Thursday, June 26, 2014

City Council Timeline, Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday  provided for a fairly lengthy council session to bring the public sessions of June to an end.

Council opened up Monday's proceedings with the usual administrative duties, followed by a Committee of the Whole session, providing for a presentation from an immigrant services group at Hecate Strait Development and an opportunity for public comment on items of note about City Operations.

The main focus of that discussion was the nature of the City's plans for Lot 444 across from Seal Cove along Tuck Inlet.

From there Council returned to its Regular Agenda, which on Monday featured a presentation from Australia's Woodside Energy, who outlined their plans for development of an LNG terminal at Grassy Point.

Following that presentation, Council received a number of reports on bylaw and zoning issues, put together a list of resolutions for the fall UBCM session in Whistler and again opened the floor for comments from the public, this time on the topic of their 2013 Annual Report.

Council Members provided some topics of their own on the night, among them a notice from Councillor Ashley that she would like to seek out a zoning change to ban oil refinery development within municipal boundaries. Parking issues and Social Housing concerns were among some of the other items of interest to City Council on the evening.

Prior to the Monday night public session, Council continued on with what is a rather common theme of the last year, with Council once again sitting in a closed session earlier in the evening.

The background of  the evening can found on the Regular Council Agenda of the night.

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 June 23, 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 June 23, 2014 

(0:00--5:00 ) The evening session starts off with Committee of the Whole session and the adoption of the Committee of the Whole Agenda.

(5:00 -- 14:30 ) A presentation from the Prince Rupert Resource Centre for Immigrants followed, with Glenn Groulx from the the organization outlining the scope of the program's work in the community. The program which is run through Hecate Strait Development provides a number of services and engagement opportunities for new comers to Canada.

Councillor Kinney inquired as to the number of people that have made use of the Centre's services so far.

Councillor Thorkelson asked for a bit of background on the work that the Centre provides for workers that are new to the country and what kind of guidance they provide to them on working conditions and their rights on the themes of that note.

( 14:30 -- 23:30 ) Following the presentation, Council asked for Comments from the Public Gallery regarding any items of interest they might have on City Operations.

Larry Golden, a frequent observer of much of Council's work asked questions of Council on the plans for Lot 444, seeking more information on public input regarding the plans for land on the edge of the city's watershed.

Mr. Long provided a review of the City's plans regarding creation of a wholly owned subsidiary company of the city and its purpose regarding the land in question.

Councillor Thorkelson followed up on the line of Mr. Golden's question, providing her observations on when and how the public is going to be allowed to talk about the proposed project for Lot 444. She outlined some of the steps that the city will have to take to move the project forward, as well as what kind of uses that the city may put any money received by the city towards.

Mr. Golden then followed up Councillor Thorkelson's points with a question on whether the land will be subdivided, the Mayor observed that it was a little early to decide that, but again referenced the need for public hearings regarding any plans for that region.

Councillor Ashley followed up with a reminder that a schedule will be made public as to the steps required to move the process forward.

Councillor Cunningham stressed that this process will be a transparent process.

( 23:30 - 25:00 )  Review of the Agenda for the Regular Council session and adoption of minutes from previous meetings.

Presentations to Council

25:00 -- 43:00 )  Mr. John Litchfield from Woodside Energy with a presentation and some background on the proposed LNG terminal for Grassy Point.

Mr. Litchfield outlined some background of the sixty year old Australian energy company and their work in the LNG industry over the last twenty five years.  He provided an overview of their work in Australia.

He offered up a review of the nature of their Grassy Point proposal so far, with Woodside currently examining the various factors involved in moving forward with any plans towards developing an LNG facility at Grassy Point.

He outlined that it will be a three year process to review the feasibility of the project dynamics, stating that they were a long way from making a final decision just yet.

He went over a conceptual Project description for council, which provided the two concepts that Woodside is considering for the Grassy Point site, one which would be an onshore facility and the other floating near shore propose, each featuring four trains for LNG development.

He outlined the project benefits of the two proposals, with the offshore project providing for 1,000 construction jobs, the onshore one significantly more at 6,000 jobs.  Full time Terminal jobs would number around 300 over a minimum twenty five years of operation, with indirect spin off jobs from the development.

Mr. Litchfield also highlighted the social investment they have in place for Aboriginal people in Australia, which would appear to be the model they would use if the Grassy Point project were to move forward.

The timeline to begin the Environmental Assessment process is expected to start in early July, with a filing of the Project Description expected in the second half of 2014, which would initiate the environmental process.

Woodside anticipates a wide range of consultation with First Nations, governments and the public in the region regarding their project.

From there Mr. Litchfield took questions from Council.

Councillor Ashley led off the question period for the night, making note that many of these projects are taking place outside of the community, while the city will be  the service centre for much of the developments. She asked what process Woodside has in place in other areas where they develop LNG projects.

Councillor Thorkelson, followed up that theme with a question as to where Woodside sees people living should their project move forward and how he sees the permanent work force operating.

Councillor Garon inquired as to the nature of the near shore facility and how common that proposal is, she was advised that at the moment the near shore option is newer technology.

Those were the only three questions from Council for Mr. Litchfield, the Mayor thanked him for his presentation and asked as to a timeline for setting up an office in the community to access further information on the project.

( 43:00-- 47:30 ) Opportunity for Public Comment on the City's 2013 Annual Report -- Larry Golden took advantage of the opportunity for comment,  seeking more information about issues surrounding Watson Island and how the city is planning to address some of the financial issues at the site.

The Mayor offered up further background on the financial aspect of the City's costs at Watson Island, highlighting how it at one time was at 80 to 100 thousand dollars a month, but that Mr. Long had been tasked to reduce some of that burden.

The Mayor offered up the observation that the "burn rate" on Watson Island had been significantly reduced in recent months, with the removal of some of the monitoring concerns from the site, which are now no longer the concern of the city.

The City's Financial Officer, Corinne Bomben outlined that the monthly maintenance at the moment is some 50 to 60 thousand dollars a month, the plan would be to address the maintenance costs by way of rental income from the site.

That was the only question regarding the 2013 Financial Report.

 Reports and Recommendations

( 47:30 -- 48:30  ) Report from the Engineering Coordinator  -- Encroachment Agreement for a property on First Avenue East -- Mr. Richard Pucci, the City's Engineering coordinator provided a short overview of what the agreement was about and whether there were any issues for consideration.

The motion to approve was adopted

( 48:30 -- 53:00Report from the City's Engineering Coordinator   -- Mr. Pucci provided some background on the stratification proposal for the Inn on the Harbour on First Avenue West.

Councillor Thorkelson offered up some observations and inquired as to the nature of the request at this time and the lengthy timeline of the process.

The motion to approve the proposal was adopted.

( 50:00 -- 53:30 ) Report from the City's Financial Officer on the 2013 Annual Report -- The motion to approve the Annual report was adopted.

( 53:30 -- 55:30 ) Report from the City Administrator regarding an appointment to the Municipal Insurance Association  -- Mr. Mandryk outlined the background on his report.

Councillor Ashley offered some thoughts on the process, with Councillor Carlick-Pearson offering her name as the second alternate as per the requirement.

The motion was adopted.

Bylaws and Development Permits

55:30 -- 58:00 ) An application for a Development Variance Permit for a property on Eighth Avenue East -- After some discussion to clarify what Council was taking under consideration, Council moved to adopt the motion to grant the Permit.

( 58:00 -- 1:01:30  ) Rezoning and Development Permit Application for a property on Ambrose Avenue -- Before council considered the motion, Councillor Cunningham excused himself from the conversation.

Mr. Krekic then provided some background on what the Application was about and what Council needed to know about its particulars.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson offered up some observations as to the nature of the project and made comment as something that Council should be in favour of.

The motion was adopted.

( 1:01:30-- 1:16:00 )  Zoning Bylaw Adjustments to adjust the downtown area boundary -- As Councillor Thorkelson is a manager of one of the properties involved in the review, she excused herself from further discussion on the topic.

Mr. Krekic provided some background on why the Bylaw adjustment was required and the nature of the changes that would come from it. Bringing in some properties that had been inadvertently left out of the Downtown Development Permit area.

Councillor Cunningham inquired as to whether there would be charges for those living in residences in the affected area. Mr. Krekic advised that those residents would be grandfathered into the bylaw.

Councillor Ashley had questions regarding current businesses in the region and the impact that the change might have on them today and in the future.

Councillor Cunningham asked as to the impact on Fisherman's Hall and whether there would be any change to the parking situation there. Mr. Krekic advised that he would explore that issue further.

Councillor Cunningham highlighted the nature of the service that they provide there and wondered if the change would make for a harder burden for them.

Councillor Garon offered up her observations on the theme, seeking further clarification on the map providing the new boundaries for the area in question.

With that background information provided,  Council then voted to adopt the motion.

Additional Items for Council

(1:16:00-- 1:25:30 ) Union of British Columbia Municipalities 2014 Draft Resolutions -- The Corporate Administrator outlined the nature of Council's recommendations for Resolutions to take to Whistler this fall. (We outlined the list for consideration with  this item from the blog for Monday)

Council then voted on each particular item up for resolution, approving the majority of the list provided.

They did add one further item to the list, highlighting the growing

Reports Questions and Inquiries from Council

( 1:25:30--1:26:30 ) Councillor Kinney advised that he is leaving for holidays in July and Council will require someone to step in and take on the duties of Acting Mayor in his absence. Councillor Garon stepped forward to take up the task as required.

( 1:26:30-- 1:28:30 )  Councillor Ashley outlined some thoughts on some of the discussion in recent months on the nature of the Enbrdige announcement of last week and the ongoing talk regarding the potential of an oil refinery on the North Coast. She served notice to Council of her intention at the next Council session to to provide a Notice of Mention to put in place a change in zoning that would not permit any land in the City of Prince Rupert to be used for oil refinery development.

The Mayor asked city staff to put together background information on how Council would approach such a motion when it is presented to Council.

1:28:30--1:30:00 ) Councillor Cunningham offered up some observations regarding a stretch on 2nd Avenue West across from the Ocean Centre, advising that he had received a number of complaints from residents on the need for a loading and unloading zone for patients of the medical and dental clinics on that block. The Mayor tasked council to investigate the issue further.  Councillor Garon advised that there are a number of zones within that block just, not directly in front of those clinics.

( 1:30:00--1:30:30 ) Councillor Carlick-Pearson also had her own parking issues to pass along, recommending that the Bylaw enforcement officer be more vigilant in enforcing parking issues related to handicapped parking, suggesting that too many people are taking advantage of those spots who have no right to  park there.

( 1:30:30-- 1:33:00 ) Councillor Thorkelson offered up some observations on the topic of potential shipments of dangerous goods through the community. Asking for staff to investigate further as to what kind of information the Port needs to provide to the community when those goods transit the city. The Mayor advised that Mr. Long would investigate the issue further.

( 1:33:00-- 1:44:30) For her second point, Councillor Thorkelson returned to recent theme on housing in the community. Focusing on her thoughts on the need for Supportive, Low Cost and social housing for the community. She would like to see a report provided for Council on the prospect of putting together a Housing Committee for the community.

She offered up an outline of some of the procedures in place in Vancouver and their relation to the Vancouver Coastal Health Housing framework, suggesting that could be a path that Prince Rupert could use to tackle the challenge of housing needs. She would like Council to discuss the issue further in future sessions, owing to the growing concern over housing availability.  The Mayor made mention of a current study being compiled by Mr. Krekic the city planner into land use in the city, suggesting that Council wait until that report is finished and then perhaps adding onto his findings with their concerns.

Councillor Garon echoed that thought, suggesting that council wait for his presentation.

Councillor Ashley also provided some thoughts on the topic, suggesting Council members put together a list of who in the community they would like to see involved in those discussions.

Councillor Cunningham recommended that BC Housing be invited back to Council to hear of their concerns on the issue. He also wondered aloud as whether the P1 and P2 property zoned for public use could be handed over to a non profit housing group, the Mayor suggested that might be something for council to consider.

Councillor Thorkelson also outlined some points from the Community to Community forum and introduced that topic for further conversation as to how to proceed with the findings of that forum.

She then expanded on the what supportive housing is and what she believes is the need for it to be put provided in the city. She stressed her desire to have the Community to Community letter forwarded to appropriate government departments as well as to be considered at the UBCM sessions in the fall.  The Mayor outlined what steps Council could take to move forward her initiative.

Councillors Garon and Ashley offered up further background on the topic.

Council voted to adopt that motion to follow the steps as outlined by the Mayor.

( 1:44:30--1:52:30 The Mayor's Report

The Mayor outlined his and Councillor Kinney's participation with the Seniors Seafest Tea and 75/50 Club presentations.

He also outlined his participation in the Seafest parade and activities.

He outlined his and members of Council attendance to a Futures Visioning workshop. He provided a brief overview of the activities of the session.

The Mayor recounted his attendance, along with Councillor Gina Garon at the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce meeting, where it was announced that Hawkair would be offering an early morning flight out of Prince Rupert.

He attended an Emergency Management of British Columbia consultation, outlining some of the findings of the Emergency Earthquake and Tsunami Preparation program. A final report is expected to be delivered by the end of 2014.  He outlined how it was stressed that emergency response supplies should be located within the North Coast Region in case of an emergency event.

He met with a group from a company called KBR along with consultants from McElhanney  regarding a potential LNG export terminal on Lelu Island.

He attended the Graduation ceremonies of the Pacific Coast School and provided greetings on behalf of the City.

He attended the Community to Community Forum held in Port Edward

He and Councillor Cunningham were in attendance at the Annual General meeting of the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

He provided a greeting on behalf of the City of Prince Rupert City Council at the Opening of the Pacific Northwest LNG office in Port Edward.

He, Councillor Carlick-Pearson and Councillor Thorkelson were in attendance and provided a greeting on behalf of the City, at National Aboriginal Day Celebrations in the city.

The Mayor also attended the 125th celebrations of the North Pacific Cannery Historical Site.

He provided a short update on the upcoming visit of two cruise ships to the city later in the week.

He also outlined the nature of a Community Day sponsored by Ridley Terminals at the Civic Centre, that will take place on July 5th.  As a follow up to his notes on the Community Day, Councillor Ashley put forward a motion to have the City write a letter of thanks to the company.

That motion was adopted.

And with that final bit of business the Monday session of Council to an end.

You can access the City Council Review page for June 23rd here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including links to 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 June 23, 2014 

Minutes of Committee of the Whole Session June 23, 2014

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