Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Provincial government offers nod of approval for replacement for Mills Memorial Hospital

A replacement for Mills Memorial is in
the works, with the Province providing
its approval for a new facility
There is good news for the residents of the Terrace area this afternoon, with an announcement from Finance Minister Mike de Jong that a new hospital is on the way for the community an hour and half east of Prince Rupert.

The Finance Minister made the announcement Tuesday while providing a Budget 2017 update for the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce, as part of his comments de Jong noted that the provincial government had taken notice of the efforts from the Terrace region to make the case for a new facility.

“The Province has heard the calls from residents about the need for a new hospital in this community,”  .. “A new facility will support this region, and the families that live and work in the region.”

Few details were outlined as to what the new hospital may look like, though it was revealed that earlier this month Northern Health had provided an updated concept plan to the Ministry of Health regarding the process of planning for a new hospital in Terrace.

It's expected that the work on the business plan will start in the fall of this year, with a timeline of 12 to 18 months leading up to procurement and the start of construction, which would seem to suggest that the first shovel won't hit the ground until the late summer, or early fall of 2019 at the earliest.

Harry Nyce, the Chair of the NorthWest Regional Hospital Board outlined the Board's enthusiasm that comes from today's announcement.

“The North West Regional Hospital District is encouraged and delighted to see the next steps being committed to by the Province in the process of working towards the replacement of Mills Memorial in Terrace,”  ... “The replacement of Mills Memorial has been the number-one priority of the North West Regional Hospital District Board for many years. This new hospital will benefit all northern residents by increasing access to timely quality health care, the key variable to our regional growth.”

Also not disclosed today was to what level of service the new facility will operate as, during the course of the Terrace campaign to replace the hospital there were calls to make it a Level Three Trauma Centre for the Northwest.

A potential shift in the health care dynamic in the region that was of some concern to Prince Rupert City Councillor Barry Cunningham, who shared some thoughts at a recent Prince Rupert Council session.

Prince Rupert and other communities along the North Coast will no doubt be happy to hear of the province's plans for the aging facility in Terrace which was clearly in need of replacement.

However, North Coast officials whether they represent municipal, regional or provincial interests will have to keep watch that health services on the North Coast don't suffer, and that other areas of the region don't see reductions to their services, or funding as a result of the coming push for the new facility.

Mills Memorial was built in 1961 and has 44 acute care beds along with a range of medical services including cancer and kidney care, maternity services and a number of medical imaging services.

As we noted on the blog back in January, the campaign to raise awareness of the need for the new facility was one that embraced the entire community, with an impressive media campaign launched to get the message out, one clearly heard by a provincial government that is hopeful of claiming the Skeena seat in the Legislature in the May election.

More items related to health care in the Northwest can be found on our archive page.

Coast Tsimshian Academy Grads featured on Toronto morning program

The Grads of the Coast Tsimshian Academy are a trending group
for Toronto after Monday morning TV appearance

The first ever grad class from the Coast Tsimshian Academy is already making their mark in Toronto, and they haven't even made the trek eastbound yet, having recently appeared on that City's morning television program BreakfastTV.

The grads got up early, early, early yesterday (5:30 folks) to talk about their studies and plans for their planned Grad trip to Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City this coming May

Among some of their themes during the five minute interview was a look at the fundraising plans and what they hope to check out when they travel to Ontario and Quebec.

The trip is certainly capturing the attention of the media in Toronto, as part of the morning show, the hosts of BT provided a look at some of the events that are already lined up for the big trip to the east.

With visits to museums, Art Galleries the Science Centre, CN Tower,  a stop in to talk to the folks at the Rogers BT studios and Blue Jays game among some of the events.

Included in the journey will be a shopping expedition to Toronto's largest shopping centre the Yorkdale Mall and word of that part of the itinerary offered up some exciting news for the Grads.

As part of the broadcast a representative of Yorkdale Mall had a special surprise for the group, with Yorkdale set to provide the fashions for Grad night, making the Coast Tsimshian Grads ready to take to the event with some Ontario finery.

The Toronto station has already put up a number of shout outs about the trip through their website and Social Media streams such as twitter and Facebook

The goal of the fundraising campaign is close to 33,000 dollars, you can learn more about the project and contribute to the fundraising program from the link below.


So far they are just past the half way mark, with 16,000 dollars raised as of today.

We'll keep an eye on  how the travel plans come together and offer updates as we get closer to May.

You can find out more notes on what's happening in Lax Kw'alaams from our archive page.

While items of interest from the Lax Kw'alaams Academy can be reviewed here.

Lax Kw'alaams hosting all day planning session

Residents of Lax Kw'alaams are taking in a number community planning sessions today at the Recreation Hall,  the first in a number of meeting planned to get feedback on what the community should look like in the next five to ten years.

This mornings focus was for Elders of the community who as part of a mapping exercise will be offering their thoughts on such things as where amenities such as housing, the fire hall and such should be placed in the community.

The sessions continue this afternoon with an Adult Focus Group assembled from 1 to 3 PM to offer opinion and share thoughts on development for the community.

A larger public session for residents of Lax Kw'alaams is planned for March 6th at the Reg Sampson Gymnasium, which will feature break out groups to explore a range of themes, some of which will come from today's sessions.

Sessions will also be hosted in Prince Rupert and Vancouver later in March

You can find out more about what's happening at Lax Kw'alaams from their website and Facebook page.

More background notes from the community can be found on our archive page here.

New voice greets EZ Rock listeners in Prince Rupert

He's only been on the air for a few morning shifts to this point, so picking up on some of the unique traits of the North Coast is still part of a learning curve down at the Cow Bay studios of EZ Rock Prince Rupert.

The latest programming to provide for the morning wake up for the North Coast comes from a fellow named Cole, who as we discovered from  a few hours of tuning this morning is keeping things on a first name basis for listeners, as he works his way into running the morning show for Prince Rupert's Bell Media signal in the region.

The Prince Rupert studio for EZ Rock
is Live once again with a new morning
host in place at Cow Bay
As he settles into his new gig in Cow Bay, Cole is bringing a local presence back to Bell's Northwest network, which had been using the Terrace based morning show for the last few months after the departure in December of Lucas Anders for Alberta.

Considering that snow was the main theme of the morning, that proved to make for the majority of the commentary for the show, with a few notes on the recent Oscars and some observations on what should or should not go on a pizza providing for some of the day's observations.

You can tune in every weekday morning from 6 to 10 at 99.1 on FM, or through the EZ rock website.

There's not much bio material for listeners to read up on at the moment when it comes to the newest voice coming out of the radio every weekday morning, nor is there any glimpse into what might be planned for the morning show in the months to come.

What few notes that there are can be found here.

More background on the media on the North Coast can be found on our archive page.

Out like a Lion, Winter makes an appearance for last day of February

It's a snowy day on the North Coast with up to 4 cm expected
before the snow changes to rain this afternoon.
Above the Port Edward turnoff just before 10:30 this morning

So far the promised rain of the Environment Canada weather forecast is but a rumour, as snow continues to fall over much of the North Coast, with Prince Rupert in line for up to 4 centimetres or more before we might get a break, leaving those that need to shovel driveways and sidewalks with a choice of shovel now, or shovel later, or wait for the rain  ...

The fluffy stuff began to accumulate in the hours prior to six AM, continuing through the drive to work or school period of the morning, with City of Prince Rupert and Highway crews taking to the streets to help keep the path clear.

There were few trouble areas noted during a morning tour around town, most hills had been sanded and for the most part, motorists were proceeding through the city at a sensible driving pace.

The snow is expected to change to rain by the afternoon as we head towards a high of 5 degrees, though by 10:30 AM the snow was still the feature attraction of the day.

A look at the forecast ahead can be found below

As the weather system moves across the North Coast, the track can be followed along the Highway 16 corridor, with the snapshots below showing how things look between Prince Rupert and Terrace.

Rainbow Summit this morning

Conditions at Kwinitsa this morning
Conditions along the way at Kasiks
The weather was starting to change in Terrace at 10:30 AM

You can access updated Road information from the Drive BC website or twitter feed.

For more notes on past weather events on the North Coast see our archive page.

As long as the kids keep playing basketball, MLA Rice will have something to share with the Legislature

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice celebrating the success of the
Charles Hays Senior Girls Basketball team after winning NW Zones

Should things not work out as she might hope come May, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice might be able to swing a spot as a Sports Reporter somewhere ( perhaps NBA TV?), such has been the flow of Basketball updates that the MLA has provided to the Legislature in the last week.

As we noted last week, Ms. Rice made a pair of appearances in the Legislature to share of the exploits of the participants in the All Native Tournament, following the conclusion of another successful week long festival of basketball and celebration of First Nations communities in Prince Rupert.

This week begins with the MLA providing the Legislature with some notes on the success of the Charles Hays Senior Girls Basketball team as they make their way to Langley for the AA Provincials this week.

"I've started a bit of a trend here that I truly cannot stop. I need to mention that last weekend, the Charles Hays girls basketball team won the zone championships, which they hosted in Prince Rupert. They played two hard-fought games against Caledonia Secondary School and Smithers. 

As well, I'l like to acknowledge that Ruby Mason was named the MVP of the tournament, while Britanny Waite and Carly Cochrane were named the all-stars. I would like to acknowledge more basketball players in my rinding and thank you very much"

The Senior Girls will launch their quest for a Provincial banner tomorrow afternoon, with their opening game at the tournament against Vernon.

Still to come on Live from the Leg, shout outs for the Junior Boys who wrap up their tournament in Langley today and the Senior Boys Rainmakers, who will travel to the AAA Provincials next week for the March 8-11 showcase event for high school basketball.

You can review the comments from the Legislature record here, and tune into to the Legislature Sports Beat from the Chamber Video for Monday afternoon, starting at the 10 minute mark.

For more items related to the MLA's work at the Legislature see our archive page here.

Whitecaps Academy announces expansion plans for Prince Rupert, Terrace and Kitimat

Soccer is about to get a whole new look in the Northwest as the popular Whitecap Academy program expands its reach into the Northwest corner of the province.

The Vancouver Whitecaps announced their program plans for this spring on Friday, outlining how the Academy project will work, with prospects having to go through an evaluation process on a invitation basis.

The first of the evaluations will take place from April 18 to 23 and details will be posted to the website set up by the Vancouver Football Club at whitecapsfc.com/princerupert

A similar site for youngsters in the Terrace/Kitimat region can be accessed here.

Dan Lenarduzzi the Whitecaps FC director of soccer development took note of the opportunity to be found in the Northwest.

“We’re thrilled to expand our programs in Northern BC to include Prince Rupert, Terrace, and Kitimat,”...  “We thank the local soccer associations for their tremendous efforts in partnering together, notably Mike Cavin from the PRYSA, Sean Bujtas from the TYSA, and Alex Ramos-Espinoza from the KYSA. Bringing high level coaching and programs to these communities is part of our long-term vision to support BC Soccer and Canada Soccer in growing the game in our province, and throughout the country.”

The view from Prince Rupert is equally optimistic about the good working relationship that could be developed with this program, with Mike Cavin, President of PRYSA noting how local players will benefit from what the Whitecaps organization will bring to the region.

“PRYSA is very happy to have Vancouver Whitecaps FC opening an academy centre in Prince Rupert and Terrace this spring,” ... “The expertise that the program will bring to our players and coaches will be invaluable. It will allow players from Northwest BC to have similar opportunities as other players from around the province.”

The Prince Rupert Spring Pre-Prospects Sessions will take place from May through July with training to take place at the Charles Hays Secondary field.

Prospects will also go through their paces during those same months, though the training location has yet to be announced.

All of the Northern Academy programs will gather in Prince George in July for what is being called a Spring Summit, where each region will test their skills out against others from the Northern District.

Charlie Angus will be the head Coach for the Northern Academy Centres and will be watching over the Northwest expansion as the first year of operation rolls out.

With the first of the Academy projects set to start in April it's worth a reminder to take note that today is the final day for registration for Prince Rupert Youth Soccer, you can access registration information here.

Eligibility for play in the PRYSA 2017 season is for those youth born between 1998 and 2012.

You can register online or drop into the Civic Centre tonight from 6 to 8:30 PM, where you can also find out more about the local plans for the Whitecaps Academy concept.

Friday's official announcement is available here for review.

Some background on how the program has worked in other communities can be found here.

More items of interest about Youth Soccer in Prince Rupert can be found on our archive page here.

Sports: Youth Soccer on the North Coast 2017

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

Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Website
Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Facebook page
Whitecaps Northern Academy -- Prince Rupert 



July 20 -- Soccer the British Way the focus for August summer camp  NCR
July 4 -- Northern Savings Goal Getters Soccer camps kick off this month  NCR
July 3 -- Whitecaps wrapping up first season in Terrace


June 28 -- Year end play days end Prince Rupert's youth soccer season
June 21 -- Prince Rupert Football Club Under-16 squad takes second at Slurpee Cup
June 20 -- Whitecaps camp (video)
June 16 -- Youth soccer Rupertites finding their game


May 31 -- U13 Terrace boys triumphant at Kamloops soccer tourney
May 8 -- Rupert U12 Rep girls tackle Lax Kw'alaams


April 20 -- Prince Rupert Minor Soccer debuts U5 division, kicks off season
April 6 -- Whitecaps FC Academy debuts this weekend in Prince Rupert  NCR


March 16 -- Prince Rupert Youth Soccer in need of division coordinators prior to season launch NCR


February 28 -- Whitecaps Academy announces expansion plans for Prince Rupert, Terrace and Kitimat NCR

Archives from past years

2014 and before

A little renovation, a little relocation for City Hall Customer Services

In through the side door for residents looking for customer service
at Prince Rupert City Hall

Those looking to access services at Prince Rupert City Hall will be making use of the side door from now on, as the administrative offices of the Third Avenue facility see a few changes.

The City announced some modifications to the lay out of the building on Monday, making note that to improve accessibility for the Customer Service Area, the access to the office is now made by way of the ramp on the side entrance of the building that features the Charles Hays statue.

The Customer Service Office is where residents go to pay property and tax utility bills, find property information, or apply for building and development permits, make cemetery arrangements or to ask about more information of a general nature on civic items.

Those seeking access to the Administrative Department, whether on information related to Council meetings or access to the Mayor, Council members or city staff will still make use of the main entrance on Third avenue.

You can review the City's announcement on the change to the office layout here.

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

Monday, February 27, 2017

Junior Rainmakers seek placement spot at Provincials

For the Charles Hays Junior Rainmakers the quest for a banner came to an end on Saturday night, when the boys from Prince Rupert ran into a red hot RE Mountain School in the second match of Saturday's opening day.

The loss by a score of 50 to 37 knocked the Makers' out of the running for a Provincial title, but with competition continuing through to tomorrow, there is still a lot of basketball to be played as teams battle it out for provincial rankings for the end of the 2017 playoff run.

The Rainmakers had a strong debut in Langley this year, taking the play hard to the Guildford Park in their tournament opener Saturday morning, jumping out to a six point lead by the end of the first quarter leading the Sabres by an 18-12 margin.

Things tightened up significantly by half time as the Surrey team put on a late quarter push to pull within one point, with the Rainmakers holding a 28-27 lead as the two sides headed to the midway break.

Charles Hays regained their momentum into the third quarter picking up the offensive pace to push them to a 39-32 lead at three quarter time, they once again knocked down a final surge from the Surry team in the fourth, strong rebounding reduced second chances as the Rainmakers prevailed with a 54 to 4 Final.

A strong opening game for the Charles Hays Rainmakers as they took on
Surrey's Guildford Park Sabres on Saturday morning

(Photos courtesy of Brian Cameron)

Game two got a little away from the Charles Hays squad early on, as the Eagles doubled the score after the First and Second quarters, holding a 17 point lead heading into the third quarter.

The Rainmakers showed some grit through the third pushing hard to try and close the gap with the Mountain squad, but the Eagles took notice and knocked down the challenge from the north, holding tough into the final eight minutes of play.

The pace was fast and the competition hard on the boards, with Mountain denying Charles Hays any extra chances for baskets, while added  pressure on the outside limited the chance for the Makers to generate much offence, with the Eagles making few errors or giving away any turnovers that could help close the gap.

As the final few minutes of the fourth played out, a number of attempts for some perimeter three point shots fell short as the Eagles played some strong shut down basketball to secure their win and advance on towards the championship round.

Tough action Saturday night as the Rainmakers
ran into a hot SE Mountain Eagles team

(all photos courtesy of Brian Cameron)

Moving into the placement side of the tournament Charles Hays bounced back with energy on Sunday morning, matching up with their regional rivals from Prince George Secondary, with Prince Rupert quickly putting some distance between themselves and the Polars.

A 29-17 lead at half time had expanded to 40 to 31, though the Prince George did put in a bit of a run in the third quarter to give the Rainmakers a scare, however the Charles Hays team got back on their defensive plan and held off the Polars through the final eight minutes of the fourth quarter, the final buzzer signalling the 47 to 36 victory for the North Coast reps.

Game Three Action against the Prince George Secondary Polars
(all photos courtesy of Brian Cameron)

Day Three of the Provincials finds Charles Hays back on the court taking on another school from the Surrey area as the Maker's tip off against Lord Tweedsmuir at 4:30.

Games are available from a Pay Per View feed from Langley, more on that viewing option can be found from our Home Page for the Junior Tournament available here. That page also features a scoreboard of Rainmaker action and notes on the tournament.

Updates on the tournament can be found from the Junior Boys tournament home page

The Charles Hays twitter feed has featured a range of updates and photos from Langley, with former CHSS teacher Brian Cameron sharing a collection of actions shots (some of which you see above) as the weekend moved forward.

Other Rainmaker squads are making their plans for their own travels to the south in the next week, as Charles Hays Basketball rolls into March.

The Senior Boy's claimed their NorthWest Zones championship over the weekend as they took a pair of games from a tough minded Caledonia squad, with their victory Mel Bishop's boys will be travelling to Langley next week for the AAA Provincials.

The Senior Girl's are set to leave for the Lower Mainland later today, as Anna Ashley's team heads for the AA Provincials with the first tip off set for Wednesday against Vernon.

Howard Tsumara's Varsity Letters website also has some feature notes on the High School basketball in the province as part of the lead up to all of the March finales.

You can find out more background on Rainmaker Sports from our archive page here.

Pacific NorthWest LNG seeking new Community Relations Manager after departure of Derek Baker

Those with sharp eyes on the want ads in town have noted an opening at Pacific NorthWest LNG, with the Malaysian owned energy company seeking a new Community Relations Manager for its Prince Rupert office.

The need for a new public face for the LNG project came after the departure of Derek Baker who left Prince Rupert earlier this month, heading eastwards to take up duties, as the Director of Economic Development with the Northern Development Initiative Trust in Prince George.

Mr. Baker had spent a bit over six years on the North Coast arriving in the community in July of 2010, hired as the Economic Development Officer for Prince Rupert and Port Edward.

After a three year stint in that office, he moved to Pacific NorthWest LNG in November of 2013 as the prospect of LNG development arrived on the North Coast.

He was the contact person for many on the North coast seeking background on the project and served as Community Relations manager through the Pacific NorthWest environmental process that came to an end in September of 2016.

His departure from the North Coast comes as progress continues to be made on the LNG file, but before a Final Investment Decision has been announced by the Malaysian energy giant and its Asian partners.

His shift down the highway 16 corridor to the NDIT offices could prove beneficial to Prince Rupert and Port Edward as the two communities seek out funding opportunities and other economic development planning, with Mr. Baker more than familiar with the opportunities and challenges that face the communities of the North Coast.

A quick snap shot of what the Northern Development Initiative Trust is all about can be found here.

Baker was also very involved with the community, perhaps best known as a member of the Prince Rupert Rampage, first as a player and more recently as one of the assistant coaches on the CIHL team.

For Pacific NorthWest the quest for a new Community Manager will be one that seeks to find a candidate that can migrate the project from proposal to active construction, should Petronas provide its final investment decision in the months to come.

The full scope of the Pacific NorthWest position can be reviewed here.

A synopsis of the Role of the Community Role position can be found below:

More items of note related to Pacific NorthWest LNG can be found here.

Regional District earmarks $80,000 for rebranding plan

The process of turning Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District into North Coast Regional District is about to get underway.

With twelve days remaining until the North Coast's Regional government begins to consider the applicants looking to sign on to provide consultancy services for the District's new Branding program.

The request for proposals for the project was announced in January and is currently listed with the provincial BC Bid website, from it's Executive Summary, North Coast Regional District outlines the scope of the work ahead for the consultant.

Those notes include a focus directed to tasks related to providing what is called a meaningful corporate brand and associated sub-brands that reflect the region.

The guideline for that corporate brand development calls for consideration of the unique geographic, cultural and environmental characteristics of the NCRD.

The process of creating the new brand will include meetings with the NCRD and engagement with stakeholders, all of which is to lead to the production of new branding, which will include logos, a tagline, appropriate communication materials and website development as well as the creation of an implementation plan.

The budget for the NCRD's rebranding project is listed as 80,000 dollars, which will include for professional consulting services, as well as disbursements related to such things as meetings and travel.

The deadline for applications for the consultants services is March 10th.

Applications and any inquiries related to the Bid request can be directed Dainel Fish, the Corporate Officer at the Regional District Offices:

North Coast Regional District
14 - 342 3rd Avenue West
Prince Rupert BC V8J 1L5
250- 627 -8493

Evaluation and Selection of the successful bid will be handled by an evaluation committee that will be formed by Regional District, with the District noting that their intent is to enter into a contract with the proponent who achieves the highest overall ranking.

The timeline for the rebranding project starts with the assessment of candidates process in March, with the project to receive it's launch sometime in April, the final phase of the process to be achieved by November of this year.

As we noted on the blog in October, Regional District moved the process towards a faster pace with the approval of their request from Peter Fassbender addressed the issue last fall. 

You can review the full 19 information package associated with the bid request from the BC Bid site here, or from the Regional District website here.

For more items of interest related to Regional District affairs on the North Coast see our archive page here.

Concerns over Radiology results at Mills Memorial Hospital spark Northern Health review

A review of radiology results at
Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace
is currently underway
Close to 5,300 patients will be waiting for the end of March and the results from a now mandated second look, that after news from last week indicated that 8,400 results from recent radiology work at Mills Memorial will have to be reviewed after inconsistencies were found.

In a notice to patient from Friday, Northern Health outlined the situation from the Terrace hospital which affects patients who had CT Scans, Ultrasounds and General X Rays at Mills memorial between October  2016 and January 2017.

The scans in question were read by one radiologist, who has taken voluntary leave while the quality concerns are investigated.

In their media release, Northern Health notes that the review of the 8,400 results does not mean that all of the original readings are inaccurate or incomplete, or that any discrepancy will result in negative clinical concern or adverse health impacts to the individuals affected.

Northern Health further adds that patients will be contact by their physicians should there be a need for a follow up, and there is no public risk or need for patients to check with their physicians if they are not contacted.

It's anticipated that the review process will be completed by the end of March, the review of the results is being assisted by a group of radiologists from Vancouver General Hospital.

You can review the full scope of Friday's announcement here.

As the story became public through the day last Friday it became the theme for a number of news items across the province, some of those can be reviewed below:

Radiology Discrepancies at Mills Memorial Hospital (video)
Thousands of patient scans taken at Terrace Hospital being reviewed
Thousands of Northern B.C. patients' X-Rays, CT scans and ultrasounds may have been misread
8,400 Radiology images from Terrace Hospital under review
Thousands of radiology exams at Terrace hospital under review following discrepancies
Northern Health auditing 8,400 radiology images after 'inconsistent' exams. 5,400 patients impacted (audio)
Terrace Hospital X-Ray to be re-examined (video)
Radiology concerns at Terrace Hospital
Radiology mistakes could affect over 5,000 patients at Mills Memorial Hospital
Thousands of radiology scans under review at Terrace hospital

For more items of interest from Northern Health see our archive page.

Real Estate Tracker, week ending February 26, 2017

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 February 26, 2017 is below:

Prince Rupert Real Estate West Side week ending February 26 2017

Prince Rupert Real Estate East Side week ending February 26 2017

One property was removed from the list of ten this week coming from the upper reaches of our listings, while another property made its return cracking the bottom of the rankings.

That movement to the top ten took place on the city's west side, with the returning property found on Borden Street.

However, those changes did not affect the realty geography from last week, with eight properties still found on the west side of the City, while across the McBride Street dividing line, two properties continue to hold their placement in the east.

The lower range of pricing holds to a value of $469,000, while our top end from the last week is now listed at $829,000.

Below find our findings as of the Week ending February 26, 2017

2280 Graham Avenue                   $829,000 --   Remax
2230 Graham Avenue                   $679,000  --  Remax
1805 Graham Avenue                   $562,000  -- Royal Lepage
2062 Atlin Avenue                        $548,000 --  Remax
1724 Graham Avenue                   $515,000 --  Remax
1253 Conrad Street                       $499,000 --  Royal Lepage
1731-1733 Sloan Avenue              $498,000 --  Remax
1311-1313 Sloan Avenue              $479,000 --  Remax
1325 7th Avenue East                   $469,000 --  Remax
852 Borden Street                         $469,000 --  Remax
For more items related to Real Estate see our archive page here.

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

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Blog Watching: Week ending, February 26, 2017

Civic politics dominated our five most read items on the week, as readers clicked on a number of our reviews of Monday's council meetings and other civic themes of the last seven days.

From a look at a bit of a controversial public comment period from Monday night, to the growing trend of shorter council sessions and a move to announcements by way of social media, readers propelled council items to the top of the readership rankings.

Another well received item was our look at the Mayor's presentation to the Prince Rupert Rotary Club, which outlined the concepts received by the City from the Ontario based Planning Partnership, which forwarded a number of design ideas for development on the waterfront, downtown and at Seal Cove.

The School District made news a number of times this week, the story that cracks our top five list is a look at the pending retirement of Superintendent Sandra Jones and what SD52 has planned for the future at the top post.

A note from the provincial election campaign also found its way into our top five, as Deputy Premier Rich Coleman was in his full oratorical flourish as he reviewed a number of themes that one senses will make for the narrative on the way to the May vote.

However, the top story of the week takes us to City Council, where we drop in on the public comment period of Monday's Council meeting.

The problem with Public Comment period is ... sometimes there are public comments! -- A look at Monday's public comment period of the City Council session, which offered up a few sharp comments between the Mayor and a member of the public.  (posted February 22, 2017)

That article was followed by:

For City Council, it's becoming a case of Government by Announcement - The growing trend of civic initiatives first finding their way to the public outside of the public Council sessions, with little in the way of discussion of them during the council meetings.   (posted February 24, 2017)

Mayor unveils Waterfront plan for Rotary luncheon crowd --  The first public review for the concepts for community development recently delivered by the Ontario based Planning Partnership  (posted February 24, 2017)

Change coming to the top position at SD52 - With Superintendent Sandra Jones poised to retire in July, SD52 announces their plans for the position for 2017-18. (posted February 20, 2017)

BC Liberals framing North Coast and Northwest issues as a key theme in upcoming election -- While still early in the campaign for the May election, Deputy Premier Rich Coleman offered some indication from the Legislature as to what themes the BC Liberals may be bringing to the North Coast campaign (posted February 20, 2017)

You can find our weekly 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. It can be found underneath the Follow the North Coast Review by Email indicator.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Win or come home for Rampage as Game Two set for Terrace tonight

Things will be desperate right from puck drop tonight for the Prince Rupert Rampage as they take on the Terrace River Kings in game two of their best of three CIHL playoff series at the Terrace Arena tonight.

The Rampage find themselves playing from behind after last weeks Game One loss at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, a game where emotions got the better of the home side in a second period that saw a number of Rhinos assessed misconducts as things became heated.

With those banishment's the Ramapge scoring struggled for the rest of the night as the River Kings built on a 3-1 lead to claim the victory with a final score of 5-2, leaving the Rampage to regroup for tonights rematch, with an eye to extending the series to an afternoon showdown tomorrow.

Key for Prince Rupert tonight will be to avoid penalty trouble, which has been a bit of an Achilles heel for the team for much of the season, with opposing teams finding some success on power play opportunities, that will be something the Rampage will need to avoid should they have any thoughts of moving to the CIHL finals.

If one is looking for silver linings, some of their top scoring threats should be well rested from last week's penalty assessments, as the Rhino's look to avenge the loss and extend the series.

Game tonight in Terrace is 7PM, though road conditions between Prince Rupert and Terrace might mean that the Rampage fanbase may be a little less in numbers than usual for the game.

For those that aren't heading to the Terrace Ice Arena, CityWest will be broadcasting Game Two live on Cable Ten or Channel 310 in High Definition.

Should the Rampage win tonight, Game three takes place tomorrow afternoon at 2PM, with CityWest again planning to cover the Northwest Showdown.

You can check up on the path through the playoffs from our CIHL Playoff page.

A more extended look at the Rampage Season to this point can be found on Rampage Archive page.

MLA's week: February 20-24, 2017

The Provincial budget dominated much of the news flow out of Victoria this week, as Finance Minister Mike de Jong outlined his financial blue print for the year ahead, though in reality it was very much a document crafted with a provincial election but months away.

Jennifer Rice made note of some of the finance Minister's comments through social media as the week came to an end, marking a busy week for the North Coast MLA.

Her work in the Legislature also included a Monday address to the Chamber where she delivered a response to the Government's Speech from the Throne, and touched on a number of other themes related to the Prince Rupert area.

Our look at the work week that just concluded, can be found below:

On the week, Ms Rice was listed three times in the accounts of the sessions of the Legislature from February 20-24.

Basketball was on the mind of the North Coast MLA this week as she took to the Chamber to offer congratulations to competitors in the recently completed All Native Tournament in Prince Rupert.

MLA's Rice and Donaldson exchange All Native Tournament Toasts in the Legislature
The Strike Force get a Legislature shout out from MLA Rice

The main thrust of her contribution to the Legislature this week came from her review of last week's Speech from the Throne, where the MLA outlined a  number of areas where she noted how the BC Liberals have not addressed issues in the North.

Prince Rupert issues make for Throne Speech response from MLA Rice

The week came to an end with the North Coast MLA making a few observations through social media and with notes to local media sources, about some of the themes of Tuesday's provincial budget from Finance Minister Mike de Jong

North Coast views on Budget highlight different opinions  on similar themes

Ms. Rice is also a member of the Committee on Children and Youth, that committee met on February 22nd, you can review her contribution to the proceedings from the Report from Committee here.

The North Coast also featured into some of the announcement parade out of Victoria this week, with the Province announcing an increase to the BC Ferry schedule for the Prince Rupert to Skidegate run, as well as to name the successful contractor for this spring's major road work plans for the Prince Rupert.

Province awards contract for Prince Rupert's Big Pave Project to Okanagan firm
B. C. Ferries to increase sailings for Prince Rupert-Skidegate run

The Legislature will return to its work on Monday morning, February 27.

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.

The Spring Session is taking place as the run up to the May election looms on the horizon, you can review some of the campaign themes that are developing on the North Coast from our North Coast Votes Archive page here.

North Coast views on Budget highlight different opinions on similar themes

Finance Minister Mike de Jong delivering the 2017
British Columbia Budget on Tuesday afternoon

Earlier this week Finance Minister Mike de Jong donned his re-soled shoes and walked through the Legislature to the Chamber to deliver the financial blue print from the Liberal Government.

It's a document which sets the course for the governments plans for a year ahead, but in reality is but a temporary document until the May election, one which will gain the approval or dismissal of the voters as they make their way to the polls.

The theme of giving back to the people of British Columbia, which appears to be the working concept for the Liberals heading into the election run up, was present through much of the document reinforced in Mr. de Jong's opening and closing comments from Tuesday.

The dividends of prosperity are not just about new program and service investments. It’s also about making sure that British Columbians are able to keep more of their hard-earned money in their pockets. It is also about giving back.

This really is the people’s budget... made possible by the people’s hard work and belief in our province.

Among the main points of note from Mr. de Jong was more funding for education and health care, the latter featuring a political carrot for voters, with one of the key talking points the announcement of a reduction by 50 percent in the premiums for the province's MSP medical system, with an eye towards eliminating the user fees at some point down the road.

Additional funding towards care for children and families was also announced, acknowledgement that it was an area where the Liberal government has been under considerable pressure owing to a number of poor reviews on how they have handled that file.

Housing, which directly impacts on their apparent theme of hard working British Columbians is also an area that Mr. De Jong addressed, though a number of initiatives for those that own homes, are looking to buy one or rent.

Infrastructure funding and development, a cut on the PST on electricity for small and medium business, debt reduction strategies and notes on taxation were among some of the other topics addressed during the course of the Finance Minister's address.

You can examine the details from Tuesday's Budget Speech from a range of options on the Government of British Columbia website:

Full Budget Speech
Slide Show

Video Presentation of the Budget Speech
(use Chamber video from Tuesday afternoon)

Through our political portal Darcy McGee we have compiled the reviews of the budget since Tuesday's presentation, with much in the way of commentary and observations to be found from our Victoria Viewpoints features below:

Tuesday, February 21
Wednesday, February 22

Mr. de Jong also appeared on the British Columbia political forum of Voice of BC, speaking for an hour with host Vaughn Palmer to go over the background to the budget issues.

For the North Coast election campaign, Mr. de Jong's financial plan has made for another conversation topic for the candidates in the current quest towards the May election.

With both the incumbent MLA Jennifer Rice and Herb Pond her competitor for the Liberals offering up their first look at the government's financial blue print.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice was quick to her Facebook page to share her first impressions of the Liberals budget planning, and for Ms. Rice there was much missing from the Liberal agenda for 2017.

She followed up those comments with some media appearances around the Northwest to reinforce the NDP position of a Liberal government that is still not delivering for the people of British Columbia.

Province tables budget while Local MLAs feel it ignores the North (audio)
North Coast MLA's reaction to the BC Budget (video)

Liberal candidate Herb Pond also made use of social media to get his early thoughts (and a link to the budget document) to would be voters, offering up a short synopsis of the days budget notes on the theme of electing an MLA to make sure that the Northwest gets its share of the province's initiatives.

A point by point outline of some of budget notes was also offered through his twitter feed

Mr. Pond's media appointments through the week took note of some of the recent news related to BC ferries that came out of Victoria.

Extra ferry service to be added to Skidegate and Prince Rupert
Herb Pond on additional sailings for BC Ferries (video)

The budget plans will most likely make for some of the backdrop for the upcoming campaign across the North Coast as both Ms. Rice, Mr. Pond and any other candidates that may enter the contest try to stake out some ground on how best to deliver results for the region.

A look at more notes from the Legislature is available here.

You can follow the progress of election campaign from our North Coast Votes feature here.