Monday, November 6, 2017

A little housekeeping on the work site, not welcomed by Public Works

Some contentious landscaping was the topic of a short discussion at
last Monday's City Council session

Some ad hoc landscaping on city land adjacent to the Western Canada Marine Response yard on Dry Dock Road made for a topic of conversation at last week's City Council Session, with Councillor Barry Cunningham raising some questions when it comes to the response from the Public Works Department.

At the heart of the discussion was Mr. Cunningham's observations that the company had, at its own time and expense, which he said was towards 3,000 dollars improved the immediate area near their building, creating parking spots for their vehicles in an area that has limited parking to begin with.

A look at the side view of the WCMR yard on Dry dock Road in Prince Rupert

Of concern for the Councillor was the way in which the City had then dispensed work crews to place blocks to restrict access.

"They laid down some gravel and that because it was turning into  a bit of a mud hole and today the City went down there and put cement blocks so they couldn't park there. Now I can see, one or two blocks are fine, but the others I can't understand why they're there ...  we have enough of a parking problem in this town already and to take more parking places away from a business that pays substantial taxes also ...  I don't think it was looked into properly, I think that we should be trying to work with people to create more parking, not take parking away" -- Councillor Barry Cunningham on questions of the city response to a property on Dry Dock Road.

City staff on hand for the meeting, advised the Councillor that Western Canada Marine Response had gone ahead without City permission and without permitting and began excavation on city property, with staff from public works noting that there are city infrastructure lines in that area and that the City had moved to protect that infrastructure.

Councillor Cunningham followed up on that theme with a few more comments related to the work before Mayor Brain observed that the Council session was not the place to challenge staff decisions, summing up the situation as one of the city public works department doing what they were supposed to do in this instance.

The topic of how companies attend to their properties has been a common theme for Councillor Cunningham during his time at City Hall, where he has in the past asked that local businesses take pride in their properties, something which in this case a local company has addressed without prompting from the elected officials.

The full discussion on the Dry Dock road property can be reviewed from our City Council Timeline here.

As well the conversation is available for review through the city's Video archive starting at the one hour twenty four minute mark.

Items of note related to civic infrastructure can be reviewed on our archive page here.

More items of interest from last week's Council session can be found here.

Topics of discussion at Prince Rupert City Council can be examined from our Council Discussion page.


  1. That's a puzzling comment by Mayor Brain that the public meeting is not the place to challenge staff decisions. If not there, where should councillors challenge staff decisions? At closed meetings? Or is he saying that they should not challenge staff decisions at any council meeting, public or closed?

  2. It's more puzzling that you havent called out Barrys unprofessional pattern of publicly throwing staff under the bus just for doing their jobs. And By the Way he could ask them with a simple phone call/email instead of waiting until the cameras are on him

  3. Council members are not "professionals", they're avowedly amateurs who have been elected to represent the views and concerns of citizens. That sometimes involves asking uncomfortable questions. Councillor Cunningham is doing his job. It would be inappropriate for a councillor to phone or email operational staff, as you seem to be suggesting. Staff report to management and management is accountable to the council at meetings. There do not appear to have been privacy concerns, so the issue was raised at a public meeting.

  4. Just Bad/Wrong. Cant have rationale debate with someone who believes people who are elected to an org with millions of $$ and hundreds of staff dont need to be professional. Also not elected to be operations managers