Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Break from the Blog for a few days

We're getting a head start on a weekend getaway today, so this will be the last item of the week for the North Coast Review.

Our planned return to the task of compiling items for the blog to come in the early part of next week, though those plans remain at the whim of our travel options.

Until we return, an invitation to review some of our category and archive pages found on the right hand side of the blog.

They offer up a range of items from the past and provide a chance to wander through our portal to see if there's something that we've taken note of that you may have missed.

School District 52 welcomes new Director of Human Resources

School District 52 has brought to an end its search for a new Director of Human Resources, with Mr. Jonathan Wittig set to take over from the soon to retire Kathy Gomez.

Chair of the Board of Education Tina Last and Superintendent Sandra Jones made the announcement with a media release on Tuesday, providing some background on the new hire who will assume the duties of Director of Human Resources and Corporate Counsel.

Mr. Wittig arrives on the North Coast with an extensive resume in labour and employment law, having worked in both Ontario and British Columbia in a number of positions where he honed his skills in negotiation, contract administration and policy development.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo and a Law Degree from the University of Windsor. He was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2009.

Since his arrival in the region he has become an active member of the community, most recently having signed on with the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue group in the city.

Ms. Gomez is set to finish her time with School District 52 at the end of the current school year in June.

You can review the full announcement from the School District here.

For more items related to Education on the North Coast see our archive page.

Local businesses featured in Community Futures update

A number of businesses that have benefited from the help of the offices of the local Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest have found that their stories are making up a healthy portion of the most recent publication  "Growing the North" for the Northern Region.

The 44 page overview of the growing business options across Northern British Columbia looks at the launch of a number of projects from the Cariboo to the North and Central Coasts and all points in between.

Prince Rupert makes for one of the stops in the annual review, with the magazine highlighting a number of North Coast entries.

Background on the North Coast Commercial scene and some recent events provides a glimpse for a larger audience to see what's up at the far end of the highway 16 corridor for 2016.

The NorthWest Growth Conference from March of 2015 was featured on page eight, while the popular Cash Mob experience in Prince Rupert was noted on page 9.

The Fresh Onion Café and Catering (page 10)
Pacific Paramedics (page 13)
The Cow Bay Marina (page 27)

Posh Pirates which recently closed its doors in the Cow Bay area was also featured as part of the annual review, with a look at how their business plan was put together a focus of the article (page 30)

The magazine is available locally at the Community Futures Office in the Capitol Mall building on Third Avenue West.

An online version of the review can be found here.

For more items on the North Coast commercial scene see our archive page here.

Prince Rupert's Got Talent and you can see it during Saturday show at the Lester Centre

Hot on the heels of a successful presentation of Rock of Ages at the Lester Centre a few weeks back comes yet another opportunity to check out the local arts scene in the city, with the 2016 edition of Prince Rupert's Got Talent coming up this weekend.

The popular event will see a range of talent competing for the top prize of 1,000 dollars as they take to the stage at the Lester Centre on Saturday night at 7 PM.

Auditions took place earlier this winter for places in the annual competition, with those that made the cut working on their presentations over the last number of weeks, making those last minute preparations for their moment in the spotlight on the main stage.

Previous years have provided for some memorable performances and launched more than a few local musicians, dancers and actors on to larger projects in the community and beyond.

Tickets for Saturday's show are available for ten dollars at the Lester Centre Box office and at Cook's Jewellers.

Thrive North hosts Business Planning Workshop Thursday

Residents of the North Coast giving some thought to starting their own business may wish to take advantage of a Free Planning Business Workshop on Thursday hosted by Thrive North.

The event takes place at Community Futures Pacific NorthWest in the Capital Centre on Third Avenue West, taking place from 1 to 4 PM. 

The free event is directed towards those from 18-39 years of age and offers up the opportunity to have your business plans evaluated and to learn more about the process of planning to get your concept up and running, the program also offers up the chance to make connections with potential mentors in the business community.

More on Thursday's Business planning session can be found here.

You can learn more about the Thrive North program from their website or Facebook page

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

Deadline approaching for purchase of memorial plaques for Millennium Walkway Wall

The deadline for those seeking to purchase a memorial plaque for the Millennium Walkway Wall is fast approaching with the last opportunity for commemoration for 2016 arriving on April 30th.

Application forms are available at the Prince Rupert Archives, located in the Lower level at city Hall, the office is open from 10 AM to 3 PM Monday through Friday.

The plaques will be commemorated in a ceremony at Mariner's Park on Sunday, June 12th at 6 PM.

The ceremony which is part of the Seafest Sunset Service in the park will feature presentations from the Prince Rupert and Area Ministerial Association with music courtesy of the Prince Rupert Rotary Community Choir.

The plaques will be presented on a table for viewing by family and friends, they will be installed as part of the Millennium Walkway Memorial Wall along the Prince Rupert waterfront later in the summer by the City of Prince Rupert.

You can learn more about the project from the Prince Rupert Special Events Facebook page here.

To find out more about the cost and other requirements related to the Memorial plaques contact the Special Events Society at 250-624-3326.

Prince Rupert screening program highlighted in Northern Health blog

A program created by
North Coast Gynecologist
Dr. Marcus Pienaar
is gaining attention across
British Columbia
A program being led by Prince Rupert Gynecologist Dr. Marius Pienaar is catching attention far beyond the North Coast, with much of the recent interest thanks to a review in the Northern Health blog last month.

Dr. Pienaar was recently awarded funding by the Specialist Services Committee to host a program that focuses on the prevention of cardiovascular disease for women.

The program screens women who have recently delivered at the hospital for CVD risks, with Dr. Pienaar developing a referral and follow up system to track and provide for at-risk women to receive testing of their cardio vascular risk at 6 months post-partum.

Key to the initiative is a software program developed to collect data during a women's pregnancy and uses that data to assess for cardiovascular risks. Basic measurements such as blood pressure and weight are recorded, and a panel of blood tests are performed, including blood lipids and glucose.

The data is then entered into the program to calculate a risk score for future cardiovascular disease. Women with elevated risk are then offered interventions, and their primary care provider is informed of this risk.

If a patient has one of six clinical conditions happen in pregnancy, she is flagged as high risk, and invited to attend the North Coast Maternal Health Clinic for further evaluation when the baby is 6 months old.

Dr. Pienaar’s clinic seeks to intervene by providing clinical care to at-risk women as well as offering smoking cessation resources, on-site dietitians and diabetes nurses among other resources.

Prince Rupert is home to a new health
program which is gaining attention
across the province
100% of post-partum patients who are screened and are identified as having increased risk are offered the post-partum health clinic visit.

"We have a golden opportunity to evaluate pregnant women with cardiovascular risk and this should not be missed." -- Prince Rupert Doctor Marius Pienaar on the ability to track health indicators through a new program on the North Coast.

Dr. Pienaar's program is the first to be put in place in British Columbia and the first rural clinic in Canada specifically created to evaluate cardio vascular risk in post partum patients.

His work to this point has already attracted the attention of other Health Authorities in the province, with plans in motion to follow the clinic model in other locations.

You can review the full article and learn more about the program here.

For more items related to Northern Health see our archive pages here.

Lelu Island delegation take concerns to Prime Minister's Office

A delegation of First Nations leaders
was in Ottawa on Tuesday to speak
out against Lelu Island LNG development

(Photo from FWS website)
A delegation of First Nations leaders from the Northwest was in Ottawa on Tuesday, taking their concerns over the proposed LNG terminal for Lelu Island to the capital and calling on the federal government to reject the project.

Highlighting what they described as deeply entrenched and broad indigenous opposition to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project, the group called attention to the federal government's own goals when it comes to environmental protection and climate change issues.

One of the key elements of the discussion from the group was to note that the proposed project by the international energy company Petronas is undermining the government's own environmental ambitions.

The group that travelled to Ottawa included Hereditary Chiefs from Lax Kw'alaams and other communities in the Northwest, as well as Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B. C. Indian Chiefs.

“We have travelled to Ottawa to set the record straight with the Canadian government. As the proper title holders and decision-makers for Lelu Island and Flora Bank, we have not been properly consulted. Without our agreement, this project cannot and will not proceed,” -- Simoyget Yahaan, hereditary chief of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe of the Lax Kw’alaams people.

Former Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Gary Reece was also part of the delegation and he took issue with the recent shift in direction by current Mayor John Helin.

In a correspondence as part of the CEAA process related to the project, the newly elected Mayor offered up the support of Lax Kw'alaams should the CEAA provide for a positive decision on the project, though with conditions.

On that letter former Mayor Reece had the following to say: “The B.C. government has been saying that we’ve changed our minds and support the project,” “That’s simply not true, and Jon Helin had no business sending a letter to that effect without consulting his elected council, hereditary chiefs and our community. That letter does not represent the position of the Nine Allied Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams.”

Grand Chief  Stewart Phillip
addressing the media as part
of a delegation to Ottawa
Photo from FWS website)
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip observed that the Federal government cannot ignore the concerns of those in opposition to the LNG project proposed for Lelu Island.

“Contrary to the mythical claims of First Nations support being spread by B.C. government officials and Petronas lobbyists in Ottawa, there is a deeply entrenched, extensive and broad Indigenous opposition to the proposed PNW LNG project. Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet ministers can no longer pretend that this is not a significant factor in deciding if the project goes ahead.”

The group also called attention to what they called rogue elected band officials acting without authority and how they will continue to fight the project both in the courts and on the land if needed.

The website for Friends of Wild Salmon hosted a media release from Tuesday outlining further background to the Ottawa stop for the delegation, you can review it here.

As part of the media release, the recent letter from Prince Rupert Port Authority to those currently encamped on Lelu Island made for a prominent part of their concerns to the federal government, with the delegation asking if the correspondence was how the Federal government intends to conduct its new relationship with First Nations.

The stop in Ottawa has received some attention from a number of media groups, with the coverage of the travels of the delegation providing for an interesting range of focus and tone, with one article noting that any approval of the project would be akin to declaring war.

Former Mayor of Lax Kw'alaams upset by band's support for LNG Terminal
LNG fans, foes in B.C. clash over First Nations support
BC Chiefs say approving Petronas gas project akin to declaring war
Delegation of NorthWest Hereditary Chiefs in Ottawa (video)
Indigenous leaders head to Ottawa to oppose LNG project

More background on the proposed LNG terminal development for Lelu island can be found on our archive page here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Prince Rupert Golf Course to offer lessons in May

The promise of warmer weather and the chance to take to the local golf course means that it's time to shake off the rust of an off season, or to build up your skills from the ground up.

On the theme of golf education, the Prince Rupert Golf Course is offering two programs for May for Ladies and Junior Golfers, the latter program offering up a range of options from 8 to 14 years old and above.

The Ladies program starts May 2nd with session times from 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM or 6:30 to 7:30 PM. The lessons which cost ten dollars per session run Mondays and Thursdays through May for a total of eight sessions.

The Junior Golf Program takes place on Sundays through May and cost 99 dollars for the month, included in that program is 4 hours of instruction, a golf outing,  BBQ and prizes.

The four course options include:

8 - 9 years Old --     1 to 2 PM
10 - 11 years Old --  2 to 3 PM
12 - 13 years Old --  3 to 4 PM
14 yeas Plus --          4 to 5 PM

The month long program is followed by Future Pro's Junior Golf tournament on June 5th.

You can call the Golf Course at 250-624-2000 to register for either program.

More background on individual lessons through the Golf Course can be found here.

The first of the tournaments for 2016 is also fast approaching with President's Cup Qualifying taking place from May 2nd to 8th, this list for the year so far can be reviewed here.

More on events at the Prince Rupert Golf Course can be found on their website or their Facebook page

More items on the Northwest Golf scene can be found on our archive page

School District Facilities Report outlines state of North Coast Education infrastructure

A comprehensive review of the facilities of School District 52 provides North Coast residents with a snapshot of the state of repair of area schools is now available on the School District 52 website, as SD52 officials prepare to make their case for capital spending for schools on the North Coast.

The report is part of the District Facilities Plan that the School District will submit to the Ministry of Education. It is required by the Ministry to support the School District's annual capital plans and will replace the previous plan which dates back to April of 2009.

Prepared for the School District by Stantec Consulting, the review examines and identifies future facility space requirements as they relate to enrolment, capacity and building condition.

Of the eight SD52 facilities in Prince Rupert/Port Edward reviewed by Stantec all but one were considered to be in Good condition, with two listed as Poor and three others listed as Very Poor.

Two of the facilities that the School District operates in are leased and not part of the facilities review, while Hartley Bay owns the school complex in that community.

The three schools in the most need of immediate attention are Prince Rupert Middle School, Conrad Street and Pineridge, which all rank poorly on the Facility Rating Index. Noted under those guidelines as nearing the end of their life cycle.

The School District at the moment is also in possession of three Inactive Schools, with all three rated as in Very poor condition according to the Facility Rating Index.

When it comes to seismic risk for SD52 schools Prince Rupert Middle School is rated as having a High Risk, while Conrad Street School is listed at a Medium Risk.  The remaining schools of the SD52 system are rated at Low, with no rating or part of a leased building.

At their April 12th Board meeting the School District noted that the plan forecasts for an increase enrolment coming from port related development in the community.

Much like the City of Prince Rupert, the School District is looking with optimism towards the prospect of LNG development and other major industrial activity to boost its numbers, while noting that such development will provide for challenges when it comes to facilities.

The four main areas of potential economic development for the region
The impact of that development on SD52 enrolment levels
The impact on area schools of any enrolment increases 

The population projections have the School District making note of the need for Replacement and Expansion  of its existing facilities, noting that many would reach capacity with an influx of students to the North Coast.

The Prince Rupert Middle School which has been flagged by the School District as the facility most in need of replacement was noted in the Summary and Recommendations portion of the report.

The recommendation from the report noting that "closing the Prince Rupert Middle School and redistributing the students across the existing elementary schools would require major expansion of the remaining elementary schools. Prince Rupert Middle School is a facility that requires major renovations and upgrading to continue as a long-term asset"

Two other elementary schools, Conrad and Pineridge were also noted as requiring major investments to remain viable in the long-term.

The report also notes that Charles Hays Secondary should remain as the only secondary school in the community, adding that any increase in population would require expansion of the existing facility would be required.

The school capacities overview is found on pages 26-33 of the report

The topic of the various closed schools and other land options is reviewed on pages 55 and 56, with one observation of a potential concept of a land swap between the City and School District involving the current site of the Prince Rupert Middle School, with that idea noted as part of any new school construction for the Middle School.

The Kanata School land sale is noted in the report, as is the closed status of Seal Cove which cannot be sold and would have to return to the Crown if not used as a school. The Westview School building is also included in the review, with the note that any plans to redevelop it for other than education use would require rezoning and Provincial legislation. The School District has in the past suggested that the Westview School building could be re-purposed towards administrative requirements.

You can review the full School District Facilities Plan here.

For more items related to School District 52 see our archive page here.

Prince Rupert Port Authoirty invests in twin projects for Kitkatla

The ribbon cutting ceremony at the
Kitkatla greenhouse
(Photo courtesy PRPA)
A 244,000 dollar investment from the Prince Rupert Port Authority Community Investment Fund will be put to work preserving traditional food production and providing nutritional education with the Gitxaala Nation.

Representatives from the Port travelled to Kitkatla earlier this month to take part in a blessing ceremony and commissioning of two new community spaces, a garden and green house project which will grow local produce and a kitchen and eating space for food preparation and training.

“We are very thankful to the Port of Prince Rupert’s partnership and financial contributions, for the Green House and Community Kitchen. These new facilities will go a long way to fostering the greater independence and sustainability of our nation, providing meaningful educational opportunities while strengthening the social fabric of our community.” -- Clifford White, Chief Councillor of the Gitxaała Nation

The garden program was created a number of years ago, but costs related to the need for topsoil and transportation requirements reduced its effectiveness, the construction of the 20 by 40  heated greenhouse will provide the community the opportunity to make better use of the facility and become increasingly self-sufficient, while promoting physical activity.

A renovated community kitchen
at Kitkatla funded in part through
the Prince Rupert Port Authority
Community Investment Fund

(Photo courtesy PRPA)
The kitchen project is located in a renovated building and features a two story deck that allows patrons to sit outdoors and enjoy the oceanfront view, the kitchen also allows residents of Gitxaala to explore partnerships and training opportunities with Northwest Community College and its culinary program.

The kitchen will also provide opportunity to provide food for the Lach Klan School and prenatal packages for residents of the community.

The majority of the funding for the Gitxaala Community Garden and Kitchen project came from the Port's contribution, with other funding partners including the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Coast Industrial Construction and the Hearth and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon.

Port President and CEO Don Krusel noted how the Gitxaala projects are examples of the kind of initiatives that the Community Investment Fund was created for.

“The community kitchen and garden are physical embodiments of the spirit of our Community Investment Fund, which was established to enable significant quality of life improvements to a broad demographic of community members. Experiencing these facilities, surrounded by members of the Gitxaala Nation, it was evident how useful these community assets already are, and will be for years to come.”

A media release from the Prince Rupert Port Authority (see here) provides more background on the initiative

The near quarter of a million dollar investment is just the latest of community investments that the Prince Rupert Port Authority has made around the North Coast.

You can review the list of contributions from that program so far in 2016 from our archive page here.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sports: Youth Soccer on the North Coast 2016

An archive of items about developments with Prince Rupert Youth Soccer and Soccer notes from around the Northwest.

Prince Rupert Youth Soccer website



December 15 -- Youth soccer updates


November 25 -- Whitecaps academy to start in Prince Rupert, Smithers and Terrace


October 17 -- KidSport funding for Prince Rupert (video)
October 12 -- KidSport options for the North Coast to be revealed at information session October 17 NCR


June 23 -- Minor Soccer year end Play Day is Saturday NCR
June 14 -- Terrace players on U17 Team BC
June 10 -- Terrace Soccer Tournament Preview (video)
June 10 -- Soccer youth coming to Terrace
June 9 -- Terrace U18 girls kick up competition
June 9 -- Terrace hosts Northern Cup Soccer tournament this weekend
June 8 -- Terrace set for soccer tournament (video)
June 2 -- Terrace players earn spot on college team
June 1 -- Armstrong confident Rupert soccer team will contend in provincials


May 25 -- Rupert under 15 boys forced to drive away from gold medal match in Nelson
May 17 -- Northern Savings Goalgetters Soccer Camp plans in motion for 2016 series  NCR
May 7 -- Soccer player gack in Terrace for graduating year
May 4 -- U-15 Rep Squad punishes Terrace in Play Day


April 26 -- Under 15 rep boys ready to take on region

Archive of past years can be reviewed below

2014 and 2013

Deadline comes tonight for 2016 Northwest Innovation Challenge

10,000 dollars in cash prizes are up for grabs for those with an innovative mind, as the Northwest Innovation Challenge looks to close the window on submissions for this years challenge at  midnight tonight.

The third annual event, presented by the Skeena Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics is looking for creative concepts that offer up regional relevance, impact of the innovation, originality and potential for commercialization.

Today's deadline for submissions takes entrants on to the final round of consideration, with the 2016 Northwest Innovation Challenge Event taking place at the Terrace Elks Lodge on May 13th.

Displays will be judged at that time and cash prizes awarded. The event which will be ope to the public will also feature a People's Choice Award.

Prize Distribution for the Innovation Challenge is as follows:

Finalist Awards -- $3,000 in total (250 to each finalist)
ThriveNorth Commercialization Prize -- $2,500
CityWest Regional Relevance Award -- $1,000
Mountain Prize -- $1,200
Tree Prize -- $800
Bio-Product Prize -- $1,000
People's Choice -- $500

More background on the Innovation Challenge can be found here.

Application information and the application form for those looking to submit their concept before tonight's midnight deadline can be examined here.

More items related to the Northwest Commercial sector can be found from our archive page.

Metlakatla looks to transportation options after SD52 decision

School District 52 delivered its financial plan for 2016-17 last week and as we noted on the blog on Friday, transportation has figured large in the cost cutting for the year ahead.

As part of their final deliberations both bus transportation around Prince Rupert and the provision of ferry service to the community of Metlakatla will come to an end when September comes around.

A decision that will leave the First nation community across the harbour looking for a solution when it comes to getting their school age children to schools in Prince Rupert.

On Thursday, the Metlakatla Governing Council took note of the SD52 decision and in a notice for residents outlined how they plan to approach the issue.

In a notice to members of the Community, the Governing Council outlines how they understand the budget pressures that are facing the School district, adding that the Chief and Metlakatla Council will be working with other levels of government and discussing the situation  internally to find a resolution to the issue ahead of the start of the 2016-17 school year.

You can review their correspondence to community members here.

More items related to the Metlakatla community can be found on our archive page here.

Issues related to the School District can be reviewed on our School District archive page.

Rice channels Horgan and Cullen in recent newspaper interview

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice returned to the theme of LNG development at Lelu Island last week, providing comments to the Northern View on her view of the proposed LNG development on the North Coast.

During the course of her commentary, the MLA seemed to find much agreement with the path that both BC NDP leader John Horgan and MP Nathan Cullen have taken on the issue, echoing many of their public comments of recent months when it comes to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

In the page three article featuring the title of LNG is possible on the North Coast, Ms. Rice offered up a review of where the Lelu Island project has taken the community to this point, noting that the Petronas project offers many challenges.

Among her observations, the issue of Green House Gas output, impact on juvenile salmon and the lack of a comprehensive climate change plan by the Provincial government.

She also raises concerns over the amount of temporary foreign workers that may be required during the construction phase, calling on previous estimates of up to 70 percent. Though, to this point, no firm numbers have been delivered yet by Pacific NorthWest LNG when it comes to a proposed work force should the project be approved by the federal government.

Ms. Rice also notes that there is a need for resolution of the concerns of First Nations and to take action to protect air, land and water, as well as the salmon resource which many workers in the region depend on.

Mr. Horgan, recently spoke on behalf of the party as part of the CEAA process related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project.

The provincial NDP leader recently forwarded a letter to the CEAA, calling on the federal body to withhold final recommendation for approval of the project.

While her comments for the most part follow the provincial NDP line, it's worth noting that the NDP leader Mr. Horgan is feeling some pressure from unionized segments of NDP support for his recent commentary, particularly when it comes to the provincial NDP stance on resource and LNG development.

John Horgan says NDP could reverse stance on Pacific NorthWest
Steel workers shaprly criticize BC NDP
Union memo makes NDP a bit jumpy
B.C. needs credible economic and jobs plan, leaked memo says

Ms. Rice's comments for the weekly paper also appear to mirror much of what Skeena-Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen has had to say on Lelu Island in recent months.

He was one of the first to suggest that a shift over to Ridley Island would be the best option for Petronas, though it should be noted that at this moment there is no actual location available there, with BG Gas still holding its position on Ridley.

One other possible impediment to that option would be the need for further environmental work should Petronas seek another location for their proposed development, an extended path that it would seem the Malaysian energy company isn't inclined to embark upon.

Cullen says Lelu Island too Great a risk for LNG project
Cullen still concerned with Pacific NorthWest location
Northern MPs dispute impact of Pacific NorthWest LNG
Nathan Cullen on Pacific Northwest LNG issues

Both Ms. Rice and Mr. Cullen were signatories to the Lelu Island Declaration, a document signed during January's Salmon Nation Summit.

There is no link to the article on the Northern View website, so if you have already recycled your print edition of the paper, you'll have to work your way through their e-edition process to catch up with the thoughts of the North Coast MLA.

Ms. Rice's overview of Lelu Island proposal can be found on page A3.

(Update: It appears that we have followers at the weekly paper, Ms. Rice's comments have now made their way to the main Northern View website see here)

For more items related to the developments out of Victoria see our Legislature archive here.

A comprehensive overview of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be found on our archive page here.

NWCC and SD52 partnership to offer more Training opportunities

The two major streams for education on the North Coast have expanded on their growing relationship to offer more trades training opportunities for residents of the area.

On Friday, Northwest Community College and School District 52 announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding from earlier this month, the document setting in motion plans to work in partnership on joint programming.

Lorrie Gowen, NWCC's Dean of Trades, Workforce Training and Contract Services noted that the new arrangement allows the college to grow its programming in partnership with the school district allowing both to "introduced more career-focused training to younger students, to get them excited about a variety of options for the future"

The programs will primarily be focused on trades courses for students, providing for a mix of high school students, recent graduates and adult students.  The program will also provide for dual credit academic courses that will allow high school students to get a head start on their post-secondary studies.

Sandra Jones, the Superintendent of School District 52 provided an overview of how the program has

"It took us a long time to get to this point and now we are really happy with it. This agreement makes it easier for us to offer joint programming. Because the MOU is already in place, we can act more quickly on new training opportunities between the school district and NWCC.”

The specific course options and other background information related to them will be announced as the program planning develops heading towards the fall.

You can review the full announcement from NWCC/SD52 here.

Fore more background on developments with NWCC see our archive page here, while items related to SD52 can be found here.

Northern Savings names Geoff Grodecki as new CEO

Geoff Grodecki and his family
will be making a move to the
North Coast as he takes on the
duties of CEO at Northern Savings
The Board of Directors for Northern Savings have reached into Saskatchewan to select the next head of the financial institution, announcing Geoff Grodecki as the new President and CEO.

In an announcement on the Northern Savings website, Mr. Grodecki is noted as someone who is committed to the ideals of cooperatives and committed to providing great service to members every day.

He brings twenty years of Credit Union experience to Northern Savings and is set to move his family to the North Coast and take up his duties on May 2nd.

He arrives in Prince Rupert from the Macklin Credit Union where he served as General Manager, a notice on the Macklin website notes that he leaves his Saskatchewan position on April 27th.

His LinkedIn portfolio has already been updated to reflect his new position in Prince Rupert.

The new CEO takes the helm after a year which saw three different people hold the office previous to him in the last year, the position most recently held by Barry Delaney who stepped in as interim CEO while the Board conducted its nationwide search.

As Board Chair Flora D'Angelo notes in the announcement, 2015 provided for a number of challenges for Northern Savings, a period of time which saw a downsizing of the company's operations and a reduction in staff at the Prince Rupert office.

You can review the announcement of Mr. Grodecki's hiring here.

Northern Savings has also announced the make up of its Board for 2016 with five members (two of them incumbents) in place from recent elections. They include:

Prince Rupert -- Mimmo Ciccone 
Prince Rupert -- Susan Crowley (incumbent)
Prince Rupert -- Flora D'Angelo (incumbent)
Prince Rupert -- Jocelyn Lebell
Queen Charlotte -- Douglas-Mark Louis

Short biographies of the five can be found here.

A look at the full Board for Northern Savings can be reviewed here.

More background on the Northwest Commercial sector can be found on our archive page.

SD52 to hold talks with City of Prince Rupert on by-election concerns and other issues

With only two months remaining in the 2015-16 School Year and some major votes now behind them, the School District 52 Council continues to carry on its work with one position vacant on the elected Board.

That situation comes about as the SD52 Board has yet to hold a required by-election to replace Judy Carlick-Pearson who resigned her position back in November.

In their notes from April 12th School District 52 meeting Board Chair Tina Last and Board of Education Superintendent Sandra Jones addressed the by-election issue, noting that they have scheduled a meeting with Prince Rupert City Council to discuss the required trustee by-election.

That discussion will mark the latest attempt to find some accommodation on the issue, with the School District having previously expressed a number of concerns over the process put in place by the City to hold the by-election.

The School District has expressed concerns over the decision by the City to contract out the by-election process, noting its preference for the city to use the previous method of making use of city staff to host the required by-election.

The last time that the School District issued public comments related to the by-election process they had called attention to the cost that the process was going to provide for.

According to the SD52 figures of February, the city's plan would result in a bill of almost 33,000 dollars, 9,000 dollars more than the city's own by-election 0f 2013 to replace Jennifer Rice.

February 17 -- SD52 not impressed with City's by-election plans and cost
February 9 -- City council set to approve Electoral Officers, set in motion SD52 by-election process
January 29 -- Plans in motion to move forward with School District 52 by-election
January 18 -- School District 52 to seek counsel of Ministry of Education over City's by-election delay
December 11 -- SD52 and City of Prince Rupert to work towards Board of Education By-election
November 19 -- Judy Carlick-Pearson steps down from School District 52 Board

The School District also highlights that other topics of interest will be discussed between the two organizations when they get together.

While not mentioned in the media release, one most likely to be discussed could be the status of the Kanata School land zoning issue, which has been in a state of what appears to be ongoing suspension of late.

City Council most recently discussed that topic in early March, but no resolution on outstanding concerns related to the zoning proposal for that parcel of land was reached, with the issue not brought back to an open council session for discussion or comment since that March 9h gathering.

March 9 -- Kanata School land zoning issue is deferred once again, set to return for March 21st session
March 7 -- Kanata School land question back in front of Council tonight
January 18 -- Zoning delay on Kanata lands has School District seeking answers from City of Prince Rupert
December 9 -- Kanata School land zoning review to be delayed until January
September 2 -- East side residents to get first look at Kanata school property housing proposals next week
July 23 -- Kanata school lands rezoning sparks more discussion at Council
July 20 -- Council to move on Kanata School rezoning tonight

Land zoning has proven to be a fairly controversial issue for City Council over the last few years, some of the past discussions on that topic can be found in our housing archive.

The by-election and zoning issue are just two items that have proven to be irritants between the two elected bodies in recent months, with little progress to be found for either.  As the headlines have delivered over recent months, both groups have shown that coming to consensus on a number of issues has proven to be a bit of a challenge at times.

When they get together at this next meeting, finding some success around the discussion table on those mutual concerns is most likely something that might be welcomed by those who elected both groups of participants to their positions.

The School District advises that an update will be provided to the public following the May 10th School District meeting. For more items related to SD52 issues see our archive page here.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending April 17, 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 April 17 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate
East Side April 17, 2016
Prince Rupert Real Estate
East Side April 17, 2016

One new entry joins the list of ten for this week, with a property on Summit Avenue breaking into the middle of the pack of our review, replacing one property on Graham that has been take out of the inventory.

The ask price for the returning properties also was readjusted over the course of the week, with the bottom end of our list is now marked to the 439,900 dollar mark.

The shift in balance finds two properties For Sale found east of McBride, while the remaining eight properties from this weeks listings are on the west side of the city, the majority of them in the Graham Avenue area.

Below find our findings as of the Week ending April 17, 2016

160 Van Arsdol Street                  $639,900   -- Remax
2085 Graham Avenue                   $550,000 --  Realty Executives
1724 Graham Avenue                   $545,000  -- Royal Lepage
1528 7th Avenue East                   $470,000 --  Royal Lepage   
1125 Summit Avenue                   $469,900  --  Remax
144 Gull Crescent                         $469,000 --  Remax
1735 Graham Avenue                   $469,000  --  Remax
853 Borden Street                         $459,000  --  Royal Lepage
100 Alpine Drive                          $449,900  --  Remax
905 Summit Avenue                     $439,000  --  Remax new listing

Earlier this month, the British Columbia Northern Real Estate Board released its first quarter report on real estate across Northern British Columbia, we took a look at the Northwest focus from that report with this item for the blog.

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, April 17, 2016

Blog Watching, Week ending April 17, 2016

Lelu Island once again jumped to the top of the headlines this week with two items of interest capturing much of the attention of our readers over the last seven days.

The first of the two high traffic notes came through our item related to a letter delivered by the Prince Rupert Port Authority to those currently holding their place on Lelu Island the proposed development site for an LNG terminal on the North Coast.

Not surprisingly the item with the second highest amount of views on the week came from the response by hereditary chiefs, who replied to the communication from the Port by way of a letter to the Prime Minister and other federal officials.

City Council affairs took a few spots on our list of five on the week, first with our review of the Monday evening session through our City Council Timeline, followed by our overview of a presentation from representatives of AltaGas who provided an update for Council on their plans for a Propane export terminal at Ridley Island.

Our final item of the review of five found readers showing much interest in our pictorial account of last weekend's Grand Opening of the Cow Bay Marina and community boardwalk.

However, the top item of the week once again turns to the issues related to LNG development in the Northwest. In this instance, it was the correspondence from the Port to those that are currently holding their places in protest over the proposed development at Lelu Island

Prince Rupert Port Authority calls on Lelu Island encampment to cease construction activities -- A letter from the Port to those currently set up on Lelu Island in protest of the proposed LNG terminal at that location made for much of the news cycle this week.   (posted April 11, 2016)

That article was followed by:

Hereditary Chiefs take their response to the Prince Rupert Port Authority to the Prime Minister's office -- As a response to the Prince Rupert Port Authority, two hereditary chiefs representing those currently in place at Lelu Island offer up a response through a letter to the Prime Minister (posted April 12, 2016)

City Council Timeline, Monday, April 11, 2016 -- Our look at the events from Monday's Prince Rupert City Council session found a large audience on the week (posted April 13, 2016)

Alta Gas looks to be Propane Pioneers on the North Coast -- Monday's Prince Rupert council session featured a presentation from Alberta based AltaGas with some background on their proposed Propane Terminal on Lelu Island. ( posted April 13, 2016)

Sunshine Greets Cow Bay Marina Opening  -- Our pictorial review of the Grand Opening of the city's waterfront marina and community boardwalk  (posted April 11, 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, April 16, 2016

MLA's Week, April 11-14, 2016

After a flurry of contributions to the proceedings at Legislature last week, the midway point of the month found things a little less hectic for North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice.

Ms Rice was listed twice  in the archive of participants for the eleven sessions of the Legislature, or for those listings related to work as part of House Committees for the week of April 7-11.

Monday found the North Coast MLA participating in the discussion related to Seniors Care in the province, with Ms. Rice calling for better staffing and resources for Seniors facilities in BC, offering up some thoughts on her experiences from Prince Rupert's Acropolis Manor.

MLA Rice speaks to the need for better staffing at Seniors facilities

Thursday afternoon found the North Coast MLA in attendance at a session of of the committee for Supply Estimates proceedings for the Ministry of Children and Family Development, with Ms. Rice asking a number of questions and seeking more background from Cabinet Minister Stephanie Cadieux on the theme of adoption in British Columbia.

You can review that commentary between the Cabinet Minister and Ms. Rice from the Committee minutes from Thursday afternoon, the discussion starts at the 16:50 minute mark.

Ms Rice is also a member of the Committee on Children and Youth, that Committee met on Thursday morning, with Ms. Rice making inquiries of both Mary Ellen Tuprel-Lafond the Representative for Children and Youth as well as the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Perry Kendall.

You can review the minutes from that session here, the North Coast MLA's questions start at the 9:30 AM point.

One other item of interest out of Victoria with potential Northwest connections came out of some notes from NDP leader John Horgan.   The NDP leader found himself in the spotlight through the week on issues a pair of issues.

First with some thoughts on the federal NDP's plans to look at the Leap Manifesto and the with some comments related to concerns from the Steelworker's union over recent NDP positions on LNG development.

Horgan rebuilds bridges with building trades
Steelworkers sharply criticize B.C. NDP
John Horgan says NDP could reverse stance on Pacific NorthWest
Leap Manifesto is gift to B. C. Liberals
Leap Manifesto a bad fit for B.C. says NDP leader John Horgan
Federal NDP could make trouble for John Horgan - and the B.C. Liberals are loving it

Members of the Legislature return to work at the Legislature on Monday April 25th.

There is more background on the North Coast MLA available from our MLA's Week Archive as well as our General Archive on the Legislature.