Thursday, March 24, 2016

Prince Rupert based Sports Fishery operators ask City to crack down on out of town operators

Council heard some concerns from the
Sport Fishing Charter industry in
Prince Rupert and a request
for stepped up local bylaw enforcement
from the City on the waterfront
With the 2016 Sport Fishing season on the North Coast on the horizon, those charter operators that live and work on the North Coast are calling on the City of Prince Rupert to make sure that they enforce local regulations on the growing number of out of town operators that are starting to fly under the radar on the North Coast.

At Monday's Council session, Terry Weaver a representative of the local industry outlined for council some of the concerns that local members have when it comes to the out of town operators. Notably how out of town operators do not have local business licences, flaunt the local parking regulations around the Rushbrook Floats area and how they work around other aspects of the charter industry that local and regulated operators in the region can't use to their advantage.

He outlined for Council that over the last five years there have been over 140 operators from outside of the Prince Rupert area, mostly from Alberta and other western provinces, that have at times worked the North Coast Region.

Noting for Council that he has seen his business decline by fifty percent over that same period of time and that other local operators are being affected in similar ways.

He asked if the City has any plans to look into the issue to police the issue, observing that the same kinds of issues have occurred in Campbell River and he doesn't want to see Prince Rupert going down the same path.

Following the fifteen minute overview of the current situation, Mayor Brain observed that it was the first he had heard of the issue and that he would be looking into the concerns of the local operators.

Councillor Thorkelson then offered some background to the situation, which she noted is not a new one on the north coast, observing that she has been trying to address the issue for over ten years.

Adding that one of the frustrations she has locally is that the sport fishing operators in the region don't have an organization for the Council to talk to. She noted that the City could work with Transport Canada to ensure that all boats that work the charter industry are inspected prior to taking clients and the city would not issue a business licence until that approval was in place.

Suggesting that only Prince Rupert based businesses would go and get those inspections, allowing the City to post a list of those that have the licences and that anyone not on the list does would be considered to have a Business licence.

Councillor Cunningham added to the discussion stating that it's been an issue around the North Coast for years, he then provided some thoughts on the controversy, offering a few potential solutions to the issue noting how the City can help with the business licence aspect of it all.

He also suggested that the City could call on the province and federal governments to step up and provide some enforcement assistance to the larger issues of the out of town operators working out of the North Coast.

You can review the full discussion from the City's Video Archive, it can be found starting at the five minute mark.

For more items related to Monday's Council session see our Council Timeline Feature, while further background on the work of Council on a number of issues can be found from our Council Discussion Archive page.

Notes related to the Fishing industry on the North Coast both the Commercial and the Sport Fishery can be round on our Archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment