note as to how the city has spent money on other initiatives, as well as to take note of safety issues related to the current state of the actual lot on McKay.

Veronika Stewart, who in addition to her duties as the City of Prince Rupert's Communication Manager also serves as Vice-President of Transition Prince Rupert, an organization which featured Mr. Brain as a founding member, prior to his election as Mayor of Prince Rupert.

As the plan for development of the open space on the west side of the city began to evolve in 2015, responsibility for any redevelopment for the park appears to have been handed over to Transition Prince Rupert.

In an August 8th reply to the original questions to the Facebook thread, Ms. Stewart in her Transition Prince Rupert role provided some notes on the lack of information on the project to this point.




As she notes, when it comes to updates from the community organization on their plans and the recent funding from BCAA, the flow of information has been somewhat light to this point.

So far the last posting to the Transition Prince Rupert Facebook page related to the McKay Street initiative was posted on June 23rd following the announcement of the 100,000 dollars in funding for the project.

Even less information about the progress of the McKay Street plans has been provided to the Transition Prince Rupert website.

Among some of the last notes that were heard about the project in late May, was the plan to continue on with fundraising in the community  and seek in kind support from local contractors to help bring the blue prints to reality.

One part of that call for assistance has been through a Go Fund Me page,  which currently notes that 1,000 dollars in donations have been delivered to this point.

However, the nature of some of the commentary from the Facebook inquiries would seem to suggest that Transition Prince Rupert might want to be a bit more active on their social media portals and offer up some further background and clarifications when it comes to some of the questions being asked.

As well, considering the perception by some in the community that the City is steering the project and how the City continue to be part of any conversations that come up whenever the McKay Street project is mentioned; City Council might want to provide some background for the public as to how much interest or control they have over the proposed development and how much involvement, if any, that they plan to be part of as the project moves forward.

Some background on the park plans can be found below:

April 2017 -- Final Design for McKay Street Park to be revealed at Community meeting April 25

December 2016 -- McKay Street Park plans to move forward in January
October 2016 -- Transition Prince Rupert hosting Annual General Meeting tonight
September 2016 -- Public comment period now open for McKay Street Park concept proposals
September 2016 -- McKay Street Park concepts to be revealed at mid month Info session
June 2016 -- City Council session takes note that McKay street park bid came up short in BCAA competition
May 2016 -- KraftHeinz's Project Play offers opportunity for community upgrades
May 2016 -- McKay Street Park initiative submitted to BCAA's Play at Home competition
January 13 -- Mayor hails success of Placemaking conference and points to a new 2030 Sustainable City vision

December 2015 -- Transition Prince Rupert to host grass roots involvement conference in January
December 2015 -- Transition Prince Rupert hosting General Membership meeting tonight
November 2015 -- Hays 2.0 gets splashy launch on City website

April 2015 -- Transition Prince Rupert opens the discussion on the McKay Street Open Space