Thursday, June 30, 2016

Suppliers reap $28 million as City increases spending in 2015

2015 proved to be a good year to do business with the City of Prince Rupert, with the city ramping up on its spending plans and the city's finance department delivering payments totalling close 29 million dollars to a range of suppliers both local and out of town.

The review of the City's spending was included as part of the Statement of Financial Information released this week by the City of Prince Rupert, a requirement of fiscal transparency that must be disclosed before the end of June each year.

This years documentation indicates that the City has shifted its focus when it comes to spending, that after a number of tough financial years that saw spending plans tightly reined in to under the 20 million dollar range.

The largest portion of the 2015 amount was destined for the Receiver General for Canada, with the RCMP receiving $3.2 million and the City's share of Payroll deductions coming to $1.2 million for the year.

The Municipal Finance Authority also received a payment of $1.3 million as part of the city's debenture debt. While the Commission of Municipal Superannuation received just over $1.1 million for the city's portion of pension requirements.

Beyond the payments to government agencies, the City's largest payments in 2015 included $4.1 million for Prince Rupert's Broadwater Industries and just over $2 million for Adventure Paving.

Coast Industrial Construction also made it to the million dollar list, with a payment of $1.1 for services in 2015.

There are 99 companies or organizations listed in this years review provided through the SOFI report, with sixteen of those listed as receiving more than 400,000 dollars for work or services provided.

Those listed between 400,000 and 1 million include:

First Canada  $860,186
BC Transit  $663,490
Valkyrie Law Group  $645,006
BC Hydro  $573,113
Stantec Consulting  $436,134
Manulife Financial 625,009
Northwest Fuels $464,566
Rupert Wood n Steel  $442,570
Eby and Sons $439,512

The remainder of those on the list received payments range from 25,000 to 400,000 dollars.

At close to 29 million in spending for 2015, the numbers make for almost a nine million dollar increase in spending from the report of 2014, when payments to Suppliers were listed at just a bit over 20 million dollars.

Two years has clearly made a difference when it comes to turning the financial tap back on at City Hall, by comparison to this years report, for the year end of 2013 payments to suppliers had totalled just under 17  million dollars.

You can review the full information provided as part of the Report from the City's Agenda for the Wednesday Special Council session, the listings can be found from pages 18 to 21.

The Statement of Financial Information will also be posted to the City's website here.

More items related to the City's Budget planning and financial notes can be found here.

Further background on the work of Prince Rupert City Council can be found on our archive page here.

Canada Day lineup offers wide range of Prince Rupert events for Friday

While taking in Canada Day 2015 might require an umbrella, the show will go on with a Noon hour start to the four hour celebration of Canada's 149th birthday.

Speeches, music, games and a Civic Recognition ceremony make for the majority of the afternoon events which take place from Noon to 4 PM at the City's Mariner's Park, with fireworks planned for late Friday evening weather permitting.

Prince Rupert's Mariner's Park on 1st Avenue West is the host
site for the annual Canada Day celebrations on Friday

Cake slices will be handed out shortly after the singing of O Canada which launches the afternoon event while those taking in the days activities can also test their knowledge of Canadiana with a Canadian history quiz for both children and adults.

The Musical portion of the afternoon starts at 12:30 and among those taking to the stage at Mariner's Park include:

Men Who Listen
Karin and Mark of Hot Flash
Lance Clark
The Prince Rupert Community Band
Olivia appearing with Hot Flash

This years Annual Civic Recognition Ceremony takes place at 1:30, the first time that the ceremony has taken place as part of the Canada Day activities.

In October, after a recommendation from the Special Events Society, Prince Rupert City Council voted to shift the date of the community recognition event, making it part of the Canada Day celebrations and to let the community share in the achievements of those that are to be honoured for this year.

Children's Games are always a popular part of the Canada Day celebration and this year things get underway at 2 PM, Prince Rupert's youth and young visitors to the city can take part in large list of games and activities some of which include:

Wheel barrow race
Spoon and Egg race
Backwards race
Leap Frog
3 legged race
Paper airline toss
Water ballon toss 
Sack Race

Finding your best Red and White outfit and wearing it to Mariner's gains you an entrance into the Canadiana Costume Walkabout which marks the final event of the daytime activities at 3 PM.

Mariner's Park will fill up again later in the evening, as Canada Day organizers launch the annual display of fireworks over the Prince Rupert harbour, the event is scheduled to take place at 11:15 but is dependent on the weather conditions, should organizers not be able to launch on Friday, the alternate date is Saturday at the same time.

If you have some time to spare to lend a hand, the Special events society is looking for some help when it comes to the set up and take down for the day's activities, more information on that can be found here.

You can updates on Friday's events from the Prince Rupert Special Events Society Facebook page and website

More items related to community events on the North Coast can be found on our archive page.

Final numbers for 2015 show $1.3 million in Community Grants distributed by the City

Five organizations made it into six figures when it comes to the City's Community Grants and contributions allocations for 2015, the final numbers for the year ended December 31st, 2015 were released this week as part of the City's Statement of Financial Information.

Leading the list is the Prince Rupert Library which accounted for close to half of the entire 1.3 million dollars that the city distributed as part of their 2015 listings.

The Library received $566,000 with an additional $9,000 directed towards the Prince Rupert Library Vested Benefit Accrual category.

Tourism Prince Rupert was next on the list of groups that benefitted from the city's financial assistance with the Hotel Tax delivering $210,769 to the organization, while the Visitor's Information Centre received $13,500 from the City.

The Prince Rupert Golf Society received two instalments of funding with the Society gaining $93,000 for its operational uses, while the capital requirements for the Society were assisted by funding of $49,861

The Museum of Northern British Columbia was the recipient of $110,000 while the Lester Centre of the Arts was on the receiving end of a $110,000 grant for 2015.

Fifteen other organizations shared varying amounts of grants and contributions for 2015.

The full list from the SOFI financial review can be examined below (click to enlarge).

The Community grant list is included in this year's SOFI report, you can review the full document from the Agenda for last night's Special Council Session it begins on page 9.

Further items related to the City's finances and Budget planning can be reviewed here, while an overview of past discussion topics at City Council is available on our archive page here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

City puts wrap on Financial info process with Special Council Session today

With Council set to take to its Summer Schedule of meetings, a timetable which will see only one session called per month through until the end of September, some last minute details are being put to rest for June when it comes to the City's Financial Information process.

Council has been called to a Special Session tonight at 5 PM to deal with a fairly short Agenda of work, the bulk of which is focused on receipt of two reports from the City's Financial Officer. 

The first dealing with the City's Financial Variances Report, the second asking for Council to approve the 2015 Statement of Financial Information.

The Variance Report can be found on page 4 of the Agenda package it reviews the current status of the city's Operating and Utility Budgets as well as the Capital Works and Capital works process while 

The City's 2015 Statement of Financial Information can be reviewed on page 9 of the Agenda. 

Earlier today, we provided a quick glimpse at the salary and expenses component of the Statement of Financial Information, you can review our notes on that topic here.

Council will also receive a report from the City's Director of Operations outlining the City's plan to seek out a Canada 150 Fund grant to be put towards rehabilitation of the Airport Ferry Ramp on the Fairview side of the harbour. 

(See page Page 3 of the Agenda Package)

The final item on the short agenda for the late afternoon will feature a report from the Corporate Administrator on the National Disaster Mitigation Program, with Council to hear of plans to seek a grant application towards funding  for a total of $450,000 for the first phase of a Tsunami Risk Assessment as part of the funding from the National Disaster Mitigation Program

For more items related to City Council Discussions see our archive page here.

Salary and Expenses on the rise from Prince Rupert's 2015 SOFI review

The final element of the financial paperwork for the 2015 fiscal year has been delivered by the City's Finance Department, with the City of Prince Rupert providing details of its Statement of Financial information for 2015, a document that highlights just how the city allocates its financials each year.

The review which is usually delivered from mid to late June, provides a list of the salary and expenses from the city's elected officials, as well as the salary review for those employees of the City making over 75,000 per year.

This years data starts with a look at City Council members, providing the first overview of council's salary and expenses for a full year.

From this years report the total amount of remuneration and taxable benefits for the Mayor and six members of Council provided a total of $196,579.

Mayor Lee Brain tops the list
for pay when it comes to
elected officials at the City
The largest sum of that amount was collected by Mayor Lee Brain, who received $61,801 in remuneration along with a listing of $34,857 in expenses for 2015.

That marks a significant increase from the last full year numbers for the last year on Council for then Mayor Jack Mussallem.

The 2014 SOFI report noted that Mr. Mussallem had recorded a total of $40,762 in Salary and Taxable benefits, with expenses of $19,886 for his final year on Council in 2014.

The increase to the base salary for Mayor Brain came after City Council voted to make him a full time Mayor in May of 2015, that decision added to the previous Mayor's salary, with the funding for the pay bump of $17,000 allocated through the planning for major projects component of the City's Legacy Fund investments.

This years surge in travel expenses was addressed by Mayor Brain by way of a Facebook post, with the Mayor noting that 2015 required a large amount of travel related to LNG discussions, noting in his comments that the task required above average amount of participation in LNG related negotiations with the money taken from the Planning for Major projects budget.

In 2015 I traveled several times to meet with Ministers from both levels of government and proponents related to proposed developments. These additional expenses are taken from the Planning for Major Projects budget, money specifically set aside from the lease option on Lot 444, so that the taxpayers are not adversely impacted. -- Notes from Mayor Brain's facebook post on his expenses for 2015

The Mayor provided his travel itinerary for 2015 (click below) as a guideline to his work on behalf of the city, while noting how the $34,857 in expenses claimed had been divided. Advising that $22,991,28 was related to planning for Major Projects and $11,865,26 pertained to City Operations.

There was no further breakdown of the expenses listed related to those two categories.

As for the figures for the six City Council members, there was little change in their pay package for the most part, with each earning the base salary of 13,947, a figure up slightly from their salaries of 13,180 recorded in 2014.

Councillor Niesh claimed the highest amount of expenses on the year at $4,914, while Councillor Thorkelson held the charges down to but $302 for 2015.

The Canada Revenue Agency guidelines note that one third of an elected officials salary is deemed as tax free.

City Manager Robert Long is the top
paid employee with the City
City staff paycheques increased in a number of areas as well, led by City Manager Robert Long who claims the top spot in this years listings, with Remuneration and  Taxable benefits of $254,797, and combined expenses of $26,846 from 2015.

Mr. Long's salary makes for a $63,499 dollar increase from the numbers reported in last years annual review.

Among some of the other more prominent of City staff positions the upper management ranks look like this.

The City's Financial Officer Corrine Bomben received $155,759 in remuneration and Taxable Benefits, with combined expenses of $11,422 for 2015. That also is an increase in salary for the year, compared to the numbers from last year which set the CFO's salary at $121,877.

Corporate Administrator Rory Mandryk remains just below the 100,000 mark for 2015, with a salary of $98,913 making for only a $4,000 dollar increase from last year while his  expenses for 2015 came to $3,378

City Planner Zeno Krekic received remuneration and Taxable benefits of $127,721 for the year, with $726 in expenses. That marks a 13,000 dollar increase from the 2014 salary listing of 114,690

Willa Thorpe, The City's Director of Recreation and Community Services is listed as receiving $101,654 in remuneration and taxable benefits, with expenses of $1,222 in 2015

The remainder of the list that makes up the SOFI report consists of those Civic workers making over 75,000 dollars in 2015.

Fifty-two of the Two hundred and eight employees of the city are included in the review for the year of those making over 75,000 for 2015, a number which when combined with those employees making under $75,000, brings the total employee remuneration package of $13,575,579.

The breakdown of that total number finds $5,662,627 directed for those making over the 75,000 mark, $7,767,470 towards those under $75,000, with the remainder taken from the remuneration for Council members.

The list of 52 from the SOFI report for 2015 adds an additional three names of those collecting over 75,000 dollars from the numbers of last year which found 49 on the civic payroll above the 75,000 dollar mark.

The incremental increases indicate continue growth on the top end of the pay scale at the city, the numbers from 2013 when it was noted that 45 civic employees were making over $75,000.

The largest contingent that makes up the list comes from the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue Department, with 19 firefighters and three dispatchers listed in the 2015 report, of that number, thirteen are members of the over $100,000 dollar club.

When it comes to the other thirty employees listed for 2015, sixteen take their place in the over $100,000 club.

The City of Prince Rupert also has a contract policing agreement with the RCMP, a glimpse into the financial commitment required for that can be found on the Schedule of Suppliers of Goods and Services which lists $3,285,272 directed towards the Receiver General for Canada for RCMP E Division.

The full document is available as part of the City's Agenda package for a Special Regular council session for later today at 5PM, the SOFI report begins on page 9 of the Agenda.

Once approved the document will be available on the City's Financial Statements page.

For more items related to City Council Discussions, see our archive page here.

As well our City archive page provides an overview of a range of items associated with City Operations and issues, you can seek out further background here.

Horizon North work camp parking changes proposal to head to public notification

Discussion on a work camp on
Wantage Road was part of
Monday night's Council Agenda
While the news of late hasn't been particularly positive when it comes to the progress for major projects in the region, with the Canpotex project abandoned and ongoing delays in LNG development prominent, Council remains optimistic and is continuing on with its plans for the foundation of that major growth.

One area which was addressed on Monday evening was the concept of the accommodations camp proposed for Wantage Road on the site of the old trailer park in the area, that site has been identified by the Horizon North group as a location for 160 unit housing camp.

Monday Council considered a request to reduce the required number of parking spots for the proposed camp from 168 to 110, with Horizon North providing documentation that suggests a number of the workers that would make use of the camp would not be using personal vehicles during their stay in the community.

A parcel of land behind the Lester
Centre of the Arts is the proposed
location for a work camp in the city
City Planner Zeno Krekic provided the full overview of the proposed reduction, calling attention to camps that Horizon North operate in Alberta and some of their findings from patterns of use in those locations.

Council members had a few questions on those themes, with Councillor Mirau asking for clarification on some of the ratios that the City Planner had outlined for the proposed camp.

Councillor Cunningham noted that his only concern was what might happen if there was a reversal of projections on the amount of vehicle traffic that the site might generate.

The process now moves toward public notification, Mayor Brain noted as part of the discussion that there were no residential areas located in the immediate vicinity of the site that would require public notification, with Mr. Krekic outlining that the Lester Centre and the Golf Course are the main neighbours for the camp location.

When  the Horizon North projects for the community were first proposed in 2014, there was significant interest and some opposition from the community related to the second phase of the project that would see the old dump location turned into a much larger camp, which could host over 2500 workers.

The Wantage Road version near the Lester Centre is the section of land that Horizon North had previously identified as a Lay Down area in anticipation of the larger development, the city signed a lease with the company for the land in the fall of 2015.

Some background on the proposed development can be found from Monday's Council agenda here, starting at page 23.

Some past background on the Horizon North proposal can be found below

October 2015 -- City of Prince Rupert moving forward with leasing plans with Horizon North for property along Wantage Road
October 2014 -- Council pushes ahead with Work Camp plans for Wantage Road, despite rough reception at Public Hearing

You can review the presentation and discussion on the theme from the City's Video Archive, it starts at the 11 minute mark and runs for about eight minutes.

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

Further background on Council issues and discussions can be found on our archive page.

Few questions for Council on 2015 Annual Report

Only one resident of the city had
questions for Council on Monday as
part of a review of the City's
2015 Annual Report

The public had its final opportunity to offer up some thoughts on the city's Annual Report for 2015, as City Council opened the floor to commentary as part of Monday's Committee of the Whole session.

With two weeks to review the document, only one resident took to the microphone on Monday with questions or suggestions for Council related to the preparation of the annual document that highlights the City's achievements and work in 2015.

The session began with a short review by the City's Communication Manager Veronkia Stewart who outlined the process required to adopt the report, followed by the public comment opportunity.

Larry Golden, a frequent speaker at Committee of the Whole public comment sessions put some of his focus on the area of the CityWest financials that were included in the report, seeking clarification on the financial benefit that was delivered to the city by the communication company, asking whether that was considered a dividend or loan repayment for the City.

The City's Financial Officer Corrine Bomben provided some background on the CityWest content of the Report, noting that this year there will be a loan repayment by the communication company, confirming for Mr. Golden that the money coming in is not considered a dividend.

Mr. Golden also had questions and comments related to pay parking in the city and offered up some suggestions for Council to consider for the future.

Noting the main approach of the Annual Report is one of basic financial information, with little in the way of a more comprehensive review of such areas as the number of residents making use of the city's recreation facilities, or a wider overview of the crime statistic notes from the City's RCMP detachment.

Towards those themes, Mr. Golden suggested that the City should return to the days of having officials from such areas as the Recreation Department, RCMP detachment and Fire Department provide a public review of their departments at Council sessions, where questions could be asked and more information shared with the public.

Following those observations and with no other residents weighing in with any comments City Council later voted to approve the 2015 Annual Report.

You can examine the full document here.

You can review the nine minutes or so of conversation related to the Annual Report from the City's Video Archive, it begins at the opening of the Monday night session.

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

Further background on City Council issues can be found on the our Archive page here.

City Council Timeline, Monday, June 27, 2016

With Councillors Thorkelson and Randhawa away for the night and a fairly light agenda to work with, Prince Rupert City Council continued on with the theme of recent weeks of taking care of their work with little in the way of delay.

Monday evening provided for few lengthy questions or discussions on the night, as Council navigated both a Regular council session and a public comment period of the Committee of the Whole.

The Monday session did feature one inquisitive mind, as a member  of the public took advantage of that public comment option through the Committee of the Whole session at the start of the night, though even that overview only took up a nine minutes of the thirty four minute night.

Among some of the major notes of the main portion of the Regular session, council members heard of a reduction in parking requirements for a proposed work camp in the city, moved forward a project to rename parkland on the west side of the city to commemorate the life of Odd Eidsvik and approved the recent revisions to the fees and charges in place at the city's recreation facilities.

As well, Council heard an update from the Mayor on housing issues in the community.

For some background on the evening's scheduled items of note, the Agenda for the Regular Council session for June 27, 2016 can be reviewed here.

Council also had a Closed Session scheduled previous in the evening.

Further information from our overview and placement in the video archive can be found below, with the permanent record of the minutes added as they are posted to the city website.

In attendance June 27, 2016

Mayor Lee Brain-- Present 
Councillor Barry Cunningham-- Present 
Councillor Blair Mirau -- Present
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present
Councillor Nelson Kinney--  Present
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa--  Absent
Councillor Joy Thorkelson -- Absent

Video Archive for June 27, 2016

(0:00--17:30) Committee of the Whole Session for Monday, June 27 , 2016 --  The Committee of the Whole Session began with a presentation from the City of Prince Rupert's Communication Manager Veronika Stewart, who provided a short overview of the City's Annual Report for 2015 and noted that Monday night offered up the final opportunity for commentary from the public.

Only one resident had a few items of note related to the document starting out his commentary by seeking clarification on the status of a CityWest dividend for 2015, the City's Financial officer noted that CityWest had provided a repayment on their loan, something that is not considered a dividend for the city.

He followed up that item, with questions related to pay parking in the city and then turned his attention towards the nature of the Annual Report and how it's mainly a document related to financial items.

For Council's consideration he observed that the city should provide more background into such items as the use of Recreation Facilities, or a more detailed overview of the nature of the city's crime statistics, recommending to Council that they return to the practice of inviting the leadership of the Recreation Department, RCMP and Fire Department to attend to Council to provide more comprehensive reports on the city's services.

That was the only contribution to the public session on the Annual Public meeting and no residents followed that up with any other concerns, which brought the public comment session to an end.

(8:00--8:30 Regular Council Session for Monday, June 27, 2016  -- The Mayor reviewed past minutes and the current agenda for the evening. 

(8:30--9:00)  Recommendation to approve the  2015Annual Public Report -- With the public having been provided opportunity to comment on the 2015 Annual Report, Council then moved on the motion to approve the Report. 

Reports to Council

( 9:00--11:30 Report from the City Planner regarding a request for a development variance permit for a property on Ambrose Avenue  --  City Planner Zeno Krekic provided a review of the background on a request for a variance permit for a property on Ambrose Avenue. 

Council voted to approve the motion.

( 11:30 -- 18:30 ) Report from the City Planner providing details on the request for a variance permit for a development by Horizon North -- Mr. Krekic outlined the background to a request to change the parking requirements for a proposed work camp location to be created behind the Lester Centre of the Arts in the area of the old trailer park. The main thrust of the request is to reduce the amount of parking required at the proposed site from 168 to 110 parking spaces.

Councillor Mirau offered up one question related to the topic asking for some clarification from Mr. Krekic's notes on the two examples of the camps that Horizon North operates in Alberta.

Councillor Cunningham noted that his only concern was what would happen if there was reversal in projections on the amount of vehicle traffic that the site might generate.

Mayor Brain noted that there were no residential areas in the vicinity of the site that would need to be notified as part of the move towards public notification.

Council voted to approve the Motion and the process now moves on to public notification.

18:30--20:30 ) Report from the City's Director of Operations regarding a proposal to install playground equipment at Roosevelt School -- Mr. Richard Pucci provided council with the background to a request from the school District to support the planned installation of new equipment at the school playground, as it is to be installed on municipal land Council is required to approve the installation process.

The Mayor inquired as to the liability risk related to the playground equipment.

Council voted to approve the motion.

18:30--25:00 ) Report from the City's Corporate Administrator regarding a proposal to name parkland behind the Westview School site in memory of Odd Eidsvik -- Mayor Brain described the topic as one of the highlights of the evening and left it to Mr. Mandryk to outline the nature of the planned dedication of the parkland in commemoration the memory of Mr. Eidsvik who passed away last year.  

The recognition is to a process that will be done jointly with the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert and at some later date a formal plaque and sign may be placed at the entranceway to the park, the location would be known as Odd Eidsvik Park.

Mayor Brain noted that the initiative was spearheaded by Mr. Newton of the Rotary Club and Councillor Barry Cunningham,  he also observed that the City was not making a commitment towards a plaque or sign for the park at this time, adding that the Rotary Club is raising funds towards something of that nature through their Odd Eidsvik Memorial Fund.

Councillor Niesh offered up his support for the concept but had one question towards the project, asking if the designation as parkland would offer any restrictions on the city for any form of public use development.

The Mayor outlined that only the woodland area would be designated as the parkland, and that there were two covenants in place on lots in the area that state that it can't be developed, while the site of the old Transition House would still be available for some form of development.

Council then voted to approve the motion  


( 25:00--25:30 ) Recommendation to adopt the Building amendment bylaw  -- With council having discussed the amendment bylaw at their last session, they voted to approve the bylaw which puts in place the requirements related to temporary structures in the city such as shipping containers used for storage.

( 25:30--30:00 ) Recommendation to adopt the Recreation Fees changes bylaw -- With the document revised to reflect caps of five percent over the next five years when it comes to recreation fees for use of the city's recreation facilities, Council had opportunity for any final thoughts prior to the adoption of the bylaw changes. 

Councillor Cunningham was the only one to offer up commentary asking Willa Thorpe, the Director of Recreation and Community Services about aspects of responsibility that users of the facilities should pay for, he was advised that the nature of the  clause was to ensure that the city did not end up being required to pay the costs. 

The second area of concern was related to staffing at the Civic centre after hours, something that was required to reflect for security for any use of the facility in that period of time when City staff are not working at the faclities.

Mr. Cunningham had one final question related to rental rates that don't fit the criteria outlined, asking in specific about such a venture as Senior hockey and how it would fit into the new structure.

Council then voted to approve the motion

( 30:00--35:00  ) Reports, Questions and Inquires from Council

Mayor Brain offered up a few notes on the latest developments through the work of the Housing Committee, providing an update for Council members on a recent visit to the city by representatives of BC Housing. Noting that he and the City's Financial Officer Corinne Bomben had toured a number of site locations with the BC Housing officials. 

The Mayor noted that it was all part of the application that the City has made towards the affordable housing fund, something separate from the City's Housing Committee work, with Mr. Brain adding that he was personally managing that aspect of the process himself, along with the City Manager and Economic Development officer.

Once the BC Housing officials have done an assessment of their current stock they will determine the course ahead whether by renovation or replacement, the City has communicated to them their preference to see different stock of housing located around the community in different locations. 

He also outlined that as that process moves forward it's possible that the city may see some form of investment in the community for some affordable housing, adding that they have been up to Prince Rupert a few times now and taken note of some of the issues that the council has been advocating for the last two years.

Councillor Cunningham inquired if the city has any interest in tapping into the theme of a recent announcement by the federal government that is allocating further funding for housing in the country, the Mayor noted that  this was the exact same process. 

What is required now is a list of specific needs for the community with part of the city's application to make use of data from the Go Plan survey to try and access that funding.

Councillor Cunningham observed that he hopes that all of the Mayor's work on the issue will reap some benefits.

The Mayor followed up with a few more notes related to the mechanism in place to apply for funding for housing initiatives and how the City is approaching that process.

The final comments on the night went to Councillor Cunningham who observed on the success of the weekend events in Port Edward as part of the fiftieth anniversary of that community, with Councillor Cunningham offering his congratulations Port Edward for the work they put into the weekend.

You can access the City Council Review for June 27th here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including links to local media coverage, if any, can be found.

As always, our Council Timeline is only a reflection of our observations from the Council session of the night. Be sure to consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to their website for further review.

In addition to the city's official minutes, the City's Video archive provides a helpful record of the events from each public council session.

Official Minutes of the Regular Council Session from June 27th, 2016 (not available yet)

Council members now head into the summer schedule for Regular Council sessions, featuring only one session per month for July, August and September, the next scheduled Council session takes place on July 25th.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

North Coast Roller Derby fans look to create Prince Rupert squad

After a couple of tentative starts in the past, things appear to be ramping up when it comes to launching a local Women's Roller Derby Squad with plans in the works to try and get some skaters in place this summer.

A post to a Facebook page created for the group is laying the foundation for the project and so far things appear to be taking off nicely, with 30 new members signing up since the first post appeared on June 24th.

The group has plans to hold a first meeting this Thursday at 5:30 PM at Tim Horton's to provide an outline of what's involved to get the project up and on the skating floor. 

The Prince Rupert team, tentatively using the name of Kaien Island Derby Dolls (though a name change is among some of the the topics for the future) is currently looking to establish a list of coaches and officials with men invited to lend a hand there, while recruiting for the squad for the skating floor is for ladies 19 years of age and over.

If things come together as hoped, the days of jams, jumps and blocks could soon be part of the Prince Rupert sports scene.

Roller Derby has seen a bit of a revival in recent years, with the female brand of the sport making inroads in a number of British Columbia communities. Vancouver has been the centrepiece of the sports growth with a number of teams competing around the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island area.

Terrace has been one hotspot in the province with the North Coast Nightmares squad travelling to competitions around B.C. and starting to make a name for itself.

An example of what the sport is all about can be found from the video below featuring the Nightmares in action last year.

Some of the Terrace exploits can be reviewed below:

May 2016 - Roller Derby team strikes gold
February 2016 -- North Coast Nightmares ready to roll

You can keep up to date on the Prince Rupert plans from the Facebook page that has been created for the new sports option in the area.

Canada Day Organizers looking for volunteers for Friday's event

Prince Rupert's Special Events Society is looking for a little help this Canada Day, with a request for assistance posted to the Organization's Facebook page yesterday seeking volunteers to help with set up and takedown of the Friday afternoon celebration of the Nation's birthday.

Prince Rupert's celebration takes place this Friday at Mariner's Park starting at the Noon hour and features a four hour festival of music, fun and games for youth as well as food and cake to name a few of the things to enjoy on the day.

If you have some time to lend a hand you can contact Prince Rupert Special events at 250-624-9118 or send them an email at

You can find updates on the Canada Day plans from the Special Events Facebook page here.

More background on Community events around the North Coast can be found on our archive page.

Prince Rupert job opportunity focuses on City's Planning Department

The City of Prince Rupert is on the hunt for some upper management help this July, seeking applications for the position of City Planner 1, a career opportunity that appears to be focused on the prospect of progress on major projects beginning to take place.

The position features responsibilities related to the processing of development and building permit applications and offering urban design, planning, as well as residential and commercial bylaw advice to the public, city staff and applicants.

Skills in managing, motivating, developing and mentoring a team are also high on the list for the City, as well as the ability to work in a changing environment while delivering complex projects on time and on budget.

The full range of responsibilities and qualifications can be reviewed here.

The City is seeking someone with two to five years of municipal planning experience or equivalent for the position. The deadline for those interested in the opportunity is July 18th.

Currently the City's Planning Department is led by Zeno Krekic who has helped to steer a number of the city's recent initiatives when it comes to major project planning.  There is no indication on the city's website if the advertised position is a new addition for City staff, or if the current City Planner is moving into a different role with city, or is destined for other opportunities elsewhere.

More background on past employment and labour notes with from the City can be found on our archive page here.

CEAA restarts clock on Pacific NorthWest LNG project, destined for a late September deadline

The Pacific NorthWest LNG project
is back on the clock at the CEAA
The frequently paused process of review for the proposed 11 billion dollar LNG terminal at Lelu Island is back on again, as the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency restarted the clock on its work related to the project.

June 27, 2016 - The proponent has submitted its final response to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) in relation to the March 18, 2016 information request. The Agency has determined that the proponent's final response satisfies the information request. The legislated timeline for the project, including a three-month extension granted by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, has resumed.

The CEAA announced the resumption of the review process yesterday, it had been put on pause after the federal agency requested further information from the proponent related to the site development plans for the suspension bridge aspect of the project.

In it's submission to the federal agency on June 17th, Pacific NorthWest LNG responded with a range of revisions to Potential conditions, with aspects related to consultation with Aboriginal groups key to the majority of the observations listed, along with observations listed on themes of air and marine management issues.

Included in the overview is commentary related to mitigation measures during the construction phase of the terminal project designed to reduce impacts on marine life in the terminal location.

You can review the background information related to the revisions here.

With the process underway again and a three month extension to the process put in place by the Minister of the Environment, the new target date now shifts to mid to late September for a hand off of the file to Minister Catherine McKenna, who will take the project to the Federal cabinet for final approval.

Some media notes on the resumption of the Environmental review can be found below:

Canada resumes environmental review of Petronas-led LNG project
CEAA resumes review of Pacific NorthWest plans
Petronas LNG Bid Faces 90 Day Wait as Clock ticks for Trudeau
90 days left for Pacific NorthWest LNG environmental review
90 day clock begins on Pacific NorthWest LNG review

While the regulatory work continues towards that September deadline, Pacific NorthWest LNG is looking to add on to its head office roster, posting a career opportunity for a Legal Counsel to work in the field of Regulatory and First Nations aspects of the proposed development.

More background on the Pacific NorthWest proposal can be found on our archive page here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Council looks to commemorate Odd Eidsvik's life with parkland designation

City Council has an idea
how best to commemorate the
life of Odd Eidsvike who
passed away one year ago
Since the passing of one time Prince Rupert Councillor Odd Eidsvik one year ago, Prince Rupert City council has been seeking the way to best celebrate his life, achievements and contribution to life on the North Coast and tonight, we get a glimpse of one idea that should probably gain a fair bit of traction.

The proposal to be discussed will see a recommendation that the woodland area located behind the site of the old Westview School be dedicated to him, a process that will take place jointly with the Rotary Club or Prince Rupert.

Should they move forward with the proposal Council may arrange at a later date to have a plaque or sign put in place at the entry way to the parklands to offer a salute to the long time community leader.

Mr. Edsvik had a lengthy period of engagement on civic matters both as a serving councillor as well as through a number of other positions and board memberships as well as his long time participation with the Rotary Club of Prince Rupert and Hecate Strait Rotary club of which he was a charter member.

He also had strong ties to the North Coast fishing fleet both as a commercial fisherman and later through his work as a chartered accountant both in Prince Rupert and in Richmond.

His passing on June 12th of last year was noted with sadness and thanks for a lifetime of service to the community by many across the region.

Prince Rupert Council will give consideration tonight to a plan to
commemorate the life of Odd Eidsvik with a parkland designation in his
name for the area behind Westview School

You can review the proposal up for discussion by City Council here, it appears on page 38 of the City's Agenda on the night.

A full preview of all of the talking points for this evening's Council session can be found on our Council Preview page here.

For more items related to City Council see our archive page here.

Prince Rupert RCMP detachment hit by vandalism spree

Prince Rupert's RCMP detachment was
the scene of the crime after an extensive
vandalism spree in the parking lot last week
In what is a rather brazen display of when it comes to vandalism in the city, ten vehicles parked in the parking lot of the Prince Rupert detachment of the RCMP had their tires slashed shortly before 1 AM on Thursday, June 23rd.

The details behind the vandalism spree were outlined in a media release issued by the RCMP late last week, with the background to the incident noting that in addition to the extensive cost to replace the tires, a more troubling concern is the disruption to service that the incident could have delivered to the community.

Members of the detachment offered up their main area of concern related to the incident and how the damage inflicted to the tires could have limited response time in the event that the public required police assistance, or if police had been required for any kind of a life threatening call.

The RCMP is asking for the assistance of the public on the case file and ask that anyone who may have information regarding the vandalism to contact the detachment at 250-627-0700 or through CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)

You can learn more about the incident from this information notice from the RCMP

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

City Council Preview for Monday, June 27, 2016

The last of the two a month Council meetings takes place tonight as Prince Rupert City Council prepares to slip into summer season mode and a calendar that features only one council meeting per month through July, August and September.

Tonight's public session offers up a chance to comment on the City's Annual Report which will also be up for formal adoption by Council this evening the Committee of the Whole session also provides residents a chance to ask questions or raise concerns that they may have to Council members.

The Regular Agenda features a number of items including the vote to approve the Annual Report and review a pair of variance permit requests for properties in the city, including a change in the required number of parking spaces for the proposed Wantage Road work camp site.

Council will also review a pair of Reports, one of some interest to the community will be a request from the School District and to approve and offer support for the installation of new equipment at Ecole Roosevelt Park.

Another item that should generate some interest is the review of a report that recommends the naming of the park land behind the old Westview site in dedication to Mr. Odd Eidsvik.

The remainder of the evening is left to consider two bylaw recommendations, one of which will put in place the new Fees and Charges recommendations for recreational services, as well Council will hear a report from the Mayor on the latest developments with the Housing Committee.

The full review of the evening ahead can be reviewed here from the Agenda for the Regular Council session for June 27th.

Monday's Committee of the Whole Agenda can also be found here.

Council will also host a session at 5 PM closed to the public, to address items related to:

negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.

Below we'll highlight the different elements of this evenings work from the Regular session Agenda, for further background on each item, the page number from the Agenda is listed in red.

The Regular  Council session starts off with the adoption of agendas and minutes.

Petitions and Delegations   

Any Unfinished Business is then up next on the Agenda.

Followed by Reports and Recommendations

Report from the Communications Manager on the 2015 Annual Report -- Council will receive an overview of the 2015 Annual Report, with the public having been offered an opportunity for comment in the Committee of the Whole session, Council will then vote to approve the Annual Report (see page 10 of  the Agenda)

Report from the City Planner for an Application for a Development Variance for a property on Ambrose Avenue -- Council will receive information related to the request for the variance and the recommendation to move it forward to the public notification process. (see page 11 of the Agenda)

Report from the City Planner regarding an application for a Development Variance Permit from Horizon North -- Council will review information and consider the recommendation to move the process to the Public Notification process (see page 23 of the Agenda)

Report from the Director of Operations regarding an request from the School District related to the installation of New equipment at the Ecole Roosevelt Park -- Council will review the report and the recommendation to approve the School District request (see page 36 of the Agenda)

Report from the Corporate Administrator regarding the naming park land at the Westview School site in dedication of Mr. Odd Eidsvik -- Council will review a report that outlines the land under consideration to be named in honour of Mr. Eidsvik's contribution and commitment to the City of Prince Rupert (see page 38 of the Agenda)

Correspondences for Action and any Resolutions from Closed meetings

Bylaws mark the next item of the Agenda on the night and makes for a short list of items to be addressed.

Report from the Director of Operations -- Background on the Building Amendment Bylaw with Council to vote on the recommendation that it adopt the bylaw ( see page 41 of the Agenda)

Report from the Director of Recreation and Community Services -- A review of the Recreation Fees and Changes Amendment Bylaw and consideration of the recommendation to adopt the new Fees and Charges amendment bylaw ( see page 43 of the Agenda )

The evening then moves on to Additional Items from Council members, as well as Reports, Questions and Inquiries from Members of Council.

Council will also hear an update from the Mayor on the Housing Committee.

Council members will also offer up any items or concerns that they have for consideration on the night.

The Live broadcast of the City Council session can be found here, a video archive of past sessions is available here.

Our archive of items related to the June 27th session can be found here.

While our archive of all sessions of 2016  for council  is available here.

City Council Session, Monday, June 27, 2016

Our archive of items from the session can be found below.

Regular Session of Council for June 27, 2016

Home page and archive of sessions can be found here.

Live Broadcast of session can be found here

North Coast Review -- Preview of Session for June 27, 2016

Agenda for Regular Council Session for June 27, 2016

Agenda for the Committee of the Whole Session for June 27, 2016

Agenda for Closed Session of Council for June 27, 2016

Info to Council 

June 22
June 15


Mayor Lee Brain -- Present
Councillor Barry Cunningham -- Present
Councillor Nelson Kinney -- Present
Councillor Blair Mirau -- Present
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present
Councillor Gulvinder Randhawa -- Absent
Councillor Joy Thorkelson -- Absent

Minutes of Regular Session of Council June 27, 2016  (not available yet)

Video Recording of June 27, 2016

North Coast Review, City Council Timeline, June 27, 2016

North Coast Review Items for the June 27, 2016 Session of Council 

Horizon North work camp parking changes proposal to head to public notification
Few questions for Council on 2015 Annual Report 
Council looks to commemorate Odd Eidsvik's life with parkland designation

Media items from other sources for the June 27, 2016, 2016 session can be found in our Discussion Points from City Council feature