Wednesday, June 1, 2016

City Council Timeline, Monday, May 30, 2016

While it wasn't as quick a session as the May 9th meeting which clocked in at less than 20 minutes, the final session for May also went by fairly fast, wrapping up before the one hour mark on the night.

A light agenda provided Council with the opportunity to take care of the work in a fairly quick fashion, with little in the way of questions or discussions related to the topics of the night posing for a time consuming process on the evening.

The Monday session featured some inquiries from two members of the public through the Committee of the Whole session at the start of the night, while the Regular Agenda items featured a presentation from the Terrace Conservation Office related to recent wolf encounters in the community.

As well as part of the main portion of the Council session, a number of bylaw motions were approved by Council, included in that process was the appointment of Fire Chief Dave McKenzie as the city's Emergency Management Coordinator.

Council members wrapped up the evening with a number of observations for discussion.

For some background on the evening's scheduled items of note, the Agenda for the Regular Council session for May 30, 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 May 30, 2016

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

Video Archive for May 30, 2016

(0:00--17:30) Committee of the Whole Session for Monday, May 31, 2016 -- After providing a brief review of the rules for participation in the Committee of the Whole Session, Mayor Lee Brain called for those in the audience interested in participating to come forward to the microphone.

Two residents of the City took advantage of the opportunity to discuss their concerns, the first a resident of the McKay Street area, outlined a number of items related to the neighbourhood.  Noting in her opening remarks her disappointment at hearing the word that the Transition Society Plan for the McKay Street Park had finished out of the running in a funding competition hosted by BCAA to Build Better places to Play in the province. 

Mayor Brain provided a short overview of the situation and noted that Transition Prince Rupert has finalized its financing to get the design complete, having conducted fundraising with local groups towards the twenty five thousand dollar cost of the design work.  Should they find success in their fund raising efforts, Transition Prince Rupert will then take the design process back to the community and once the design is settled on, Transition Prince Rupert will conduct another round of fundraising in the community to help construct a new McKay street park, with hopes for a start in development of the park in 2017.

Other issues of interest that were mentioned as part of the first contributor were some observations on the current cruise ship season and the importance of tourism to the community.  Traffic issues in the community were also raised as part of the discussion with Council members.

The second participant on the night, focused the majority of his concerns on the various proposed LNG developments in the region and his observations on the risks they may prove to the area. Two items of interest for him were the proposed WCC LNG project for the Lot 444 area of the east side of the City and the Pacific NorthWest LNG project for Lelu Island, both of which provide for a number of environmental concerns for him.

Mayor Brain noted that the City has provided some input on the environmental process and that the City has staff engaged on the issues.

After ten minutes of that presentation, the Mayor advised that the resident's time was up and with that the Committee of the Whole session came to an end.

(17:30--18:30 Regular Council Session for Monday, May 9, 2016  -- The Mayor reviewed past minutes and the current agenda for the evening. 

(18:30--33:30)  Presentation from the BC Conservation Agency on the issue of Wolves in Prince Rupert -- Conservation Officer Gareth Scrivner, a representative from the Terrace office of BC Conservation provided a short overview of the current wolf situation in Prince Rupert since the Spring began.

He noted that the current level of inquiries on the issue or complaints from the public is on a par with past years, adding that they haven't had any particular problems with the Kaien Island pack,  with only one wolf causing the problems in the community and that the situation had been addressed and the wolf removed.

In response to a question from Councillor Cunningham, the Conservation officer outlined the timeline for response to calls from the public that the Terrace office uses to deal with issues as they come up. He did note that owing to the size of the region they patrol there are going to be delays at times between the original call and the response to them. He did stress the need for the public to call in their information as incidents occur so they can determine the nature of their approach to the issue of a problem wolf.

Councillor Kinney asked for some suggestions as to what residents can do if the have an encounter with a wolf.

In reply, the Conservation Officer suggested that residents not provide any food for the animals, to yell at the animals, appear large and throw sticks or stones at them to scare them away.  He also suggested that the City may wish to post the information at area trail heads or walkways to provide some background on the pack on Kaien Island for residents and visitors.

Councillor Thorkelson asked a number of questions related to the traps that the Conservation Office might use and how they determine when to use them. Asking if the Conservation Office could be a bit more proactive in response to the complaints as they come in.

He outlined some of the process that they put into motion when they work to remove a wolf and the amount of time that such an approach may take to deliver the results the city might want to see.

Councillor Thorkelson offered up some further observations on the nature of the Conservation Office approach and how she doesn't want to see any kind of carcass left to be discovered by residents as part of any removal process.

Councillor Cunningham wrapped up the question and answer period, noting his understanding over the staffing levels that the Conservation office is facing, he followed up that observation with a question as to how large the Kaien Island pack might be.

He was told that it's estimated to number at around twelve or thirteen and that the recent troubles in the community seem to have been limited to one particular wolf, who may have become to brazen or bold or been rejected by its pack and had moved further into the city to seek prey.

Bylaw Reports

( 33:30--38:30 Report from the City Planner with Background on the Bylaw to Establish Policies and Procedures to Require Development Approval Information --  City Planner Zeno Krekic provided a review of the proposed Impact assessment Bylaw, noting for Council that the City of Prince Rupert is on the doorstep of major influx of development caused by one or more major projects. The proposed bylaw is a procedural one and will allow staff to ask questions on a list of topics of proponents and give specifications on how information is to be provided and will allow applicants an opportunity to ask the Council to reconsider requirements that have been asked by staff.

The new proposed bylaw will allow staff the background to seek impact analysis on any proposed development. It is the first in a succession of bylaws that will implement, enable and authorize the recently adopted Interim Land Use Policy Framework.

Councillor Mirau offered up a few questions to seek some clarity on the proposed bylaw asking for the rationale behind some of the elements of the bylaw, suggesting that the City doesn't want to bite off more than they can chew on the process.

Mr. Krekic noted that the final draft was significantly more condensed than the original proposal and that the current recommendation is more of a compliment to the Land Use Framework.

Councillor Cunningham inquired as to the process related to the ability for a proponent to take the planner's process to Council to address their concerns. Mr. Krekic provided the background as to how that would work in relation to the Bylaw.

Council voted to approve the Bylaw motion.

( 38:30 -- 41:30 ) Report from the City Planner providing details on the Quality of Life - Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw -- Mr. Krekic outlined the background to the proposed amendment which will go to public hearing on June 13th at 7 PM.  He noted that the bylaw is dovetailing to the previous bylaw that had just been approved by Council. The proposed initiative will amend the Quality of Life Official Community plan  and provide an overarching policy that will allow City staff to seek impact assessments on proposed projects. Some policies that are included will require further detail work to define standards and specifications with that work to commence in early July.

The Mayor noted that the Interim Planning booklet is available on the city website for review of the public prior to the Public Hearing. Mr. Krekic also advised that he would be working with the City's Communication Manger to further inform the public on the topic.

Council voted to approve the Bylaw Motion

41:30:00--48:00 ) Report from the Fire Chief providing background on the Emergency Management Program Bylaw -- The City Manager Robert Long, delivered the report providing an outline to the terms of the new Bylaw and how it will be delivered. He provided some background into the process of how an Emergency Situation would be declared and what support the City would provide. He noted that since there are some fairly new staff members that some training would be required in the near future to bring everyone up to standard with a table top exercise planned for the Fall in order to be sure that the city members are ready to respond. 

Councillor Thorkelson inquired as to the nature of the Emergency committee make up and if it was an ongoing process. Mr. Long noted that it should be as part of an ongoing basis and that the different elements of the support process do meet through the year and that the actual program would only be implemented during an emergency.

Councillor Cunningham offered up some clarification for Councillor Thorkelson as to how the process would work, calling on his experience through Federal Coast Guard exercises in the city.

As part of the approval for the motion Fire Chief Dave McKenzie was appointed to the position of Emergency Management Coordinator.

( 48:00--49:30   ) Report from the Director of Operations providing background on a proposed Road Closure and Removal of Road Dedication Bylaw for a portion of Third Avenue West at the Benser Block -- Mr. Richard Pucci provided Council with an overview of the current situation related to the sidewalk area in front of the Besner Block on Third Avenue and what the City has proposed to address the issue.

Council voted to approve the motion and gave it first, second and third reading.

( 49:30--52:30  ) Reports, Questions and Inquires from Council

Mayor Brain noted that he had not been able to get in touch with some of his contacts on the Housing files, so he had no new items of interest from the Housing Committee for this session of council.

Councillor Thorkelson provided Notice of Motion to Council that she will be bringing to Council for further discussion the topic of the request by Enbridge Energy for an extension for their proposed Northern Gateway project, she also suggested that at the same time Council discuss the issue of the proposed tanker ban for the coastal waters off the North Coast.  The Mayor noted her intention and turned the subject over to the City's Corporate Administrator for the next Council agenda.

Councillor Cunningham offered up an inquiry as to the status of the city's new airport shuttle bus, noting that while the City had featured them in a recent photo advisory, that in some of his recent trips through the Prince Rupert Airport he had noticed that the old BlueBird school bus was still in use. He asked the Mayor what was happening with the new buses and when they might be put in use. Mayor Brain observed that at the time of the photos that it had been stated that the buses weren't quite available for service yet and that they also have to be "Wrapped" with a design, adding that the process of the wrapping is to take place shortly. He estimated that the buses would be in full service within the next few weeks.

Councillor Randhawa expressed concerns over the growing number of shopping carts that are being abandoned around the city. The Mayor noted that it was perhaps a topic that the City should first address with the city's retail stores, asking the Corporate Administrator to make contact with them, adding that he would also make some calls.

You can access the City Council Review for May 9th here, where a number of items regarding the council session, including links to local media coverage, if any, of it 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 May 30, 2016 (not available yet)

Council members now get three weeks away from the public forum portion of their work, with the Regular session set for June 13th in Council Chambers at City Hall.

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