Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Prince Rupert to take environmental assessment concerns to UBCM in September

It's become a common refrain of Prince Rupert city council over the last year, the sudden surge of environmental assessments underway for a variety of projects in the community and the sense that city council has become overwhelmed by them.

Council members have frequently commented on the nature of the assessments and how they would like to somehow find funding to provide for a staff member to weigh through the variety of assessments and offer guidance to Council as to what is required of them for the process.

Some of their past conversations on that theme can be found in our blog post of June 13th, which recounted many of Council's frustrations of late.

At the July 8th council meeting, Council again examined the issue, with Councillors Thorkelson and Carlick-Pearson recounting some of their recent appearances at some of those assessment sessions and observed as to the workload that involvement in them provides for.

Towards a solution to their concerns, Council approved a motion from Councillor Thorkelson at Monday's council session to take the issue to the UBCM session in September.  With Prince Rupert seeking a unified approach from other smaller communities that may be having similar problems as those found on the North Coast.

Councillor Ashley also had some thoughts on the issue, suggesting that the city work with local communities and First Nations in a unified approach on the issue as well.

That was a theme that Nathan Cullen, the NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley suggested to council on June 24th, advising Council that perhaps their best approach for now, would be to partner up with the local First Nations in their approach to the assessment issue at this time.

The full review of the issue can be found on the City's Video Archive, the discussion takes place from the 53:30 minute mark to 1 hour five minutes

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