Sunday, July 25, 2021

Blog Watching: Week ending July 25, 2021

A range of municipal notes generated the most interest from  the 40 unique stories which we generated this week, with the city's latest plans for redevelopment in the downtown core capturing the most attention from those passing through the blog over the last seven days.

Readers also found some interest in our municipal themes related to the upcoming new recycling and garbage program at the City of Prince Rupert as well as word that City Manager Robert Long will bring a 40 year career in municipal government to an end this year, eight of them as the top municipal staffer in the community.

Other themes explored on the week included the changing of hands for one of the most well known of city buildings, with the Highliner Inn now in the growing inventory of holdings of Prince Rupert residents Corrine and James Warburton.

And with election speculation gaining a fair bit of attention this summer, the Federal parties have ramped up their planning on the off chance we head to the polls. With a number of them announcing candidates for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley House of Commons seat, should the Prime Minister decide to take the nation to the polls. 

However, the top item of interest for the week puts the spotlight on the latest part of the City's Prince Rupert 2030 vision planning and a call for Bids for a downtown redevelopment program for Third and McBride.

Latest element of Prince Rupert visions planning out for Bids as Gateway project comes into focus -- We started the week picking up on a bid package posted to the BC Bid website, a document that outlined some of the details of a proposed development in the downtown area focused on McBride and Third. On Tuesday, Mayor Lee Brain and the City outlined some further notes on the proposed development with the release of an official announcement towards their plans.      (posted July 19, 2021)

That article was followed by: 

Prince Rupert's signature downtown building to change hands   -- While the City was putting the spotlight on plans for Third and McBride, one of the city's most iconic downtown buildings was making some news, with word that the Highliner Inn had changed ownership and returned to local investors.    (posted  July 22,   2021) 

How much can you cram into the can? City's deliver of new garbage cans puts the R into Reduce   -- As the city's operations department pushed forward with the delivery of cans for the city's new recycling/garbage program, some of the replies to the City's and Mayor's Social media campaign made note of the reduced size of the garbage cans the city is providing to residents as well as other questions related to the theme of recycling.   posted July 20 , 2021)
Federal parties make preparations as summer election possibilities percolate   --  With election rumblings continuing though the summer, some of the federal parties have begun to make their plans for any potential election call. By weeks' end, the Conservative party had joined the NDP, Green's and CHP in announcing their candidate for the potential vote (posted July 21, 2021) 

After eight years of service in Prince Rupert, City Manager Robert Long prepares to bid his adieu  -- A major announcement came out of City Hall in the early evening of Wednesday as Mayor Lee Brain made use of his Social Media forum to share word that the city's top municipal official, City Manager Robert Long will be retiring. Bringing a run of the last eight years in Prince Rupert and a career in BC municipal government to a close.    (posted July 22 , 2021) 

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

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

A note for those that previously used our email alert delivery option, Blogger has discontinued that feature, so we direct you to our CharlesMHays Twitter feed, where we post updates to the blog as we post them.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here.   

To view the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Claire Rattée to return as Conservative candidate should election be called

Kitimat resident Claire Rattée has announced that she
will be the Conservative party candidate should the voters
of Skeena-Bulkley Valley head to the polls this summer
(photo from Skeena-Bulkley Valley Conservatives)

With election speculation picking up speed this summer, the Conservative party of Canada has put its affairs in order and now stand ready to contest the vote, should the Prime Minister choose to take the nation to the polls.

And as it was in 2019, Kitimat resident Claire Rattée will be the Conservative candidate in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Ms. Rattée announcing her success towards the nominations through Social media earlier this evening.

Two candidates had announced for the race prior to this weekend, with Theresa Tait-Day also seeking the Conservative post along with Ms. Rattée. 

No details as to how the nomination process went forward were released today.

On election night of October 22nd 2019, the Conservative candidate gained some impressive results after a strong campaign, but came up short of Taylor Bachrach who had gained the NDP nomination following the retirement of Nathan Cullen.

Mr. Bachrach had a 3,188 vote advantage over Ms. Rattee when the final tallies were posted by Elections Canada

Her success in the nomination process as announced this evening makes for a rematch between the two top contenders.

The other political parties have started to fill out their nomination cards as well, we outlined the status of Skeena-Bulkley Valley earlier this week

You can track the latest news from Skeena Bulkley Valley through our archive page here.

Burn Ban in Prince Rupert partially lifted to allow for recreational fires

With the recent arrival of some damp weather, the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue department has announced that the Previous ban on burning in the community has been partially lifted. 

Though the lifting of the ban is only for recreation campfires within City limits, the burning of yard waste and debris is still not allowed.

The announcement was made through the PRFD Social Media account shortly after 5 PM on Friday evening.

More notes on the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest can be reviewed from our archive page.

Queen Charlotte RCMP look for public assistance following motor vehicle incident


RCMP on Haida Gwaii are looking for more information related to an incident in Queen Charlotte on Haida Gwaii from earlier this month.

In a Media Release from this week, the Queen Charlotte detachment of the RCMP outlines the nature of a motorist/cyclist incident in the community which sent the cyclist to hospital with serious injuries.

The cyclist was struck around 10:30AM on Friday July 2nd, the incident taking place on Oceanview Drive near Martynuik Road. 

A motorist/cyclist incident along Oceanview Drive at Martynuik(Green point
on map) in  Queen Charlotte is currently being investigated by the RCMP
(click to enlarge)

As part of their investigation to date, the RCMP note the following:

A cyclist was struck by a truck while travelling in the East bound lane. The suspect vehicle has been described as a newer model white Ford pickup truck with larger side mirrors. The vehicle may have damage to the passenger side of the vehicle. 

The cyclist was taken to hospital with serious injuries. Police would like to speak to anyone who may have been in the area at that time that may have dash cam video.

Should you have any information related to the incident, you are asked to contact the Queen Charlotte RCMP at (250) 559-4421 or Crime Stoppers at 1(800) 222-8477.  

The RCMP information release can be reviewed here

More notes on the work of Emergency Responders across the Northwest and on Haida Gwaii can be explored from our archive page here.  

The Northwest makes for one positive situation for a province facing much Wildfire danger this weekend

The Cariboo, Thompson, Okanagan and Kootenay regions
will be the focus for wildfire responders this weekend, with
a growing volume of fires reported in many areas south of Prince George
(Map from BC Wildfire Dashboard)

While British Columbia's wildfire teams take on challenges across much of the province, there's some relief found for the Northwest, with only one Wildfire of Note listed today as we head into another weekend.

That  fire is the Chief Louie Lake Fire  which was first discovered on July 7th, it is burning well south of the Burns Lake area.

Click to enlarge 

Only one fire is listed along the Highway 16 corridor between Prince Rupert and Prince George, that is the Bulkley Lake Fire, which has been listed as under control.

Click to enlarge

While cooler temperatures and some precipitation have reduced the risk in the Northwest, the situation is very different once you make the turn south at Quesnel, with much of the Interior Region facing alerts, evacuations or advisories.

Earlier this week the Province of British Columbia announced a State of Emergency related to the Wildfire situation,  which provides for additional supports and resources to communities facing wildfire dangers.

Premier Horgan, along with Katrine Conroy, the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development have also noted that those with vacation plans in areas of concern should be aware of the situation in those areas and heed the guidance of local community officials.

This past week was one which saw the BC Wildfire Service receive reports of 76 new fires reported across BC and 17 of the 263 active fires reported over the course off the last 2 days.

 Information bulletins for fires of note can be accessed here.

With the State of Emergency in effect, the Northwest Fire Centre has prohibitions and Restrictions in place for all areas of the region from Haida Gwaii to Prince George.

(There are local exceptions such as this advisory from Terrace,  and this for Prince Rupert, consult your local community to seek out the status inside municipal limits) 

You can access more information from the BC WildFire Service Facebook page and Twitter Feed

In addition to monitoring the work of the BC Wild Fire Service, you can track any road information related to wildfire situations from the Drive BC website.

Transportation and Infrastructure BC has also provided a list of roads across the province impacted by the WildFire situation, you can access that list here.

For more notes on the 2021 Fire season in the Northwest see our archive page here.

A wider overview of the provincial situation can be explored through our D'Arcy McGee blog and our Victoria viewpoint archive.

CityWest seeks submissions for annual phone book cover competition

"Dancing Feet" was the 2020 CityWest
phone book cover photo, the creation of
Nathan Coombs, CityWest has opened the
window for photo 
submissions for the 
2021 competition 

Photographers of the North Coast can start sifting through their favourite creations of the last year, seeking a place in phone book glory, with CityWest announcing the call for submission for their annual Phone Book competition. 

The popular call for photographs has provided a unique viewing opportunity for Prince Rupert area photo artists, with the call usually one well received with a large volume of options for CityWest officials to choose from.

The announcement of the start of the submission period was made through CityWest's Social Media feed earlier today.

This year's deadline for photos to CityWest is Monday August 9th. 

Those looking to participate in the project should keep in mind the two following rules for submitting photographs.

1. Photos must be uploaded in a vertical and high resolution format (minimal 300 DPI at 7 X 10.75 Inches) 

2. Photos must be from the Prince Rupert area or related to Prince Rupert

CityWest will narrow the field down to a list of 12 photo submissions which will be up for community voting later in the summer. The submissions will also have the opportunity to be include a CityWest calendar project.

Send your photos to

For more notes on the City of Prince Rupert owned Northwest communication company see our archive page here.

More themes on Community Notes can be reviewed here.

Blade Runners program to help prepare at risk youth for work on the North Coast

Some new funding towards a youth program in British Columbia will provide some additional supports for at risk youth in the North Coast region, with MLA Jennifer Rice noting of the opportunities that will be offered locally through the Blade Runners program.

The funding announcement from today, outlines how the John Howard Society of the Pacific Region has been awarded over 1.3 million dollars in funding over three years to offer the program on the North Coast, providing an opportunity to overcome barriers to employment.

“This new funding for the BladeRunner program will help young
people gain more control over their futures. 

The program will help to reduce barriers, teach young people valuable life skills, and provide them with more access to the skills they need to find and start their careers,”

The program looks to empower youth from ages 15-30 and offers them the chance to take control of their future and gain valuable experience. 

Among the paths that they can follow through the program: construction, culinary arts, health care, retail, hospitality, and office administration. In addition to job skills and work experience placements, youth build life skills and receive mentorship and other supports to help them participate and succeed in the program.

Further background on today's announcement is available here

The Hecate Strait Employment Centre (First Avenue East and
Behind the Prince Rupert Courthouse) is one of a few options
for youth to access the Blade Runners program

On the North Coast Region in the past, the program is coordinated through the Hecate Strait Employment Development Society. 

The funding from today notes that the program  will allow for the participation of 70 youth in the community over the three year period. 

An additional 102 spaces are included through the John Howard Society for both Terrace and Prince Rupert. 

The program is also offered through the Aboriginal Community Career Employment Services Society, which has been allocated 210 spots as part of today's announcement. 

Other locations around the province hosting the program can be found here.

For more notes related to provincial politics see our archive page here.