Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Port Edward offers up a different interpretation on recent Service agreement with Prince Rupert

Port Edward seems to have
a different 
opinion than
the City of Prince Rupert

when it comes to the
details of the 
recently announced
Service agreement
The gap that passes under the Galloway Rapids bridge marks the geographical separation between Prince Rupert and Port Edward  and while it perhaps isn't very wide as a crossing, it serves as a handy reminder that the two communities are distinct political entities, with very different views at times on issues that affect their operations.

That theme has become pretty clear when it comes to the topic of a recent agreement between the two communities,  with some recent comments from the south that suggest that there seems to be a much larger gulf when it comes to the  interpretation as to what it was that the two sides recently discussed.

Earlier this month the City of Prince Rupert issued a media release championing its success in reaching a Two year service agreement with the District of Port Edward when it comes to the benefits that Port Edward residents receive from city of Prince Rupert facilities.

With Mayor Lee Brain using the information statement to provide the main talking point for the City and how they viewed the negotiations.

"This 2-year agreement reflects our shared understanding that Port Edward benefits from Prince Rupert services and public facilities without fully contributing towards the rising costs of operating them.”  ... “The agreement is a good start towards achieving a long-term solution that is fair for taxpayers.”

The media release further quoted the Mayor who touched on the theme of taxation culled from the industrial lands of Ridley Island observing that "I'm pleased Port Edward has agreed with us that it's time to update the Ridley Island Agreement to be fair for everyone"

However, Peace In Our time isn't quite there yet it seems, especially when it comes to reopening that Ridley Island agreement and changing any terms.

That final quote from Mayor Brain seems to have caught the attention of District officials and the Mayor's conversation starter isn't exactly how Port Edward officials see the status of the agreement.

In a review of the September 13th Port Edward Council meeting, the weekly paper has a few select quotes from Mayor Dave MacDonald that offers up the opinion that the money to be delivered to Prince Rupert by Port Edward for services isn't tied to the Ridley Island Tax Agreement, but rather comes from the District's budget process.

Mayor MacDonald added for good measure that the District of Port Edward will be seeking a legal opinion on the Tax Agreement prior to any further discussions on the topic with the City of Prince Rupert.

You can review Mayor MacDonald's talking points here.

The Ridley Island Tax Agreement in the eyes of the City of Prince Rupert provides for an unfair distribution of revenues from the industrial site, the issue became the focus of Prince Rupert city Council back in February, when Councillor Mirau first put it on the Council radar.

Since then it has been the topic for a number of discussions at City Council during the course of this past year.

Some of our past notes on the controversial topic can be found below:

September 8 -- Prince Rupert and Port Edward reach accomodation on Service Agreement
March 9 -- Prince Rupert Council to seek re-opening of Ridley Island Tax Agreement and share of potential Pacific Northwest LNG revenue
March 7 -- Council members to receive background report on Ridley Island Tax Agreement tonight
February 25 -- Councillor Mirau seeks more background on Ridley Island Tax Agreement with Port Edward

More items of interest on developments in Port Edward can be reviewed here, while out background notes from the Prince Rupert City Council can be found on our archive page.

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