Thursday, March 31, 2016

School District Calendar issue to continue on until April 12th meeting

It may be back to square one
for SD52 when it comes to
deciding on a School Calendar
for 2017
The process that SD 52 trustees are using when it comes to picking a School calendar for 2016-17 is apparently proving to be a bit more complicated than most residents of the region might think.

As we noted on the blog yesterday, SD52 trustees were to vote on the calendar issue at a Special Open Board meeting held last night, what was expected to be the final word on what the Spring Break of 2017 would look like.

However, in a media release from today, the School District has advised that with trustee Terri-Lynne Huddlestone giving notice that she will be asking the Board to reconsider its decision of March 15th, the process will now be deferred until the next meeting of the School Board, which takes place on April 12th.

At that time, the School District will reconsider the previously dismissed proposal of a two week break at the mid-month period of March of 2017.

Should the motion for reconsideration be passed by a 2/3 majority on April 12th, that proposal will be back on the table for a full debate, along with the two other options that the School District has been studying.

The surprising development marks the latest twist in what has become a lengthy attempt to settle on some kind of certainty for the year ahead.

Since we may soon be back at the starting line for the entire process, a review of the long running calendar debate can be found below:

March 30 -- Decision Day for SD52 on School Calendar issue
March 17 -- Community reaction builds as SD52 stays with one week break for Spring of 2017
March 15 -- School District to host public forum on 2017 School Calendar tonight

More background on developments with School District 52 can be found on our archive page here.

City looks to sell Cow Bay land to Prince Rupert Port Authority

Tucked away in the back pages of Wednesday's weekly newspaper is a notice from the City of Prince Rupert of its plan to sell two parcels of land in the Cow Bay area to the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The land to be sold appears to make up the median that leads to the Prince Rupert Cruise Terminal and the Parking Lot across from the Atlin Terminal in Cow Bay, the proposed sale described as fee simple.

The two areas to be sold are noted as Area A and Area B on the map below:

The City of Prince Rupert has declared its notice of intention
to sell two parcels of land in the Cow Bay area to the
Prince Rupert Port Authority

The value of the property is estimated to be $933,223.00 and it's noted in the Public Notice of this week that the property is not available for public acquisition.

To this point there is no notice posted to the City of Prince Rupert website, leaving the Public Notice in the weekly paper as the only advisory on the Intent to Sell.

There has also been no public discussion in Council chambers this year related to the prospect of selling the city owned land.

It's not the first time that the topic of selling the Atlin area parking lot and the median in the area has come up for review.  Back in March of 2006 the City gave consideration to selling the land, with then Mayor Pond stating at the time that the city was hoping to see the property developed by local business owners for use on a year round basis.

Eventually the City would list the properties with Colliers International which described the properties as such:

Property Description (2006):

Colliers International on behalf of the City of Prince Rupert is pleased to present the exclusive sale offering of the Atlin Uplands Waterfront development sites. The Atlin Uplands represents 3 land parcels of prime waterfront development opportunity. 

Located along the harbourfront in the Cow Bay area of Prince Rupert, the lands provide for mixed-use development with spectacular views, easy access, and close proximity to local amenities. The Atlin Uplands are arguably the most strategically located development opportunities in the City. 

The City of Prince Rupert is seeking Proposals for a Purchase and Sale or Lease of the lands in an effort to promote year round activities on the lands. The lands are comprised of three distinct yet connected sites totaling approximately 70,000 sq.ft

As the city still owns the land in question, those efforts of ten years ago didn't provide for the kind of financial reward that the City had clearly been hoping for.

The City would subsequently pave the land over at the time, making use of the property as a seasonal pay parking lot in recent years.

One of two parcels of land (on the right) that the City has provided notice of its intent
to sell to the Prince Rupert Port Authority

Anyone who has any questions concerning the proposed disposition of land, is asked to submit written comments to Rory Mandryk, the City's  Corporate Administrator.

You can submit your comments by email to, by fax at 250-627-0999, or by mailing them, or dropping them off at City Hall, 424 3rd Avenue West V8J 1L7.

The deadline to submit comments related to the proposed sale is 4 PM Friday, April 8th, 2016.

For more items related to developments from the City of Prince Rupert see our Council Discussion page here.

Port Interpretive Centre to host Container Expansion project presentation next week

The expansion of Fairview Terminal
will be the topic of the next
Trades Talk session at the Port
The shape of Prince Rupert's waterfront is about to change once again as the 200 million dollar expansion of Fairview Terminal continues on towards its 2017 completion date.

As part of their Trade Talks program, the Prince Rupert Port Authority is hosting a public information session for those looking to learn more about the project which will increase the capacity of the container terminal and provide for more employment opportunities on the North Coast.

The event takes place Wednesday, April 6th from 11:45 to 1 PM at the Port Interpretive Centre in Cow Bay, with Terry Stewart, the project director for the FRPD-BEL Gateway Joint Venture providing the update on the progress of the expansion at Fairview.

Lunch will be provided for those that plan to attend.

Seating is limited, so reservations are required, you can secure your spot at next week's information Centre by calling 250-627-2532.

The Trade Talks program provides an overview of port related projects and operations for North Coast residents, making for a valuable opportunity to keep ahead of developments and for local businesses it offers the chance to learn how they could fit into the supply chain related to current and upcoming industrial projects.

You can learn more about items related to the Prince Rupert Port Authority from our archive page here.

Tom Foolery at the Tom Rooney on your April Fool's to do list

April Fool's and the Tom Rooney
Playhouse, a Friday night show
to celebrate the day of humour 
Tomorrow is the day dedicated to pranks and gotchas, a few short hours where amateurs channel their inner stand up and deliver comedic gold, or what passes for it in some cases.

Then there's the professionals, and this Friday the troupe of Harbour Theatre will once again unleash their own North Coast brand of humour on the day dedicated to all that's mischievous with Sacred Cows to be gored in an evening of frivolity.

Fool's Gold is set for the Tom Rooney playhouse Friday evening, with the doors opening at 7:30 and the festivities to follow shortly after you've settled into your seats.

Admission is 10 dollars for the two hour show and will be available at the door.

Beverages are available at the bar on a cash basis, you can find out more about the Hook, line and Snicker presentation from the Facebook page created for Friday night's event.

WCC LNG seeks extension of permit process for LNG exports

Exxon Mobil have applied for an
extension to their permit for LNG exports
to last up to 40 years.

For the moment, the majority of the North Coast focus on LNG of late has been related to the status of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, with the proposed development currently in the midst of a ninety day pause to their Environmental Assessment process, before the Federal cabinet will begin its review process.

However, there is news of note from one of the other proponents of LNG development in the region, with word that Exxon Mobil Canada has submitted an application to extend the permit of its North Coast project to 40 years, an increase of fifteen years from the original terms approved in 2014.

The proposed development has targeted Tuck Inlet as a potential option for terminal operations which would see 30 million tonnes of LNG shipped per year.

On Tuesday, the National Post outlined some of the background to that request for an extended timeline, noting that Exxon Mobil has entered into a number of confidentiality agreements with several pipeline companies to deliver the gas to an LNG terminal.

The Exxon Mobil moves were also reviewed by the Globe and Mail's Brent Jang, who has been following the path of all of the proposed North Coast LNG developments in recent years.

The proposed Tuck Inlet project is to be developed on land that the City of Prince Rupert brought inside the city limits as Lot 444 in 2014, since that time Exxon Mobil has provided a stream of revenue to the City through the city's Legacy Fund as it continues to investigate the site for its development plans.

The global energy company has included it's Tuck Inlet concept in its 2015 Annual Report which was recently released.  In a short passage related to the North Coast prospects the company noted:

Exxon/Mobil/Imperial Oil are in the early stages of project assessment and planning for a proposed LNG project in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Through our jointly owned affiliate WCC LNG Ltd. Exxon Mobil and Imperial Oil received an export license  in 2013 from the National Energy Board to export up to 30 million tonnes of LNG per year for 25 years. Engineering and environmental studies continued in 2015, support concept selection and regulatory activity for the project.

The full report can be reviewed from the Exxon Mobil website.
The Prince Rupert mention can be found on page 31.

For more items related to the WCC LNG proposal see our archive page here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Oldfield Creek Fish Hatchery holding AGM tonight

One of the North Coast's most popular destinations and one which offers a key element to the region's natural environment is hosting its Annual General Meeting tonight and a call for volunteers is just one of the ways that local residents can get involved.

The Oldfield Creek Fish Hatchery will host its AGM from 7 to 8 tonight at the Wantage Road facility, offering both a chance to provide behind the scenes assistance or to jump right into the life cycle of wild salmon on the North Coast.

The facility which has provided educational programs for Prince Rupert's school children through the years has a number of positions available for all ranges of experience and for those with none at all, training is provided for those that have an interest in what the hatchery is all about.

If you can't make it to the AGM tonight, you can still offer up your services find out more about the Hatchery from their Facebook page here.

Major Crimes Unit called in to investigate last week's fatal fire in Prince Rupert

Last week's fire which resulted in one fatality has now been deemed suspicious by the Prince Rupert detachment of the RCMP, with the Major Crimes Unit now called in to investigate the March 24th incident.

That fire was reported in the early hours of March 24th, with members of the Prince Rupert Fire-Rescue Department and BC Ambulance Service also attending to the scene.

While they provide few details as to how they believe the fire may be suspicious, the local detachment is now asking for further help from the public as they move forward in their investigation.

Major Crime investigators are asking anyone who may have witnessed anything, or anyone suspicious in the neighbourhood 2-3 hours prior to the discovery of the fire to come forward with anything they might have to assist officers in their work.

In recent days, members of the detachment have been seen going door to door along the Sixth Avenue West area making inquiries of residents in the neighbourhood.

If you have any information related to the fatal fire, you are asked to contact the RCMP at 250-624-2136  or through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

More on the shift in focus of the investigation can be found here.

For more items related to North West emergency response see our archive page here.

Decision Day for SD52 on School Calendar issue

SD52 will return to
considering the School Calendar
for 2017 at a session tonight
School District 52 officials are scheduled to meet once again tonight in a special Session outside of the regular Board meetings, hoping to bring some resolution to the controversial issue of what next years School Calendar will look like.

The topic has been one of much discussion since the last SD52 Board meeting of mid March, with one of the three concepts to be considered, that of a two week break from March 13 to 24 defeated at that time in a tie vote.

The Option two model was discarded from further consideration, despite information provided to the Board that feedback from parents and stakeholders had stated a preference for the two week break earlier in the month.

That would appear to leave the School District with the two remaining options for review tonight, the first of a two week break from March 20th to 31st of 2017, or continuing with the current model of a One week Spring break from March 20-24 of 2017.

The background to the process can  be found from the notes of the most recent Board meeting which were recently posted to the SD52 website

A look at the three calendars can be reviewed here.

The decision to abandon Option Two and move forward to consider the other concepts, made for a decision that stirred up some social media commentary related to the decision, with a fair bit of anger at times directed towards the School Board membership for their stance at the time.

It all leaves SD officials with much to consider tonight as part of their discussion, focused on the review of the remaining options, as well as the background that public comment and stakeholder concerns offer to the process.

Also looming large for SD officials is how they can resolve the current split on the issue on the Board, a situation which has been exacerbated by having one position on the Board still unfilled after the November departure of trustee Judy Carlick-Pearson.

That has created the ongoing prospect of a tie vote at SD meetings, with only six member available to vote on many issues that the School Board considers.

No official notice of the meeting has been posted to the SD52 website, leaving residents with only a March 15th media release to provide guidance as to the nature of tonight's session.

You can review some of the past items of note from the discussion from our archive page here.

Austism Speaks hosting first ever walk for Autism on Saturday

Mariner's Park will be the start and finish line for a Saturday walk in support of World Autism Day, organized by local residents the first ever walk for the community will take participants from Mariner's Park through the Cow Bay Loop and back to the park.

The walk is part of the day dedicated to creating more awareness of Autism.

Registration and Information on the Saturday event starts at 9:30 AM, with the walk itself taking place starting at 10.

Following the walk, Mariner's will also play host to face painting, colouring, autism awareness information as well as an opportunity to take a survey and qualify for a number of prizes.

You can find out more about Saturday's event from their facebook page here.

NWCC to receive funding for new training equipment

Advanced Minister Andrew Wilkinson
in Terrace Tuesday for a funding
announcement for NWCC
Students in health care and trades training courses at Northwest Community College will soon have new equipment to make use of as part of their studies.

The province of British Columbia's Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson announced that the college will receive 269,850 dollars towards a range of items including an intravenous pump for health care students, an abrasive mitre saw for welding students and a snap-on vehicle scanner for heavy-duty mechanic students.

“This investment in equipment is a boost to our training programs. It means that NWCC students are getting first-hand experience with the most current industry technologies ... That builds confidence and instils flexibility as students enter or return to the workforce.” -- NWCC President and CEO Ken Burt on recent funding from the province for trades training.

The latest funding announcement adds to the more than three million dollars that has been delivered to NWCC since the province launched its BC's Skills for Jobs Blueprint program in 2014.

The Advanced Education Minister made the announcement as part of a tour of the Terrace facility on Tuesday, the new equipment would appear to be destined for the main campus in Terrace.

learn more the trades program at NWCC here, while information on the health care program can be found here.

For more on Tuesday's announcement see this background piece here.

Further notes on Northwest Community College can be found here.

Safe Navigation System now in place for Prince Rupert harbour

Prince Rupert's Seal Cove
Marine Traffic Centre will
soon be making use of a
new shore based radar system
The latest addition towards safe navigation of the approaches to Prince Rupert harbour is in place, with the final installation now complete for a shore based radar system that will provide coverage that extends to the northeast of Haida Gwaii and as far north as Alaskan border.

Twenty crates holding the components for the Shore based system arrived at the Prince Rupert Coast Guard base last week, the last leg of the journey to Prince Rupert following a departure from France.

Testing will take place over the next few months to break in the new equipment and train Coast Guard personnel in the new addition to their navigation equipment at the Seal Cove facility.

It's anticipated that the new system will go live on line in July.

The five million dollar project which was jointly funded by the Port of Prince Rupert, RCMP and  Western Economic Diversification Canada, operation and maintenance of the system will be provided by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Three locations are being used for the system with elevated radar sites at Prince Rupert Grain, Mount Hays and Dundas Island providing Seal Cove with eyes far off into the distance away from the harbour entrance.

The plan for the shore based radar project was first introduced in July of 2015

The new 5 million dollar shore based radar system will make use of
stations located at Dundas Island, Mount Hays and Prince Rupert Grain

A second safety enhancement is also in place to serve better navigation of the inner harbour with the announcement of the Kaien Island Sector Light project, the 500,000 dollar visual aid to identify the centre of the navigation channel. Like the shore based radar system it will be maintained by the Coast Guard.

Captain Gary Paulson, the Prince Rupert Harbour Master and Vice President of Operations for the Port outlined the scope of the additional items in the goal of safe transit of Prince Rupert harbour and the partnerships that the Port has formed towards safety issues.

“These projects represent significant investments by the Port of Prince Rupert to ensure industry leading marine safety and security practices are in place to accommodate the significant growth in Canadian trade being contemplated within our jurisdiction,”  ... “The strong partnerships we’ve established with agencies like Canadian Coast Guard and Pacific Pilotage Authority allow us to proactively plan for increased vessel traffic as a result of our current expansion and proposed developments.”

The most recent statistics from the Port note that there are nearly 500 annual commercial vessel calls at Port facilities, traffic that mixes with the local recreational and fishing vessels in the region on a daily basis.

More background on the two safety additions can be found here.

The additional safety measures come as expansion plans continue for the Fairview Container Terminal and a range of other industrial projects continue to move forward in the region, which could bring increases to shipping levels out of the Port of Prince Rupert.

For more items related to Port developments see our archive page here.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Application deadline for Community Foundation Grants coming up fast

Local groups on the North Coast only have a few more days to submit their application to the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation, the local organization that offers up funding for local projects that may require a bit of financial assistance.

The Regional Foundation first delivered its initial grants in 2003 and has provided for further funding for a number of projects over the years, which you can review here.

The main provision of the funding that the grants be used to fund the acquisition or repair of fixed or tangible assets, the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation cannot consider requests to fund ongoing programs or general operation expenses.

Among some of the areas that the Foundation Review group considers for funding are: the relief of poverty, educational needs, social welfare, and health issues, programs for aged, programs for the disabled, preservation and protection of environment, advancement of the arts, prevention of delinquency and prevention of substance abuse

You can access Grant Application form here, it offers up more background on what is required as part of the application process, applicants also are required to provide financial information related to the project they are seeking funding for.

In addition to seeking funding from the Foundation, they also are accepting donations from Friends of the PRRCF. Those that do provide a gift to the Foundation can use their contribution as a tax deduction.

You can learn more about that process and discover more background about the Foundation here.

The deadline for this years Grant applications is Thursday, March 31, 2016.

Cosco lines celebrates the success of its Prince Rupert gateway

Cosco Shipping Lines Prince Rupert
route continues to attract interest
from global shippers
It's an arrangement that began back in 2007, when the Cosco container service launched its presence on the Prince Rupert waterfront and judging by the comments to an influential American transportation magazine, Cosco is more than happy with how its industry footprint on the North Coast is working out.

An item in a recent edition of the Journal of Commerce offers up some glowing tributes to the Prince Rupert service highlighting the efficiencies that the Fairview Terminal has offered, from optimum weather and delay free customs clearance to the growing reputation that the Port of Prince Rupert is gaining in world shipping circles.

Growing from the early days of one shipment per week through Prince Rupert, Cosco now has three weekly calls at Fairview Terminal, with the direct links to the American markets and the ability of Prince Rupert to provide security screening upon landing as something that is on the mind of shippers who look towards future risk and how to address any issues that may need to be addressed.

The Prince Rupert Port Authority recently celebrated the return of the CoscoCCLA Fortune
to Fairview Terminal, the vessel the larges container ship ever to call on Prince Rupert.
The global shipping line recently made note of the many factors that have contributed
to its expansion of service to Fairview Terminals.
(photo courtesy of Prince Rupert Port Authority twitter feed)

Cosco's plans for Prince Rupert seem quite locked in, with further expansion of service seemingly part of their expanding shipping organization.

Cosco is also finding that more and more shippers are looking to include Prince Rupert as an option in their transportation contracts, something that can only be considered good news for Fairview and any future expansion plans that it may have.

You can review the full Journal of Commerce article here.

For more items related to developments at the Port of Prince Rupert see our archive page here.

City's Housing Committee gets closer to delivering Report to Province

At the end of last week's Prince Rupert City Council session, Mayor Lee Brain provided the latest of reports for Council on the progress of on the work of the affordable housing Committee in town.

Mayor Brain noted that there are two streams in place at the moment, one to construct an actual physical new affordable housing development the type of which has still to be determined,  noting that the city has identified a few lots available to be donated for development, whether it be Seniors Housing or assisted living which still have to be discussed

Adding that he will be calling Council together for a workshop on that concept, in order to determine where to go from that point.

The Mayor observed that the second stream will focus on services around affordable housing and what supports that those that live in assisted living will require.

A Draft Report on those items compiled by the Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society and will soon be forwarded to the Provincial government, Council will review the Draft Report and then come up with a concept on affordable housing to bring the two streams together.

Mayor Brain also made note of the planned funding initiatives from the Federal Government and how the City may have an opportunity to access some of that capital that may be available.

You can review the Mayor's presentation to Council from the City's You Tube Council archive page, the housing discussion starts at the 55 minute mark.

While the Prince Rupert Committee gets closer to providing the Draft Report for the Province to move its housing initiatives forward,  progress is being found in a couple of other Northwest communities.

Both Kitimat and Terrace continue to work towards addressing their own affordable housing concerns. The two communities to the east seem to be making some strong progress in their plans, with zoning issues and project designs now in the formative stage.

In Kitimat, the Regional District noted that a local hotel complex in the community may soon be turned into affordable housing to address the needs there.

Kitimat considers rezoning for affordable housing project

While Terrace and two non-profit groups are working on plans for a Southside housing development.

Affordable housing project for Southside

More items related to last week's Council session can be found on our Council Timeline, while more background on City Council issues can be reviewed as part of our Council Archive.

For more items related to housing in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Two NW Ghost Towns haunt the lists of British Columbia Magazine

With the 2016 tourism season just over the horizon, British Columbia Magazine is offering up a unique tour of the provinces, offering up a couple of Northwest haunts for their listing of the Top Ten Ghost Towns forgotten by time.

Kitsault at the head of Alice Arm gets a nod from British Columbia Magazine, which notes the history of the community dating back to 1918 and how mining operations dictated the successes and failures for the town.

The other community from the Northwest that may find an increase in visitors this summer is Cassiar, tucked away north of Dease Lake, like Kitsault, mining was its main claim to fame. It was established in 1952 and was closed in 1992.  A short rebirth followed in 1999, with a fire on Christmas Day of 2000 burning down the mill which was doing reclamation work.

You can review the two Northwest entries in the list of ten BC ghost towns here.

It's not the first time that the two communities have been mentioned as part of a list of ghost towns in the province.

The National Post featured Kitsault and Anyox in a September 2015 article

Globe BC featured Kitsault as part of its Ghost Town Mysteries series in 2014.

Not surprisingly, the comments section of the BC Magazine article is becoming an arguments page, with some sharing their favourite BC ghost towns, making their case for why their choice should have taken the place of one of the ten listed

Monday, March 28, 2016

Real Estate Tracker, week ending March 27, 2016

Our weekly review of the listings of the local real estate agents, tracking those properties which appear to be driving the local price structure for the North Coast.

Every Monday, we look over the listing prices of the past seven days and outline the Top 10 asking prices in the area, providing a snap shot as to where the Real Estate market may be trending on a week to week basis.

The listings below are purely for information purposes, for further background on the properties recorded, see our links page for access to the individual real estate listings.

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here.

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending March 27 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate
West Side March 27, 2016

Prince Rupert Real Estate
East Side March 27, 2016

One property from the east side of the city was removed from the listings for the last week, a deduction from the list of ten that has returned a property from Alpine Drive back to the overview of properties for the next seven days.

The ask price for the returning properties remained unchanged over the course of the week, while the bottom end of our list now marked to the 459,500 dollar mark.

The shift in balance finds three properties For Sale found east of McBride, while the remaining seven properties from this weeks listings are on the west side of the city.

Below find our findings as of the Week ending March 27, 2016

160 Van Arsdol Street                  $639,900   -- Remax
2040 Graham Avenue                   $595,000  -- Royal Lepage
333 - 11th Avenue East                $575,000  --  Royal Lepage
2085 Graham Avenue                   $550,000 --  Realty Executives
1724 Graham Avenue                   $545,000  -- Royal Lepage
1253 Conrad Street                       $497,000  --  Remax
144 Gull Crescent                         $469,900 --  Remax
1125 Summit Avenue                   $469,900  --  Remax
1735 Graham Avenue                   $469,000  --  Remax
100 Alpine Drive                          $459,500  --  Remax

For more items related to Real Estate see our archive page here.

For background on Housing issues in the region see our past items here.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Blog Watching, Week ending, March 27, 2016

LNG issues captured the two top spots in our list of five this week, with the Province of British Columbia looking to held keep the Pacific NorthWest LNG project on track.

Prince Rupert Council also provided for a rare mention of the LNG project proposed for the Port Edward region, with both Councillor Thorkelson and Mayor Brain offering up some thoughts on the nature of the latest delay to the decision timeline.

One final look at the Northwest hockey scene captured a fair bit of attention this week, as readers checked up regularly on the progress of the Coy Cup, the tournament which has been hosted by Terrace came to an end on Saturday night.

Readers took note of our item on a fire in the early hours of Thursday morning claimed one life, as well as our review of the thoughts of a number of residents from the McKay Street area, who took advantage of the public forum of Monday evening to share their concerns with City Council.

However, the top item of the week turns to the latest delay for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project and what steps the province of B. C. are taking to try and keep the proposed development on target towards a positive announcement.

British Columbia government looks to "overcome delay' related to extended EA review of Pacific NorthWest LNG project-- The British Columbia government looks to bring the Pacific NorthWest LNG project to the final stage as the Federal Government grants a 90 day delay . (posted March 22, 2016)

That article was followed by:

Prince Rupert Council outlines some thoughts on the Pacific NorthWest LNG delays -- With the timeline of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project now delayed a further 90 days, the issue became a discussion topic at City Council. (posted March 23, 2016)

Terrace River Kings play the host as Coy Cup launches tonight --  The hockey season in the Northwest comes to a conclusion with Terrace hosting the provincial Coy Cup championships. (posted March 22, 2016)

Early Morning fire claims one life in Prince Rupert --  Prince Rupert Fire-Rescue, RCMP members and BC ambulance personnel responded to a Thursday morning fire in the central-west region of the city, which tragically claimed one life ( posted March 24, 2016)

Council hears of a string of concerns from the McKay Street area -- During the course of Monday's City Council session, Council members heard of a number of issues on the minds of residents of the citys' McKay street neighbourhood (posted March 23, 2016)

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.

You can also review the full listings of the week just past from our Blog Archive index page found on the right hand side of the 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. Underneath the Follow the North Coast Review by Email indicator.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Civic Centre is Easter Hunt central for Sunday

It's a busy weekend for Prince Rupert's young Easter egg hunters, with local youth having wrapped up the Rotary Club's Easter Egg hunt on Saturday and making plans for another big event on Easter Sunday at the Prince Rupert Civic Centre.

The City of Prince Rupert's Recreation Centre has a big day planned for Sunday afternoon, with an Easter Egg hunt set for those Six years of age and under at 11 AM and a second hung for those 7 and above at 12:30.

Participants are reminded to bring a basket to collect their eggs.

As well there will be a Free Swim at the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre from 2 until 4 PM.  Recreation staff will also be handing out Candy and watching over a number of games as part of Sunday's always popular event.

Sunday also bring an end to the Month long Jelly Bean competition, which has offered the chance for those that drop into the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre to put in their count for how many Jelly Beans might be found in the container on display.

The official count will be revealed at 4 PM, with entries received until that point, those that have the sharpest eyes at estimates are in line for one of three chances to win a prize.

You can get updates on Recreation Centre developments from their Facebook Page here.

River Kings push through tournament week to Coy Cup Final tonight

The Coy Cup will be awarded
tonight as Terrace takes on
Fort St. John in the
Tournament Final
It's been a wildly successful week for the host Terrace River Kings as the CIHL team has taken advantage of its duties as Coy Cup host city to make a strong run for the AA championship trophy, remaining undefeated through the preliminary round to secure a berth in tonight's Coy Cup Final.

The River Kings started their run on Tuesday evening with a tournament ice breaker draw against Fort St. John, with both teams leaving the ice with a point after a 3-3 tie.

Wednesday saw the River Kings topple the visiting Whitehorse Huskies 6-3, while Thursday the River Kings knocked off the CIHL champs Smithers Steelheads 6-2, securing their spot in tonight's wrap up to a very successful tournament.

The River Kings will face a Fort St. John team that came on strong in Friday night's semi final toppling the Whitehorse Huskies 7-3 to secure their place in the championship game.

It's been a remarkable run for the River Kings, who were eliminated early in the CIHL Western Division playoff round and faced almost a one month wait before returning to the ice in a competitive match.

Making the most of their home ice advantage, they have raised the level of their play at just the right time to take on their three competitors who have had some long battles along the way to their Coy Cup appearance.

Puck drop goes at 7 PM at the Terrace Sportsplex and should feature a loud and boisterous home
town crowd behind them as they look to bring the 2015-16 hockey season for the Northwest to a successful end.

You can review some of the past items of interest from tournament week from our archive page here.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Mexican Food the latest option for North Coast food fans

Nadia and Fran├žois of Much Gusto
Catering are cooking up a new
taste sensation for the North Coast

Their work is more along the lines of a pop up kitchen at the moment, but a longer term plan could see a more formal setting for the newest addition to Prince Rupert's growing epicurean options.

Mucho Gusto Catering is the featured attraction in the latest of business updates from the Thrive North business initiative, which has provided assistance to local entrepreneurs looking to launch their business dreams on the North Coast.

The Mucho Gusto story provides a glimpse into just what is required to get a business plan from the concept stage to the development process, as Nadia Halward and her husband Fran├žois Blanchet traced the path they took to get their project off the ground.

The pair have started their journey out as a form of kitchen for hire catering service, providing Mexican fare at the recent Marine Bonspiel at the Prince Rupert Curling club, as well as through a food cart service that you may find frequently located at the Cow Bay Wheelhouse Brewery.

That addition to their business concept came after the pair of local entrepreneurs recently reached a deal with the popular gathering spot to offer up their cuisine on Friday nights.

A sample of the kind of tempting delights that they have to offer can be found from the menu items listed below, click on the images to enlarge:

The review of the early stages of their business plan and what they have in mind for the future can be found here.

To keep up to date on their future events learn more about Mucho Gusto Catering from their Facebook page.

More items on Prince Rupert's Commercial sector can be found on our archive page here.

Petronas to continue talks on Pacific NorthWest LNG as review continues

The Malaysian energy giant Petronas, which has ambitions for the development of an LNG Terminal facility at Lelu Island will continue to work with the federal government to investigate its options to move the project forward.

LNG World News, an online publication that watches developments in the energy sector has taken note of a Reuters report this week that highlights the latest in information notes on the topic from Petronas officials.

Reuters relayed a statement from a Petronas Vice President speaking to an industry conference last week,  which delivered an update of sorts as to the current status of the Canadian project.

"We will continue to work constructively with the Canadian government and regulators to see how we can move forward," Adnan Zainol Abidin, Petronas vice president of global LNG projects.

The Environmental Assessment process for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project was stopped just days short of the original timeline for completion, that after the CEAA requested a three month pause to seek out further information related to the proposed Lelu Island development.

That pause was granted by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna last weekend, and will now see Pacific NorthWest officials offering up clarification on a number of concerns that the CEAA had following some late minute information from the company.

The CEAA identified four areas where more information from Pacific NorthWest LNG is required as part of the EA process, those include:

Effects of marine construction activities on fish and fish habitat and marine animals

Effects of marine structures on fish habitat including Flora Bank

Effects of construction noise and light on human health

Effects on current Aboriginal use of lands and resources for traditional purposes

While a final decision on the fate of the North Coast LNG project from the Federal Liberal Cabinet is now delayed until June at the earliest, Petronas continues to seek ways reduce its costs and generate revenues from its Kuala Lampur head office.

The latest round of cost reductions have identified three main ares of note, engineering and construction, drilling and completion, as well as operations and maintenance.

The company has also appointed a new advisor to the State owned oil company, the latest twist to some significant changes to the company's upper management levels in recent months.

That shift in corporate direction has made for much in the way of controversy of late in Malaysian political circles.

Some background on those developments can be found below:

Petronas expects to earn up to RM2b in 2016
Cost reduction saves billions for Petronas
Former Malaysian PM Abdullah named new Petronas adviser
In affront to Dr M, Badawi is named Petronas adviser
Former Malaysian PM Abdullah named new Petronas adviser
Tun Abdullah committed to take Petronas to higher level
Former Malaysian PM Abdullah Badawi replaces Mahathir as adviser to state oil giant Petronas

More items of note related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be found on our archive page.

Rotary Club to host Easter Egg Hunt Saturday

Mariner's Park will be the most closely inspected area of land in the city on Saturday, as the Prince Rupert Rotary Club hosts its annual Easter Egg Hunt at bluffs overlooking Prince Rupert harbour.

The popular event which is free to the public takes place Saturday morning from 11 AM through to the Noon hour, Rain or shine and provides the chance for Prince Rupert's youngsters to get a head start on the Easter festivities of the weekend.

The Egg Hunt is one of a number of community events or activities that member of the Rotary Club organize or participate with in the city through the year.

You can learn more about their work in the region from their Facebook page or website.

Shames Mountain season quickly coming to a close

The days for a run down the hills at Shames are quickly coming to an end for the 2016 ski season, with the mountain set to close operations for the year on the weekend of April 2 and 3.

This weekend marks the 25th Anniversary for the mountain with the first of the event today wit lift tickets at only 25 dollars and the chance to enter the famous Cardboard Box Derby.

The Easter weekend celebration on the mountain continues on Saturday, with the 6th Annual edition of Shredfest set for tomorrow an event that features a Poker Run, Easter Egg Hunt and Barbecue to name just a few of the plans for the day.

The final weekend of operations will see the Slush Cup and Loaded Throwdown as the last of the events for Northwest ski fans. The Freestyle contest takes place on April 2nd, with a number of divisions for participants to take to the hills in, with a range of prizes available for all.

You can find out about what's planned for the event from Loaded Sports on Third Avenue West in Prince Rupert.

For the latest updates on happening on the mountain just west of Terrace see the Shames Mountain website or Facebook page

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Early morning fire claims one life in Prince Rupert

An early morning residential fire on the Centre-West side of the city has tragically claimed the life of a local resident.

The Prince Rupert RCMP outlined the nature of the Thursday morning incident, having responded to a request from Prince Rupert Fire Rescue to attend to the scene, initially to assist with traffic control.

The fire took place in the 200 block of Sixth Avenue West and was reported to the Fire Department at 3 AM and continued to burn through the early morning hours.

Upon their arrival on the scene, RCMP member observed medical services personnel performing CPR on a 59 year old woman associated with the residence. Despite the work of those on the scene, the woman was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation and is in its early stages.

The Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Department was still at the Sixth West location watching for hot spots into the noon  hour, while the RCMP are also still on site, with traffic through the area limited to one lane only.

No further information will be released while the investigation continues.

You can review the full information release from the RCMP here.

More items related to the early morning fire and other notes on Emergency Service responses can be found on our archive page.

Terrace putting focus on cyclists as Spring arrives

Spring weather has folks in the North Coast's snow belts dusting off their bikes for another year of cycling and in the Terrace area the City of Terrace is looking to make that experience a bit more enjoyable and practical.

Terrace has launched a public survey this week, seeking the feedback from residents in that community as to where they would like to see public bike racks installed, the City has recently received some new bike racks and the survey will assist public works deciding where they will have the best impact.

The City of Terrace is also reminding their cycling community of the new community bike pup that has been installed at the city's George Little Park with free air for those that are travelling through the downtown area.

All of the biking initiatives will lead up to Bike to Work week in Terrace from May 30 to June 5, with registration in that community to take place on line in April.

You can learn more about the Terrace initiatives and find the link to their survey here.

Prince Rupert traffic issues and Container truck bypass options discussed during Monday's Council session

Councillor Cunningham took noted of
a number of traffic related concerns
in the community.
Concerns over traffic in the city made for a number of themes during the course of Monday's City Council session, whether it be issues of speeding or distracted drivers in the city, or the travel of trucks through the city.

When it comes to the need to address the speeders and distracted drivers of the community, Councillor Barry Cunningham noted that the city should contact the local detachment of the RCMP to request a stepped up program of enforcement through the City.

He also raised the issue of container traffic travelling through the city, noting that with the province having advised the City that Second Avenue West will not be part of a paving improvement program this year, the condition of that road continues to suffer.

On that theme, Council may wish to provide an update for the public to advise as to the fate of that provincial road paving program and if indeed the province has firmly announced no plans to lay some asphalt this summer.

If so, Council may wish to have the region's MLA Jennifer Rice take up the issue at the Legislature on behalf of the riding.

The theme of container truck travel through the city also provided Mayor Lee Brain with an opportunity to update Council on some his recent discussions with Ministry of Transport officials on the prospect of a bypass road in the community.

The Mayor noted for Council that while discussions on the Wantage Road concept had taken place, there is also an alternative option that the Port is considering to route container traffic towards the Ridley Island area.

That's a concept that we noted on the blog last year as part of a review of a planned inter modal yard on RidleyIsland.

That proposal combined with the planning for the southbound expansion of the Container Terminal makes the prospect of a road from Fairview south to Ridley Island a more workable solution to the increased traffic issues in downtown Prince Rupert.

For his part, Mayor Brain observed that the next step when it comes to a bypass option, is to build some kind of a case for the province and to show the feasibility of any transportation plans, adding that whatever the solution is, it should be the right one for the entire region.

You can review the discussion on where the bypass road discussion may be heading from the City's Video Archive, it starts at the fifty nine minute mark.

For more items related to Monday's Council session see our Council Timeline here.

More background on City Council discussions can be found on our Council Discussion Archive page.

Port related notes, including their plans and concepts for moving containers through the region can be found from our Port Archive.