Wednesday, June 26, 2013

City Council Timeline, Monday, June 24 2013

With what passes for a full council these days (the recently resigned Councillor Rice's seat to remain empty until filled by a by election to come), Council settled in for a two hour session on Monday evening.

A session that tackled a number of issues and concerns, as well as featuring a number of presentations along the way. Among those presentations were updates from the MP for the region Nathan Cullen, a review of the latest developments from CityWest from CEO Don Holkestad and an update of the City of Prince Rupert's Boundary Expansion plan from City Planner Tony Krekic.

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 June 24, 2013 (when posted)

In Attendance June 24, 2013

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

Councillor Jennifer Rice-- Resigned her position on June 10th.

Video Archive for June 24, 2013 
Audio Archive for June 10, 2013 

(0:00 - 1:00) The Mayor opened up the night's proceedings with a Committee of the Whole meeting, his first task to seek out comments from the public gallery, a request that found none inclined to participate in on Monday evening.

(1:00 - 34:00) From there, the Mayor invited the region's MP Nathan Cullen to provide an update on developments across the riding and his thoughts on events in Ottawa and the impact they may have on the North Coast.

With a quick update on the world of diaper changing for twin babies, Mr. Cullen outlined his take on the nature of the recent Parliament. His thoughts on developments across the riding and wrapped up his presentation with an account from the Community Dinner.

From there the Mayor opened the floor to questions from Council, with Councillor Garon taking advantage of that opening to discuss the overwhelming nature of the scale of LNG development at the moment. Asking the MP if there is funding available for any assistance to communities in similar situations.

He outlined that there isn't to his knowledge any program available for a city to participate in the process, expressing his sympathy to the bombardment of information that the City has to weigh through on the process.

He offered his counsel on the topic that the City should focus on the economic development aspect of such projects, seeking to maximize the benefits for local jobs, drawing a parallel to some of the concerns that the Kitimat council is facing regarding their development issues in regard to work camps.

He also suggested that the City form an alliance with the region's First Nations, suggesting that it makes sense to him for the City to seek out that alliance. He did advise Council that he would investigate further for Council as to whether any other possible funding is available.

Councillor Garon expressed her frustrations that the City could not at the moment afford anyone on staff to assist Council in their concerns over the LNG development plans.

Councillor Ashley, expressed the theme that Regional District also had similar concerns over the lack of resources to handle the LNG prospects. She then turned her attention to a question on infra structure funding and if there was anything new on the horizon, looking for an update on developments on the Federal level.

The MP expressed his disappointment in the nature of the Federal Government's approach to funding, comparing it to something along the lines of a bad NHL contract.

He outlined his thoughts at how Federal politics and optics intervenes in the nature of providing useful funding to the local level and its requirements. He said he didn't wish to be too discouraging, but that he hadn't heard many good things about the current proposals in place.

Councillor Thorkelson then provided for some points of interest for the MP, following up on Councillor Garon's comments on the LNG plants and the growing number of them, voicing her frustrations with the process in place. She expressed her concerns over the air shed, the water shed and the impact that development may have owing to chemical releases from the industrial processes that are planned.

She outlined her thoughts on the nature of the need for a holistic approach to the development and how the City could use someone in place to provide for that more complete overview.

She expressed the impression that there are too many proposals at the moment and that the city can't handle the volume of the projects that are currently arriving on their door step. Her second point, was on the topic of Ridley Terminals and she inquired of the MP what he knew of the latest developments in the proposed sale of that Terminal

On Ridley he outlined that he hasn't heard why the Government is planning to sell Ridley Terminals, offering up some thoughts that maybe the Federal Government needed the money, or maybe they didn't believe that the Federal Government should be in the Coal Terminal business.

He did observe that the opposition is looking at the possibility of trying to stop the sale, looking for some community input on the steps that could be made to change the Federal Government's mind on the sale.

He then turned back to the LNG process and suggested that perhaps the time was now here for a more comprehensive National Energy Strategy that might address some of the concerns that the Council had outlined as frustrating them at this time.

He pointed to similar concerns in Northeastern BC and in the Fort McMurray region as indicating that there is need for a more comprehensive plan.

He again, also touched on the need for some of the key communities and council's along the proposed routes should work together with each other and follow some of the approaches that the First Nations in the region are using. Some of which could serve to address the concerns that the Councillors had outlined to him tonight.

(34:00 - 36:00) After Mr. Cullen's presentation Council moved on to the Regular Council meeting. At which point Council moved on to adopt the agenda and variety of minutes in front of it.

(36:00-- 48:00) Presentation from Mr. Don Holkestad and a delegation from CityWest including Chris Marett the CFO and Donovan Dias, the Director of Sales and Marketing, at council on Monday to provide an update on the latest developments from the city owned communications company.

Mr. Holkestad observed on one of Mr. Cullen's thoughts on how the region is starting to recover from tough times, a sentiment that he said he shared with the MP. With that he began his overview of developments with the company of recent times.

He reviewed some of his background with the company and with the aid of a slide show, provided a bit of a recent history lesson on the company in the community, touching on the purchase of Monarch Cablevision and the fibre optic link to Terrace.

He chose to address some rumours in the community outlining the nature of the current value of the company, and that the City of Prince Rupert does not subsidize the company, highlighting the money that CityWest has returned to the community over the years.

He tackled the topic of their plans for the wireless business, currently using a consultant to address that issue. As well as other themes of such as the addition to fibre connections not only in Prince rupert but in other service areas of the Northwest.

He highlighted the "firsts" that CityWest took pride in over the years. Included in that discussion was their belief that CityWest provides the fastest Internet connection in the northwest

He addressed the bandwidth issue, solving the problem with an 800 gigabyte transport network and the 11 million dollar investment in a fibre backbone, expanding that further to Prince George. Improvements done during tough financial times but indicative of CityWest's forward thinking.

He touched on their growth potential and how they are winning over customers in all of their markets in the Northwest. As well as what enhancements they have in place and what they plan for the future for Internet connection in the region. Including a Wi-fi hot spot planned for the campground.

He reviewed what would be some of their mission statements moving the company forward and what they hope to offer to their customers.

He reviewed some of the aspects of what it takes for a company the size of CityWest to provide services to the various regions, showcasing their recent efforts in laying fibre cable to Kitimat from Terrace.

Councillor Thorkelson asked as to the nature of the CityWest business plan and what are the prospects of dividend delivery to the City of Prince Rupert.

Mr. Holkestad thanked her for her comments and outlined that the nature of the company's day to day operations are always a balancing act and they are striving to be as profitable as possible for the city.

While he accented the need to deliver service, he returned to the theme of the nature of the balancing act that the Company must accept in pursuit of that service delivery, though in the course of that answer, he did not provide any form of timeline as to any dividend delivery for the City.

That would be the only question that Council had of CityWest, the Mayor thanked Mr. Hokestad  for his presentation, with the hope that by addressing "rumours" he hadn't started some other ones and with that Council moved on to other issues.

Petitions and Delegations

(48:00 - 49:00 ) City of Prince Rupert Annual Report for 2012   The Mayor asked for public comment or questions on the Annual Report and with no member of the public approaching for comment, moved on down the agenda.

(49:00- 51:00 -- Reports and Recommendations, a Report from the Acting Chief Financial Officer,  recommending approval or providing for further amendments on the Annual Report.  Council approved the 2012 Annual Report. Councillor Ashley thanked staff for their work on the Annual Report. Councillor Thorkelson offered her thoughts on the Annual Report and what it has to offer for the public and outlined how it provides a good overview of the City's proceedings.

(51:00 - 1:10:00) Report from the City Planner on the Municipal Boundary Expansion. The Mayor outlined the nature of the three parts from the report, that would see the City continue on with it's examination of the Boundary expansion proposal. The City Planner provided a review of his findings, the feedback received from those that took part in the process and offering up the direction he would like to see the City pursue on the topic.

Following the presentation, further discussion took place on the next moves on the process, with Councillor Judy Carlick-Pearson offering up her concerns over the proposed expansion plans.

Particularly viewed in the scope of ongoing land claim negotiations with Metlakatla. Those negotiations at the moment were a particular concern, as she expressed her thoughts over any overlaps of that the city expansion project may have on those lands in question.

She reinforced to Council that she was in favour of the City's expansion proposals, but not in those areas that are currently under review from the land claims process.

Councillor Thorkelson, expressed her opinion that Councillor Carlick-Pearson had raised an important point on the process, but that the City should approach the next phase carefully but that it would be possible to negotiate a different kind of agreement that would be innovative and meet all the city's needs.

She observed that it would be better for the City to move the process forward so as to have some semblance of control over future development in the region, calling to mind the current nature of development in the region such as that with the Port,  that the City has little say in at the moment.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson expressed her frustrations with ongoing impressions in the media, that the City is constantly seeking a fight whether it be with the Port, or with Metlakatla.

Councillor Ashley reinforced some of Councillor Carlick-Pearsons' thoughts on the topic of the expansion proposal, suggesting that this was more of an information gathering process at the moment, providing the City with a chance to weigh the pros and cons of the proposal. Stressing that no one on Council wants to interfere with any treaty negotiations,  but rather look for mutual areas of concern.

The Mayor stressed that this wasn't a land grab, but rather a chance to put land into reserve for future use.

Councillor Kinney shared his agreement with the other councillors, but advised that the city was going to grow and that the City needed more land. He suggested taking things slower and listening to the First Nations as they move forward.

Councillor Ashley then revised the three points up for discussion on the motion. Seeking for council to have a chance to discuss the proposal before it was sent off to the province.

Council then voted to move ahead with caution on the proposed expansion project, with Councillor Carlick-Perason voting against the proposal as it was outlined at this time.

(1:10:00 - 1:13:00 ) Report from the Acting Chief Financial Officer, on the Statement of Financial Information. The City Manager outlined the nature of the Report on where the city has spent its money. Councillor Garon advised that her name had been spelled wrong and then inquired as to  the nature of a discrepancy in amounts on taxable benefits. Which was addressed by the CFO, the motion was adopted.

(1:13:00 - 1:17:00) Report from the Acting Chief Financial Officer on the Monthly Department Report, a recommendation to receive the report for information purposes.   A review of the various city departments and their fiscal results. The Motion to receive the report was approved. Regarding the drop in 911 revenues as more residents use cel phones over land lines, Councillor Garon asked if it were possible to access the 911 revenue from cel phone users.  She also inquired over Transit fee results and the drop in revenue from that area.

(1:17:00 - 1:18:00) Report from the City Administrator regarding the Acting Mayors schedule. Report was accepted.

(1:18:00 - 1:21:00) Report from the Corporate Administrator on a By-election. The City Manager outlined the nature of the report and what Council needs to consider from it. Recommending that Council consider the issue at the August meeting, with the prospect of a fall by election in October. Councillor Ashley suggested it made more sense to hold the election in the fall, Councillor Carlick-Pearson inquired as to the nature of the cost of a By-election. The City Manager advised that the difference in cost structure would be examined in the future.

(1:21:00- 1:26:30) Report from the Engineering Co-oridinator regarding funding from the Rotary Club for a sign at the Highway Pull out on Park Avenue. Council to consider and approve the funding from the Rotary contribution. Council adopted the motion. Councillor Thorkelson spoke to the topic of the way finding sign and some concerns over the pull out location and potential problems that could come from those issues.

The Engineering coordinator then offered up some background on the nature of the pull out and what efforts could be put in place there. Councillor Ashley then thanked Rotary for their contribution. Councillor Garon then weighed in on the topic suggesting that if the problem is still of a concern later on, that Council could approach the Ministry of Transportation for a proper washroom facility at that location.

(1:26:30 - 1:30:00 ) Committee and Board Appointments - City Council then revised their listing of those councillors involved in various committees and boards that Council serves on. The City manager outlined the nature of the report, the Mayor read out the various committees to be reviewed. Council divided up the workload moving ahead for this council year.

(1:30:00- 1:32:00) Memo concerning the hosting of the Southeast conference in 2015 - Council has been asked to express their interest in hosting the Conference of Southeast Alaska communities, government and organizations in Prince Rupert in 2016.  Prince Rupert and Whitehorse are also members of the conference. The motion was passed by Council.

(1:32:00 - 1:33:30) Proclamation Request from the North Coast Immigrant and Multicultural services Society to declare the week of June 24th-28th Diversity Week in the City of Prince Rupert. The motion was adopted.

(1:33:30 - 1:34:00Resolutions from Closed Meetings

The City Manager outlined two resolutions from the meeting, appointing Tim MacDonald to the Library Board for two years. As well, as the appointment of a Deputy Corporate Administrator.

Report from the City Manager on Outstanding City Initiatives

(1:34:00- 1:35:00 ) The City Manager advised that he was becoming more familiar with his tasks since arriving and was working on a number of files, the nature of which he outlined in the pervious in camera session.

Reports, Questions and Inquires from members of Council

(1:35:00-1:37:00) Councillor Ashley passed along a request  from Regional Government, that the city forward their request for funding assistance on the major projects concerns, as the Regional Government has similar concerns about the nature of the increase in LNG related development plans. She also suggested the Council give thought to following along the lines of Nathan Cullen's recommendation for more consultation among local groups.

(1:37:00 - 1:38:30) Councillor Carlick-Pearson also inquired if the City had inquired about the possibility of having a bus route put in place out to Ridley Island and if it's feasible to provide for a bus for workers to the work site there. Councillor Thorkelson reviewed some past conversations on that topic and how at that time it wasn't feasible, she suggested some of the answers to those questions could be found in those past reviews.

(1:38:30 -  1:40:00) Councillor Garon and the City Manager added some background to Councillor Ashley's thoughts on the ability of consultation on development issues.

(1:40:00 - 1:47:30 ) Councillor Thorkelson thanked the Mayor for his attendance at a recent media meeting with the members of the local fishing fleet advising that those efforts resulted in a change in the structure for the costs of the fishermen involved. The Mayor also wondered if the City, Port Ed and Regional District may wish to register their concerns with the UBCM. Councillor Thorkelson did say that she believed that Council should talk with the new provincial government over fishery issues on the North coast and the impact they have on the local population. The Mayor and Councillor Thorkelson then discussed the nature of this years sockeye run and current fishing issues in the community at the moment.

(1:47:30- 1:49:30) Councillor Ashley then updated Council on some thoughts of Regional District on the need to have priorities for regional advocacy and working together and the need to not wait to the last minute before deciding who they want to see and what topics that council wishes to talk on. She was hoping for more of a joint strategy for the next UBCM session.

(1:49:30- 2:04:00 The Mayors Report

The Mayor participated in a discussion with other Mayors of Canadian communities on the Crime Severity Index

Participated in discussions with representatives Canadian National on the growth and potential for the Northwestern route. And availability of railway initiated programs for communities, in particular the prospect o a three way split on the Rotary waterfront area for some enhancement to that area.

He attended the Open House for the Pacific Northwest LNG project on Lelu Island. He pointed to the prospect of employment opportunities that could be available in the community once the terminal is in operation.

The Mayor attended the 75/50 Club and Seafest Seniors Tea. Councillor Nelson Kinney was the MC for the event.

The Mayor hosted a group of Grade Three french immersion students at City hall for a discussion on municipal government.

The Mayor and Councillor's Carlick-Pearson and Ashley hosted an open house on the Prince Rupert Boundary Expansion proposal.

The Mayor participated in a conference on the proposed Alaska Marine Highway vessels.

He met with the new chief operating officer for our region of Northern Health.

He attended a Webinar on construction camps and their impact on communities.

He attended the SD52 annual service and retirement awards, as well as the recognition awards for Charles Hays Secondary.

On behalf of the City The Mayor thanked all of the volunteers for their efforts at the recent Seafest celebrations.

He attended the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce meeting, the CEO of CityWest provided an update on the company's developments.

The City hosted a delegation from Southeast Alaska and Ketchikan Gateway Borough, who participated in the Seafest celebrations as well as learning more about some of the industrial developments in the region from a number of organizations in the community.

The Mayor along with two members of the RCMP greeted those passengers that visited the community at the recent cruise ship visit of the MS Regatta.

He provided a welcome to the Board of Directors of Eco Trust Canada who were visiting the area.

He and Councillor Garon attended the Port Authority's Annual Public Meeting to hear more on the port's developments of the last year.

The Mayor attended the Graduation ceremonies of Pacific Coast School.

He participated in the 15th annual Aboriginal Day in Prince Rupert.

He attended a workshop put on by the BG group on the theme of marine related issues.

He outlined a notice that Prince Rupert is going to be featured on Global TV's Small towns  feature on the Sunday morning News, Prince Rupert will be the subject city on June 30th. He advised that Global is looking for contributions of photos from local residents. Submissions can be made to the

The Mayor advised that the Seafarer's facility was to be open for a public tour on Tuesday morning.

The Mayor called on the City Manager Robert Long to outline for Council consideration a report on possible regionalization of the Prince Rupert Airport services. Looking to reinforce that those outlying regions of the area use the airport  and to have that fact reflected in the report.

He also asked for a review of possible uses of wood chips at the landfill to be used as a covering material and as a cost saving measure.

The Mayor then turned the meeting over to Councillor Thorkelson, who discussed the topic of the Nishga Girl being sent back by the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa. She outlined her disappointment in that development and asked for the support of Council to send a letter to the Museum seeking to have the exhibit remain at the national museum as part of a permanent display.

The Mayor offered up the comment that in his opinion that it was rather insulting that the item wasn't of value at the museum anymore. Suggesting that any letter that is written should reflect that in a forceful manner.

Councillor Thorkelson also suggested that the City enlist the assistance of Port Edward and Regional District on that matter.

That motion was passed.

Councillor Garon called attention to an oversight on attendance at the May 29th Open House on Boundary expansion, advising the Mayor that she and Councillor Kinney were also in attendance at that public session.

With that the Mayor brought the session to a close.

You can access the City Council Review page for June 24th 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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