Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Mayor's report relays notes on recent Vancouver trip

Mayor Brain provided City Council members with a review of his
most recent travels, relaying some of his notes from last weeks
trip to Vancouver

Mayor Lee Brain used Monday's City Council session to bring City Council members up to date on some of his recent travels and the Mayor outlined some of the background to two elements of his recent trip to Vancouver.

Mr. Brain spent last week in the Lower Mainland the early part of his trip attending the Art of the Cities  conference hosted by the CityStudio, which as he explained explored a number of innovation concepts for communities.

He and Nathan Randall from Ecotrust Canada examined some of the models that were presented and hope to bring some of the ideas they reviewed to Prince Rupert for an innovation lab that Ecotrust is looking to expand upon in the city.

"City Studio is a social innovation lab, similar to what we are trying to bring up here ... essentially they facilitate and match educational institutions, students and the city to realign on the same goal,  it's the first kind of model in its case to basically design a classroom around a city.

What we've done, now that Mr. Randall is running the innovation lab here in Prince Rupert, he's going to be engaging the college, SD52 and different organizations and essentially trying to design a similar type of model, doesn't mean that it's going to be exactly the same model, but something to do with local economic development, building capacity in the community, getting students engaged and working with us at City Hall to see if we can become more integrated and working with us at City hall to become more integrated and more together on some initiatives." -- Mayor Brain with some background on his recent trip to Vancouver

While the Innovation Lab project is being run by Ecotrust Canada, the mayor also observed that since it's going to be focused on city hall it was one of the reasons he joined with Mr. Randall on the project calling it very cool and something that will enhance the community.

He also reminded Council of the recent appearance from Mr. Randall at City Council, where he outlined some of the plans that the lab has in mind for Prince Rupert.

The second event that he took part in was a discussion with a number of civic officials in the Lower Mainland on the issue of Port Tax Cap Act and how it impacts on the communities with port facilities in the Greater Vancouver area.

The Mayor recounted how he had organized the meeting while he was in the area, following up on his initial discussions at UBCM of a year ago, the session of last week attracting some 22 participants ranging from elected officials to staff members, with the group going through the challenges that they face from the tax and the impact that it has on each community.

He observed that from the gathering the common issues will be turned over to the CFO's from each community to explore further, as they look to create some kind of join document that will outline the challenges that the communities can then bring to the province and terminal operators to see if there is a joint solution to be found.

"I can't really speak to what we've come up with yet, but we're going to work collaboratively at a CFO level, so the CFO's of the communities are going to work together to create some kind of joint document that outlines the challenges. Something that we can all together go to the province with and say look there are some challenges here, maybe there are some ways to work, as well as to engage the industries and terminal operators to see if we can find a joint solution that actually works for everybody on the ground" -- Mayor Brain updating Council on his Port Cap Tax discussions with other municipal leaders in Vancouver.

He outlined how the goal for City Council is to seek a fair and equitable transfer of tax to the community, so that Prince Rupert can enjoy the benefits from having these terminals in the community.

He offered up his observation that he believes there is momentum around that initiative, with plans to meet with some of the participants again at the UBCM meetings in Whistler this September.

You can review his full presentation to council from the City's Video archive starting at the twenty five minute mark.

You can also dig a little deeper into some of the background on the Mayor's itinerary of last week from our notes from May 24th, which offers up links to the City Studio concepts, as well as the plans for the North Coast that Ecotrust Canada hope to introduce through their innovation lab in the community.

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

A wider overview of City Council discussion topics can be found from our Council Discussion archive.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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