Looking for a few tips on your golf game? You could seek out some thoughts from Brian and Rose Holkestad the pairing claimed top spots in last weekends Seniors Tourney at the Prince Rupert Golf Course (photo from Andrew Schaeffer)
Prince Rupert's current golfing Royalty of Brian Holkestad and Rose Holkestad showcased their skills in Mid August, as the pair claimed top spots in the Men's and Ladies results for the 2018 Vic Marion Seniors Open Golf Tournament.
A strong field of familiar names to the Prince Rupert golf scene took to the course and some challenging conditions over the course of the two day tournament, which is one of the most popular of local events on the golf calendar for the North Coast.
Below, thanks to Doug Kydd from the Prince Rupert Golf Course is the full list of results from the 2018 event.
Overall Men's Results
Overall Low Gross Brian Holkestad 145 Overall Low Net Brian Denton 133
Champ Flight Ron Miller 159 on a countback 1st Flight Howard LInn 172 2nd Flight Carl Nielsen 183
Champ Flight Moe Hays 135 1st Flight John Davenport 139 2nd Flight George Kuntz 149
2nd Low Gross
Champ Flight Gene Kerbrat 159 1st Flight Larry Hope 176 on a countback 2nd Flight Alain Chan 198
Champ Flight Leo Palmer 144 1st Flight Al Green 144 2nd Flight Eric Hand 155
3rd Low Gross
Champ Flight George Negru 160 1st Flight Ross McNish 176 2nd Flight John Etzertza 201
Overall Low Gross Rose Holkestad 174 Overall Low Net Pam Hays 130
Carol Schaeffer 132
2nd Low Gross
Karin Williamson 179
2nd Low Net
Josie Lam 147
As the 2018 Golf Season begins to wind down, up next at the Prince Rupert Golf Course is the Duffers' Open set for next weekend, from September 8 and 9, with a Practice round on Friday the 7th.
Entry fee is 100 dollars for the weekend, the tournament rounds of Saturday and Sunday will also include a Saturday Night Buffet Dinner, KP's and Deuce Pots and the Sunday Afternoon Prize Presentation.
You can learn more about the tournament, or register for the weekend of golf by contacting the Pro Shop at 250-624-2000 extension 1
The annual sampling of some of Prince Rupert's finest photographers and their contributions to the CityWest Phone Book cover competition is about to come to an end, with Midnight of September 3rd the deadline for votes for this years submissions.
One of the key elements of Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain's Hays 2.0 planning gets a reboot of sorts as we head into the fall (and municipal election season) with the introduction of the second phase of the Redesign Rupert program earlier this month.
Though as the UNBC institutes mandate began to wind down, so too did much of the visual image of the Redesign program, the concept as we noted on the blog back in February, went dormant for the most part in 2017, with little in the way of a wrap up review, or farewell by the City as to the work of the CDC to be found since.
The topic of Redesign Rupert also seemed to slip the mind of City Council for much of the last year or so as well, with few, if any mentions of the program, or where it stood as a priority for Council getting much of an airing in public council sessions.
As it returns to public prominence this fall, the focus for this second phase will be directed towards themes such as Human Capital, the need to regenerate the Downtown region and to expand on opportunities for the public on the limited waterfront space that is available to the city.
Those three legs of the focus ahead are explained further in the relaunched website for the program which offers up some of the background to the program's goals and ambitions.
To oversee the program and offer guidance along the way, the steering committee for the second phase of the program, has taken on a heavy civic presence, similar in appearance to the City's engagement with CityWest, Watson Island and the Prince Rupert Airport Boards.
Among those serving on the Steering committee are:
Mayor Lee Brain Corinne Bomben, CFO of the City of Prince Rupert Robert Long, City Manager, City of Prince Rupert Blair Mirau, City councillor John Farrell, General Manager of Community Futures Scott Farwell, President of Tourism Prince Rupert
The second phase it seems will now be more of an "in house" program, jointly operated by the City of Prince Rupert and Community Futures of Prince Rupert, the twin bodies bringing Ceilidh Marlow on board as program coordinator.
Ms. Marlow most recently worked for the Museum of Northern British Columbia and brings what she describes as a passion about community planning to her new position.
Funding for phase two of the program is coming from the BC Rural Dividend Fund, the City of Prince Rupert and Community Futures Development Corporation of the Pacific Northwest.
Last week, Mayor Brain revealed the new focus through his Facebook page, hailing the program as an opportunity to bring his Hays 2.0 vision to life in the community, a theme we suspect we will be hearing quite a bit about between now and the October 20th election date.
The full press release, along with comments from the participants in the program can be found here.
The recent "Pop Up" event one week ago on Third Avenue West provided Redesign Rupert with the first barometer of sorts of what the residents are looking for if the program is to resonate and become more than just another string of consultations and place making exercises.
For the downtown area, the need for a larger retail presence and public space dominated much of the findings, while waterfront desires include a boardwalk and public pier and more public gathering spots to enjoy the harbour that at times residents only get a glimpse of.
As Ms. Marlow works to deliver on those three goals for the Redesign plan, we'll track the developments from our archive page here, those listings also include our earlier notes on the work of the UNBC CDI program of phase one.
Our observations offer up some background to the work that has formed the foundation of the program, one which now moves towards that period of time where some results will be expected by the public for their investment both monetarily and in time and interest in the program.
It's convention season for BC municipal leaders as the province's elected officials, along with a string of BC government and opposition members prepare to take part in the UBCM convention at the Whistler Convention Centre
The theme for this years event is Communication, Collaboration and Cooperation and much of the focus will be put towards the increasing engagement between municipal government and the senior levels.
As we head towards convention week, we will offer up items of interest below culled from developments from the gathering set for Whistler from September 10 to 14.
Items from the blog focused on the North Coast and related to the convention can be found in this archive listed in their own section and, highlighted in red, our blog contributions to the theme will be marked by our blue NCR icon, allowing you to find them with a quick scan.
Items related to North Coast and Northwest involvement from other media sources will listed below in green typeface.
Notes of interest from other communities will be highlighted in orange .
Mr. Niesh who is serving his first term of office, announced his intention to be a candidate for Council in the October 20th Municipal election, making him the first of the Five sitting incumbent council members from 2014-2018 to formally advise of his plans.
He was followed two days later by Councillor Barry Cunningham, who made use of his Facebook page to announce his plans to seek another four years at City Hall, noting of his belief that the Mayor and Council have acted as a strong team since the 2014 election.
The remaining three council members and Mayor Lee Brain have yet to share their decision with the public, though in the case of Councillor Blair Mirau the decision on his political future could be made public following his late summer vacation plans, a process he outlined through his Facebook portal on Sunday.
While we await the decision of the remaining incumbents, one newcomer to municipal politics has already declared her intention to seek office, with Ms. Sarah Dantzer launching her candidacy last week, describing her political philosophy as that of a holistic environmentalist.
Sarah Dantzer is one of the early candidates to enter the field for this falls Municipal election
Active in a number of local initiatives, her most recent work in the community comes by way of the Overlook Community Garden, a program which she helped bring to the finish line earlier this month.
The announcement, which was made August 27th by the Quebec port, will see a section of port land known as the Beaumont sector expanded and turned into a container handling facility to build a new deepwater container terminal.
Don Krusel will be helping to steer the Port of Quebec City towards a new future in container terminal development, the former President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority was named to the post of Managing Director of the Quebec port's Container Terminal project this week
No timeline was revealed towards the project, but once completed, the fully intermodal will take advantage of direct access to major rail and highway networks.
Quebec City Port officials noted that the the Port of Québec is well positioned to serve as a gateway to the vast Great Lakes trade corridor, with the introduction of a new container terminal, the St. Lawrence River will finally boast a real alternative to the deepwater ports of the Eastern Seaboard.
Port President and CEO Mario Girard hailed the leadership that Mr. Krusel will bring to the Quebec City project.
“Bringing Don Krusel on board at this decisive phase in the project is a strategic move that will provide us with welcome high-level leadership. His reputation in the industry, his in-depth knowledge of port operations, and his commitment to the success of the container terminal are all major assets that will help us get Québec City’s deepwater container terminal built,”
The move by the Port of Quebec is being hailed by industry observers as an impressive first step in securing the ports footprint in the global container industry, with many of the notices of his return to the business of building port facilities making note of his achievements in Prince Rupert.
Some missed opportunities for transparency on City Council were the theme For Councillor Barry Cunningham on August 20th
Despite a vow to provide for more transparency on City council from six months ago, Councillor Barry Cunningham provided a report card of sorts for council at the August 20th council session, suggesting that Council has missed the ball on their goal for 2018.
The Councillor called attention to a resolution from Council's February 26th session which had outlined the desire to implement an invitation schedule at Committee of the Whole meetings, for progress reports from local organizations and services.
"Councillor Mirau and I drafted this up together, we had some discussions about it and that, I think that it speaks for itself. The resolution is to bring funded societies, or organizations that we fund to Committee of the Whole to open it up for discussion. And I think it is something we should be doing so we can give transparency to the community. And let the community know what exactly is going on with these, I think it's a good start towards going down that road." -- Councillor Barry Cunningham in February of 2018 seeking more transparency for council sessions
At the time Council had developed plans for an invitation schedule for such groups and services as the Library, Airport, Lester Centre, RCMP, Fire Hall, Museum, Tourism Prince Rupert and Golf Course.
Mr. Cunningham noted that it was now six months later and not one of the groups he listed had yet to appear. Observing that council introduced that plan to enhance on its goal of transparency for the public, he added that since there were now no more COW sessions planned prior to the October election, it was his hope that the next Council would embrace that goal of more transparency.
"I think it's part of this transparency that were trying to get out there, that is why I brought that resolution forward, and I just noticed, I was just going through some old notes, that in the last six months we haven't had one group, except for one that was specifically invited to come before council. I hope during the next council, as I don't think that we have any more COW's, that this resolution is respected and followed through" -- Councillor Cunningham, speaking on August 20th on a lack of follow up on council plans on transparency for 2018
For his part, Mayor Brain observed how he didn't know how that maybe fell off the radar, but that he would look into the issue further.
The themes of Transparency and accountability are often frequent campaign focus points as election years move towards voting day and as the Councillor noted in his short overview, they have been a council benchmark that has been missed more often than it has been delivered on during this four year term.
In the case of using the Committee of the Whole process to provide for more access for residents to Council proceedings, the past year has seen City Council explore a number of concepts for how they had hoped to see that process evolve over the last few years.
As 2017 came to an end, Council seemed to have settled on the status quo for the rest of the year and 2018, though not quite as effectively it would seem, as Councillor Cunningham might have hoped to see.
How the topic evolves into the soon to be launched 2018 election campaign may make for one of the more expansive talking points for those seeking to take their seats at City Hall following the October 20th vote.
The introduction of the theme to the August 20th Council session can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive starting at the fifty six minute mark.
How the city approaches its Request for Bids for services and goods made for a topic at the August 20th City Council session, with Councillor Barry Cunningham raising a number of questions with the City's Financial Officer Corinne Bomben.
The main thrust of his inquiries was whether the city approached its purchasing strategy by way of lowest price, or if it involves other factors for consideration prior to selection of the successful bids.
In response, the City's CFO outlined that cost and other qualitative factors were considered, including capabilities and letters of reference among the factors used.
Mr. Cunningham followed up with one final question on the theme, asking if local businesses were given preference if they are within a certain percentage of the lowest bid.
He was advised that it was not currently the city's policy.
You can explore the discussion further from the City's Video Archive, starting at the fifty four minute mark.
Councillor Blair Mirau is seeking a report from the finance department on the impact to the City from Employer Health Tax changes
Prince Rupert City Council finally approached the topic of a change to the province's MSP program, one which could result in a significant financial hit for the City of Prince Rupert when it comes to the health care costs for civic employees.
Councillor Blair Mirau raised the topic at the Monday, August 20th session, asking for a report from the City's Financial Officer as to what impact the provincial change will have on the city, noting that a number of other municipalities have delivered a request of the provincial government for an exemption from the additional costs that the change may bring.
The change in policy came earlier this year with the creation of the NDP government budget planning, as Provincial Finance Minister Carole James indicated that British Columbia was set to follow the lead of other provinces in scrapping MSP payments.
Set to replace them with the Employer Health Tax which the Finance Minister described as a fairer system, Ms. James further expanded on the program in July
We first made note of the percolating issue and its potential impact on Prince Rupert at that time, noting how the provincial change could add to the growing list of irritants that City Council has been compiling when it comes to its exchanges with the provincial government.
The UBCM background piece offered up a chart that outlined the funding options that are available to municipal and regional governments. Included was a mix of property tax increases and potential service reductions that would be required to meet the EHT requirements.
The UBCM has done some math for communities across the province, highlighting the impact of a change in how the province of BC collects employer health payments
With that information release from the UBCM, many communities had launched their own questions of the provincial government over the plan, with a number seeking similar exemptions as those offered to School Districts, Health Authorities, as well as to Colleges and Universities.
As well, many municipalities have questioned if the province's initiative to create fairness should come through the process of property taxation, which is how municipalities raise the resources for their operations.
And while a growing number of municipalities have been quick to action on the issue, Prince Rupert Council however seems to have let the issue slip through the summer, only now raising the topic for discussion.
Should Councillor Mirau and the others receive Ms. Bomben's notes prior to their departure for the UBCM gathering in Whistler from September 10 to 14, they may be able to use her talking points as part of their intercessions with provincial officials at the annual convention.
Mr. Mirau introduces the topic to Council at the fifty three minute mark of the Video Archive for the August 20th session.
Representatives from Ridley Terminals outlined their expansion plans for Prince Rupert City Council on August 20th
The August 20th Prince Rupert City Council session provided for another opportunity for the once delayed overview of the Ridley Terminal Expansion plans, with both President and CEO Marc Dulude and Corporate Affairs officer Michelle Bryant-Gravelle in attendance to update council on the work ahead to develop a second berth at the coal handling facility on Ridley Island.
The Ridley President and CEO, along with Ms. Bryant-Gravelle offered up a thumbnail guide to the planned expansion project at the industrial site on Ridley Island, work which will include the addition of a second shipping berth southeast of the existing dock at the coal shipping facility.
The main focus of the proposed expansion is to provide for simultaneous loading of two vessels at the Ridley shipment site, as well as to offer RTI the opportunity to diversify its shipment of products to other commodities, though no outline of what those commodities might be was delivered at the August 20th update.
Background notes related to the planned expansion of shipping facilities at Ridley Terminals (click to enlarge)
In addition to a presentation on what the new facility will look like and the space it will take up on the Ridley waterfront, Ms. Bryant-Gravelle provided a look at the range of steps required before authorization for the project will be provided.
As for the timeline, consultation through a technical committee with First Nations is underway related to their expansion plans, after that step a decision is expected from the Federal Government by the end of this year or in early 2019.
Public input will be sought out once those steps are complete as part of the evaluation process. Two public Open Houses are planned for October of this year, one for Prince Rupert and one for Port Edward.
Five federal authorities are involved in the overview of the proposed expansion plans, with consultation and technical meetings already underway.
The trail of consultation and engagement that RTI will embark on as it moves forward with its proposed second berth at the shipment terminal
(click to enlarge)
In follow up comments, Councillors Thorkelson and Cunningham both expressed their concerns over the fate of the terminal should it change hands and move to the private sector, with both also suggesting one outcome could be the closure of the facility by a rival terminal.
Councillor Niesh inquired if it would go ahead should the Terminal be sold, with Mr. Dulude observing for council that while those discussions continue, for Ridley it's business as usual and that the need for a second dock is something that Ridley needs to address in order to meet capacity requirements. He also noted how a second dock would assist RTI in its approach towards diversification into the future.
Councillor Cunningham, asked as to what other bulk commodities that Ridley may be looking to ship out of the Terminal facility, however the RTI President did not offer up any indication as to what forms of other commodities may be in the future for the terminal.
Mr. Cunningham also inquired as to how many additional jobs may be created by the expansion.
He was advised that from their current level of employment of 125 employees, an additional twenty five jobs will be created, with a dedication towards gender and origin equity employment to provide for a better representation of the local population.
Mr. Cunningham also complimented RTI for their community involvement, pointing out how Ms. Bryant-Gravelle has a strong presence in the community.
Councillor Randhawa asked for the timeline of the project and when the first ship will dock at the new terminal, he was advised that the hope is to have all ready to go by the first quarter of 2021.
In a follow up, Mr. Randhawa asked about taking advantage of training local residents for positions at the facility, he was advised by Ms. Gravelle-Bryant that RTI has a partnership with both SD52 and Coast Mountain College for training, while Mr. Dulude noted that Ridley was also providing resources towards robotics training in local schools.
Councillor Thorkelson had a number of comments related to the disposal plans both on land and in the water that will be required for the expansion project, she also offered up the strongest of council's concern at the prospect of the Federal Government selling the property.
Offering up her view that Council should take a stand on the potential sale, as they have in the past, noting that they don't really know who will be looking to purchase the terminal and what their plans may be, whether it be to operate the facility or to close it, offering up her concern on the issue, adding that the people of Canada subsidized RTI when it was doing poorly and now that it is on the cusp of moving forward the people of Canada won't get to gain the profits of the facility.
She would like to see the city put some pressure on the federal government to keep the facility owned by Canadian ownership, Mr. Dulude noted once again that for RTI the approach is business as usual and observed as to the consultation process and noted that any comments should be directed towards the Federal Minister.
With Council not quite clear on the timeline ahead for the potential sale of one of the regions' main industrial employers, the suggestion was that they keep in touch with the NDP MP for the region to keep the pressure on the Federal government to keep the industrial site in the hands of the government.
Skeena Bulkley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen has already taken the regional lead on the issue, having delivered a number of statements in recent weeks on the federal proposal and once again relaying his strong opposition to the federal government's plans.
You can review the August 20th presentation to Council from the City's Video Archive page starting at the seventeen minute mark.