Wednesday, October 31, 2018

4.9 temblor rolls along Pacific fault line off of Vancouver Island

Another mid range temblor this evening
for the waters off the west coast of Vancouver Island

The seismic shifting has picked up again on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, with a 4.9 earthquake recorded at 9:22 this evening, 208 kilometres Southwest of Port Hardy.

The quake at a depth of 10 kilometres, is located in much the same area as a string of larger earthquakes ten days ago.

No Tsunami advisory was generated by this latest movement of the plates and there is no indication if the event was even noticed on Vancouver Island, let alone cause any damage.

For a look back at a busy month of October for seismic events see our archive page here.

Commercial Fishing industry makes for major focus for Transportation Safety Board's Watchlist 2018

The Commercial Fishing industry has been flagged for some special attention by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, with the Agency's annual Watchlist for 2018 taking note of the growing number of accidents and fatalities that have been noted from their investigative work in recent years.

The Federal agency has tracked the number of fishing vessel incidents and fatalities across Canada from 2011-2017, with 2011, 203 and 2015 particularly bad for loss of life.

Expanding on the data to 2004 and including those findings from 2018 to mid October, shows that despite more awareness of safety issues, the fatality rate of this year, is the same as that of fourteen years ago.

The Watchlist, highlights the major safety focus for the agency in all of the transportation elements from across the nation.

Their work this year has identified the Commercial fishing industry as one which needs to address safety and at sea procedures as something that requires action by all stakeholders.

Developing and sustaining a strong safety culture is required to foster greater compliance with regulations, in particular with respect to vessel stability and the use of life-saving equipment.

The main thrust of the report identifies the risks to those in the industry and then offers up its recommendations towards better safety practices from all who participate in the fishery.

The Risks for fish harvesters
(Click to enlarge)

The recommendations from the Safety Review
(Click to enlarge)

While there are new safety policies in place and measures are reassessed regularly, the report notes that it will take leadership from industry and communities to help in reversing the startling findings of the dangers to those in the industry in 2018.

Some fishing associations have taken increasing leadership in developing guidelines for vessel modifications and stability. Some workers compensation boards have imposed fines to encourage safe work practices, and various organizations have launched education initiatives. 

As a result, there are signs of behavioural change among fish harvesters, but it is not consistent across regions and fisheries. Unlike other provinces, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island still do not have workplace legislation that is applicable to fishing vessels. Cultural change takes time, and it is slowly evolving one wharf and one fish harvester at a time.

The full report of the fishing industry can be reviewed here,

The document is part of the larger Watchlist 2018 document on Safety which features a range of material and video presentations to help get the word out on safety issues.

The report was released on October 29th.

As we noted earlier today, the issue of marine safety in the fishing industry was explored in more detail with a report into the sinking of the Western Commander in April of this year, that incident resulted in the loss of one life owing to a medical emergency at the time.

You can review more notes on the North Coast fishing industry from our archive page here.

Stand Up -- For Kid Sport -- Prince Rupert Comedy night planned for November

Prince Rupert comedian Joey Jack is looking for some funny people, and if you think you can fit the bill, he just might be able to fit you onto the show bill for a fundraiser in November for the KidSport organization.

Mr.  Jack is hosting a Stand Up comedy show at the Seal Cove Neighbourhood Pub on November 23rd, and that gives Prince Rupert's would be stand ups a little less than a month to work out some of their comedy routines to take to the stage.

The host of the comedy night issued the invitation to local stand up fans through a media release on Tuesday.

"If you've ever wanted to be on stage and try out stand-up comedy, here's your chance ... It's for a good cause, which is an even better reason to try."

The proceeds from the night will be directed towards KidSport a province wide initiative to help reduce the cost of participating in sports or youth in communities across British Columbia.

The Prince Rupert Kidsport project is led by Director David Geronazzo who will be part of the event next month along with other KidSport volunteers in the community, they will be hosting a silent auction and 50.50 draw.

For his part, Geronazzo is looking forward to next months show and the chance to share more on the local program with residents of the city.

"100 percent of the funds raised will benefit kids' right here in Prince Rupert, it's going to be a fun show" 

We have made note of the Kidsport program a number of times in recent years, so far 57 kids have benefited from the program in Prince Rupert since it was launched in 2017.

Number of recreation funding programs available for Prince Rupert residents with limited income
KidSPort options for the North Coast to be revealed at information session October 17

You can learn more about the local project here.

Mr. Jack, who moved to the North Coast in June of 2017 has hosted events such as the comedy night plan in the past in Kamloops and in addition to the night of Stand Up comedy, he will be hosting "The Newly Wed and nearly Dead" game.

That will see three couples tested to see how much they know about each other, a project that perhaps sets the stage for a follow up Comedy night and the introduction of a new audience participation contest that of the Prince Rupert version of the Divorce Game ...

The November 23rd show has a 7 PM start, tickets go on sale November 2nd at the Seal Cove Pub for ten dollars.

To get your name on the talent list for the night, contact Joey Jack  at .

For more items of interest on Community events on the North Coast see our archive page here.

Transportation Safety Board of Canada releases findings in sinking of the Western Commander

The sinking of the Western Commander is the subject
of a recently released report from the Transportation Safety Board

(photo from TSB of Canada report)

The timeline of events that led to the sinking of the Western Commander near Triple Island earlier this year and the tragic loss of life of a crew member, makes for the bulk of the review of a report into the marine incident released by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada last week.

The vessel with its crew of three had been harvesting sea urchins off the West Coast of Graham Island in the days prior to the marine incident.

As it was returning to home port in Port Edward it began to take on water in the open water off of Triple Island on April 9th, the vessel's Mayday launching an extensive rescue effort in the waters west of Prince Rupert.

During the course of the April 9th emergency one crew member suffered a medical emergency as the situation unfolded and was transported to Prince Rupert, he was later pronounced dead at Prince Rupert hospital.

The journey of the Western Commander in the days leading up
to it's April 9th sinking off of Triple Island

(from TSB of Canada report)

The Transportation Safety Board report examines a range of items pertaining to the Western Commander, including the past history of the vessel, the background of the crew and the nature of the voyage which began on April 4th when the Western Commander set out from Port Edward for the west side of Graham Island.

Poor weather conditions, some equipment issues and the vessel making bottom contact in the area of Hippa Island all were made note of in the report. 

As well, observations related to the nature of the stacking of the load all were included as part of the review of events leading up to the sinking.

Part of the Transportation Board report provides some background into the frantic efforts for the crew of three during the incident.

Around 09004 on 09 April, the mate, who was on watch, noticed that the vessel was not fully returning upright when it was heeled over by the swell. Water was coming over the port railing and remaining on deck, and the vessel developed a port list. 

At some point, water had entered the port forward fish hold. In an attempt to reduce the list, the master started pumping the port forward fish hold and repositioned the boom as far as possible to starboard; however, the list continued to increase.

At 0945, the master made a Mayday call and requested assistance. Shortly afterward, Marine Communication and Traffic Services (MCTS) Prince Rupert broadcast a Mayday relay, and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) vessels and the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue 64 (RCMSAR 64) vessel were deployed. 

The master and deckhand left the wheelhouse to locate and don their immersion suits and ready the life raft. The mate remained in the wheelhouse where he attempted to don his immersion suit but, at this time, he experienced a medical emergency. At 0955, the deckhand returned to the wheelhouse and found the mate incapacitated. The master immediately reported the medical emergency to MCTS. 

While waiting for assistance to arrive, the deckhand attempted to comfort the mate and monitored vital signs while the master attempted to complete a number of tasks alone. These included communicating with MCTS and the vessel owner, attending to the engine room and pumping duties, monitoring other areas of the vessel for water ingress, and maintaining command of the vessel.

The report notes four factors that could have potentially affected the vessel's safe passage among them:

A rudder shaft leak
Adverse weather conditions
Lack of a damage assessment following bottom contact
An uneven load distribution

The final observations from the report also highlights the status of the crew at the time of the sinking and the general safety observation that all vessel operators need to review their safe operating procedures.

Given a crew of 3 and the critical time lines required for transporting the sea urchins, it was difficult to maintain an adequate navigational watch and work-rest schedule, which could have affected the vessel’s safe passage.

Although the master recognized and took action to reduce some risks (e.g., the potential for weather related damage to the vessel), this occurrence highlights the need for routine use of safe operating procedures to help identify and address risk in all aspects of the operation.

The Transportation Board Report is noted as one that is a fact gathering investigation to advance transportation safety through the greater awareness of potential safety issues. The report further notes that it is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine if civil or criminal liability exists.

You can review the full report here.

For further background on the North Coast Fishing industry see our archive page here.

Land clearing complete, Prince Rupert Supportive Housing site sits ready for construction phase

Land to the west of the Transition House on Park Avenue
has been cleared in anticipation of the start of construction
for supportive housing units in the city

The land has been cleared and levelled off, the required infrastructure of pipes and other supplies stands ready to the side for the start of construction for the modular units for the Supportive Housing  project for Prince Rupert's homeless population set to be built at 1450 Park Avenue.

The land which was donated by the City of Prince Rupert will be the home for a modular unit style facility which will offer 36 units of supportive housing with support staff on site.

The Park Avenue units are to be installed by Horizon North, which was recently announced as the company that is building the Pembina worker's camp at the Watson Island site for Pembina's LPG shipment terminal.

Once complete, the Park Avenue housing complex will be operated by the North Coast Transition Society which is located next door, which will offer the residents access to the staff around the clock, those staff members will provide for a meal program, life and employment skills training, health and wellness service, as well as the opportunity for volunteer work.

In anticipation of  the Park Avenue housing work getting underway shortly and the completion of the housing units in early 2019, Transition House recently issued a call for applicants for some of those staffing positions.

The last known timeline for work on the project was that the construction phase would move through the fall and into the winter months, with the building to be completed and the new tenants able to move in sometime in early 2019.

For this fall and winter, the homeless shelter will continue to operate at the old McLean and Rudderham building on Third Avenue West, that emergency shelter location opened last year in November, that after a week of protest on the lawn at City Hall where a Tent City had been set up to protest the lack of affordable housing in the community.

The Prince Rupert supportive housing project which was originally supposed to have been in place by the spring of 2018, it was one of a number of similar supportive housing plans in the Northwest that was announced by the NDP government.

A similar supportive housing project for Smithers was also promised for the Bulkley Valley in January of this year.

And the Smithers project is making some significant progress, with the modular units now in place and the finishing work on the site now underway.

It's anticipated that the 24 unit Smithers facility will open in January 2019.

Initiative to combat homelessness is under construction
Construction begins on Smithers Supportive Housing project

A similar housing project is underway in Terrace, where 52 units of modular housing will be put in place for that community, with a move in date hoped for in early 2019.

Terrace Council votes to ignore Sunday construction restriction on affordable housing project
Supportive Housing in Terrace Breaks ground

For more items of interest related to housing in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Tomorrow is last day for Healthy Schools Grant applicants

Tomorrow is the last day for the current intake of applications for Healthy Schools BC regional grants, which offer 5,000 dollars to School Districts, Regional Groups of Public Schools, Regional Groups of Independent Schools, as well as Regional Groups of First Nations Schools.

The focus for the grant program is that of support for education and health-sector partners to work together on initiatives that support healthy schools, with the intention of strengthening their partnership.

Themes for this current grant program for 2018/19 follow three directions:

In partnership, explore the connections between physical and mental well being across whole school environments;

In partnership, explore Indigenous ways of wellness and their impact on supporting wellness across whole school environments;

In partnership, define and pursue your own approach to supporting the mental well being of students and/or all members of your school community.

Previous application periods have seen a Self-Regulation Inquiry take place through the program for Lax Kxeen Elementary School.

While Roosevelt Park Elementary School has had two initiatives take place through the Healthy Schools BC program.  A Morning DPA program as well as the Morning Movement to Music program.

Full details on the program and how educators can apply for it can be found here.

For more items of note related to education in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Daughters of the Vote seeks applications from Young Women in the Northwest for Skeena-Bukley Valley representative for Ottawa initiative

A program designed to help young women become more engaged in politics is looking to every federal riding across the country to send delegates to Parliament in April of 2019, all as part of the Daughters of the Vote initiative.

The program is the creation of Equal Voice, an organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.

A message which might have some resonance in Prince Rupert considering the results of the most recent Municipal election.

That municipal step back in time, perhaps a project for the Daughters of the Vote for another day.

For the moment however, the focus is on the invitation to young women from the age of 18 to 23 to apply for one of the 338 spots for representation at Canada's Parliament in April of 2019.

As the prospective for the program notes:

One participant from every federal riding in Canada will be chosen to represent her community and vision for Canada. 

 All delegates will take their respective MP’s seat in Parliament during a historic sitting of the House of Commons in April 2019. 

They will be addressed by every federal party leader, and engage with an array of Ministers, critics and advocates.

The Federal Government is taking steps to ensure the success of the program, with Maryam Monsef, federal Minister for the Status of Women, announcing that the Government of Canada will make a significant investment in the program, contributing $ 3.8 million to support the delivery of two DoV programs, one in April 2019 and another one in the spring of 2021. 

Additionally, 2019 delegates will be able to access $1,000 micro grants, subject to approval by Equal Voice, to accelerate advocacy efforts in their community. 

The selection of the dates of the 2019 program, also have some historical significance for the nation,  as they coincide with the anniversary of Indigenous women obtaining the right to vote – the last group of women to be granted the franchise in Canada on March 31, 1960.

You can learn more about the program here, and put in your application for the initiative here.

For more items of interest related to the Federal political scene see our House of Commons archive page here.

A larger overview of Federal issues and notes can be found on our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

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

City seeks bids on three items from November's to do list

The City of Prince Rupert is heading into November ready to spend some cash, with three bid requests filed with the BC Bid Program, with a pair of City Departments looking for materials or services related to three different projects on their action list for the month.

First on the list are some Security doors for the City's new Public Works facility on Wantage Road, with the city looking for 4 outside doors, a server room door and all that is required to integrate them into the city's electronic system.


The Second project is a replacement of the Pay Parking Station located at Rushbrook Floats, the only pay parking station that the city has.

Suppliers will be asked to provide for Two Multi Space Pay Stations capable of accepting debit, credit, tap  and online payments. The successful applicant will be expected to install the unites and train Bylaw staff on how to operate and repair the machines as required.

Both of those elements have deadlines for bids of November 9th.


The Third Request for Bid is to deliver  a study to the City related to their twelve Sanitary lift stations located around the city.

Those stations are found at: Alpine Drive, George Hills Way, Omenica Avenue, Chamberlin Street, Graham Avenue, Pillsbury Avenue, Comox Avenue, Hays Creek, Industrial Site, Duncan Road, Sloan Avenue, Sourdough Bay

The study is expected to review the current capacities and estimate the expected future sanitary and storm sewer quantities. As well, the work will require the successful applicant to submit to the City a conceptual procedure/design for approval to rehabilitate the existing lift stations, modify them or implement new stations.

Two reports will be required along the way, a Drat Final review and then following consultation with other regulatory authorities the Final Report/procedure recommendations.

The Lift Station study project has a deadline for submissions of November 15th.

For a look at he particulars for each of the Bids, they are available through the BC Bid website.

A review of some of the past Request for Bids from the City can be found from our archive page here.

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

MLA Rice hails advances, recounts history on themes of highway transportation across Northern BC

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice rolled out the highlight reel for members of the Legislature on Monday morning, recounting some of the success in transportation issues that have been found across Northwestern British Columbia in the last year or so.

As part of her statement to the Legislature, Ms. Rice noted for the Members of the House how transportation along Highway 16, the Highway of Tears, had been a priority for her since her arrival in the House back in 2013.

Her quest for improved options coming from the calls of families of the missing and murdered women of the region, for some action on transportation concerns along the highway.

It was a frequent discussion topic for the new MLA upon her arrival in Victoria, one where she would often end her comments in the Legislature with one simple question of "Where is the Bus" ... a call for action to develop a Highway 16 corridor connection service from the North Coast to Prince George.

Things have changed significantly since those early days for Ms. Rice in the Legislature and on Monday she outlined just how much things have advanced when it comes to transportation:

Now, I'm proud to say that this government has been working hard to provide northern B.C. with safe, reliable transportation. We've expanded the inter-community transit along Highway 16. We've introduced B.C. Bus North, and we've also expanded the Northern Health Connections service to include more people that can take advantage of the health bus service. 

We've also improved cell service along the corridor, which improves safety not just for women but for everyone travelling Highway 16. This weekend the Minister of Citizens' Services was in northern B.C. to announce that another 22 kilometres of the highway, serving over 5,000 people, will now have cell service. Witset, the community known as Moricetown, is the last remaining First Nations community along the corridor to gain cell phone service. And as I just said, increased cell service not only benefits the community of Witset but improves the safety for all travellers along the Highway 16 corridor. 

 Now, in just over a year and a half, the new inter-community transit service along Highway 16 has provided safe, affordable travel for approximately 12,000 passengers in northern British Columbia. The B.C. Transit program has been so successful that we introduced three new larger-capacity buses into the Burns Lake–to–Smithers and the Burns Lake–to–Prince George routes this past May.

The list of successful initiatives and future engagements to come, carried forward as part of her five minute presentation.

But one area of note that should stand out for folks back in the home constituency on the North Coast, comes from her account of the BC Transit Highway program across the Northwest.

And how from her observations as to how that option has become so successful that it has required larger capacity buses on some routes; is that the service stops in Terrace and travels no further west.

 Nor did she indicate that there is any plan for that popular and successful service to come to the North Coast any time soon.

Ms. Rice's narrative for the House also left out some of the history of why the BC Transit service stops at Terrace.

A situation which as we've noted in the past came as a the result  of a decision by the City of Prince Rupert, Regional Government and other other area governments to choose not to participate in the service that connects residents from Terrace through to Prince George.

While Prince Rupert is served with twice a week transportation through the Friendship House, the BC North Bus and the Northern Health Connections option.

We continue to remain absent from the BC Transit concept that has proven to be so popular in those communities that it has been introduced to, with Prince Rupert City Council and their partners seemingly sticking to their path of what they called the right fit for the needs of the North Coast..

It made for some interesting political theatre on Monday for Ms. Rice, rising to praise the work of the government she is a part of and what they have accomplished in pretty well every corner of the Highway 16 corridor, except that one area of the Northwest which she represents.

Particularly as she noted for the Legislature, that it was that frequent call of "Where is the Bus" that has finally been acted on, first by the Liberals and then expanded on by the NDP government.

It's a call that some in the community looking for a service that will take them past Terrace may want to take up again, both on the provincial and municipal levels.

Perhaps with a new council membership set to take their place at City Hall, the newly elected, re-elected and acclaimed representatives on Council may want to review that decision.

Taking a second look at the prospect of moving towards adopting a regional transit plan that seems to have served every other community well and will help to provide for the final leg of that long sought for public transportation network for those in the most need that Ms. Rice once championed.

The Transcript of her comments for the Legislature can be reviewed here starting at the 10:10 AM mark.

The video presentation to the House is available below:

For more notes related to Transportation along the Highway 16 corridor see our archive page here.

Further background on the provincial scene from  Victoria see our Legislature archive here and our archive of provincial notes on our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

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

And the walls came tumbling down ...

Out with the old, in with the new ... the old Yacht Club was taken down
over the weekend, leaving the New structure to stand watch over
the Cow Bay Marina area.

The pace of work has picked up significantly in the last few weeks as the final look for the New Prince Rupert Yacht Club begins to take shape.

Over the weekend, the former club house was taken down, the pile of rubble above all that remains of that long serving yacht club facility.  

Along with the demolition work, the installation of the yacht club lighthouse light continued on the new building and while not yet in service, the lighthouse work indicates the home stretch is near for the long running construction project.

Once the debris is carted away, work will get underway on the parking lot area and other landscaping features of the waterfront's much anticipated make-over project.

Site development at the Yacht Club has come a long way from just two years
ago, the club house above now gone, demolished over the weekend

We offered up a sense of the timeline for the project with this item from a few weeks ago, which includes an archive of past notes on the pace of the redevelopment of the Cow Bay fixture of the waterfront.

For more notes related to tourism in Prince Rupert can be found on our Tourism archive page.

For more items of interest related to the Prince Rupert waterfront see our archive page here.

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

Monday, October 29, 2018

Police seek assistance of public in Park Avenue store robbery

An incident over the weekend on the city's west side has the Prince Rupert Rupert RCMP seeking the assistance of the public following an armed robbery of the Park Avenue Convenience store.

According to the details released by the Prince Rupert detachment of the RCMP, a man entered the store on Saturday morning around 1:50 AM brandishing a knife, upon attending the scene members determined that an unspecified quantity of cash had been stolen during the robbery.

Eye witness accounts and those of video surveillance footage  provide for a description of the suspect as wearing all black clothing, which features a black hoody with a large symbol on the back.

Believed to be a male, the suspect stands at six feet tall and has a deep voice.

Recognize this hoody? Contact the Prince Rupert RCMP it may have
some bearing on an armed robbery case at the Park Avenue Convenience Store
(surveillance video released by RCMP)

It's not the first time that the Park Avenue Store has been the victim of robbery, something noted by Staff Sergeant Dave Uppal of the RCMP who noted that a similar incident from last year was solved and that the Mounties expect the dame result in this case file.

The RCMP have characterized this incident as isolated and advise that there is no safety concern for the public to be worried about.

Should you have information related to this case file, you are asked to contact the Prince Rupert detachment at 250-627-0700 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-22 TIPS (8477)

For more items of note on Emergency Responders across the Northwest see our archive page here.

Rampage on a Roll ... Prince Rupert's CIHL squad remain undefeated heading to November

After a weekend sweep of two road games, the Prince Rupert Rampage have vaulted back to the top of the standings in the CIHL.

Taking a perfect 6-0 record and a two point lead over the Williams Lake Stampeders in the CIHL listings as of October 29.

Friday night, the Rampage faced a tough challenge from the Terrace River Kings,  breaking the back and forth game wide open in the final five minutes of the third period, finally putting the persistent Terrace squad away by a score of 8-5.

On the night Kory Movold and Tyler Ostrom led the pace with two goals each,  with Cole Atchison, Judd Repole, Jordan Aubee and Cole Morris all finding the range, the Morris goal a penalty shot marker that nailed the win down for the Rampage.

The full stats review of Friday's game can be found here.


Saturday night, the Rampage took to the Tamitik Ice with urgency, scoring two goals within the first two minutes, and five in total through the first period of play, though to their credit the Ice Demons bounced back in the middle frame to take the game right back to the Prince Rupert visitors.

The flurry of first period Rampage markers came from Cody Koskimaki who collected a hat trick in the first twenty minutes with , Rylan Burns, Jean Luc Fournier rounding out the period for the Rhinos.

The scoreboard showed a 6 to 5 lead for the Rampage after forty minutes of play, as Cole Atchison snared the only Rupert goal of the middle frame, a period which saw the Ice Demons mark four goals for the home side before the intermission.

More tight play would be the narrative for the final period, with tempers flaring through much the early stages with fighting majors and misconducts filling out the penalty stats, while Cole Morris found some room to gain an entry on the scoring side, the only goal of the third making for the final score of 7-5.

The stats review for Saturday night can explored here.

The offensive display from the Rampage has helped to propel four Prince Rupert players into the top ten of the CIHL Scoring ranks led by Cole Atchison and Jared Meers with 13 points and  hold on fourth spot.

They are followed by Judd Repole with 12 points is seventh overall, while Tyler Ostrom rounds out the foursome with a ninth spot placement with 10 points so far this season.


The hard earned battles of the weekend have served the Rampage when it comes to the standings as well.

Heading into November, the listings show that it's a case that of a league that is very much split in two in the early going.

With the Rampage and Stamps at the top of the table, far ahead of the next nearest competition in Quesnel.

Though as the weekend has indicated, the remainder of the CIHL members are keeping it close on the ice, serving notice that there is a lot of play to come on the ice before the season comes to an end and the final standings are recorded.

The Rampage have the coming week off,  with the team next seeing action on Saturday November 10th, when the Terrace River Kings will be coming to town, looking to hand the Rhinos their first loss of the season.

And while the Rampage won't be looking past the River Kings, for those doing a little long distance schedule watching, the following week offers up a tempting CIHL match up, when the Rampage hit the road for the Cariboo.

The showcase matchup set for Saturday November 17th when they take on the Williams Lake Stampeders, one day later they are in Quesnel for an afternoon game with the Kangaroos.

You can follow the notes from the Rampage room through their Facebook page here.

For a wider overview of the team and the league see our CIHL archive page here.

To this point, Mayor Brain's Blue Ribbon Committee on civic compensation issues remains a Facebook only invite project

Mayor Lee Brain introduced the creation of a Blue Ribbon Select Standing
Committee on remuneration on Monday night, but so far the only
details about it are available through his Facebook page

The launch of what Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain calls a Blue Ribbon Select Standing Committee on Remuneration was a last minute addition to the agenda for last week's City Council meeting agenda, one that was seemingly not added to the council to do list until the opening remarks of the night.

The Committee announcement and its prospect for potential community engagement was something that we took note of last week with this review.

The synopsis of the initiative, that of the plan to review the impact of a change in Federal Tax legislation, as well as other elements of compensation for municipal officials.

The Mayor's roll out of the project can be viewed from the city's Video Archive from Monday's council session, starting at the 11minute mark.

Mr. Brain has also followed up on Monday's announcement with some further background for those who follow him on his political Facebook page, posting his heads up notes on Tuesday the 23rd, including the invitation for those with an interest in serving on the panel to contact him personally at City Hall.

So, far however, just short of one week after the project was introduced to Council, that Facebook advisory has made for the only call for applications, with the city's website and other social media options left out of the program launch and with little more known about what the scope of the project will be.

And that's a bit of a problem when it comes to the optics for what is supposed to be a transparent and accountable process, for the nature of the Mayor's Facebook page appears at times to be somewhat of a partisan portal.

A place where the number of his supporters that can be found supporting his notes on his social media page making for a very vocal group.

While residents who may question some of his initiatives, or have concerns on civic issues, would seem to be decidedly in the minority there.

Now there is nothing wrong with using that social media vehicle to relay the initiative, it is a tool for information delivery and the Mayor has used it well.

But City Council members should remember that there is a segment of the population that doesn't particularly like social media, or believe that civic engagement projects such as the pay review committee, should have some semblance of distance from the personal nature of the mayor's online forum commentary.

There are a number of other options for the City to spread the word of this Blue Ribbon Committee, though they don't seem to get quite as much use, or near as many updates, as the Mayors Facebook page does:

City of Prince Rupert Website
City of Prince Rupert Facebook page
City of Prince Rupert twitter feed
City of Prince Rupert YouTube page
City of Prince Rupert Mobile Application

Without further advisories through that growing list of non-political civic information sites that the city has available to it, the prospect of a Committee Panel make up that is potentially in lock step with how the Mayor and Council have addressed issues over the last four years could raise concerns over objectivity.

Without a wider engagement in attracting participants, whatever balance that would be needed for a fair and independent overview of the salary issues as outlined by the Mayor last Monday could become clouded, if not questioned.

For a truly representative panel of the whole community, the call for would be participants should cast as wide a net as possible, and not just those residents who are dedicated in the constant monitoring of one social media page.

Hopefully, more information on the nature of this salary review panel will be explained to residents prior to the selection of the Blue Ribbon panel, providing us with some guidance as to the Terms of Reference, the scope of the review that the panel will take on and how any final decisions will be reached.

For more items of note related to City Council Discussion themes see our archive page here.

The haunting of Prince Rupert picks up the pace to Wednesday's Civic Centre event

Ghost and Goblins, Scary Monsters and Prince and Princesses all will make
their way to the Civic Centre on Wednesday as the 2018 edition of
Hallowe'en Fest takes place from 6 to 8 PM

As anyone who has wandered around town in recent weeks can tell you, the celebration of Halloween has expanded from the one night only nature of the past, to a pre Halloween period complete with house displays that are put up weeks in advance.

All in anticipation of the October 31st observances of all that is ghoulish and scary.

The unofficial launch of Halloween week took place on Sunday at the North Pacific Cannery Historical site in Port Edward which hosted its popular Terror at the Cannery event on Sunday.

Events continue into this week, with the Lester Centre set to host a special 10 PM presentation of the Rocky Horror Picture Show on Tuesday evening.

While over at the Nisga'a Hall, the deepest reaches of the hall will be home for a Haunted House at 6PM hosted by the Gitmaxmak'ay Nisga'a Society.


All of the thrills and chills take us to Wednesday night's community celebration at the Civic Centre as the 2018 edition of Halloween Fest gets underway at 6PM, with fun for all ages to continue through until 8PM

The 31st edition of the annual Hallowe'en event features games, prizes and candy giveaways, with a Costume Parade to take place at 6:15.

Weather permitting the evening features the annual Fireworks Display will get underway at 8:15 PM with Mount Hays serving as the backdrop to the exploding bursts of light and booms across the fields of the Civic Centre complex. With the parking lot making for one of the better vantage points to take in the night sky display.

The evening comes to an end for teens with a swim in the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre from 7 to 10 PM.

This years event is sponsored by the Prince Rupert RCMP,  Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue Department, Save On Foods, VIA rail, Northern Saving Credit Union, City of Prince Rupert, Prince Rupert Port Authority, Prince Rupert Early Years as well as local businesses and service clubs.

The Hallowee'n Fest comes together each year through the work of a core group of volunteers and much like every year, there are never enough or all the work ahead.

If you can help out on Wednesday evening organizers are still looking for assistance to help the ghouls and ghosts and assorted monsters have a fun evening.

You can contact the Organizers at 250-62GHOST (250-624-4678)

Updates on the night's festivities can be found from the Recreation Department Facebook Page

For more items of note on community events see our archive page here.

Door to Door with a message to deliver, but for facts on how it all works ... we'll have to dig a little deeper.

It was door knocker weekend for the Pro and No Sides of the proportional election referendum teams, with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, recruiting a little high profile cabinet help from Jinny Sims for the message making on the North Coast.

With the Minister of Citizens' Services  joining Ms. Rice in taking to a few of Prince Rupert's neighbourhoods to make the case for the Yes side of the referendum process.

 Jennifer Rice and Jinny Sims in Prince Rupert Saturday
talking electoral reform in some of the city's neighbourhoods

(Jennifer Rice twitter feed)

We're not sure how the get out the vote campaign went for Ms. Sims and Ms. Rice, as they never made it to the home office (and in this case a home office, actually is a home office) of the North Coast Review.

But to this point, it doesn't appear that they were trailed by Television cameras in Prince Rupert, ready to record the exchange of ideas on the journey to the door steps of some of the city.

The pursuit of the press however was the case in Vancouver, where the door knocking continued across many constituencies, and in one, the conversation with the voters, as recorded by the media ran viral on social media.

That as Melanie Mark, the NDP government's Minister for Advanced Education, Skills and Training, struggled to explain some of the elements of what the new political landscape will look like should the Yes side of the debate win the day come the end of November.

"I'm not an expert" says BC minister quizzed on proportional representation
BC Politicians hit the streets to talk proportional representation

And while it's actually somewhat refreshing for a politician if they can't answer a question, to say that they don't know, Ms. Mark's travels certainly have made some news.

Advanced Education and Skills
Minister Melanie Mark in
Vancouver on Saturday
(Melanie Mark twitter feed)
Through her commentary, the Advanced Education Minister seems to have inadvertently helped to make a portion of the case of the opposite side of the debate.

A collective which has consistently stated that this referendum process as developed by the NDP Government is a rushed and confusing one and more importantly, lacking in some key details as to how it will all work if approved.

The troubles that the NDP minister had with with explaining the system also arrived just in time to take the heat off the Anti-proportional representation side, which had launched the first few days of its campaign to sway the voters with a bizarre theme and one that earned some well deserved scorn for their early efforts.

Anti-proportional representation side defends ad that uses goose-stepping soldiers

The early ad campaign featured a dystopian video of some political hells-cape ahead should the proportional representation option prevail, where it is suggested British Columbia could fall under the sway of any number of unsavoury extremist parties with ill intent in their hearts.

And while the message may have some legitimate elements to it considering the world view at the moment ...  a little over the top, seemed to be the reviews prior to the ad disappearing from the rotation of political message making.

As part of the main focus of their original reservations towards the vote, the No side led by the Liberals in the Legislature had previously been having some success in highlighting the confusion of the options and the lack of clarity on how the system will work.

That is the theme that they perhaps should have continued on with as a course of action through this home stretch period of the campaign.

It would seem that is a message that might even resonate across the aisle in the Legislature, particularly with some of the government's own ministers and back benchers.

We imagine that in production right now is a  new ad for the voting period now underway.

One that that features Ms. Mark's struggles on the process of post referendum reforms and one which may soon be making it into the campaign ad arsenal of the No side campaign as the next few weeks move forward to the November 30 mail in deadline.

Those opposing this latest attempt at electoral reform should be able to make some significant political hay from the weekend's commentary.

If the government that is urging voters to take the leap of faith towards an unknown and poorly explained system; can't actually tell anyone what their preferred system is all about and how it will work. 

Then they probably should not be too surprised if the public hedges their bets once again on electoral change and waits for the next time that the consultation on changing the voting system comes along.

You can catch up on the debate and discussion on the proposed change to our electoral system through our archive page found on our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending October 28, 2018

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 October 28, 2018 is below:

Real Estate Listings on the East Side of Prince Rupert
Week ending October 28, 2018
Real Estate Listings on the West Side of Prince Rupert
Week ending October 28, 2018

It's been another week with little movement for the top end property listings in the Prince Rupert Real Estate market, with the roster of properties among the top ten listings a rather familiar one.

Our review this week features eight  properties located on the west side of the McBride Street line, with two properties listed to the east.

The benchmark for this week back remains just above the six million dollar point,  set at $6,139,000. 

The lowest mark for the list of ten is set at  $579,000, while our top end from the last week remains at the price point of  $674,000

Below find our findings as of the Week ending October 28, 2018

1830 Graham Avenue                   $674,000 -- Reamx
1942 Second Avenue West           $649,000 -- Remax
1800 Atlin Avenue                        $639,000 -- Remax
1042 Edward Street                       $625,000  -- Realty Executives
1881 Graham Avenue                    $599,000 --  Realty Executives
2017 Graham Avenue                    $599,000 --  Remax
2230 Graham Avenue                    $599,000 -- Remax
1027 Borden Street                        $588,000 --  Realty Executives
2067 Graham Avenue                    $588,000 -- Remax
536 Sherbrooke Avenue                 $579,000 -- 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.

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