Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Sabbatical!

The Sun is shining (for now) and there's gas in the car, so that must mean that it's time for a break from blogging for the rest of the month, as we seek out some summer time adventures along the highways and backroads of British Columbia.

With the auto pointed for points east, south and wherever the compass shall take us, the production levels on the North Coast Review will be fairly limited through the remainder of the month.

While we won't be composing any original items during that period, we shall, if time permits and the occasional rain shower come across our path, update some of files on our topics of note from our North Coast Review Backgrounder section (right hand column).

It's from that location, where we will post links to items that might catch our attention during the course of our down time.

Beyond the chance for some updated material, that area of the blog offers up a chance for readers to seek out items of interest that they may have missed over the course of the year.

As well, considering the importance of the current labour discussions in British Columbia's ongoing education dispute, we will try and update our Education Labour Archives found at the top right hand side of the blog.

With that as our blue print of blog maintenance for the summer break, we anticipate a return to our original contributions some time before Labour Day.

Thanks for reading, we hope that those that follow the North Coast Review can take some time of their own to enjoy these last few weeks of summer.

Nomination time for Civic Recognition Awards

Do you have someone in mind in our community that has made a contribution to life in Prince Rupert and is deserving of our appreciation?

If so, the time is here to submit some names and seek recognition for those that devote of their time to the community.

Through the month of August, the City of Prince Rupert is looking for names of those that have stood out in the community,  making a difference in the Community through their actions or contribution to good citizenship.

And to help salute those that have stepped out to make Prince Rupert a better place, the application period for a number of Civic Awards is now open.

There are seven different levels of recognition for those making nominations to consider, ranging from the Freedom of the City the highest of honours that the City can bestow on an individual, to other awards of recognition to reflect the contribution of those who give to the community. The awarding of the Freedom of the City is one of the rarest of honours and the most difficult of the awards to qualify for through the process.

The six remaining awards are more commonly awarded and follow a fairly strict guideline process for those that are to be considered, those awards include

Civic Merit Award

Civic Appreciation Award

Certificate of Appreciation

Appreciation Pin

Achievement Award

Sgt. William Booth Award for Valour

A full review of each award and the criteria for consideration can be found here.

Application Forms for each award category can be found here.

Residents of the city that may have someone in mind for recognition are asked to review each award category carefully to ensure that the person they wish to recommend fits the qualifications for the award to be considered.

Nominations must be provided on the official forms found from the link above, the deadline for nominations is 4 PM on August 25th.

A thumbnail guide regarding the Civic Recognition Award program can be found here.

Those that are selected for recognition will receive their awards on September 30th at a special Awards Ceremony at City Hall.

Council discussed the Awards Program at their July 28th Council session, you can review that conversation from the City's Video Archive it takes place at the 1 hour twenty two minute mark of the night's work.

For more items on events from Prince Rupert City Hall see our archive page.

Community Enhancement Grant Process now open

For those Community Groups seeking financial assistance from the City of Prince Rupert, the time to submit those applications has arrived.

Applications for the 2015 Community Enhancement Grants Program are now being received by the City, with a wide range of information regarding the grans and the process involved posted to the City of Prince Rupert website.

The Grants that are available in the community for 2015 include Cash grants, special grants, services in kind and inventory from civic sources.

Those applications with the best opportunity of approval from the City will provide a number benefits to the community, some of the key aspects for consideration include applications which:

Strengthen and enhance the well being of the community
Promote Volunteering
Address Community Needs
Improve the Community's ability to identify needs and implement self-help programs
Promote Cultural, Recreational and Social Understanding
Be sponsored by a local not-for-profit organization

Those applying for Community Enhancement Grants should be aware of some of the following items of note for the Application process.

Preference may be given to those applicants who partner with other service providers in the community, request seed money to launch a program, activity or event, rather than requesting ongoing financial support and have minimal or no paid staff.

Any group in the Community that fits the criteria for the Grant process can apply for the four types of Grants available:

Seed Grants
Programs and Services 

You can review the full information sheet and application form regarding Community Enhancement Grants from the city's website.

A short backgrounder on the process can be found here.

The Deadline for Applications is September 12, 2014.

The City anticipates notifying applicants as to the status of the Grant requests by December 31st of 2014.

More information on the Community Enhancement Grant process can be obtained from the City at 250-627-0939

For more items of interest from Prince Rupert City Hall see our archive page here.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blog Watching, Week ending August 10, 2014

As part of a weekly feature on the blog, every Sunday we offer up this weeks recap of the top five items viewed over the course of the last seven days.

Included in the countdown, we will provide links to the articles in question, offering up with one click of the mouse, those items of the week that you may have missed.

This week, a major fire on the city's east side topped our counter for the week, as a larger volume of readers reviewed our notes on the fire itself and then the follow up launch of the RCMP investigation into the cause of the fire.

The developments in the territory of the Gitxsan also proved to be of interest to our readers this week, as they caught up to events through two articles which we offered up this week.

While the top five was rounded out by a strong interest in the week of Udderfest in Prince Rupert.

Kicking off the top five items, the Fire at Totem Lanes in the early hours of Monday morning.

Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue working on fire at old Bowling Alley site --  Our review of fire on the east side of the city which reduced the one time bowling alley to mainly four cinder block walls (posted August 4, 2014)

That item was followed by:

Totem Lanes Fire investigation now in the hands of RCMP  -- The investigation into the Monday morning fire was handed over to the RCMP, which announced on Tuesday that they were investigating the matter as a fire suspicious in nature (posted August 5, 2014)

CN Rail Seeks Supreme Court Relief from further Gitxsan blockade attempts -- Our outline of the steps taken by CN Rail in regard to the situation on the mainline through the Gitxsan territory found a wide audience this week  (posted  August 6, 2014)

Udderfest 2014 ready to raise the curtain on five days of theatre and events  -- Interest in Prince Rupert's mid summer festival of drama, comedy and music was noted through our item on this years festival   (posted August 5, 2014)

Talks could resume, after Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs enforced and then reportedly reversed CN rail eviction notice -- The early stages of this weeks developments in the territory of the Gtixsan found a large volume of readers seeking our further details on the situation (posted August 6, 2014)

You can find our Blog watching featured posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, a handy way to catch up to the week that was, at a leisurely weekend pace.

The Permanent link to the feature can be found here or above our Blog Archive section, found on the right hand side of the title page.

For those looking for updates to items as they are posted to the blog, don't forget about our email alert access.

A daily review of the latest items on the blog can be delivered to your email in box, simply by entering your email address into the information bar, items posted to the blog will be delivered to your e-mail account each day.

You can find the link to that feature on the upper, right hand side of the blog.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Port Edward Harbour Authority to benefit from Small Craft Harbour investment

The Port Edward Harbour Authority will receive funding from a Small Harbours improvement project announced on Friday by the Federal Government.

The investment program will provide Port Edward with a share of the 2.5 million dollars allocated for  projects in British Columbia, with the Port Edward portion to be used in reconstruction of the wharf substructure that supports a net storage building on the Port Edward waterfront.

The full announcement from the Federal Government can be found here.

No breakdown  as to how much of that 2.5 million dollar investment will be directed towards work destined for the Porpoise Harbour facility in Port Edward Harbour.

Port Edward Porpoise Harbour entrance
The topic of required work on local infrastructure was part of a February presentation from the Port Edward Harbour Authority at Prince Rupert City Council.

Today's announcement may come as a bit of a disappointment for Councillor Joy Thorkelson and other members of Prince Rupert Council.

While the work planned in Port Edward will be of benefit to the local fishing industry, Council has in the past  raised a number of concerns when it comes to the status of locations operated by the Port Edward Harbour authority in the City of Prince Rupert.

Prince Rupert Grain celebrates outstanding year so far, with more volume to come!

A full page ad in the weekly newspaper this week, tells the story of another banner year for Prince Rupert Grain. With the Ridley Island terminal celebrating the increased volume of numbers from handling a record breaking 6 million tonnes by July 31st.

The advertisement celebrated the work of both employees and managerial staff at the Grain Elevator for their work thus far in 2014. Providing a listing of those that contributed to this years work so far.

The most recent statistical review from the Prince Rupert Port Authority highlights the volume of throughput at the Elevator, which as of the end of June of this year was up some 23 per cent from last years numbers.

Those numbers are destined to increase even further into the fall, last week the Federal government outlined that it had instructed both of the national railroads to increase their deliveries of prairie grain products to export terminals.

The new regulations are designed to provide relief to prairie farmers and avoid the situation of last year and into 2014, where backlogs of grain for shipment created any number of headaches along the supply chain.

August 1-- Canada to force CN Rail and CP Rail to boost grain shipments until November
August 1-- New rail transportation rules will help Saskatchewan farmers
August 1-- Rail regulations missing a few pieces

For their part, the railways don't seem overly enthused at the quota extension as outlined by the Federal Government at the start of the month.

August 1-- Railways say Ottawa's extension of grain shipment quotas 'ill-advised'

The anticipated volumes mandated by the Federal Government would suggest that Prince Rupert Grain may not only find that the work hours will be extended further into the season than usual, but may offer Prince Rupert Grain with the chance to showcase another family portrait by the time the end of the year rolls around.

For more items on events at Prince Rupert Grain see our archive page here.

Popular Dinner Series to return to North Pacific Cannery Historical Site

Photo courtesy of North Pacific Facebook page

Those living on, or visiting the North Coast and looking for something a little different for a night out, should keep August 14 or 15 free for some fine dining.

On those two nights, the North Pacific Cannery Dinner Series will once again bring Adrienne Johnston, one of Prince Rupert's favourite chefs, out to the Port Edward Historical Site.

With the famed Prince Rupert chef providing many of her special touches to a three course meal at the North Pacific Cannery site's Mess House Cafe.

It's a return engagement for Mrs. Johnston, who participated in last years popular fund raising event for the Cannery site, receiving rave reviews for her creations as part of the well attended night of activities at North Pacific.

Tickets for this years event are available by pre purchase only, owing to the nature of their Special Occasion Licence no tickets will be available at the door.

Tickets for the event are 70 dollars and available for purchase at the North Pacific Cannery Visitors Centre at the Historical site, or by phone at 250-628-3538.

There will be eight seating's every half hour, through the course of the three hours of dinner from 5-8 PM each night.

The special dining opportunity not only combines the menu offerings of the famed North Coast Chef, but offers up a spectacular backdrop to an evening out at the Historical site, making the twenty minute drive out of Prince Rupert well worth the trip.

A review of some photos from last years event can be found through the North Pacific Facebook page.

You can find more information on the popular Dinner series from the North Pacific Cannery Historical Site's webpage, Facebook page or twitter feed.

Rampage make preparations for August Training camp

The ice is about to go back into the Civic Centre and with that always highly anticipated sign that fall is on the way, the Prince Rupert Rampage will begin their work for the 2014-15 CIHL season.

The pre season sessions for the Rampage will get underway with the five day Lou Lemire Training camp, which offers up the opportunity for returning members to shake off the rust of the off season.

Any would be newcomers with ambitions to join the ranks of the Prince Rupert Rampage for 2014-15 will want to have the skates sharpened by August 18th as well, so as to be ready for the start of the Lou Lemire camp.

Prospective players for the CIHL squad should contact the Rampage prior to that date, to get more information regarding their tryout opportunities and what is involved for the camp which runs from August 18 until the 22nd at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

The email address for the Prince Rupert Rampage is

When the Rampage take to the ice later in September, it will be a slightly smaller CIHL that they will be playing in, with the Houston Luckies suspending operations owing to the closure of the sawmill in
the community.

Finding players to fill out the Luckies roster was proving to be a challenge that could not be overcome for this year.

With the departure of Houston from the CIHL circuit, the West will be a four team division, while the east will feature three teams for 2014-15.

A situation that makes the regular season drive all important for the Western teams who will be battling for two playoff positions in the seven team league.

We will launch our Rampage/CIHL review page in September, for those interested in the season past and any developments of the off season, our archive page for 2013-14 can be found here.

You can find the latest information on Prince Rupert's entry in the CIHL from their Facebook page, twitter feed or website.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Scholarship opportunity offered by Ridley Terminals and Smit Marine

With University and College students soon to return to their studies, those from the North Coast can reduce the cost of their education, through a scholarship opportunity from two companies in the region.

Ridley Terminals and Smit Marine Canada have announced that there are five, 3,000 dollar scholarships currently available for students that are registered for full-time studies at a recognized post secondary institution.

The scholarships that are being offered by the two companies make for the latest in educational opportunities for students of the region.

In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of North Coast based industries that have given back to the communities that they are a part of. Making financial assistance available to those that plan on continuing their education beyond secondary school, whether in the Northwest or elsewhere.

Those that are interested in the Smit/Ridley scholarship opportunity have until August 22nd to make an application for the money.

More details on the process of application can be obtained by contacting Angie Gallo at Smit Marine.

Learn more on the program through the email address of

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

CN Rail Seeks Supreme Court relief from further Gitxsan blockade attempts

The confusing string of events of the last 24 hours in the territory of the Gitxsan Nation has taken another turn, as it appears that Canadian National has shifted their concerns over any further blockade attempts on the rail line to the Supreme Court.

Radio Station CKNW provided some of the background to the legal moves of today, offering up some of the text of the legal notice of Civil Claim,  filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

The railway is looking to have the Court grant an "interim, interlocutory and permanent injunction" against any blockade that the Gitxsan Nation may have planned  on the main line of the Northern CN Route.

A full review of many of the items of note from the affidavit from CN Rail against the Gitxsan can be found from CKNW Report Shelby Thom's twitter feed.

According to the CKNW Reporter, CN representatives continue to be involved in discussions with the Gitxsan, but the railway would seem to still have concerns over any potential impact on rail operations.

Items of note on the Court moves of today and events beyond can be found below:

August 9-- B. C. First Nation suspends eviction to Crown after meeting with government
August 9-- Gitxsan suspends eviction of Crown after meeting with government
August 8-- Gitxsan suspend eviction notice
August 8-- Gitxsan Chiefs Suspend Evictions
August 8-- Gitxsan Announce Temporary Suspension of Eviction Notice
August 6-- CN Rail Granted Court Injunction
August 6-- CN Gets Court injunction against Gitxsan

Some further background on today's events in the Gitxsan Territory can be found here.

Northern Health Connections Bus Service to go on summer hiatus

When it comes to the Bus transportation system for Northern Health, for the next few weeks at least, the wheels on the bus won't be going round and round.

Northern Health has outlined its summer break schedule, a stoppage of service which will see the Northern Connections bus system in Park for the next three weeks or so.

Of note to residents of the North Coast is the Prince George to Prince Rupert run, which will stop operating as of August 9th.

The service is to resume on August 24th, when the Prince George to Prince Rupert route returns to service.

For those that make use of the  Burns Lake to Terrace service, it  will come to a stop at the end of business on Thursday, set to resume on Thursday, August 28th.

The full review of all the route suspensions can be found here.

The planned stoppage for much of August provides opportunity for maintenance issues on the bus fleet, as well as for vacation time for those that drive the buses to the wide range of communities across the Northern Health service region.

While the buses may not be in operation in August, the call centre will remain open for those that may wish to inquire further as to the service and to book a seat on the next available bus.

Talks could resume, after Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs enforced and then reportedly reverse CN rail eviction notice

Confusion seems to the operative word when it comes to the status of an eviction notice that was acted on in the territory of the Gitxsan during the overnight period and carried on into Wednesday morning.

Yesterday, the Gitxsan Nation issued a media release outlining that they were preparing to enforce their eviction notice on all sports fisheries, the Forest Industry and CN Rail, a notice first issued on July 9th.

Late Tuesday evening, word began to come out of the territory involved that the first of those evictions had moved forward, with with plans to shut down the CN Rail line across the 33,000 square kilometres of the Territory.

August 6-- Gitxsan vow to shut down CN traffic leading to Prince Rupert
August 6-- Gitxsan Shutting Down CN Rail Line Through their Territories
August 6-- Gitxsan Nation orders  CN Rail, foresters and fishermen off their traditional lands
August 6-- Gitxsan moves forward to evict companies but leaves room for negotiations
August 6-- Gitxsan Nation orders CN Rail, fishermen, off northwestern B. C. lands
August 5-- Gitxsan Evictions Escalated to Whole 33,000 sq km of Territory
August 5-- Gitxsan announce railway shutdown in traditional territories
August 5-- Gitxsan First Nation to block CN railway

Shutting down the rail line would provide for an immediate economic impact not only on the North Coast, but across North America, bringing to a standstill the shipment of a variety of goods that pass across Northern British Columbia to and from the Port of Prince Rupert.

Any slowdown or shutdown on the main line across the province, would also have a major impact on operations at the Port of Prince Rupert.

Canadian National had perviously stressed through the month of July and into August, that the issue was one between the Federal and Provincial Governments and the Gitxsan Nation to resolve.

The situation took a shift by mid morning today, as word began to filter out of the Gitxsan territory that the plan to shut down the CN Line had been reversed.

With CBC radio's Will Fundal, providing the first of the updates on the latest news from Gitxsan negotiators.

CN has provided no updates on the state of the railway advisory on their website since the eviction order was acted on last night, or with the events of this morning.

Though for the moment, it does not appear that the overnight events had an impact on rail or port operations.

In late July, NDP MP Nathan Cullen, weighed in through his NDP Parlilamentary website, providing some background on the topic of the eviction notices.

At the time, the MP called on both the provincial and federal governments to take action, with a message for the provincial government to "take a leadership role in settling the current dispute".

Mr. Cullen has not offered any further comment in the situation since that time.

As to the state of the current situation, the Province of British Columbia has not offered any update as of yet. Providing little in the way of background as to what steps will take place next, in order to resolve the situation.

However to be fair, the government representatives may be having some trouble in understanding the consensus on the topic within the Gitxsan political structure itself.

A pair of reports in the Globe and Mail over the last few days, suggests that there is a conflict of opinion within the Gitxsan Territory, as to how they should proceed with their concerns with the two levels of government.

August 4-- CN Railway and Gitxsan First Nation discuss eviction notices
August 1-- As evictions loom, even a landmark court ruling can't bring certainty on Gitxsan land

For the moment however the transportation issue has apparently been resolved, with the prospect of renewed discussion on the outstanding issues perhaps ready to start up.

Last evening, the Gitxsan had called for meetings with the two levels of government for Thursday, August 7th to review the situation.

If the latest reports are correct, the contentious issue of any form of rail blockade has been addressed (for the moment), with rail traffic set to resume on the CN line through the Gitxsan territory.

Any further information on today's developments will be posted below.

Gitxsan Community News page

News items of note on the current situation:

August 6-- CN Rail Granted Court Injunction
August 6-- Gitxsan say CN Rail blockade is "only the beginning"
August 6-- CN Gets Court injunction against Gitxsan
August 6-- CN Rail seeks Supreme Court relief from further Gitxsan blockade attempts  NCR
August 6-- CN Rail says no disruptions yet
August 6-- CN Rail says no aboriginal blockade on railway along Skeena River
August 6-- Gitxsan says Railway Closed Overnight, CN says Operations unaffected

MP Cullen, MLA Rice to host Community BBQ on Thursday

The two politicians representing the region on the Federal and Provincial stage will be in Prince Rupert on Thursday, as MP Nathan Cullen and MLA Jennifer Rice host a community BBQ at Mariners Park.

The public event takes place from Noon until 2 at Mariner's, co-hosted by the Prince Rupert Hospice  Society.

With few other public opportunities of late offered up to share thoughts on local issues with either of the two elected officials, Thursday's gathering provides a chance to have a conversation or two on items of interest to the region.

The gathering also offers up the added bonus of having a burger, hot dog or veggie dog with the two politicians and helping out the Hospice Society.

Local RCMP members will be helping Mr. Cullen and Ms. Rice serve up the food, which has been donated by local businesses in the city.

An item posted to Mr. Cullen's facebook page provides a bit of background to the Thursday event.

You ca review the year so far in politics from our two archives dedicated to the provincial and federal scene on the North Coast, you can find them below:

From the Legislature

From the House of Commons

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Totem Lanes Fire investigation now in hands of RCMP

As the Prince Rupert Fire Department continues to work at the fire scene of the now burned shell of the Totem Lanes Bowling Centre, the Prince Rupert Detachment of the RCMP issued an announcement on Tuesday afternoon, advising that they are now investigating the incident, treating it as a fire suspicious in nature.

As we outlined on the blog yesterday, the blaze was first reported in the early morning hours of Monday, with the Prince Rupert Fire Department putting all of its assets into the task of knocking down the fire.

Crews remained on the scene overnight and into Tuesday, to ensure that the fire did not flare up, while the RCMP began the first stages of their investigation.

With the file now in the hands of the RCMP, members from the local detachment are asking that anyone that may have information regarding the fire contact them at 250-627-0700 or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) 

Update:  Totem Lanes Fire investigation now in hands of RCMP  NCR

Further updates from the Northwest media on this file, as well as for other items regarding Emergency Service events can be found on our monthly archive page for August.

Udderfest 2014 ready to raise the curtain on five days of theatre and events

A mid summer break, complete with a wide range of humour, music and theatre makes its return to the North Coast this week.

Prince Rupert's popular Udderfest is back for a five day run, with events taking place at both the Tom Rooney Playhouse and the Lester Centre from August 6th through to the 10th.

The line up of theatre events provides for a number of performances with a bit of a local twist, as well as for items of interest on a more general theme.

All of it highlighting the large talent base that is part of the Prince Rupert theatre scene.

Below is a list of offerings to be presented for the 2014 edition of Udderfest  (a short description of each show can be found by clicking on items provided to the Rupert Reigns portal)

Dan the Man

Digby Towers 2

Henderson's Assessment

Lying Dogs

Toast and Jam

The Unsinkable Play

Twisted Fairy Tales (no synopsis available)

Organizers also offer up a number of Musical Acts for the five days of shows, a performance from the Concert Society and something described as the Late Night Green Room Special.

Tickets go for ten dollars per show, or a four show pass available for thirty dollars.

Tickets are available at Seahorse Trading Company in the Atlin Terminal, or at the door.

A schedule of some of the events can be found on the Rupert Reigns website, which features a day by day calendar to review.

You can find out more about the Udderfest line up from Harbour Theatre at 250-624-2636

We will outline any further updates to the Udderfest happenings below, as they become available through the week.

Curling Club applies for New Primary Liquor Licence

The Prince Rupert Curling Club is looking to continue to offer more than rocks on ice when curling season opens up later this fall.  As the long running fixture on the east side of the city seeks out a new liquor primary licence from the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.

An application for the licence was recently submitted to the government organization and as part of the process, the call for comments has been issue by the Licensing Branch.

Proposed hours of operation for the licence application would be from 11:30 AM to 2:00 AM, Monday through Sunday, with capacity at the Seal Cove location limited to 652 persons.

Comments on the application are being accepted from those who are residents or business operators and located within half a mile radius of the Seal Cove club.

Those who wish to comment and who fall into those categories can contact the Liquor Branch in writing outlining their views on the theme.

A full correspondence is required however, as Petitions and Form Letters will not be considered as part of the process.

Comments may be be made available to the applicant or local government officials, where disclosure is necessary to administer the licensing process.

You can direct your correspondence by mail at:

The General Manager
c/0 Senior Licensing Analyst
Liquor Control and Licensing Branch
PO Box 9292
Victoria, BC V8W 9J8

Or you can make your comments known by email at:

The Deadline for commentary and correspondence is September 1st.

Background on the process of a Liquor Primary Licence and the particulars to that form of licensing can be found from this item from the Ministry of Justice.

City seeks volunteers for Board positions

The opportunity and challenge to help shape the direction of two local organizations is now available for civic minded residents.

With the City of Prince Rupert having recently placed advertisements for positions with both the Prince Rupert Library and Tourism Prince Rupert.

Those that are interested in applying for positions on the Board of either organization are asked to provide a written description of their skills and experiences, highlighting how they are relevant to the position.

Those that choose to serve will have many things to consider once they take their seats around the Boardroom table. There have been many challenges in recent years for those that have served in the past.

The City has recently had to hold the line on providing funding for both organizations, requiring those that volunteer their time to either organization to have to balance and redefine priorities for the many requests of both groups.

A task that requires a fair bit of thought on how best to use the limited resources that have been made available to many groups, owing to the City's financial concerns in recent years.

You can get a snapshot of the work of Tourism Prince Rupert here, while a look at the offerings from the Prince Rupert Library can be found here.

The deadline for applications for either position is August 8th, you can direct your letter of interest or seek out more information on the opportunities from the Corporate Administration Office at City Hall.

They can be reached at 250-627-0934 or by email at

Prince Rupert still in the hunt for Jet Service out of YPR

As we outlined on the blog yesterday, Hawkair is celebrating the launch their new early morning flight schedule today, with the first bus to the airport heading out earlier this morning for the 7:50 flight.

And as a photo posted to Hawkair President Jay Dilley's twitter feed shows, the promotion for today's debut flight proved to be a fairly successful event, with a large group looking to score the one of ten free flights to be awarded this morning.

And as Hawkair celebrated the new schedule with this mornings suitcase party and pancake breakfast, for YPR, the good news on improving flight connections may soon continue.

Once again, the prospect of a new entry looking to provide air service to Prince Rupert is proving to be a popular topic for a Vancouver based air service.

An article over the weekend in the Globe and Mail provides a hopeful note for those on the North Coast that remember the halcyon days of Jet Service out of the Digby Island airport.

With Canada Jetlines continuing to work on their financial plan, which could lead to the launch of more competition on under served routes across Canada.

Brent Jang, outlines the prospects of a jet connection between YPR and YVR, one which would see the cost of air travel drop significantly and perhaps launch a bit of a price skirmish that will provide some financial benefits for local travellers.

The key aspect of the article ( which you can read here ) is the proposed price point for travel, which according to the Globe would be as little as 87 dollars one way, which is calculated out as a 67 per cent saving from the current rate of air travel.

One way that they may provide for cost effectiveness, is a plan to possibly fly out of Abbotsford instead of Vancouver, a decision which might not find widespread acceptance for North Coast travellers who are used to being delivered to the YVR terminal.

However, that prospect, is just one part of the proposed service that is still being work on prior to making the financial commitment to move the proposed service forward.

The Canada Jetlines blueprint suggests that the proposed airline would make use of Jets that are less than a decade old, their first purchases to be a pair of Airbus 319 jets by the spring of 2015 with expansion plans to follow.

Airline executives hope to have the airline up and running by mid 2015, though they have not identified where they would launch their service, or which markets would be serviced first should they move forward with their investment plans and take to the skies.

That mid 2015 timeline is already a slight change from when we first outlined the ambitious plans for Canada Jetlines in November of 2013, which suggested a late 2014 start up, you can review that item here.

For more on developments in air travel options for the Northwest see our archive page here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

NWCC to receive funding for more LNG Trades Training options

The Province of British Columbia is about to provide Northwest Community College with funding totalling 485,000 dollars, as part of the province's ongoing commitment towards developing training for its planned entry into the LNG industry.

The money to be delivered to NWCC that will be directed towards 100 training spaces for trades training for the LNG industry as well as towards the many other industrial development projects planned in the region.

The Announcement was made last week in Terrace and provides funding that will open seats in three trades programs with seats available as early as September of 2014.

From the announcement comes word of 50 seats in the Electrical Foundation program, 32 seats in the
Electrical apprenticeship program and 18 seats in the heavy duty equipment mechanic foundation program.

Of the 485,000 dollars directed to NWCC, 387,000 dollars is for the 100 additional seats, while 98,000 dollars will be allocated towards operating and equipment funding to support the training programs.

You can review the announcement here.

For more details on the individual programs see the links below:

Electrical Foundation Training Program

Electrical Apprenticeship Program

Heavy Mechanical Foundation Program

For more of our items on developments at NWCC see our archive page.

Airport Ferry launches revised schedule

With the shift in focus for the Hawkair flights to and from Vancouver comes the need for an adjustment to the Digby Island Ferry schedule, with changes to the schedule going into effect today.

The first ferry of the day will leave Fairview at 6:40 in the morning, Monday through Friday, with sailings starting the day on Saturday and Sunday at 7:55 AM.

The final trip of the day leaves the Digby Island Ferry Dock  at 8:15 PM arriving at Fairview at 8:35 PM, Monday through Sunday.

As always, those looking for information on day to day items of note on the Ferry transportation to and from the Prince Rupert Airport, can access daily updates through the Airport bus phone message line at 250-622-2222.

The notice of change to the schedule was posted to the city's website on Friday.

Earl Mah Aquatic Centre shutdown for annual maintenance

Those looking for a refreshing dip into the water in the month of August will have to seek out other more natural options, as the city's Earl Mah Aquatic Centre has shutdown for potentially the next seven weeks as part of its annual maintenance period regimen.

The pool held a closing night bash over the weekend, the last splash of the summer season if you will.

Making for a fun filled event that will have to tide everyone over until the Aquatic Centre re-opens in September, the Recreation Department has set a tentative target date of September 21st for the reopening of the pool.

Routine maintenance and structural replacements are on the work order for the maintenance period. With attention to be directed towards the boiler, heat exchangers, lights, HVAC, support beam and other items that require attention.

You can review the announcement of the pool closure here,  further updates on the progress of the project and an official re-opening date announcement can be followed through the Recreation Department's Facebook page.

Suitcase Party and Pancake Breakfast celebrates new Hawkair Flight schedule launch on Tuesday

It could be a rewarding experience to wake up early and head down to the Hawk Air office on Tuesday morning.

As part of the launch of the airline's new schedule featuring an early morning flight to Vancouver, Hawkair is hosting a Suitcase Party on Tuesday, August 5th.

Providing the opportunity for ten North Coast residents to win a free flight to the Lower Mainland.

The first notice of the special event was sent out through the Hawkair twitter feed and Facebook page over the weekend, offering up the details of the Pancake Breakfast from 5:30-9:00 AM.

Those interested in the prospect of a free flight should bring a packed suitcase to the event at the Hawkair office in the Highliner Inn, prior to the 6:30 draw time.

At that time, Hawkair will make the draw giving those that have entered the draw a chance to win one of 10 seats on the 7:50 flight to Vancouver on Tuesday morning.

Contest winners must be willing to travel on that flight and the tickets are non-transferable.

In addition to the chance to score a trip to Vancouver, the Hawkair staff will be serving up a pancake breakfast, with any donations received from the event directed towards the Prince Rupert Salvation Army Food Bank.

You can also learn more about the Tuesday launch from the Hawkair website.

Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue working on fire at old Bowling Alley site

Prince Rupert Firefighters continue to work on a fire that broke out on the east side of the city overnight, with Fire units still engaged Monday morning in knocking down a blaze at the old Totem Lanes location between Chamberlain and Saskatoon Avenues.

Photo from Twitter feed contribution
A photo posted to the Prince Rupert Twitter feed provides the visual of a large plume of black smoke rising into the air, with flames seen breaking through the roof on the structure located in Yellowhead Centre area of the city.

Other photos posted to twitter  provide a glimpse of  the extent of the work taking place to bring the fire under control.

As the fire department efforts continue into Monday morning, smoke has settled over a wide area of the east side.

Members of the Prince Rupert RCMP have blocked off a number of local roads leading into that area of the city and motorists and pedestrian observers should avoid the area as Fire crews continue their  work.

The structure has long been vacant and has not been in use since the Bowling Alley closed its doors a number of years ago.

Updates on the situation will be provided below as more information is provided.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Blog Watching, Week Ending August 3, 2014

As part of a weekly feature on the blog, every Sunday we offer up this weeks recap of the top five items viewed over the course of the last seven days.

Included in the countdown, we will provide links to the articles in question, offering up with one click of the mouse, those items of the week that you may have missed.

This week, notes of interest surrounding LNG development in the region were among the top five viewed items on the blog.

As well, Monday's City Council meeting provided a pair of issues of interest to our readers, while news of the activation of the Northwest Transmission Line also proved to be a popular item for the week.

Kicking off the top five items, Petronas officials head to Ottawa seeking tax concessions on LNG development.

Petronas seeks out some Federal incentive before final investment decision --  One of the major proponents for LNG development on the North Coast seeks tax concessions from Ottawa regarding LNG development (posted July 28, 2014)

That item was followed by:

When it Comes to the Watson Island proposal, few details yet to be delivered  --  Prince Rupert residents are still waiting for more background on the proposed development of an LNG terminal at Watson Island (posted July 28, 2014)

With the Northwest Transmission Line  now live, Northwest development proposals may spring to life -- BC Hydro announces the activation of the Northwest Transmission Line north of Terrace, a project which could bring further development to that portion of the region.  (posted July 29, 2014)

Council gets agitated over Atlin and Rushbrook Floats parking provisions  -- A recommendation from the Engineering Department to bring an end to pay parking at the Atlin Terminal, instead provides for a wide ranging discussion on parking equity in the city   (posted August 1, 2014)

Mr. Krekic's DPA proposal heads back to the shelf  -- A plan to bring the Fraser Street area into the Downtown Permit Development Area goes down to defeat at City Council (posted July 23, 2014)

You can find our Blog watching featured posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, a handy way to catch up to the week that was, at a leisurely weekend pace.

The Permanent link to the feature can be found here or above our Blog Archive section, found on the right hand side of the title page.

For those looking for updates to items as they are posted to the blog, don't forget about our email alert access.

A daily review of the latest items on the blog can be delivered to your email in box, simply by entering your email address into the information bar, items posted to the blog will be delivered to your e-mail account each day.

You can find the link to that feature on the upper, right hand side of the blog.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Land Inventory Review highlights need for proactive planning

City Planner Zeno Krekic continued his seminar sessions for Prince Rupert City Council on Monday evening, providing for the second of his recent overviews on planning,  this one offering up a look at his work on the Land Based Inventory for the city.

(You can review his previous seminar on Housing stock in the city here)

Mr. Krekic and his team, consisting of Robin Lapointe, Ian Hurston and Brad Pollard (who was not available for the presentation on Monday night) have been collecting data regarding the nature of available land in the city.

Marking off the scope of land that is owned by the city, through private ownership or Crown Land within the city boundaries and identifying some of that land for potential development uses.

From that statistical overview they highlighted that at the moment there are 209 municipal lots in the municipal reach, 299 privately owned lots and 7 lots in possession of the Crown.

Mr. Krekic highlighted that the majority of the available lots are of residential status in the city.

Chart of Lot availability in Prince Rupert
Vacant Lots by Zone

The Presentation stressed for Council the need to take a proactive approach to future development, calling on the experiences of Mr. Lapointe and Mr. Krekic as to the impact that the major developments have had on the Kitimat area.

Mr. Lapointe observed that in a short period of time, Kitimat which at one time had a very high vacancy rate. However the community quickly found a scarcity of accommodation for those arriving in the city, once major developments for the Kitimat area began to take shape.

Calling the arriving workforce to the Kitimat area part of the shadow population, he highlighted that some of the larger issues that business operators in Kitimat had were not to find workers for the positions that were available, but rather to find accommodation for potential employees.

From that situation Mr. Lapointe offered up the suggestion that making plans ahead of the curve of development might provide the City of Prince Rupert with a more proactive approach to some of the housing issues for that shadow population, calling their arrival a substantial impact that would arrive with any major development.

Further to that theme, in the review of the Land Base Inventory, Mr. Krekic highlighted that the initial observations from their project suggest that with development will come a demand for camps, single family homes and apartments.

As well, some of the land use will be dedicated towards light industrial uses and lay down areas, large tracts of land used for staging supplies by project developers.

Overview Map of potential development
Target areas for further study of development

As part of the analysis, Mr. Krekic identified two areas of interest for development, directing council's attention towards the Shawatlans Road area.

Suggesting its suitability for a mix of residential and light industrial for that area.

As well, he highlighted the corridor along the Ridley Island Access Road, which he observed is an area where the City is providing a focus towards regarding industrial development.

Shawatlans Road 

Ridley Island Access Road

They outlined the path ahead for the project, which they described as a work in progress and one which is making use of a fairly limited budget and a compressed timeline to deliver results for Council.

Mr. Krekic, provided a bit more background on some of the facets of their review and reviewed of the steps that the City would have to approach.

Particularly when it comes time to move forward on developing some of the land identified from the overview.

He advised that he and his team would be working on into September and advised Council that he would have a further more detailed update on the project later in that month.

There were no questions from Council members of Mr. Krekic or his team following the presentation, which ran just over twenty minutes.

It being early in the process, the scope of his work on both the Housing Stock review and Land Base Inventory has yet to be provided on the City's Projects page of the City Website.

You can review the full presentation from the City's Video Archive, the slide show and overview starts at the 58 minute mark and continues on through until the one hour twenty minute mark.

For more items of interest from City Council see our archive page here.