Wednesday, May 29, 2013

City Council Timeline, Monday, May 27, 2013

The first City Council meeting of the Robert Long era took place Monday, the New City Manager taking his place to steer the city's day to day operations and provide guidance at Council sessions.

His workload was light however on the evening, with the majority of the night's session taken up with presentations from proponents of LNG development in the city. Both from the perspective of natural gas pipeline development and from the developers of the proposed LNG terminal on Lelu Island.

Once the presentations were complete, council tackled the regular aspects of civic governance, in the form of development variances, grant applications and a review of the Mayor's activities since the last council session.

The timeline of all of the council the proceedings can be found in red below, tied in with the City Council video and audio feeds archived below.

Further information such as minutes and permanent placement in the  audio and video archives can be found as they are posted to the city Website.

Minutes from May 27, 2013 (when posted)

In Attendance May 27, 2013

Mayor Jack Mussallem-- Present
Councillor Anna Ashley-- Present 
Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson-- Present
Councillor Gina Garon-- Present 
Councillor Nelson Kinney-- Absent
Councillor Jennifer Rice-- Absent
Councillor Joy Thorkelson-- Present

Video Archive for May 27, 2013 
Audio Archive for May 27, 2013 

The First order of Business was the Committee of the Whole Meeting.

(0:00 - 1:00) After the required housekeeping of the opening moments, City Council heard a pair of presentations from proponents of LNG development in the region.

(1:00- 33:30) Presentation from TransCanada Pipelines on the proposed natural gas pipeline for an LNG plant on Lelu Island. Officials from the company provided an overview of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project.  Outlining some background their plan to bring Natural Gas from North East British Columbia to Prince Rupert, what route they planned to use and the economic impact that the project would have on the Prince Rupert area.

Council then was invited to ask questions of Trans Canada.

Councillor Ashley was the first to speak out on the topic, inquiring about the number of pipelines planned for the region and whether each company could work together to provide for just one pipeline to meet the needs of the LNG industry. The answer to her question was that each project should be looked at on its own, with each company drilling for gas in their own areas with demand the key aspect of any company's plans.

Councillor Thorkelson then took to the microphone to ask a few questions of TransCanada, first off seeking some clarification on the affiliations between TransCanada, Progress Energy and Petronas.

She then looked to gain more information as to the placement of pipeline routes, she then reinforced Councillor Ashley's thoughts on the nature of why so many pipelines are required. She was wondering if there is not some kind of linkage between the competing firms possible.

She followed up that question with an inquiry as to what the cumulative effects of the projects being proposed might be.

Her final question was on the theme of employment and how many jobs would be created in Prince Rupert after the construction phase of the development. Much of the work would be through contractors, providing short term employment prospects during that construction phase.

Upon completion there would be close to 20 to 30 long term, well paying jobs in the community, but again through the contractors.

Councillor Ashley inquired as to the nature of the property tax benefits and how they would be divided up along the route.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson outlined how Councillor Thorkelson asked the bulk of the questions that she had, thought she did inquire as to the nature of a timeline for those looking to find those trade jobs that they may have to offer. She wondered if they would be inclined to return to Council to outline the nature of the jobs to be offered and the trades training that would be required for them.

As they wrapped up their presentation, the TransCanada representatives reminded council of their website where more information can be found.

( 33:30--59:30) Presentation from the Pacific Northwest Liquefied Natural Gas Project-- Representatives from Pacific Northwest outlined their plans for development of an LNG plant on Lelu Island.

They provided an overview of the changing nature of their company, providing the breakdown on the relationship between Progress Energy and Petronas.  With Petronas as the owner, Japanex has recently purchased a 10 per cent share into the project, providing another customer for the facility.

Details on the plans for the marine facility, LNG liquefaction plant and a power plant. With the prospect of expansion should market demand call for it.

They outlined the nature of the direct employment for the plant and the spin off effects for secondary industry in the region.

They provided details on the work camp that would be required for the planned construction phase of the development.

The nature of the timeline of development was outlined, with the construction phase anticipated to be complete by 2018 with shipments to follow at that time.

They currently are awaiting further guidelines from the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency as to the next stage of the development planning.

A review of their Field studies into the site selected was provided, looking at Archaeological, Vegetation and Wildlife aspects of the site.

In closing they reminded the Council of their open house for June 5th at the North Coast Convention Centre.

The Mayor having asked running questions during the presentation, then turned the question phase of the night over to Council.

Councillor Thorkelson opened up the question period, inquiring as to the process  of environmental  review between the pipeline aspect of the project and the LNG plant process.

She then followed up with an inquiry on the nature of the CEAA process and the nature of tanker traffic on the coast, wondering if there is a process that reviews the safety measures in place for shippers and traffic into their terminal.

The Pacific Northwest reps outlined their plans to work with the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Federal Government in examining the impact that marine traffic may have on the region.

Councillor Ashley then asked if Petronas has their own carriers or if the shipment is contracted out, she was advised that it would be a mix, while Petronas has a large fleet of their own, some customers may have their own vessels calling on Prince Rupert.

She then inquired as to the responsibility for spills from third party carriers arriving at the terminal.

With that the presentation was concluded and City Council then moved on to the remainder of the Committee of the Whole  session for the night.

The Mayor then opened up the floor to the public to ask questions on the operations of the City.

(59:30- 1:04:00) One resident then attempted to ask a question on the previous presentation, but the Mayor interrupted him to advise that this was an opportunity to ask about Civic operations.

The resident then asked as to the status of reports, such as RCMP, Fire and other departments, reports that he believes no longer seem to be available to the public. He wondered if perhaps they could be put on a public website. He asked who the public would approach for any Freedom of Information requests with the departure of Mr. Rodin.

Questions on the nature of those reports and confidentiality were discussed between the mayor and the resident.

That was the only public participation of the Committee of the Whole and Council moved on to the Regular Council agenda.

(1:04:00-1:05:00) Adoption of Minutes and Agenda from past and present meetings.

Reports and Recommendations

(1:05:00 -1:06:00 ) Recommendation from the City Manager to name Corinne Bomben as Acting City Financial Officer.  Mr. Long, the City Manager had nothing to add to the recommendation. Council then voted to approve the Ms. Bomben as the Acting Financial Officer. With Councillor Ashley reinforcing her approval that the City was promoting from within.

(1:06:0-1:07:30) Application for or a Development Variance Permit for a property on Atlin Avenue.   Council approved the application.

(1:07:30 - 1:08:00 ) Report from the City Planner for a Development Variance Permit for a property on Prince Rupert Boulevard. Council then approved the application, moving it to the public notification phase.

(1:08:00--1:14:30)  Report and Recommendation from the Economic Development Officer on the topic of a Public Facade Improvement Program. Councillor Thorkelson had a question on the topic for Derek Baker, asking about the budget and cost implications of the proposal. Wondering if there was a way to top up that fund moving forward.

Councillor Thorkelson expressed her concern that only four or five companies might be able to make use of the proposal, using up the available funds quickly and if perhaps they could make the grants less, to spread out the available funding. Councillor Ashley asked about the selection process and how the successful projects would be selected. Council approved the recommendation, moving it forward.  Councillor Ashley then spoke in favour of the project and the benefits that it offers to the community.

Councillor Thorkelson then asked that Council make a request that Mr. Baker look into the possibility of increasing the available money by seeking out other grant monies. That was also approved by the Council.

(1:14:30--1:15:30) Report from the Corporate Administrator on The New Signing Authority Resolution. Council was asked to approve a new listing of names with signing authority of various accounts on behalf of the City of Prince Rupert. Council approved the recommendation.

(1:15:30-- 1:16:30) Report from Corporate Administrator on the Appointment of a New City Manager as the Deputy Corporate Administrator.  Mr. Robert Long, the City Manager was appointed as the Deputy Corporate Administrator for the City of Prince Rupert. Council  approved the recommendation.

Correspondences for Action

(1:16:30--1:18:30) Request for a proclamation for Access Awareness Day for June 1st . Mr. Grodecki outlined the nature of the request and provided background on it. Council approved the request.  Councillor Ashley then asked a question as to whether they could have a longer term resolution put in place so they aren't handling the requests on a year to year basis. A short discussion on that theme took place, with the request in this case approved.

(1:18:30--1:19:30 ) Reports - Outstanding City Initiatives.  Mr. Long, provided a review of the outstanding item, by suggesting a calendar to make the workings of Council easier for the Mayor and Council.

(1:19:30--1:19:45) Reports - Questions and Inquiries from Council.  No Council Members had items for review at this session.

(1:19:45--1:27:45 The Mayors Report

The Mayor reviewed his attendance at the Spectra Energy Open House recently held in the city.

He participated in a Community Economic Initiative adjustment meeting to consider the  approval of funding from coastal communities seeking assistance.

He met with the new chair and the President and CEO of the Pacific Pilotage Authority, currently there are three marine pilots based in Prince Rupert, with the anticipation of more to come as the traffic demands increase.

He participated in a gathering of gill net fisherman over concerns of costs to fisherman over a new monitoring program from DFO. Councillors Thorkelson and Rice were also in attendance at the meeting.

He attended an Open House from TransCanada pipelines for their planned routing of a pipeline to Lelu Island, many other members

He attend the recent Salmon Festival at the Civic Centre providing a greeting to the participants,  Councillor Rice was in attendance as our MLA elect.

The Mayor attended the recent meeting of Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District, answering questions of the Board members on the City's expansion plans.

He attended the opening of an Exhibition of the Prints Rupert Camera Club, the exhibition continues on at the Museum of Northern British Columbia until the end of June.

The Mayor attended the Prince Rupert Library's 100th Anniversary celebrations, many residents took in those festivities.

The Mayor then reviewed his past discussion with the companies that are currently working and hiring  employees on the various projects in the region, the then reminded council of his request to those companies to be conscious of community and support the community. He mentioned the need for the contractors to provide a living out allowance, so they could live in the community and purchase goods in our community.  He highlighted one company in particular, JJM Construction, which has advised the Mayor as to their procedures and plans in place. The Mayor acknowledged that company for their support to the community.

The Mayor reminded Council and the home audience of the Open Houses this week on the topic of the City's proposed Boundary Expansion plan.

His last item of the night was a reminder that the Prince Rupert Special Events Society was looking for help for the upcoming Seafest events in the city in June. They can be reached at 250-624-9118.

With that, the council session came to an end.

You can access the City Council Review page for May 27th here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including media coverage of it can be found.

As always, consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to the website for further review.

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