Thursday, November 14, 2013

Airport Approval Process is ready for take off

The Prince Rupert Airport is one step closer to accessing seven million dollars in funding for much needed repairs, with word that the Airport Loan Approval Process has delivered support for the City of Prince Rupert's financial assistance plans.

The Northern View trumpeted today's announcement as one of overwhelming support, which may be just a bit hyperbolic, all things considered.

While it's true that a process that offers up but three residents in opposition is a success. We suspect that it may be perhaps the process that the City put in place as a way of achieving that approval, that provided for more of a declaration of "meh" by the local populace.

There's no doubt that most residents of the city agree that the repairs to the airport are needed and rather quickly. However, the rather convoluted nature of showing opposition to the proposal, could very well have left many to decide to just take a pass on civic engagement this time around.

The fact that two Councillors had rather serious concerns over the Alternate Approval Process offers up some evidence that not everyone thought that the process was particularly correct or fair.

A better representation of "overwhelming support" perhaps might have come by way of a referendum, as recommended by Councillor Ashley.

Her proposed referendum, which would have taken place during Saturday's by-election, is a process which offers up a clear question and a simple yes or no answer, providing an opportunity for more active civic participation in the process.

Regardless of the optics of the Airport Approval Process, the Prince Rupert Airport Authority will most likely be quite pleased to learn that the wheels are now in motion to gain access to the much needed 7 million dollar loan.

You can review some of their plans for remediation of the Airport from our archives.

The by-law will come up for final discussion as part of the Agenda for the November 25th session of council, leading up to  the final steps required by the province to gain final approval for the funding.

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