Friday, February 14, 2014

City Council Timeline, Tuesday, February 11, 2014

With the Family Day weekend extending into Monday, City Council's Monday session was delayed by one day, with council's work moved to Tuesday.

Providing for a fairly full night of work for the City's Council members, with some lengthy and hearty debate on such items of note from a new Helmet Bylaw, discussion on Social Services and even concerns over the CBC taking up the bulk of the ninety minutes of Council work on the night.

Prior to the Monday night public session, Council continued on with the common theme of the last year  that of the "closed session" of Council. With Council sitting in a closed session with much to discuss earlier in the evening.

The timeline of the Regular public council the proceedings can be found in red below, tied in with the City Council video feed archived below.

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

In Attendance February 11, 2014

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

Video Archive for February 11, 2014

From there, the Mayor moved on to the Regular Council Agenda of the night.

0:00--5:00)  The Mayor opened the Tuesday session with the usual adoption of past minutes and agenda items.

Resolutions from Closed Meetings 

(5:00-5:15)  The Acting Corporate Administrator announced that Council had adopted and released to the public a resolution that the Visitor  Information Centre be appointed to Tourism Prince Rupert as of January 21 2014

Reports and Recommendations

(5:15--8:15 )  Application for a Development Variance Permit for a residence on Seventh Avenue East-- Mr. Long outlined the nature of the variance permit and the next steps in its progress and with the recommendation that the process continue on to permit stage. Following his presentation on the topic, Councillors Carlick-Pearson and Ashley had comments on the Application.

Council adopted the Report and recommendations

(8:15--28:00) Report on Community Enhancement Grants-- Council to finalize the Community Grant process and decide on amounts to be awarded for 2014.  The Chief Financial Officer provided some background on the topic. With Council to provide clarity on the funding for Tourism Prince Rupert, The Museum of Northern British Columbia and The Prince Rupert Library.

After a lengthy bit of discussion regarding funding for both the Museum and Tourism Prince Rupert, Council reached its decision on the topic, providing instruction to staff that with Tourism Prince Rupert receiving funds from the hotel tax, that they would reduce the grant to Tourism Prince Rupert and shift the money from that reduction to the Prince Rupert Library.

All voted in favour of the motion, with the exception of Councillors Garon and Carlick-Pearson who were opposed to the motion.

(28:00--37:00) Report from the City Manager on the subject of Shipping container use in the city--- Seeking to have Shipping containers used by a Third Avenue Business removed or demolished by the owner.

After Mr. Long provided his overview on the topic, Council engaged in another spirited debate on the theme, expressing concerns over the impact that the by-law has on business operators in the city and how the By-law should be reviewed by Council and amended appropriately.

Councillor Garon put forward the motion to refer the issue to the next Council meeting.

With her motion on the table, Councillors Cunningham, Kinney, Carlick-Pearson, Ashley and Thorkelson all offered up their thoughts on the issue of the bylaw and the need to review it.

With all in agreement, the motion to move the issue to the next council session for review was approved, which also allows for further discussions between the business owner and the City.


Council then moved on to By-Laws for consideration on the evening.

(37:00--39:30 ) Recreation Commission Bylaw 3342-2014 -- Mr. Long provided an overview of the nature of the Bylaw and how it is designed to bring in more public input to recreation services in the community.

The motion to adopt the Bylaw was adopted.

Councillor Ashley asked as to the nature of the steps required and the timeline to implement the By law

(39:30--55:00) Non-Motorized Wheeled Conveyance Helmet Bylaw 3343-1014-- Mr. Long outlined the background on the By-law and the nature of the scale of fines that are part of the enforcement aspect of the By-law.

The By-law discussion also provided for a lengthy review from Council members, with Councillor Garon expressing her concerns that the City was becoming babysitters for the youth of the Community.

Councillor Cunningham offered up some thoughts on the By-law, recommending that the first offence fine would be waived, if the offender brought in a receipt to show that they had purchased a helmet.

Further discussion also provided Councillors Carlick-Pearson, Ashley and Thorkelson to seek out ways of providing helmets for those in the community that could not afford them. Councillor Ashley suggesting that the money raised by fines be allocated to a helmet fund, while Councillor Thorkelson suggested that the City write to the Port of Prince Rupert seeking a grant to cover the cost of the purchase of helmets.

Councillor Garon would prefer to see the offenders perform some form of community service, as opposed to paying the fines.

The motion, with Councillor Cunningham's 1st offence rebate option in place was adopted by Council, with Councillor Garon in opposition to it.  The By law then received first, second and third reading.

City Managers Report

(55:00--55:15) Mr. Long advised that he would deliver his report at the next Council session.

Reports, Questions and Inquiries

( 55:15--56:00 ) Councillor Kinney offered his thanks to those that put on the luncheon at the Nisga'a Hall as part of the Homeless initiative that was taking place that day.

(56:00--1:00:30) Councillor Thorkelson reviewed the opening ceremonies of the All Native Basketball Tournament and then as a follow up to her comments, outlined her disappointment in the coverage of the event provided to the event by the CBC. Adding that she is concerned over the lack of focus on items of note from the North Coast from the public broadcaster.

Towards that topic, the Councillor put forward a motion asking that the City immediately send a letter of concern to the CBC regrading their recent programming to the North Coast.

The Mayor picked up that theme, recounting that in the past the City has sent letters of concern to the CBC over a lack of coverage of local issues, but in his opinion they have had little impact on the CBC officials. Adding that it doesn't hurt to keep trying.

Council voted to follow up on Councillor Thorkelson recommendation to send a letter of complaint to the CBC regarding their coverage of issues on the North Coast. The Mayor advised that the letter should point out that the All Native Tournament is a major event on the North Coast and should be provided with much better coverage from the CBC.

(1:00:30--1:02:30 ) Councillor Cunningham brought the topic of BC Ferries cutbacks to the council table outlining some background on an email he has received regarding a committee to be formed to address the impact that the cutbacks will have on Northern British Columbia.  The Mayor outlined that the city is already participating in that committee as part of the Ferry Advisory Committee.  He then offered up the suggestion that the City appoint Councillor Cunningham to the Advisory Committee, with the Mayor shifting to the Alternate position, allowing for the city to have double the impact on the Committee.

( 1:02:30--1:33:00The Mayor's Report

The Mayor attended the Premier's British Columbia Natural Resources forum in Prince George. While there he took advantage of the opportunity to talk with a variety of cabinet ministers on issues of interest to the North Coast. Included in the discussions were the city's request to bring the city's drinking water source brought into the municipal boundaries, as well as the Ferry cuts impact on the North Coast.

While in Prince George, the Mayor was introduced to three different potential investors for opportunities at Watson Island.

He also outlined that there will be a conference call in the future to address concerns over hitch-hiking across Northern BC and a rural transportation initiative that could be of use towards ending the practice.

The Mayor attended New Year's celebrations of the Vietnamese and Chinese communities in the city.

He outlined the revised update on the 2014 cruise season which will see 11 ships make a port call in Prince Rupert.

City Staff has received grant information from Tree Canada and BC Hydro about potential grant opportunities for tree planting in the community.

The Mayor has spoken with representatives of the Prince Rupert Port Authority and Pinnacle Pellet about the concerns of residents in the region. He advised that both the Port and Pinnacle Pellet are reviewing the situation to resolve it. He also provided Council with an update that the Port will be attending to Council for a discussion on the Pinnacle issue and other concerns that council may have for the Port.

The Mayor hosted two groups of touring students at City Hall, outlining how Local Government works and providing a tour of the City Hall facilities.

The Mayor attended a city hosted public information session on Social Service agencies available in the city.

He also was in attendance at the Prince Rupert Senior Citizens pancake breakfast.

The Mayor along with Councillors Cunningham and Kinney attended a housing forum at Northwest Community College where a discussion on housing requirements and issues took place.

The Mayor met with representatives of the British Columbia Maritime Employers Association who were in town touring the Port.

He, along with Councillors Garon, Cunningham and Kinney attended a luncheon held by the Prince Rupert Aboriginal Services Society where discussions on Poverty and homeless issues took place.

He outlined the transfer of cellular service from CityWest to Telus and urged local residents to make their transfer soon.

The Mayor attended a meeting with members of the Japan External Trade Association to discuss shared issues on trade.

He and Council Thorkelson attended the Opening Ceremonies of the All Native Basketball Tournament.

He outlined the nature of a program called the Employment Action Quest Program, those looking for more information on what they have to offer can contact the Friendship Centre.

Councillor Ashley followed up on the Mayor's CityWest cellular topic, advising that there were concerns from some local residents about credit issues involving Telus requirements for transferring phones from CityWest.

Councillor Garon outlined her recent attendance at a Crime Reduction session that was held in town recently. She passed on some of the observations that were provided to her regarding the success of Prince Rupert's restorative Justice system and concerns over social issues that could arise should the pace of economic development move too fast for the city to adjust to.

Councillor Garon also inquired as to the turnout at the Social Services Session that the Mayor had mentioned. The Mayor provided a bit more background on the topic, expanding on the nature of the Open house.

Councillor Garon suggested that the city needs to make more of an effort to bring all the social service groups together to fix the system that is  in place at the moment.

Councillor Cunningham inquired of staff as to whether the City was following up on grant opportunities from Service Canada. He was advised that owing to the City / CUPE contract that the city could not pursue those items. However, Ms. Bomben said that she would review the proposal to see if there is anything available for the city.

Councillors Cunningham and Kinney offered up further thoughts on the Social Services Open House that the city hosted, providing their impressions on how the event was received.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson offered her thanks to the staff of the recreation complex for the work they have put in over the last few weeks at the Civic Centre.  And outlining how she believes that there are positive changes taking place at the facility.

Councillor Kinney also commended the recreation department for some of the programs they have provided for Seniors in the community.

Councillor Thorkelson picked up the theme on Social Services and the requirements  in the community.     She would like to find a way to bring the Social Service providers and users together, so to provide a bit better understanding of what the users of the services require from the providers.

The Mayor then suggested that the region's MLA should be included in the process, taking the information from the region to the province to seek out further assistance on the issues.

Councillor Garon suggested that the city draft a resolution for UBCM in the fall.

Councillors Garon and Cunningham offered up some more thoughts on potential social issues in the future, should there be an increase in economic development in the region.

To bring the discussion to an end, Council then decided on wording for a motion.

With Councillor Ashley proposing a motion to ask staff to direct a request to the Social Service Agencies to help Council facilitate a meeting with people in the community to identify any concerns.

And with that, the Tuesday session of council came to an end.

You can access the City Council Review page for February 11th 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.

Minutes Regular Council Session from February 11, 2014 

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