Monday, July 31, 2017

City's call for comments, leaves many questions outstanding on Watson Island land expropriation

As we outlined on Friday, the City of Prince Rupert is moving forward with their plans for expropriation of a parcel of land at Watson Island, setting in motion a late Friday afternoon call for consultation with the public with this announcement posted to the City website.

However, with a deadline of this Wednesday for any public comments, it's a pretty tight timeline for residents to put together any thoughts, especially considering how they really don't know much about what the city has planned, or any actual cost to the quest by the Mayor and his council to become land barons and potential import/export magnates on the North Coast.

Friday's information release issued towards the end of the business day, outlines the city's plan to amend its Financial plan for 2017, reviewing how their plans to enable expropriation and acquisition of Lot 4 on Watson Island will require an increase of 475,000 to the Land Reserves, bringing the new total to 750,000 dollars.

Council will also be adding on the cost of a 100,000 dollar study to the City's Short Term Debt now to be amended to 990,000. That study is required to explore the cost for jail cell improvements as requested by the RCMP in a recent correspondence with the city.

The city's notes related to that addition to the land reserve however don't, outline what the expected final cost of purchase for the Sun Wave lot will be for the city, particularly as they move forward to expropriate the land currently owned by the city's long time nemesis on all things Watson related.

How much the city plans to spend to grab that lot from SunWave is surely something that perhaps the public should hear more about, before they can reasonably be expected to weigh in with any comments on the process.

The pace of that expropriation plan however will be swift, with Council set to address the issue with Two Special Council sessions scheduled this week.

Residents with any interest in offering up comments related to the plan, as they know of it to this point, have only until 4:30 on Wednesday to deliver their correspondence to the City.

As well, with the introduction of what appears to be an ambitious plan from the City to shift from a land seller, to that of a port developer only revealed last week; the City has yet to offer up any kind of cost estimate for the community as to how much additional investment the city may have to make towards the Watson Site as they move towards making the industrial site ready to welcome import and export shipping opportunities.

Also of some interest to the discussion could be the status of the city's legal issues with not only the Sun Wave group, but those of Colonial Coal another group with an interest in Watson Island.

As recently as May 30th of this year, Colonial Coal was still featuring its plans for Watson Island as part of the information flow on their website, noting that "Watco is currently involved in litigation with the City of Prince Rupert in connection with the acquisition of Watson Island."

Hopefully, when Council members do meet this week, they will offer up significantly more commentary and maybe even a few explanations, as to what the ultimate goal for the City will be as they look to provide rival port facilities to those currently offered by the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

So far Council and the City have not been particularly talkative when it comes to explaining their Watson Island plans, and unlike past ambitions such as the Hays 2.0 vision, or other Civic initiatives as ReDesign Rupert or Sustainable City 2030, we have yet to see any flashy presentations delivered to the city's website.

Last weeks Council session featured a review of the plans from the City's Financial Office Corinne Bomben, who was following up on a comprehensive review of the expropriation process that was delivered by City Manager Robert Long on July 21.

However, despite that volume of material to call on, at last Monday's Council session which lasted less than thirty minutes, not one Council member raised any questions, made comments, or offered up any observations related to what is surely a significant shift in the city's vision for the Watson Island industrial site.

More background on the recent history from Watson can be found here.

While further notes related to City Council Discussions from Council sessions can be found on our archive page.

Prince Rupert's Crime Severity Index drops with 2016 numbers

Whatever crime suppression methods that the Prince Rupert detachment of the RCMP have put in place in recent months appear to be working, with the recent review of Crime Severity numbers for 2016 in Canada showing that our North Coast city has seen a reduction from last years levels.

Statistics Canada released their annual report on Crime Severity statistics last week and for Prince Rupert the numbers are showing improving trends in a number of areas.

The Crime Severity Index for Prince Rupert Urban is noted at 121.14 which is down 21.67 percent from last years report and marks for a significant decline from the overall listings compared to 2015.

Other areas of review noted that the violent crime severity index is marked at 130.43 a near 32 percent decline, while the Non Violent crime severity index is listed at 117.5 a 16 percent decrease from last year.

A look at the statistical review over the last five years provides a snapshot of the progress made by the local detachment when it comes to the findings from the Index since 2012. (click on charts to expand)

Prince Rupert has also seen similar reductions in their numbers for rural policing, those jurisdictions where the RCMP respond to calls located outside of the urban city limits.

In 2016, the Crime Severity index for rural areas was listed at 125.33, a 35.98 reduction from 2015.

In the Northwest, Terrace has taken the infamous top spot for Crime severity, moving into the Top 20 Canada wide for communities with a population of 10,000 or more

Crime Severity Index 147.46 (increase of 7.04 percent)
Violent Crime Severity Index 134.82 (decrease of 5.69 percent)
Non Violent Crime Severity index 151.75 (increase of 11.93 percent)

Snapshots for the remainder of the Northwest look as follows.

Smithers has seen some improvement from last years numbers:

Crime Severity Index 124.13 (decrease of 9.61 per cent)
Violent Crime Severity Index 130.80 (decrease of 14.24 percent)
Non Violent Crime severity index 121.44 (decrease of 7.66 percent)

Kitimat had the lowest numbers of the major Northwest communities

Crime Severity Index 70.77 (.06 percent increase)
Violent Crime Severity Index 78.61 (decline of 10.08 percent)
Non violent Crime Severity Index 67.77 (5.05 percent increase)

Things are somewhat more serene on Haida Gwaii with both Masset and Queen Charlotte City keeping their index numbers below 100

Masset  -- Crime Severity Index 90.43  
Queen Charlotte -- Crime Severity Index 68.26

To compare the Northwest to the remainder of the province, two British Columbia communities claimed a Top Ten finish for Canada when it comes to crime and its impact with Williams Lake and Langley among the nations communities facing crime issues in 2016.

Williams Lake Crime Severity Index 221.62 (decrease of 6.21)
Langley City Crime Severity Index 194 (increase of 25.89 percent)

Prince George, the largest community in Northern British Columbia had a Crime Severity Index of 154.39 a four percent increase.

As for the national list, North Battleford, Saskatchewan is noted as the community at the top of the National listings hosting a Crime Severity Index of 352.89 and a Violent Crime Severity index of 337.13

You can select and review the full listings for Northwest communities and all of British Columbia from the Stats Canada website here.

Some background into how they determine their statistical review can be examined here.

Notes related to the work of emergency responders in the Northwest can be found on our archive page.

Summer? Finally!

Sunny Skies and warm temperatures will be bringing North Coast
residents to many of the city's favourite outdoor locales this week 

As August edges over the horizon with the sunrise of tomorrow, the North Coast may finally get a glimpse of summer like temperatures, as well as a somewhat extended visit by that bright Orb up in the sky.

The forecast for the remainder of the week is calling for Sunshine and warm temperatures for the region, a welcome break from the last few months of Clouds, rain and decidedly  Un-Summer like registers on your home thermometer.

Friday could bring what will be the warmest day of the summer so far when we reach 21 degrees in Prince Rupert.

According to the official records hosted on the Environment Canada website, that mark has only been approached once over the last three months, when on May 28th the temperature climbed to just a notch below 21.

And if you believe that this has been an unusually wet summer season you are right.

The three months of May, June and July have brought their fair share of precipitation

May  221 mm
June 95 mm
July 137 mm

So, break out the sunblock, go find yourself a nice bit of shade or if inclined, lay out the beach towel and catch some rays, your long awaited summer season is here, for a week anyways.

Sunshine and Warm temperatures will also be the featured attraction of the seven day forecast for Haida Gwaii, while Terrace and Smithers will be flirting with temperatures near 30 degrees by the time the long weekend arrives.

One note of caution however as the temperatures begin to climb, make sure that you have your home secured at the end of these warm summer days, unlocked doors and open windows can make for an inviting target for those that take advantage of warmer days.

Notes on weather items of interest over the year can be round on our archive page here.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending July 30, 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 July 30, 2017 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate, East side, week ending July 30 2017
Prince Rupert Real Estate, West side, week ending July 30 2017

With the final month of the summer just one sunrise away, we find little movement on our listing of the ten highest priced properties in the city, with the list of ten more or less familiar from that of last week.

The Graham Avenue area continues to see the most significant attention with six of our ten properties featuring addresses on that west side roadway, with properties on Borden and Beach rounding out the western exposure for 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.

How the recent news of the cancellation of the Pacific NorthWest LNG mega project proposed for Lelu Island near Port Edward affects the local realty market will be worth watching as the weeks and months move forward.

That highly anticipated industrial development had provided for much of the speculative investment in real estate over the last few years, the cancellation of the project  could bring with it some increased volatility for the North Coast realty listings ahead.

The combined value this week of our ten high end listings is $6,602,000

The lowest mark for the list of ten was found at $499,000, while our top end from the last week is again listed at $829,000.

Below find our findings as of the Week ending July 30, 2017

2280 Graham Avenue                   $829,000 --  Remax
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
1805 Graham Avenue                   $539,000  --  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, July 30, 2017

Blog watching: Week ending July 29, 2017

Not surprisingly in a week dominated by the cancellation of one of the largest proposed industrial projects in recent history for the North Coast, the decision by Petronas to walk away from their plans to develop the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal captured the bulk of the stories, and interest on the last seven days.

Three of our five top items on the week,  featured items related to the LNG story quickly and climbed to the top of the viewed list through to Saturday night, with a number of other stories also percolating close enough to the top for inclusion to the theme for this week.

Municipal and provincial politics did manage to elbow their way into the top five however, with the City's newly revealed plan to expropriate land on Watson Island signalling a shift in vision for the City of Prince Rupert's plans for the industrial site, while former Premier Christy Clark brought the week to an end with some drama, announcing her  decision to depart from politics as of this coming week.

The top story of the week however puts the focus on the end of five years plus in discussion on the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project and another significant announcement that impacts on the North Coast Economy.

A Shoe drops for Petronas ... and Prince Rupert is not a good fit for Malaysia's LNG Terminal plans -- The mid morning announcement from the Malaysia energy giant Petronas cancelling the Pacific NorthWest LNG project left some disappointed and others in a celebratory mood, providing for the news narrative for the week   (posted July 25, 2017)

That article was followed by:

With silence so far locally, the Petronas decision on PNW LNG echoes far beyond Prince Rupert -- Our original follow up item to the week's major announcement, preceded what eventually became a roll out of statement after statement from local officials, first from NDP MP Nathan Cullen (see here), followed by MLA Jennifer Rice (see here) and Port Edward Mayor Dave MacDonald (see here), all issuing a formal statement on the cancellation. A roll call of local officials that left only Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain on the sidelines when it comes to an official statement by weeks end (posted July 26, 2017)

TransCanada Pipelines to reivew PRGT project in wake of Petronas cancellation --  With the Pacific North/West LNG project now rendered to the could have been files, the fate of the pipeline that was to bring Natural Gas to the North Coast is now being reconsidered. (posted July 27, 2017)

Expropriation plans signal significant shift in City's thinking for Watson Island future --  At Monday evening's Council session, Prince Rupert City Council members received a report from the City's Financial Officer (but had zero questions to ask of her) on the plans for expropriation of a parcel of land on Watson Island. Following up on their Monday meeting, in a late Friday afternoon announcement, the city outlined its plans to amend the 2017 Financial Plan next week with two Special Regular Council sessions called to address the expropriation plans.   (posted July 26, 2017)

Christy Clark steps down as leader of BC Liberals --  In a week of political and economic seismic shocks, the week ended with another one, as former Premier Christy Clark announced her plans to step down as both leader of the BC Liberal party and MLA for Kelowna West (posted July 28, 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, July 28, 2017

Prince Rupert Council to host Two Special Regular Council sessions next week

A pair of notices posted to the City of Prince Rupert Website are issuing the call for Council members to assemble two times next week, with Two Special Regular Council sessions scheduled.

The Notices which are very short, advise that Council members will gather at 5 PM on the following days:

Wednesday, August 2nd (see Notice here)


Friday, August 4th (See Notice here)

Neither notice offers up much in the way of background as to what the issues are that will require the Council to attend to their duties twice in the same week.

So far the City Council Agenda Pages provide some notes related to the August 2nd meeting, which seem to suggest that council will be providing required readings for the City's Five Year Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw.

You can review the full details of the Agenda package from the City's website here.

It's somewhat puzzling why the Five Year Financial Plan requirements were not included as part of the Monday July 24th Council session, that meeting was quite light on material, taking the Council members less than thirty minutes to review their business that night.

Update: In a late Friday afternoon advisory, the City outlined some further background to the meetings set for next week

The statement and additional documentation are directed towards planned changes in the financial plan to address areas related to the acquisition of Lot 4 on Watson Island, as well as for a short term loan for the design of a new RCMP Cell block.

The City's statement reads as follows:

The City is providing notice that City Council will consider a proposed amendment to the 2017 Financial Plan to be considered by City Council at a Special Meeting of Council August 2nd, 2017 at 5:00pm in Council Chambers. 

The notice details changes to the Operating Fund proposed in the 2017 Amended Financial Plan Bylaw No. 3416, 2017. These changes are proposed to address expenses not anticipated when the initial Financial Plan was adopted in April. 

The proposed changes will not result in any change to City servicing levels or approved operating budgets, instead drawing funds from reserves and a short-term loan through the Municipal Finance Authority.

The proposed amendment to the financial plan can be reviewed below (click to enlarge)

The notice can also be reviewed here.

Should any resident wish to submit comments they can to so by contacting Corinne Bomben via fax at 250-627-0999 or deliver their correspondence in person to City Hall.

Any comments must be submitted no later than 4:30 on Wednesday August 2nd.

Considering the tight timeline for comments and the rather late in the day notice from the City of the opportunity to provide them, it will be somewhat interesting to see how many residents may even know about the topic, let alone put any potential contribution together with but three business days to do so.

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

Christy Clark steps down as leader of BC Liberals

Former Premier Christy Clark in Lax Kw'alaams in Janaury.
Ms. Clark announced her resignation as leader of the
BC Liberal party and as MLA this morning

Whenever the NDP government calls the Legislature to its return, there will be one long time fixture from the recent BC political scene missing from the Chamber.

Friday morning, BC Liberal leader Christy Clark announced her intention to step down as leader of the party and her plans to leave politics.

Ms. Clark who served as British Columbia's 35th Premier from 2011-2017 delivered a short statement that expressed her pride in what the BC Liberals had accomplished and confidence for the future of the province.

Her resignation, which follows the agreement between the NDP and Greens which propelled Mr. Horgan to power, will take effect on Friday, August 4th.

The BC Liberal Facebook page shared the text of Ms. Clark's resignation in a posting.

With the Liberals now soon to be focused on the selection of a new leader, the announcement of Ms. Clark's departure from the political stage will now seemingly provide Premier John Horgan's government with some additional breathing room to settle into their political agenda.

Political pundits will now be reviewing the last few weeks for clues as to whether Ms. Clark has chosen to exit the stage of her own accord, or if the wheels were put in motion by party officials to suggest that her time as leader was at an end.

The Party executive will now meet within 28 days to set the rules for the leadership election process. Rich Coleman, the former Deputy Premier and LNG Minister will take over the leadership on an interim basis as the BC Liberals move forward with their work ahead.

The summer months and the fall will now offer up the manoeuvring of potential leadership candidates for the BC Liberals, both from within the current legislature line up and outside of the seat of the Provincial government.

The seismic waves of the shift in the political landscape in BC have already produced a range of news items and commentaries, with much more yet to come through the weekend.

We will archive those notes below:

July 31

Christy Clark One-on-One
For Christy Clark, it was a great party while it lasted
Clark wanted to quit sooner, but didn't want to leave a mess
"I feel like I get to be me again': former B.C. Premier Christy Clark
'I am done with public life," says Christy Clark
Liberal leader Christy Clark is 'done with public life'
Christy Clark 'done with public life' after resigning as Liberal leader
Who can blame Christy Clark for wanting a clean break?
What Drove Christy Clark Live her "Public Life?"
Class and politics: Christy Clark's ideological contortions made life tougher for the NDP
I thought Christy Clark had potential, but my gut feeling was right
'I am done with pubic life,' says Christy Clark in first public statement since resignation announcement
Former B.C. Premier Christy Clark says her political career is over
B.C. Liberals need to move fast to replace Christy Clark, experts say
'A leader needs to know when it's time to go' Clark on her resignation
Christy Clark says she's 'done with public life' after resignation
Nothing worse than when a politician thinks they're irreplaceable: Christy Clark
Clark addresses media after announcing sudden resignation
Christy Clark quitting starts civil war inside B.C. Liberal party

July 30 

High-profile figures mull bids to replace Clark as BC Liberal leader

July 29

The dimmed political legacy of Christy Clark
Tears in public, relief in private, as Christy Clark resigns
Weekend poll: What should be Christy Clark's next move?
Former television reporter Jas Johal considers running for BC Liberal leadership
Christy Clark, a campaigner to the core, bows out
Penticton MLA responds to Clark resignation
Christy Clark, a polarizing premier, leaves the political arena with an uncertain legacy
Career highlights for Christy Clark

July 28 

What political bravery looks like
In time, Clark's legacy will be appreciated
Short of any more miracles, Christy Clark throws in the towel
Clark's exit will tempt NDP to call an election
Clark's resignation opens door to big field of leadership hopefuls
Christy Clark through the years
Christy Clark resigns as leader of B.C. Liberal party, Rich Coleman to serve as interim
Who will be the next leader of the BC Liberals?
Christy Clark to walk-away with hefty pension: Canadian Taxpayers Federation
Christy Clark: a career timeline of B.C.'s 35th premier
Clark stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader, MLA: Coleman interim leader
A campaigner to the core bows out
Coleman praises Clark, will be interim leader but wont' seek job
Why B.C. Liberals might lean on Michael lee to be their next leader after Christy Clark
BC Liberal leadership possibilities to consider after Clark
Christy Clark undoing comes down to three tactical miscalculations
BC Liberal Leader Christy Clark resigns following defeat to NDP
Christy Clark thanks B.C. Liberal party members after announcing looming resignation
Weaver thanks Clark for service to B.C.
Christy Clark to step down as BC Liberal leader
Christy Clark resigns as Leader of the BC Liberal party
B.C. Liberal party to soon work on Leadership process
Christy Clark resigns as B.C. Liberal leader
Parties react to Clark's resignation
Christy Clark resigning as Liberal leader
Christy Clark resigns as leader of BC Liberal Party
Christy Clark to resign as leader of BC Liberal Party next week
Christy Clark announces she will quit as B.C. Liberal leader
Christy Clark to resign as B.C. Liberal leader
Former BC premier Christy Clark says she intends to resign
Christy Clark to resign as leader of BC Liberals, MLA
Christy Clark resigns as leader of Liberal party

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

Public Notice heralds upcoming clean up of Port Edward Trailer Park

With a court order in hand, the District of Port Edward is preparing to move ahead with a clean up and disposal of a range of items that are currently on the land known as Kurpil's Trailer Park.

That area of the District has long been a topic of discussion for Council members, who have frequently commented on the need for action to address a number concerns from residents of the community.

A public notice released by the District this week, outlines the scope of the upcoming clean up, which will see the following materials removed from the site.

Abandoned vehicles
Discarded Equipment
All Mobile Trailer Units

Port Edward Council voted to move ahead with their plan of removal at the July Council session, citing a number of safety concerns related to the property.

With the Public Notice now issued, residents of the area have until August 18th to settle their affairs at the site or face the cost of the clean up as per the District's Bylaw #277.

A more detailed look at the provisions of Bylaw 277 is available here.

Any final requests and inquiries related to the process of Bylaw enforcement are to be directed to the District office at 250-628-3667

More notes related to items of interest in Port Edward can be found on our archive page here.

Comedies and Improv shows mark the Udder Fest Calendar for August event

Prince Rupert's popular Udder Fest
is fast approaching with five nights
of shows Aug 9-13
The schedule and showcase listings for the 2017 edition of Prince Rupert's popular Udder Fest have been released and Rupertites will want to warm up their deep, deep belly laughs for the nights ahead.

The thespians of Harbour Theatre head into the final days of rehearsals before they take to the stage with a range of comedies and improv shows, all set to entertain from August 9 to 13 in the comfy confines of the Tom Rooney Playhouse.

The festival hosted by Prince Rupert's Harbour Theatre has been providing some highly entertaining summer productions for close to two decades now and the 2017 line up should be no exception.

With this years event featuring sketch comedy, improvisational pieces and the work of the popular summer theatre kids camp all ready to entertain you through the five days and nights.

Individual tickets are available for ten dollars, while three show passes cost $25 and are available at Homework in Cow Bay.

Night of event tickets are available at the Door at the Tom Rooney Playhouse at 954 3rd Avenue.

Admission to the two performances of Magic Beans is by donation.

The 2017 Line Up looks as follows (click on images below to enlarge previews):

Wednesday August 9th 

Toast and Jam at 7 PM 

Who wants to be a Rupertite at 8:30

Thursday, August 10

Bad Things 7 PM

Hook, Line and Snicker 8:30 PM

Friday, August 11

Bad Things 7 PM

Toast and Jam 8:30 PM

Hook Line and Snicker 10:00 PM

Saturday August 12

Magic Beans 1 PM

Who Wants to be a Rupertite? 7 PM

Bad Things  8:30 PM

War of Wits 10:00 PM

Sunday, August 13

Magic Beans 1 PM

Toast and Jam 3 PM

More background on Udder Fest can be found on the Harbour Theatre website or Facebook page

For more notes related to community events on the North Coast see our archive page here.

Ridley Terminals to host Annual Public Meeting in August

An opportunity to hear how things are going at Ridley Terminals will be available to the public in August, as one of the regions larger industrial operations and major employers hosts its Annual Public Meeting.

The event takes place in the Orca Room at the North Coast Convention Centre on Wednesday, August 9th starting at 3 PM.

Ridley officials will be providing an update on the 2016 activities at the Coal Terminal and adjacent property, as well as presenting the audited financial statements for 2016.

The public will also have an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation.

The state of the coal shipping industry and other developments for
Ridley Terminals will be up for discussion at the company's
Annual Public Meeting set for next month

There has been a significant increase in shipments of coal through Ridley so far in 2017, with the most recent statistics presented by the Prince Rupert Port authority, indicating that volumes have doubled so far in 2017 since this time last year.

That being said, while rebounding somewhat this year, the coal industry remains in a state of transition and for Ridley Island that has meant some repurposing of the land around the coal terminal to diversify the export options from the facilities there.

AltaGas is currently constructing their propane export terminal sub leasing land at the southern end of the Ridley industrial site from RTI.

For more background on Ridley Terminals see their website here.

Our archive of news related items from Ridley can be reviewed here.

Port Edward remains "Open for business" despite setback of PNW LNG cancellation

Mayor Dave MacDonald has outlined
the District of Port Edward's response
to Tuesday's cancellation of the
PNW LNG project
Mayor Dave MacDonald of Port Edward continues to remain optimistic about his community's future in the wake of this weeks cancellation of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the Mayor of the District noted that the news had been received with very mixed feelings and had required a few days for the District's Council to process the events of the week.

The correspondence to residents offers up reassurance that the efficient day to day operations of running "one of the nicest locations on the BC coast" will continue.

On the theme of the announcement of the cancellation, Mayor MacDonald notes that the news was not anticipated, as the District had signed off on potential tax agreements and was looking forward, to working with their First Nation and other partners to moving forward with infrastructure development to meet the service demands that would have come with the construction of the LNG facilities, along with the rapid development and community growth.

Mayor MacDonald observed as to the hard work that had gone into the preparation and planning as well as to how some plans may have to be delayed for now.

"All the hard work and planning that has been put into place will continue to be available and useful for future development ... We will continue to work towards seeing Wampler Way road become a reality, maybe not now but certainly in the future. This will support community partners in developing the land in and around Wampler Way for business and residential growth"

Mr. MacDonald also highlighted the strengthened relationships with the areas First Nations communities, something that he says the District will continue to work with towards more new projects and opportunities.

He also had appreciation for the hard work of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, particularly with Ridley Island and the growth in and around Prince Rupert.  As well he noted the cooperative spirit from the District's relationships with those stakeholders in the region that will see the rail crossing issues in the community resolved over the  summer.

He also noted that phase one of the Senior's housing project in the community will bring eight affordable houses to the District this year, with the potential for more housing opportunities in the future.

He closes his letter to residents by noting some of the benefits that had come with the arrival of Pacific NorthWest in the community over the last five years.

"Although the PNW LNG will not go ahead, many community events and local project such as the restoration of North Pacific Cannery benefitted from PNW donations and supported these projects"

Looking towards the future, Mayor MacDonald reminds residents of the District that the councils philosophy of being "Open for Business" will continue, while also thanking the larger region for its support and the opportunity for Port Edward to be engaged in discussions about projects that can have a positive impact on the region.

You can review the Port Edward Mayor's full commentary for the community here.

Mayor MacDonald's letter to residents is just the latest of correspondences from local politicians related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG cancellation.

Also heard over the last 48 hours have been MLA Jennifer Rice, as well as MP Nathan Cullen.

That leaves only Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain as keeping a low profile when it comes to most talked about news event of thew week in the region.

As of Friday morning, the City had still not issued any form of information release for the public related to the decision from Petronas to bring to an end its North Coast plans., whether through the city website or Mayor Brain's Facebook page

For more items related to the now cancelled project see our archive page here.

More notes on developments from Port Edward can be reviewed here.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

TransCanada Pipelines to review PRGT project in wake of Petronas cancellation

With the cancellation of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project,
the fate of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission line is now under review

While most of the attention over the last few days has been directed towards the announcement by Petronas that they were cancelling the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, another major project related to the LNG terminal is now under further review.

With no destination now in place for it's planned pipeline network, TransCanada pipelines has announced that is now reviewing their options related to the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project and will continue to focus on their significant investments in new and existing natural gas infrastructure to meet customer needs.

In a media release issued following the Petronas announcement, Trans Canada noted that as part of their agreement with the Malaysian Energy giant's affiliate Progress Energy, following receipt of a termination notice, TransCanada would be reimbursed for the full costs and carrying charges incurred to advance the PRGT project.

Karl Johansen, TransCanada's Executive Vice President and President of Canada and Mexico gas pipeline and energy development further noted that TransCanada expects to receive that termination payment later this year.

As for fate of the PRGT pipeline route, the TransCanada announcement provided a bit of background on the history of the planning for the line and where the future may lead.

We are proud of the work we have done along the PRGT route, which has allowed us to sign 14 Project Agreements with First Nations and secure the key regulatory approvals and permits. 

We have built strong new relationships, and we look forward to continuing our strong partnerships with First Nations and communities in B.C. as we develop other natural gas assets, including our North Montney Mainline project. 

This important project is backed by independent 20-year commercial service agreements with 11 shippers (including Progress Energy), and pending regulatory approvals, we remain ready to move forward. 

There is still a strong need for Canadian natural gas supplies to get to market, and the infrastructure we are building in Alberta and British Columbia - including recently announced multi-billion dollar investments in our NGTL system and North Montney Mainline - are designed to help move natural gas supplies to markets where they are needed.

You can review the full announcement from TransCanada here.

Even before Tuesday's cancellation by Petronas, the pipeline project had run into another delay, as a Federal court had ordered the National Energy Board to re-examine jurisdiction issues related to the pipeline route across Northern BC.

Another area of note related to the Petronas decision could be the fate of a number of benefit agreements that had been signed related to the project.

TransCanada pipelines had signed a number of benefits agreements, including training opportunities with local First Nations as part of their work towards securing the pipeline to the North Coast.

Metlakatla signs pipeline benefits agreements tie to LNG development
Metlakatla and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission sign LNG pipeline project agreement
BC's Liberal Government signs LNG agreements with Lax Kw'alaams and Metlakatla First Nation
Prince Rupert Gas Transmission signs project agreement with Lax Kw'alaams Band
PRGT signs project agreement with Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs
Skills training programs making a difference in B.C.
TRICORP to benefit from $250,000 partnership with Gas Pipeline firms
Nisga'a reach agreement on gas pipeline and keep their own LNG ambitions on track

Further background on the now cancelled Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be reviewed on our archive page.

City issues a hiring call for two positions

Job opportunities available with City of Prince Rupert
(photo of City yard from City or PR Annual Report)

If you can repair vehicles, or work with cement, the City of Prince Rupert wants to hear from you.

Two new job postings have popped up on the City's Hiring board, with the Operations Department on the hunt for a Mechanic and a Stonemason.

The Stonemason position has a quick turnaround time for applications, with the deadline to submit your resume coming up on August 1st, while those with an interest in the Mechanics position have until August 25th to drop off a resume.

Some background on both positions can be found below (click to enlarge):

The new entries to the Help Wanted listings comes after a bit of a summer lull in the city's ongoing hiring call, as they continue add to the civic employment rolls, or replace staffing for positions from retiring workers.

A look at the pace of civic employment over the last year with the City can be found on our archive page here.

For more items related to the City of Prince Rupert, see our list of archive topics here.