Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Prince Rupert Boil Water advisory to last over the weekend

The current Boil Water order in place for residents of the Westview area of the city will remain in effect at least through the weekend, that according to the latest advisory to be delivered from the City of Prince Rupert.

The City updated the status of the current situation on Tuesday evening through this notice to their website.

Advising that they will performing "uni-directional flushing of the water mains in the area over the next few days in order to refresh the system."

In addition to the City's update, Northern Health provided their first review of the situation through a pair of twitter notices posted to the Northern Health Twitter feed on Tuesday.

You can review our original item from Monday on the Boil Water Advisory here.

Included in that item is the scope of the region under the advisory and the recommended precautions to take as outlined by the City.

So far, only one candidate remains consistent on issues in Prince Rupert Election Campaign

With six weeks until the November vote for Prince Rupert Council, the flow of information from incumbent candidates would seem to be off to a very, very slow start.

A situation that leaves us with little in the way of discussion points for the campaign coming from those that have been in the thick of municipal affairs over the last three years.

That lack of communication from the incumbents is leaving the campaign agenda to the newcomers in the race to this point and with that, some questions about how Council has handled some past issues are slowly making their way into the discussion.

One interesting theme came as a  result of the past week of UBCM meetings in Whistler, and the lack of information from the Mayor and Council regarding their plan of attack for that late September trip.

Council Candidate Blair Mirau has been running an ask the candidate forum on his website since he started his quest for a Council seat and last week one participant on his Q and A forum called attention to the convention and the city's participation at the UBCM event.

You can review the full  Q and A section of Mr. Mirau's website here

The question on UBCM and information from Council that was asked of the candidate is one that probably hits home for many others in the community as well, considering the lack of updates at to what the city's goals and agenda items might have been as they made their way down to Whistler.

In the lead up to UBCM there were occasional mentions of the trip to come at Council, for the most part however they were observations made in passing during past Council sessions.

The most recent comment was on the theme of Council hosting a workshop prior to the meeting, suggestion which was offered up by Councillor Anna Ashley as part of the September 2nd Council session.

However, beyond that brief mention of the planning stage for the North Coast trek, little other information was provided by Council in the weeks leading up to their journey.

No update from Council was provided prior to departure, as to who was planning on attending on behalf of the City, or what they hoped to bring to the attention of their fellow councillors in convention.

Something which Mr. Mirau had thoughts on, particularly as it relates to the issue of how Council delivers information to the public. He then went a bit further on the topic of the city's UBCM contributions, highlighting the controversial topic of Port payments and the discussion that the current situation provided for during council sessions this year.

That was one topic that Council did take to UBCM this year and as we noted last week, it was a theme that LNG Minister Rich Coleman addressed in his opening address to the convention.

With the  Minister seeming to reject the belief that the current situation is flawed, in fact suggesting that the Rupert system may prove to be the provincial blue print for LNG industry development.

Mr. Mirau tackles the port payments issue on his website, offering a different viewpoint of the current council thinking on the topic.  His commentary on the issue, offers up a review that would certainly put him on the other side of the table, from what in the most part is a solid block of the current council that is in lock step with the Mayor when it comes to their discussions with the Port.

As we outlined last week, the would be candidate has also tackled the topic of more cooperation with other communities in the region, a theme he has expanded on through a YouTube video presentation, a form of message delivery which we believe might be the first use of that information portal in a municipal campaign in recent years.

. .

Mr. Mirau's thoughts on those themes and many others, might be a valuable asset for Council after the November vote, the prospect of taking a different look at current issues is one that might provide for a welcome change from the last number of years.

Should he find success on election day he might actually be able to help turn the Council chamber into an actual place for lengthy discussion of key issues in public, something that hasn't been very common in recent years.

If nothing else, his comments through his website offer up the topic for discussion right now before we vote, issues that should become part of the campaign through the next six weeks.

As we head into October, Mr. Mirau is pretty well the only candidate for office that is offering any kind of narrative of items of importance in the campaign.

Mayoralty candidate Lee Brain's contributions thus far are spotty at best, after an initial burst of information at the start of his campaign, he has been fairly silent of late. With few updates on issues for the campaign posted to any of his information portals.

Of those currently serving on Council, the flow of information from the Mayor has been limited to ad spots in the weekly newspaper, while the rest of those on Council have had little to say about their plans for November, let alone offering any kind of topic for discussion.

More than a few of those seeking our vote in November could take a page from Mr. Mirau's council quest notebook.  For the moment, he seems to be the only one looking for our vote that is offering up information on his candidacy and asking the voter what they think is important to them.

Both of which would seem to be the purpose of the election exercise.

You can follow our Municipal election coverage from our archive page.

Fukasaku Restaurant Chowder goes to the finals of Vancouver's Chowder Chowdown!

It's one of the more popular of dishes at Prince Rupert's Fukasaku Restaurant and by mid November the secret of the North Coast may be know to larger circles.

The "Rupert Chowder" is one of the finals in a Vancouver competition known as the Chowder Chowdown which features sustainable Ocean Wise Chowders.

The Chowder Chowdown is sponsored by the Vancouver Aquarium and takes place on November 19th at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Should you find yourself in Vancouver at that time the event, you can cheer on our local celebrity chef as the judging begins, the event starts at 7 PM, with tickets going for 50 dollars.

More on the competition, including biographies on all of the chefs involved in the event, including Fukasaku's Dai Fukasaku can be found from this item on the Vancouver Aquarium website

The excitement of the road ahead, as well as reviews of some of the other tempting dining options from the restaurant can be found on the Fukasuka Facebook page

You can find more on developments with Prince Rupert's commercial sector from our archive page

School District outlines application process for Education Support Program payments

With school now back in session, the Province is about to begin processing applications for the 40 dollars a day education support payment, the controversial reimbursement program for parents of children affected by the recent education labour dispute.

Parents on the North Coast who are looking for more information on the application process for the program can turn to the School District 52 website for a bit of help.

As part of the home page of the SD52 information portal is a short background item on the project and what North Coast parents need to know about it, as well as the process required for registration for reimbursement.

Payment dates from the program were in effect from what would have been the start of the school year, through to the date of the ratification vote by the British Columbia Teachers Federation.

Parents are only required to register once for the program.

More on the program, including the full review of the program from the Ministry of Education can be found here.

Third Avenue Commercial strip set to see more change in October

The fall is shaping up to be a month of closings and openings for the Third Avenue shopping area, with two more stores putting up the Going out of business signs along the 300 block, with the prospect of a few new businesses in the process of arriving on the scene.

Kix's shoes and 3 C Clothing recently started the process of wrapping up their operations on Third Avenue, the latest of commercial outlets that have decided to call it quits on the main shopping street in the city.

They follow Rainforest Books up the block, which closed its operations over the summer, a potential
sale to keep a book store in operation in that location seeming to fall through in recent months.

However, the Rainforest  location may not be empty for long. As it appears that someone is  preparing to open that location up with a new business opportunity.

The early indications seemi to suggest that it will either be a collectible shop for a range of items, or a second hand or thrift shop kind of business.

Details for what may be ahead have yet to be revealed, while work continues inside the doors and behind the mysterious brown paper.

That new location, will join the Little Anchors consignment shop on that same block, the most recent  addition to that stretch of our downtown shopping area opened its doors earlier this year in March.

You can review some of our past items on the commercial sector of the city from our archive page here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

City of Prince Rupert issues BOIL WATER ADVISORY for far west side of the City

***NOTE: BOIL WATER ADVISORY to continue through the weekend, see more from this update. ***

Residents on the far west side of the city have been issued a BOIL WATER advisory by the City of Prince Rupert, though the reason for the order has not, as of yet, been identified by the City.

The order was issued late Monday afternoon for areas of the city consisting of the 1400 block to 1900 block of 2nd Avenue West, Graham Avenue, Atlin Avenue, Moresby Avenue, Van Arsdol Street and 12th, 123th, 14th, 14th, 16th and 17th streets.

A Boil Water advisory means that residents and water system users can safely use the water for brushing teeth, drinking and cooking providing they heat the water to a rapid boil for at least 2 to 3 minutes in advance of consumption.

Use of water for bathing and washing clothes is considered safe without boiling.

Further information on the steps the city is taking to rectify the situation can be found from the City website.

Update: Tuesday morning, the City outlined some background on the water situation on the west side to the Northern View

Advising that the problems were related to issues of low flow levels in the area and the need to introduce  large levels of fresh water into the system on that side of the city.

Northern Health offered up some advice o the public on the current Boil Water Advisory through their twitter feed on Tuesday:

Charles Hays Secondary Rainmaker Sports for 2014-15

The labour dispute in education through the summer of 2014 set things back a bit as far as planning for the high school sports scene in the Northwest this year.

But with the schools finally back in session by late September, plans for athletics once again began to move forward for the year ahead.

With the various teams now heading into the routine of training, tournaments and a hopeful victory in zone championships, the gyms and fields will soon be active places, with home games an opportunity to follow the success of the Rainmakers through the fall, winter and into the spring.

Below we once again feature our archive of items for the 2014-15 school year,  highlighting events and activities surrounding the various sports teams at Charles Hays Secondary School.

As always, we welcome updates and background items on Rainmaker athletics, simply drop us a line at northcoastreviewpr@yahoo.ca

You can follow Rainmaker Sports from their Twitter feed here:

Other feeds for each team can be found below:


2015 Prince Rupert

Senior Girls Soccer

May 13 -- Rainmakers find offence, but fall in zones
April 27 -- Rainmakers looking for first win
April 15 -- CHSS' terrific play not enough to defeat Eagles
April 13 -- Full weekend of activity for Rainmaker Sports NCR
April 10 -- Rainmaker Senior Girls Soccer squad kicks off season with Saturday double header  NCR
April 7 -- Preseason action gives Charles Hays' girls soccer team a good test

Remainder of Northwest BC Secondary Schools



2015 Prince Rupert

May 16 -- Girls' rugby hits high note in Smithers
April 22 -- CHSS leaves Rugby Fest with winning record
April 13 -- Full weekend of activity for Rainmaker Sports NCR
April 9 -- Rugby Fest invades Kamloops

March 30 -- Girls' rugby takes hold in Rupert
March 18 -- Boys and girls rugby starts


November 12-- Hurricanes come up short against Gryphons in rugby zones
October 21-- Rainmakers demolish weekend competition
October 14-- Enns leads Rainmakers rugby into zones

Remainder of Northwest British Columbia


Track and Field

2014-15 Prince Rupert

May 26 -- Prince Rupert student athletes excel at zones
May 16 -- Prince Rupert track squad to compete at zones
April 29 -- Rupert claims second in annual track meet

Remainder of Northwest British Columbia



Rainmaker Volleyball Twitter feed
Rainmaker Volleyball Facebook Page

2014-15  Prince Rupert 

December 3-- Junior Girls, Grade 8 boys capture volleyball zones
November 19-- Kermodes shut down Rainmakers for senior Girls volleyball title
October 27-- Volleyball Rainmakers rally past Saints, Seahawks
October 15-- Rainmakers gear up for fall play days

Remainder of Northwest British Columbia

November 6-- Cal Jr. Girls take five in Prince George
October 15-- Terrace teams stand out at volleyball play day
September 12-- Education dispute stalls school sports


Rainmaker Basketball Twitter Feed

Senior Boys

2015 AAA Provincial Championships
(website)  (Facebook)  (twitter)

North Coast Review AAA Tournament Results Page

2014-15 Prince Rupert

March 14 -- Rainmakers top McMath 77-61 and claim Third Place at Provincials with 3 and 1 record NCR
March 13 -- Dance music stops for Charles Hays, as Top Cats Sir Charles Tupper Tigers end the Rainmakers Run NCR
March 13 -- Rainmakers take charge in Game Two; 72-58 victory over Bateman sends Charles Hays on to the Semi-Finals  NCR
March 12 --A chance of Rainmakers?  McChesney and Co. top Bateman, get No. 1 Tupper in BC 3A Final Four
March 11 -- Rainmakers Roll into the Quarters with strong Game one performance  NCR
March 10 -- Popular Provincials Tournament turns to Pay Per View this season  NCR
March 10 -- Rainmakers Make Ready to Bring on the Provincials!  NCR
March 9 --  It's Rain versus Ice in round one of senior boys' provincials
March 4 -- McChesney guides Rainmakers to Zones title
March 4 -- Senior Boys Rainmakers Claim Third Place ranking in final listings prior to Provincials NCR
March 2 -- Opening Day Draw announced for AAA Provincials, Rainmakers to face Mark Isfeld on Day One  NCR
March 1 -- Rainmakers go undefeated in NorthWest Zones! Claiming title and advancing to AAA Provincials  NCR

February 26 -- The Road to Provincials 2015 runs through Prince Rupert  NCR
February 25 -- Rainmakers retain Fourth place ranking heading into Northwest Zones  NCR
February 23 -- No. 4 Rainmakers prepare to host zones
February 20 -- Smithers Basketball preparations for NW Zones (video)
February 19 -- Rainmakers inch up one spot in AAA Basketball Rankings for the week  NCR
February 16 -- CHSS qualifies for lower 'AA" tier
February 13 -- Vancouver Province profile of Justin McChesney puts spotlight on Rainmaker quest for a Langley return  NCR
February 12 -- Rainmakers hold fast at Number Five in Provincial rankings, as Northwest Zones loom on the horizon  NCR
February 11 -- Prince Rupert post McChesney has the right stuff, leads Charles Hays on road back to LEC parquet
February 6 -- Rainmakers face decision time as BC High School Basketball redraws the division placements  NCR
February 5 -- Rainmakers remain locked at number five for one more week  NCR
February 2 -- Rainmakers, Saints tie play day

January 29 -- Rainmakers retain fifth place in Provincial rankings for another week  NCR
January 28 -- Second stringers dominate Masset
January 26 -- Senior Boy's Rainmakers take sweep of weekend play  NCR
January 22-- After Pitt Meadows weekend, Rainmakers drop to Fifth in Provincial rankings NCR
January 21-- Bishop's crew takes sixth at Pitt Meadows
January 19-- Rainmakers squads find mixed results in weekend play  NCR
January 15-- Rainmakers look to take flight at Pitt Meadows Air Show  NCR
January 14-- Senior Boys Rainmakers knocked down one notch in Provincial rankings ahead of Pitt Meadows tourney  NCR
January 14-- Rainmakers deny Barnes, Saints win
January 14-- B. C. under-17s call on McChesney
January 12-- Senior Boy's Rainmakers take two of three from Saints  NCR
January 9-- Rainmakers in action with three games over the weekend  NCR
January 8-- Justin McChesney secures spot with Basketball BC Under 17 Provincial team  NCR
January 7-- Rainmakers Senior Boys victorious in home opener
January 5-- Senior Boys Rainmakers take two from Caledonia in Saturday action  NCR
January 2-- Rainmakers return to action with Saturday showdown against Caledonia  NCR

December 18-- Rainmakers Hold at Number Three after weekend run at North Shore Invitational  NCR
December 17-- Rainmakers ranked No. 3
December 15-- Senior Rainmakers Place Second at North Van Basketball Tournament
December 15-- Kitsilano stops Rainmaker run at North Shore Invitational, CHSS claims 2nd place in North Vancouver Tournament  NCR
December 13-- Rainmakers advance to Semi-Finals of North Shore Invitational Tournament  NCR
December 11-- Rainmakers look to make their mark at North Shore Invitational  NCR
December 10-- Senior Boy's Rainmakers retain hold in Provincial Top Ten Rankings  NCR
December 10-- Rainmakers boys' teams sweep basketball play days
December 8-- Rainmakers win Vanderhoof Basketball Tournament
November 19-- Provincial under 17's in the cards for McChesney
October 8-- Mel Bishop finds success through adapting

Senior Boys Scoreboard 2014-15

February 26-28
Northwest Zones Tournament

Saturday Feb 28 
Championship Game

CHSS 84 vs Smithers 71

Friday Feb 27

CHSS 67 vs Smithers 43
Smithers 50 vs Caledonia 43

Thursday Feb 26 

CHSS 84 vs Caledonia 35

February 13-14

CHSS vs Nechako Valley
(Games cancelled)

January 25

Skidegate 74 vs CHSS 50
CHSS over Masset (score n/a)
CHSS 55 vs Skidegate Saints 52

January  22-23

CHSS 71 vs Smithers 55
CHSS 71 vs Masset Thunder 26 
CHSS 86 vs Caledonia 64

January 15 -18

CHSS 59 vs Mount Boucherie 104
CHSS 44 vs Churchill 82
CHSS 52 vs Sir Charles Tupper 55

January 14 (Exhibition)

CHSS 38 vs Terry Fox (AAAA) 82

January 9-10

CHSS 90 -- QCSS 69
CHSS 72 -- QCSS 76  
CHSS 90 -- QCSS 85 

January 3

CHSS 59--Caledonia 52
CHSS 66-- Caledonia 45

Dec 11-14 (North Shore Invitational)

CHSS 44 -- Kitsilano 62 (Kitsilano wins NSIT, 2nd place for Rainmakers)
CHSS 62 vs Sutherland  48 
CHSS 54 -- Carson Graham 45
CHSS 65 -- Belmont 46 

Dec 10

CHSS 66 -35 NWT

Dec 5-6 (Vanderhoof Tournament)

CHSS 73 -- Nechako Valley 58
CHSS 81 -- Duchess Park 52
CHSS 66 --  DP Todd 55

Senior Girls

Feb 25 -- Caledonia tops CHSS Senior Girls at 2015 zones
Dec 17-- Rainmakers press on without Captain

Senior Girls Scoreboard 2014-15

January 9-10 

CHSS 58 vs DP Todd 52 (OT) 
CHSS 60 vs Cedars Christian 66 
CHSS vs Vanderhoof (n/a)

January 3

CHSS 28 -- Caledonia 69

Junior Boys

March 3 -- Junior Girls Rainmakers ready for Provincials in Langley  NCR

February 17 -- Charles Hays Junior Girls claim NW banner; Junior Boys finish second in Terrace zones battle  NCR

January 26 -- CTA don pink for anti-bullying stance
January 21 -- Caledonia Jr. Boys ready to pounce
January 21-- Junior boys come through in the clutch
January 19-- Rainmakers squads find mixed results in weekend play  NCR
January 16-- Junior Boys Rainmakers host Coastal Clash this weekend  NCR

Junior Boys Scoreboard 2014-15

January 16 & 17


CHSS (1) 45 vs NESS 33 (Coastal Clash Championship Game)
CHSS (2) 42 vs Smithers 46
CHSS (1) 65 vs Cenntennial Christian 60
CHSS (2) 65 vs Mount Elizabeth 27


NESS 72 vs Rainmakers (2) 62
CHSS (1) 64 vs Smithers 41

January 9-10

1 Win, 2 Losses through their time in Prince George over the weekend.

Basketball Junior Girls

Junior Girls Provincial Championships March 4 to 7
(see website here) (twitter feed)

March 9 -- Prince Rupert teams put wrap on tournament experiences  NCR
March 4 -- Junior Girls on the hunt for B. C. Crown
March 3 -- Junior Girls Rainmakers ready for Provincials in Langley  NCR
February 17 -- Charles Hays Junior Girls claim NW banner; Junior Boys finish second in Terrace zones battle  NCR
January 19-- Rainmakers squads find mixed results in weekend play  NCR

Junior Girls Scoreboard 2014-15

January 18 (Hazelton)

CHSS 29 vs Smithers 53
CHSS 52 vs Houston Christian 28

January 9-10

CHSS 40 vs Duchess Park (b) 38 
CHSS 38 vs College Heights 50 
CHSS 29 vs Nechako Valley 33 

Junior Girls claimed a 4th Place finish in PG 1 Win 2 Losses

Remainder of Northwest BC Secondary Schools



2014-15 Prince Rupert


Remainder of Northwest British Columbia


Prince Rupert Middle School

2014-15 Prince Rupert

March 9 -- Prince Rupert teams put wrap on tournament experiences  NCR
March 6 -- Prince Rupert Middle School Storm battling hard at Grade 8 Invitational Provincials  NCR
March 4 -- Grade 8 Boys ready to handle B. C.'s best
February 25 -- Bring on Provincials

Remainder of Northwest British Columbia


Archive of items from 2013-14 and  2012-13

Airport Transportation the subject of short survey from Chamber of Commerce

As we mentioned earlier in the month, Prince Rupert now has a shiny new Airport shuttle terminal in the downtown area, a welcome (and dry) alternative for Air Canada passengers and those awaiting them to make use of beside the Rupert Hotel.

With the shuttle terminal situation taken care of,  moves continue to make the passenger experience a bit more enjoyable for North Coast residents and visitors.

Towards that goal, residents of the region are being asked to turn their attention towards the ground transportation option that takes us to the Digby Island airport.

The Chamber of Commerce is currently conducting a survey, asking those that participate if they would be willing to spend one dollar extra per round trip to and from the airport to help offset the cost of purchasing new buses.

If the plan is put in motion, the cash added on project to provide for more modern transportation options to YPR  would last for five years.

The rather rustic nature of some of the bus transportation to the airport has made for much discussion in the past, with Mayor Mussallem once mentioning the prison bus nature of the current transportation model.

The airport bus initiative is the latest in moves in the community to make the flight experience out of YPR a little more enjoyable.

The recent opening of the shuttle terminal and ongoing renovations to the Terminal building itself also are contributing to the make over to the image of the airport in the community.

Something that local airport officials no doubt are hoping will keep Prince Rupert travellers close to home, rather than taking the ninety minute trek to the Terrace airport and the flight options that it has to offer.

You can take the survey through the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce Facebook page, or by clicking on this link.

For more items of interest regarding Air transportation in the region see our archive page.

New Cash Mob destination to be revealed in October

The popular Cash Mob project will return to Prince Rupert in October, with organizers currently reviewing the growing list of potential stops, as they make plans to target a local business for a surprise surge of customers.

Saturday, October 18th appears to be the day that they have settled on for the next edition of the Cash Mob experience for the city.

On that day, participants prepared to spend at least twenty dollars will head off to the selected location, making for a fun filled spurt of business for the day.

Previous editions of the Cash Mob proved to be well received outings, with the Argosy Gallery and Ice House Gallery finding their shops filling up with customers, some who perhaps may have never been in the store before.

The program which is co-sponsored by the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce and Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest makes use of social media to advertise when and where participants should gather to launch the invasion of the target store.

You can nominate a local business for the October Cash Mob by using the Facebook page or twitter feed and marking your nomination with the hash tag #Spend20

More information on the October Mob scene will be delivered to the Rupert Reigns websitetwitter  feed and Facebook page as the excursion date of the 18th gets closer.

For more on developments in Prince Rupert's Commercial sector see our archive page.

School District 52's financials could be reduced as the Province claws back strike savings

Like many of British Columbia's School Districts, SD52 probably thought that some of that money that was saved in the District during the course of the labour dispute of the last four months, could make for a small little nest egg to put aside for future use this year.

However, if local administrators and Board members had plans to allocate some of those savings into required work or services around the district, the provincial government is about to deliver some bad news.

Friday the Ministry of Education advised School Districts across British Columbia that they would be reclaiming those savings from the dispute, with what appears to be a plan to fund the 40 dollar a day payment plan for parents that was in place while the schools were closed.

That take it all approach by the provincial government, is one that is not being received well by  a number of school districts across the province.

Many spoke out over the weekend, reminding the Ministry that they have suffered financial losses due to the dispute and that taking all of that available money back is just wrong.

In particular some districts are pointing out that they are now being required to pay for a program (the 40 dollar payment plan) which they had no say in.

Many are fearing that School Districts may struggle to balance their financial picture as result of the requirement to turn over the cash to the province.

In its letter to the School Districts, the Ministry of Education is reported to have stated that any District with a particular financial difficulty linked to the strike will be addressed on a case by case basis.

The claw back of money is just one indication as to how the strike may be over, but the effects from it will be mostly now felt by those in administration across the province.

A situation that leaves the School Districts to deal with the many issues that are left behind as the result of the acrimonious dispute.

Some notes on Friday's announcement from the province can be found below:

Province reclaims money saved during teachers' strike
B. C. looks to claw back all savings from school districts
B. C. school districts ordered to return all strike savings
Two levels of government fighting over teacher strike savings

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blog Watching, week ending September 28, 2014

Fall arrived on the North Coast earlier this week with sunny skies and warm temperatures, giving way however to the more traditional weather pattern by the time the weekend rolled around.

So, considering outdoor activities probably won't be high on your list today, settle in for our our weekly review.

Every Sunday we offer up a recap for the week 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 search for a Prince Rupert teenager and the announcement of his tragic death at Rainbow summit was the most viewed item of the last seven days, followed by our review of a highway fatality in the Terrace area which resulted in Highway 16 being closed for much of Thursday.

Developments from the UBCM convention in Whistler, as well as the bombshell announcement from the proponents of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project regarding concerns they have over the status of the project rounded out the top five items of the week.

Kicking off this weeks review of events, the search this week for a Prince Rupert teenager.

Prince Rupert RCMP launch search for missing teen -- Our original item on the search for a missing Prince Rupert teenager and the update reviewing the sad discovery of his body, was by far the most read item of the week.  (posted September 22 , 2014)

That item was followed by:

Highway 16 CLOSED east of Usk owing to fatal accident -- A two car vehicle incident east of Terrace which claimed one life and closed the highway for much of the day, proved to be an item of much interest to readers.   (posted September 25, 2014)

Minister Coleman seeks to reduce expectations of LNG tax windfall for Northern Municipalities -- Rich Coleman, Premier Christy Clark's point man on LNG delivers some stern advisories for municipal politicians and highlights the port payment structure in Prince Rupert as a potential blue print on LNG    (posted  September 24, 2014)

Petronas threatens to pull out of Pacific Northwest LNG project -- Thursday delivered a strong rebuke of the way the LNG file is being handled, with the proponent of the Pacific Northwest LNG project suggesting the proposed development could be shut down, if issues of taxation and incentives is not addressed. ( posted September 25, 2014 )

Premier Clark closes UBCM with a bit of history and a bit of forward thinking -- The UBCM gathering came to an end with the Premier's address, complete with some shout outs to Port Ed and Terrace for the pace of growth in those Northwest communities.  (posted September 27 , 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.

Our archive of weekly reviews can be found here.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

4.7 earthquake rumbles along Haida Gwaii

The earth shifted a bit under Haida Gwaii on Saturday afternoon, as the twin islands were rattled by a 4.7 magnitude temblor centred 143 kilometres south of Masset, with the epicentre located just off the western shore of the Islands.

The first reports of the rumble on the Islands started to come in shortly after 2 PM, with the USGS reporting that the time of the incident was 2:05 PM.

The seismic event featured a depth of 11.8 metres.

The Tsunami Warning Centre for Alaska, British Columbia and Washington State issued a notice advising that NO Tsunami would be generated from Saturday's quake on Haida Gwaii.

It follows by two days, the large 6.2 quake that struck south-central Alaska near Anchorage.

You can review our archive page of past seismic events here.

Update: Note quake intensity was reduced by USGS on Saturday afternoon to a 4.6 magnitude

Rainfall WARNING issued for North Coast - Inland sections

A moisture laden Pacific front approaching the North Coast, is set to make the rest of this weekend a very wet affair for the Prince Rupert and points inland, so much so that Environment Canada has issued a Rainfall Warning for the region.

For Prince Rupert rainfall levels are listed to total 45 mm through Saturday and a further 50 mm on Sunday, with winds increasing through the day Saturday to 80 km/h tonight and into Sunday.

Similar rainfall amounts are anticipated inland, with Stewart in particular to receive the most of the rain for inland locations. The system is setting the stage for a wet week for the North Coast, with rain and showers anticipated through the next seven days.

You can review the full forecast below.

Updates to the Weather Warning status and forecast can be found here.

Premier Clark closes UBCM with a bit of history and a bit of forward thinking

The 2014 edition of the UBCM convention came to an end on Friday, as Premier Clark brought the curtain down on the annual gathering of provincial and municipal politicians and their staff members from across the province.

The Premiers' address, which traditionally closes the week long get together, this year featured a review of some of British Columbia's past history , with the theme of consultation and dialogue a key point for reflection, pointing to the past as a way of finding a better way to discuss the concerns of today.

It was a speech that touched on current issues such as education, First Nations discussions, resource development, including that of the LNG industry, as well as the process of government at both the provincial and municipal level.

The Premier also outlined her thoughts on leadership at both levels of government and how all had to work together do a better job if the province is to find success.

Before she was finished, the Premier had provided a list of communities that she sees ready to thrive with new opportunities, "good stories" as she called them.

Locations where the Premier sees positive things happening with the promise of even better days to come.

For the Northwest the Premier had a pair of observations on the change taking place in some of the communities of the region, the majority of that change related to resource related activities, a theme she would touch on throughout her address.

She gave a nod to Terrace and the boom in housing in that community which according the Premier  has seen 190 homes built in the last two years, compared to years before 2012 where she observed that the average was 1 residence built per year.

Also on that list of good news stories was Port Edward, where Ms. Clark continued to show her affection for Mayor Dave McDonald, highlighting the spurt of real estate interest in the community.

"Dancin’ Dave MacDonald says there’s a house on the market in Port Ed for $445,000. Probably the highest listing ever in the town."

The Premier's shout outs to Port Edward and Terrace offers up an interesting contrast to how the thoughts of her Natural Gas Minister of just a few days previous, might have been received by Prince Rupert's representatives at the convention.

As we outlined in this item from earlier this week, when Rich Coleman opened up the convention on Monday, he offered up some tough talk on the nature of municipal revenue issues and pointed to the current system on Port taxation in place in Prince Rupert, as a potential blue print for other communities.

There was no reference to a dancin' Jack Mussallem as part of that review and for good reason, for much of this current term of Prince Rupert council, the Mayor and Council have made much comment on their desire to change that very same financial system on port issues that was praised by the LNG  minister.

Judging by Mr. Coleman's words of Monday, any revision to that system, or increase of revenues from it seems rather unlikely in the near future.

Other themes from the Premier's address that might make for a conversation on the trip home for the Prince Rupert delegation, were her thoughts on municipal financials.

During her speech, Ms. Clark highlighted such items as compensation levels at the municipal level, property taxation and municipal expenditures. Pointing out to the delegates that in some cases, the municipalities are spending at a higher rate than what the province does.

Those financial concepts are items that Ms. Clark would like to see discussed as part of this year's Municipal election campaign. With the Premier reminding the municipalities that the provincial government has no intention of raising taxes and won't commit to items that they cannot afford, declaring to the delegates that the Province "won't kick the ball down for the next generation to figure out".

With the November vote fast approaching the Premier observed that municipalities have decisions to make, with a need to understand the reality of our times.

Throughout her address, the Premier returned to the conversation and dialogue theme. Looking to use recent engagement in such issues as the recent education dispute, First Nations issues or discussions related to resource development, as a bench mark for the future.

For many of the municipal delegates at UBCM however, that theme of a quest for better dialogue may not be quite apparent at the moment.

The five days at Whistler provided for a fair amount of frustration for many attending the convention, as the Province rejected their thoughts on issues related to BC Ferries and delivered a hard hitting rebuke when it comes to seeking a larger municipal return from any potential LNG windfall.

Both of those are topics of much importance to Prince Rupert and after this week, on those issues and probably a number more, it would seem that there is going to be a need for much more dialogue and understanding between the two levels of government.

You can review the full text of the Premier's speech here, a look at some of the reviews of her address to UBCM can be found below.

Fiscal standoff between province and municipalities dominates UBCM convention
Don't pay your staff so much, Premier Christy Clark tells B. C. municipalities
In UBCM speech, Clark says path of peace shapes B.C. future
Premier says path of peace of schools, resources shapes BC's future
Premier delivers message on fiscal restraint to UBCM
Christy Clark tells UBCM dialogue will shape province's future
Premier wants municipal pay to be election issue
Clark says path of peace on schools, aboriginals, resources, shapes B. C. future

For a full review of the week at Whistler, see our UBCM archive page here.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Council candidate urges quick movement on Northwest Alliance initiative

A candidate for Prince Rupert City Council is offering his thoughts on the recent discussion at Prince Rupert City Council regarding potential membership in the Northwest Alliance initiative, with Blair Mirau suggesting that Council move sooner, rather than later in joining in with the Northwest collective.

In a media release from Thursday, the City council hopeful outlined his thoughts on why Prince Rupert should move quickly to line up with other Northwest communities.

Highlighting how the collective regional approach to shared issues, may provide some assistance towards the city's infrastructure debt and the stresses that future development may provide for the community.

Mr. Mirau also stressed how the concept of building partnerships and sharing knowledge with other communities was a key part of his city council campaign, suggesting that the City should not miss out on the opportunity to work with and learn from other Northwest communities.

The Northwest Alliance initiative, which was created in July of this year to start revenue sharing discussions with the Provincial government, was first mentioned at Prince Rupert City Council at the September 15th session.

During the session, Mayor Jack Mussallem provided a short description of how it worked, with the Mayor advising that Council would soon receive a report on the initiative for further consideration on the theme.

You can review the Mayor's presentation to Council and look over some background information on the Resource Benefits Alliance program from our item of September 18th.

More on the 2014 Municipal election campaign can be found on our archive page.

After a week of UBCM setbacks, City Council might have some new additions for the Provincial Budget Consultations

Considering how things have gone at Whistler this week for the City of Prince Rupert delegation, the deadline to make further submissions for the upcoming Provincial Budget Consultation sessions may be one date that the City won't want to miss.

During this week's UBCM gathering in Whistler, the City has seen a number of the key concerns they had prior to the convention more or less  swatted aside by the provincial government.

One involved the recent UBCM Ferries review and the call for a return to previous levels of funding and service for the ferry system, a recommendation from the municipal body that for the most part was dismissed by the BC Liberal government.

Transport Minister Todd Stone's rather vocal criticism of the UBCM review appeared to set the tone of the week, suggesting that the two levels of government in the province appear to be very far apart on a key transportation issue.

Then there was the Monday speech from LNG Development Minister Rich Coleman, where  he cautioned against expecting too much out of taxation on the LNG industry as it seeks to find its footing in the province.

A review which even had the Minister highlight aspects of the current port taxation system in place in Prince Rupert, observing to the larger UBCM audience, that it perhaps would make for a good blue print for the province to put in place when it comes to LNG development.

A declaration, which as the city's past comments on the port revenue situation indicate, would be a system that doesn't quite deliver the level of financial reward that northern cities might be hoping for.

Those cautionary notes from Mr. Coleman however, were but the preamble to the larger bombshell delivered on Thursday from far off Malaysia.

Comments from Petronas chair Shamsul Abbas, provided for some serious sabre rattling yesterday, points of concern from the energy giant that appear designed to deliver a message to the provincial government on financial expectations and the lack of progress on moving the LNG files ahead.

The threat of outright cancellation of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project for Lelu Island, which at the moment is the most advanced of all the proposed developments for the region, was a talking point that echoed across the North Coast for most of Thursday.

It has been a week of rather faced paced developments, many which suggest that the financial picture today for the region, could change with very little warning.

Offering up the  prospect of the City having to revise their own budgetary expectations for the years ahead, as well as to again address what they might wish to see the Provincial Government take action on when it comes to issues of concern for the region.

All of which leads us to the Provincial Government's budget consultation process, as the All-Party Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services continues with their current public engagement efforts.

The Prince Rupert public hearing session appears to have slipped under the radar this time around, taking place earlier this month according to the schedule posted to the Committee website.

Leaving interested North Coast residents or groups to provide any further contribution by way of a written submission, or sending an audio or video file submission to the committee.

Participants can also make use of an online survey available on the finance committee website.

For the City, the race to the deadline on the consultations could provide one more opportunity to deliver more background to their concerns, as well as to deliver their thoughts regarding the impact that the Provincial budget planning could have on the community.

The key date for Prince Rupert Council and any other local groups interested in making a submission is Friday, October 17th, which is the deadline for submissions.

You can learn more about the process from the Standing Committee on Finance Website.