Saturday, November 27, 2021

MLA's Week: November 22-25, 2021



The members of the Legislature put a wrap on their Fall session at 5:13 PM on Thursday afternoon, the final session of the week providing for the Royal Assent to a large volume of Legislation, including some controversial pieces related to Freedom of Information and Forestry to name a few that the opposition Liberals and Green Party had suggested needed much more discussion and oversight prior to passage.

Still, with a Majority government, the legislation will move forward at the pace desired by the BC NDP, and as Thursday closed, so too did any debate on the list of those legislative pieces that made for the fall schedule of government business.


As for the participation of the three Northwest MLA's, the final week was one of limited mentions in the Hansard index, with only MLA's Ross and Cullen engaged in debate on the week, that on separate days, with the pair taking a very different view of the government's forests legislation.

Both MLA's took on positions when it came to the protests over Coastal GasLink in the Wet'suwet'en territory of the Northwest, a topic which federally was a theme for Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach.  


For the two Northwest MLA's their contributions to the discussion came through their social media streams over the last five days. 

The evolving situation in the Wet'suwet'en was not a topic that was addressed, or made mention of this week by North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, the third member of the Northwest MLA's contingent this week.

As for more on the recent week of work from the House, the four days unfolded as follows:

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On the week, Ms Rice was not mentioned in the record for the week in the Legislature from November 22-25

Ms. Rice was not part of the line up of speakers for participation in the week of work in the Legislature.

The MLA did however relay a range of Government plans and policy announcements through her social media stream through the week.

The North Coast MLA is also a member of the Following committees:


Ms. Rice serves as the Government's Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness

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For our readers from the Terrace-Kitimat region, Skeena MLA Ellis Ross  was mentioned once in the record for the week in the Legislature from November 22-25

On Tuesday, Mr. Ross joined in on the final hours of debate on the contentious changes to forestry legislation in the province.


Mr. Ross did have some internal BC Liberal business to attend to during the week, taking part in the Second of Liberal leadership debates to date.  

The Skeena MLA clearly must be finding some traction for his quest of the party leadership, with Ross the target for many of the Liberal candidates in the Monday evening debate.


By week's end, Mr. Ross was gaining some notice from this open letter to Leonardro DiCaprio, published in the National Post, which challenged some of the actor/activist's themes on the Coastal GasLink project and Indigenous themes.


The Skeena MLA also addressed a range of themes  featured as part of the MLA's social media work.


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For our readers from the Bulkley Valley area, Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen  was mentioned  once  in the record for the week in the Legislature from November 22-25

The topic of discussion for Mr. Cullen in the Monday session of the Legislature was a strong defence of the NDP government's plans towards overhaul of the management of the province's forestry sector.


As the week progressed, he also used his social media stream to relay information and guidance on the ongoing emergency situation in the province, as well as other themes of government programs and policies.


Mr. Cullen serves as the Government's Minister of State for Lands and Natural Resource Operations 

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There is more background on all three Regional MLA's available from our MLA's Week Archive, as well as our constituency archives below:


Stikine Constituency

Thursday marked the final session for the Fall for the members of the Legislature, with the MLA's to return to their home ridings for the holiday period and on into February of 2022, when they make their way back to Victoria

They departed Thursday evening with the best wishes from the Speaker until they meet again.



 

MLA's also participate in a number of Committee sessions scheduled through the week.

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




Friday, November 26, 2021

Seawolves Under 13's in action this weekend at Jim Ciccone Civic Centre



While the Prince Rupert Rampage continue on with their early season break in the schedule, those looking to take in some hockey action can drop into the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre this weekend.

Up for the weekend on the competition side of things is the Under 13 Seawolves rep team in action, taking on Smithers in Two contests.

Saturday's play is an afternoon matchup with a 1:30 Start, while the Sunday showcase is an early riser special with the two teams hitting the ice at 8AM.

The PRMHA also reminds fans that 50/50 tickets will be on sale.

As with all events at the Civic Centre, the double vaccination, proof of vaccination protocols are in place.

You can keep up with what's happening with the PRMHA from their Facebook page here.

More notes on Minor hockey across the Northwest can be found here.

Emergency Service supports the focus for two new Job opportunities with the City of Prince Rupert


The City of Prince Rupert is looking to fill a few openings when it comes to support positions for the RCMP detachment and Fire Department, with two positions currently listed on the City's Job postings page. 

The first is a Casual employment opportunity at the RCMP Detachment as Guard at the City Jail.


The full Job description and list of duties and responsibilities can be reviewed here.  
The deadline to apply is listed as November 29th.

The Second career opportunity is on the communication side of the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue Department with a 911 Dispatcher position  currently available.


The full job description and list of duties and responsibilities can be reviewed here
The deadline to apply is listed as December 2nd.

As we outlined this morning, the City of Prince Rupert has now implemented a new hiring policy for all new external employment positions. With applicants now required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and to have available all the documentation to reflect that vaccinated status.

You can learn more about that new policy here.

A look at past City of Prince Rupert career opportunities is available through our Employment and Labour archive page here.

Some Scherr tenacity on the field, takes Prince Rupert Rugby player to Portugal for competition

For followers of the sport of Rugby, some of their attention this weekend will be fixed on Portugal as participants in the Rugby Tens championship  get ready to take to the field for the high tempo competition.

Among the participants from around the Rugby world (30 plus nations) to gather in Lisbon, will be Prince Rupert's Hannah Scherr, part of the Serengeti Elephants team. 

The North Coast rugby talent was invited to the tournament earlier this fall and has been in Lisbon for much of the week in training for the weekend event.

More recently, while on the North American side of the globe, Ms. Scheer has been part of the University of Victoria Rugby program, though her 2021 season was sidelined owing to early season injury.

Her University team went to the Canadian University Championships last month, coming out of Kingston Ontario with a fourth place finish, one of the best placements in years for the UVic Vikings.

She has since recovered from those early season injury issues, gotten back to her training and this weekend steps back out onto the Global stage with the Elephants, with play set to start on November 27th.

Prince Rupert's Hannah Scherr's biography page with the Serengeti Elephants

You can follow her play in Portugal through Rugby Tens Championship website, which also notes of a livestream option at the top of the page.

You can also explore the social media feeds of FacebookTwitter and Instagram to see what the players are up to as part of their week in Portugal, with many of the teams working with local youth teams to build the game further.

Some great visuals from Portugal as the team explores the area around Lisbon is part of their Instagram feed which you can review here.

Local Rugby organizer Jason Scherr, the proud papa to Ms. Scherr, notes of another name for Prince Rupert's legion of rugby followers to be watching for from the tournament as well.

With Robin MacDowell one of the Prince Rupert club's honorary members and a coach the Seamen work closely with set to coach the Cape Town Wild Dogs women's team in the tournament. 

A bit more background on the Portugal event can be found here.

More notes on Prince Rupert athletes in locales far from the north coast can be explored here.

Cycling enthusiasts pumped for the future after City Council approves site location for proposed PUMP Track

Cycling fans are looking forward to seeing a new recreation 
option in place in Prince Rupert, as progress continues for
a PUMP track in the city, with the location of choice McClymont Park

The plans are still a bit off to the future, but with a firm commitment towards a site resolved at Monday's City Council session, plans for a PUMP track facility in Prince Rupert can move forward and that is being received well by members of the North Coast Mountain Bike Association.

The City's Director of Operations Richard Pucci relayed the state of progress of the NCMBA towards development of an all Ages PUMP track in the community, with the Association making a formal request to use land offered by the city along McClymont Park.

"We discussed it internally and we believe that this is a great community asset for us, the NCMBA is actively seeking grants from providers to install the track, we see no issues with having the track go there, as long as they hold the appropriate insurance. We've also been discussing with them about upgrades to the paved access so it could be accessible to everyone, and also with some increase in  lighting."

Following Mr. Pucci's overview, Mayor Bran asked about their funding status, with the Director of Operations noting that they have a significant amount in hand but that with a firm site selection in place they will be able to access further funding.

"I believe they still have some fundraising left, I know they have quite a bit of money to do it, but having an actual place that's agreed to has stopped them from  getting some funding. They actually have to have a place where they're going before some funders will support the project, so this is really important for them to be able to get the rest of the funding they need"

Councillor Wade Niesh had questions related to the site selection and his concerns over potential flood issues with the McClymont location and what measures may be in place to account for that.  Towards those concerns Mr. Pucci noted of recent conversations with the proponents related to required mitigation efforts.

"We've talked about raising the level and making sure that ... using the right kind of rock so that it's coarser and won't wash out. So they're aware of looking at ways to make sure that that new asset is there and won't be washed away"

Councillor Nick Adey asked about access to the site, particularly for that of emergency service providers, Mr. Pucci stated that he hadn't taken that into account but that he would talk with emergency services to ensure that they know of the best route into the location for fastest access.

The Report to Council is available on the City's Agenda page from the Monday Session

The next phase as far as the cities duties goes, is to put the process out to the public. That will be done by way of a notification to the local paper.

You can review the full presentation to Council from the City's Video Archive, starting at the thirteen minute mark.




More on the plans of the North Coast Mountain Bike Association can be found through their website and Facebook page.

From the NCMBA social media stream, the process of continuing with the fund raising goes on, spurred on now with a sense that it's not to be too much longer before the McClymont Park area gains another recreation element for the community.

Further items of note from the Monday Council Session can be reviewed here.

Salvation Army Christmas Appeal is underway in Prince Rupert

Salvation Army officials and members are tackling the many projects of the 
holiday season with a number of initiatives in motion these next few weeks

Over the course of the last week, residents in Prince Rupert, Port Edward and around the North Coast have received the annual letter of appeal from the Salvation Army, as Lieutenants Dawn and Geoff Butt outline the work of the Salvation Army in the community and highlight the particulars challenges of the holiday season for many residents of the Community and region.

The letter to the community notes of their work with the local Food Bank and soup kitchen which continues to serve Breakfast and Lunches for those in need in the Prince Rupert area.

Currently the staff and volunteers with the Salvation Army are making preparations for the annual Christmas Hamper campaign, a project which has seen a growing list of those requesting the hampers realized each year. 



In addition to the home mailing campaign, the Prince Rupert's Salvation Army members  are making plans for the annual Kettle campaign, which this year will see kettles set up at Walmart in the Rupert Square Mall and at the BC Liquor store location at McBride and Second Avenue West.

Towards volunteering for a shift a notice from earlier this month outlines how you can contact Salvation Army officials to help out over the upcoming campaign.


The Salvation Army also notes that those who wish to drop off a donation can make use of the black mailbox at the Grenville Court Salvation Army offices.

Follow the Prince Rupert Salvation Army Facebook page for updates on their plans through the next month.

More notes on Community themes can be reviewed from our archive page.

City to seek additional funding for CN Station revitalization project through NDIT program

Council approved plans to make application for some additional
funding opportunities with NDIT for the CN Station project

Prince Rupert's City Councillors decided to follow the advice of staff on Monday evening, approving a plan to apply for some additional grant funding through the Northern Development Initiative Trust towards their CN Station Revitalization project on the Prince Rupert waterfront. 

The City Council Agenda for Monday evening made note of a Report from Paul Venditelli, Manger of Transportation and Economic Development which provided some background on the funding opporunity.

Report for Council on funding opportunity
for the CN Station renovation plans
(click to enlarge)

Mr. Venditelli was not in attendance at the Monday Council session, so the verbal review of the NDIT funding was provided by the city's Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller.

In her review, Mrs. Miller outlined how the 5.3 million dollar CN Station revitalization project fit into the City of Prince Rupert Vision while also meeting many other aspects of funding, such as job creation, improved tourist amenities and developing a new local destination. 

She observed  how the bulk of the project is funded through a Northern Capital grant, and then highlighted how those elements match up within the scope of a grant program with the Northern Development Initiative Trust, with the city to seek 300,000 dollars from that funding program towards the project.

The report published in the Agenda from Mr. Venditelli also noted that following revitalization of the asset the City intends to lease the space for commercial purposes to Wheelhouse Brewing.

Councillor Mirau was the only member of Council to speak to the topic on Monday,  putting his support behind the request to seek out the additional funding.

"I think not only is that project obviously worth supporting but I think that the funder has very compatible objectives to what we are trying to achieve  there. So I think it is a good fit and obviously a worthwhile application to support" -- Councillor Blair Mirau

With Mr. Venditelli not on hand for the session, those in the community hoping perhaps for an update on the progress of the project, or further thoughts of Council on it will have to wait for another opportunity.

Council members did not spend any time discussing the project other than the vote to move the funding request forward.

The CN Station plans were also not part of the review of Major Projects later in the evening which was presented by Director of Operations Richard Pucci.

Ms. Miller's overview for Council can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive starting at the11 minute mark.




Further notes on the Monday Council Session can be reviewed here.

A look at some out our past items on the CN Station renovation plan can be explored here.