Friday, November 30, 2018

Rainmaker Boys season starts with Terrace showcase this weekend

The road to Provincials starts with a road trip to Terrace, as both the Charles Hays Junior and Senior Rainmaker Boy's teams see action on this weekend.

The Caledonia gymnasium is the host venue for the season opening tip off with the Senior Boys in action tonight at 7:30 against Mount Elizabeth from Kitimat and on Saturday against the Kermodes  as the Northwest season launch of the 2018-19 campaign gets underway.

The Senior Rainmakers will be looking to the Terrace trip to give them an evaluation of their work so far in the early stages of the basketball season, what they learn from the competition of this weekend, will come in handy in six days time when they head south to take part in the high profile Vancouver area, Quinn Keast No Regrets Tournament from December 6 to 9.

One night earlier on December 5th, the Rainmakers will tune up for the tournament with a game at Collingwood.

The Vancouver tournament makes for the first opportunity to put their skills up against some top end Lower mainland and Vancouver Island talent, and while a few years ago the Rainmakers might have arrived as a bit of an unknown, their past performances at provincials and other Lower mainland tournaments means that they come to town as a team that others look forward to measuring up with.

Add in some additional notoriety for the Rainmakers this year with Liam McChesney having recently made a splash in basketball circles with his commitment to Utah State and Ryan Bishop's squad won't be flying under the radar on those trips south anymore.

Hometown fans won't have their first opportunity to see the 2019 version of the Rainmakers until mid December, when Caledonia comes to town on December 14th.


Over on the Junior side, Kevin Sawka's Rainmaker team is on the court this evening as they take on the Caledonia Junior Boys tonight at 5:30 at the Skeena Middle School gymnasium.

Like the Seniors, the Junior squad has created their own buzz over the last number of years with regular appearances in the Provincial tournament at year end and strong results at regional tournaments through the year.

There will be some additional incentive for the Juniors this year to go the distance to Provincials, last years team had their shot at a provincial title knocked out by winter weather, with a heavy snowstorm disrupting their travel plans to the point of having to cancel out of the season finale.

The Junior Boys will also have a lengthy road stretch ahead of them heading to Prince George next weekend and then Kitimat of the 15th.

They finally play on the home court at Charles Hays on December 21st when they take part in the Rainmaker Alumni tournament.

Both teams will be looking to make sure that when March comes around there is representation from the North Coast.

With a turn of the calendar page into December that trail to Langley starts anew and the road to Langley begins appropriately enough on the road.

As the season moves forward, you can find more notes on the Rainmakers and other Northwest schools from our archive page here.

Rainmaker Archive 2018-19

Our archive of items for the 2018-19 school year, highlighting events and activities surrounding the various sports teams at Charles Hays Secondary School and Prince Rupert Middle School.

As always, we welcome updates and background items on Rainmaker athletics, simply drop us a line at or through our twitter feed @CharlesMHays 

You can follow more on Rainmaker Sports for 2018-19 from the CHSS twitter feed

Background, scores and other information on Rainmakers Sports can be found below.

Along with those items of interest, we'll keep track of media stories on both Charles Hays sports and from other schools from around the region.

British Columbia Senior Boys Provincials Archive
British Columbia Junior Boys Provincials Archive

North Coast Review Notes

May 18 -- From the Gyms of Prince Rupert to the BC Hall of Fame, Basektball BC Honours Rainmaker legend Mel Bishop 

March 9 -- Having brought the Rain to Langley, Charles Hays Rainmakers are bringing home a AA Provincials banner
March  9 -- ONE MORE GAME! It's off to the finals for Charles Hays after a hard earned Semi-Final victory in AA tournament play
March 7 -- Bring On Sa-Hali!! Rainmakers advance to Semi-Finals at AA tournament
March 6 -- Rainmakers on a roll after Day One of Provincials
March 6 -- Banner within their grasp: Rainmakers in Langley for BC Provincials
March 4 -- Rainmakers and Sparwood to launch AA provincials  on Wednesday

February 27 -- Junior Rainmakers edged in their final game of Jr. Boys Provincials
February 26 -- Rainmaker icon Mel Bishop heads to Basketball BC Hall of Fame
February 25 -- Rainmakers sport 2 and 1 record heading into Day 3 of BC Junior high school Basketball Champiionships
February 22 -- Tournament Time for Junior Boys
February 18 -- Rainmakers claim two more victories in final tune up before Provincials
February 15 -- One final tune up before Zones for Charles Hays Senior Boys; Juniors make ready for Provincials 
February 8 -- Rainmakers hit the court for two against DP Todd this weekend
February 4 -- Senior Girls find success in final day, after hard fought tournament play in Vancouver
February 1 -- Senior Boys Rainmakers retain top spot in AA Ball in BC: get added exposure in Varsity Letters 

January 31 -- Junior Boys Rainmakers move into Provincial Top Ten after weekend play
January 28 -- Saturday Showcase in Vancouver puts Rainmakers onto an even higher pedestal in the south 
January 25 -- Rainmakers off to strong start at Vancouver College's Emerald Tournament
January 24 -- Rainmakers take AA Top Dog status into high profile Vancouver area tournament
January 17 -- Junior Boys Rainmakers tip off in North Shore invitational
January 11 -- Rainmakers and Polars set for two in the Rainforest this weekend
January 4 -- Rainmakers wrap up two game series with Vancouver's Kitsilano tonight

December 21 -- Senior Boys Rainmakers retain top spot in AA Basketball in BC
December 14 -- Number One ranked Senior Boys Rainmakers host Caledonia for home opener to 2018-19 season
December 10 -- Handsworth takes No Regrets, topping Rainmakers in tourney final
December 7 -- Rainmakers take opening day win from No Regrets tournament
December 5 -- Rainmakers on Vancouver's North Shore for No Regrets Tourney 

November 30 -- Rainmaker Boys season starts with Terrace showcase this weekend
November 14 -- A Rainmaker makes his choice ... Liam McChesney commits to Utah State


Reviews by Sport 2018-19


Senior Boys

2018-19 Prince Rupert

May 18 -- From the Gyms of Prince Rupert to the BC Hall of Fame, Basektball BC Honours Rainmaker legend Mel Bishop  NCR
May 13 -- Mel Bishop heads for the hall (video)

March 11 -- CHSS Rainmakers Win Provincial Championship
March 11 -- Charles Hays Rainmakers win Provincial AA Basketball championship
March 10 -- Rainmakers win 2A championship at Provincials
March 9 -- The reign of the Rainmakers! No 1. seed Charles Hays delivers a third title to its Rupert faithful 
March 9 -- Having brought the Rain to Langley, Charles Hays Rainmakers are bringing home a AA Provincials banner NCR
March 9 -- Rainmakers in provincial finals against Coyotes
March  9 -- ONE MORE GAME! It's off to the finals for Charles Hays after a hard earned Semi-Final victory in AA tournament play NCR
March 7 -- Bring On Sa-Hali!! Rainmakers advance to Semi-Finals at AA tournament NCR
March 6 -- Rainmakers on a roll after Day One of Provincials  NCR
March 6 -- Banner within their grasp: Rainmakers in Langley for BC Provincials NCR
March 4 -- Rainmakers and Sparwood to launch AA provincials  on Wednesday NCR

February 26 -- Rainmaker icon Mel Bishop heads to Basketball BC hall of Fame NCR
February 18 -- Rainmakers claim two more victories in final tune up before Provincials  NCR
February 15 -- One final tune up before Zones for Charles Hays Senior Boys; Juniors make ready for Provincials  NCR
February 9 -- Trojans sacked by Rainmakers in close contest
February 8 -- MVP of the week: Ryan Bishop
February 1 -- Senior Boys Rainmakers retain top spot in AA Ball in BC; get added exposure in Varsity Letters  NCR

January 28 -- Saturday Showcase in Vancouver puts Rainmakers onto an even higher pedestal in the south NCR 
January 25 -- Rainmakers off to strong start at Vancouver College's Emerald Tourney NCR
January 24 -- Rainmakers take AA Top Dog status into high profile Vancouver area tournament NCR
January 22 -- Senior Rainmakers score back-to-back wins in Terrace
January 15 -- Rainmakers dominant over weekend
January 11 -- Rainmakers and Polars set for two in the Rainforest this weekend  NCR
January 4 -- Rainmakers wrap up two game series with Vancouver's Kitsilano tonight NCR
January 5 -- Charles Hays wins second straight vs Kitsilano
January 4 -- Rainmakers rout Kitsilano

December 21 -- Senior Boys Rainmakers retain top spot in AA Basketball in BC  NCR
December 17 -- Charles Hays Senior Boys make it rain this weekend 
December 14 -- Number One ranked Senior Boys Rainmakers host Caledonia for home opener to 2018-19 season  NCR
December 11 -- Charles Hays Rainmakers dry up in final game
December 10 -- Rainmakers wait out storm in Vancouver
December 7 -- Rainmakers basketball starts tournament strong
December 5 -- Rainmakers on Vancouver's North Shore for No Regrets Tourney  NCR
December 1 -- Charles Hays Rainmakers basketball opens its season in Terrace

November 30 -- Rainmaker Boys season starts with Terrace showcase this weekend NCR
November 15 -- Rainmaker Liam McChesney commits to Utah State University
November 14 -- A Rainmaker makes his choice ... Liam McChesney commits to Utah State  NCR

Remainder of Northwest BC Secondary Schools

December 18 -- Alumni Game for charity in Bulkley Valley

Senior Girls


February 4 -- Senior Girls find success in final day, after hard fought tournament play in Vancouver  NCR

Remainder of Northwest BC Secondary Schools

Junior Boys

March 5 -- Rainmakers return from B.C. championship with three wins, two losses

February 27 -- Junior Rainmakers edged in their final game of Jr. Boys Provincials NCR
February 25 -- Rainmakers sport 2 and 1 record heading into Day 3 of BC Junior high school Basketball Championships NCR
February 22 -- Tournament Time for Junior Boys NCR
February 18 -- Rainmakers claim two more victories in final tune up before Provincials  NCR
February 15 -- One final tune up before Zones for Charles Hays Senior Boys; Juniors make ready for Provincials  NCR
February 11 -- Smithers Secondary settles for Silver

January 31 -- Junior Boys Rainmakers move into Provincial Top Ten after weekend play
January 28 -- Junior Rainmakers win Coastal Clash Tournament
January 24 -- Junior Boys host Coastal Clash NCR
January 22 -- Junior Rainmakers finish seventh in Vancouver tournament
January 17 -- Junior Boys Rainmakers tip off in North Shore Invitational  NCR
January 11 -- Rainmakers and Polars set for two in the Rainforest this weekend  NCR

Remainder of Northwest BC Secondary Schools

February 11 -- Smithers Secondary settles for Silver

Basketball Junior Girls



2018-19  Prince Rupert 

November 19 -- Charles Hays Junior girls come up short at zones
November 10 -- Junior Girls Rainmakers gear up for volleyball zones

October 15 -- Senior girls Rainmakers go 2-2 in Smithers play day
October 14 -- Junior Rainmakers show improvement in volleyball play day

Remainder of Northwest British Columbia

December 19 -- Terrace athlete chosen as one of top high school volleyball players in BC

November 30 -- BVCS volleyball teams head to provincials
November 16 -- Champion BVCS bumps competition



2018-19 Prince Rupert

May 17 -- Playing with the big boys: CHSS' junior rugby team too good for their league

April 30 -- Charles Hays Secondary School Rugby team travel to Abbotsford

November 29 -- North Coast rugby highlighted by First Nations athletes
November 19 -- Prince Rupert rugby star to play in Dubai tournament

October 24 -- Rainmakers close out rugby season

Remainder of Northwest British Columbia



2018-19 Prince Rupert

Boys Golf

May 19 -- Prince Rupert to send a high school golf team to provincials



2018-19 Prince Rupert

Boys Soccer

Remainder of Northwest BC Secondary Schools

2018-19 Prince Rupert

 Girls Soccer

May 6 -- 7 on 7 soccer at CHSS fields

April 30 -- Charles Hays Secondary School girls soccer team in Terrace playday
April 16 -- Charles Hays girls' soccer team defeat Kitimat in play day

Remainder of Northwest BC Secondary Schools


Track and Field / Cross Country

2018-19 Prince Rupert

Remainder of Northwest British Columbia

November 10 -- Smithers runners take on provincial best

October 30 -- 4 for 4 for Smithers secondary cross-country teams

September 27 -- Fall leaves means it's cross-country season



Pacific Rim Hockey Academy Information

2018-19 Prince Rupert


Remainder of Northwest British Columbia




2018-19 Prince Rupert

Remainder of Northwest British Columbia


Prince Rupert Middle School

2018-19 Prince Rupert


Remainder of Northwest British Columbia



Archive of items from


BC Government to share Gaming revenue with First Nations

The British Columbia Government has announced plans
to share gaming revenues with First Nations in the province 

Looking to act on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the British Columbia government has announced an agreement to share provincial gaming revenue to support self-government and services to make life better for families in First Nations communities.

The first step towards implementing the new revenue sharing program will be funding of two million dollars in immediate support to establish a BC First Nations Gaming Distribution Limited Partnership.

Calling the initiative a step on the path towards reconciliation, Finance Minister Carole James noted the opportunities that the shared revenues will offer First Nations communities.

“This is an enormous step forward on the path to reconciliation and truly recognizing the right to self-determination for First Nations,”  ... “First Nations know better than anyone what their communities need to thrive. When First Nations can focus on their priorities, it creates new opportunities for communities to flourish both today and for the generations to come.”

The plan to share in the revenues from gaming in BC is the start of the province's ambitions towards implementing the UNDRIP resolution.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, the president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs observed how that resolution is considered the framework for reconciliation in BC by his organization,

“Today’s historic announcement marks a significant achievement in the Government of B.C.’s journey to reconcile its colonial history with the unextinguished Title and Rights of Indigenous peoples,”  .. . “First Nations in B.C. continue to experience the ongoing impacts of colonization, including a lack of recognition for our rights and disproportionately poor living conditions. We are hopeful that the joint work we commit to with the Province will improve the lives of our people and for all British Columbians. Jointly-developed, recognition- and rights-based legislative, policy and operational changes are needed to get out of this colonial hangover. B.C.’s commitment to developing a legislative framework for the full implementation of the standards and principles of the UN declaration, and its commitment to share gaming revenue, is a significant step towards the realization of Indigenous peoples' right to self-determination and the revitalization of Indigenous governments and a nation-to-nation relationship. We cannot reiterate enough, the UN declaration must be the framework for reconciliation in B.C.”

As part of Thursday's announcement, the BC government highlighted three key elements of the program.

All First Nations will be eligible for a portion of the new gaming revenue fund. A new limited partnership, comprised of a First Nations-appointed board of directors, will oversee the distribution of the funds. 

First Nations will determine the best use for the new funding from a share of annual provincial gaming revenues. Funding will focus on priorities in the following framework: health and wellness; infrastructure, safety, transportation and housing; economic and business development; education, language, culture and training; community development and environmental protection; and capacity building, fiscal management and governance. Within that framework, First Nations governments will determine their own priorities for these funds. 

Gaming revenue sharing will be provided in addition to existing revenue sharing. Currently, economic benefits agreements between the Province and First Nations are primarily resource based and provide approximately $125 million annually to First Nations whose land and rights are affected.

The province of British Columbia already offers a share of gambling revenues with municipal governments across the province.  The most recent distribution provided Prince Rupert with just over ten million dollars in funding.

The BC Government also distributes some of the gambling revenue to community groups across the province.

You can learn more about the new First Nations revenue sharing program here.

Further background material provides a wider overview of how the province and First Nations plan to approach the new initiative,.

Vision, guiding principles, goals and objectives

Polices and Policies

Commitment Document

More items of interest related to the BC Legislature can be found from our archive page here.

A wider overview of the provincial scene can be reviewed from our political blog D'Arcy McGee

End of an era for Shutter Shack as local business makes plans to close operations

Another locally owned business in Prince Rupert is about to close,
as Shutter Shack begins to sell off its stock leading up to the store closure

It's been a fixture in the community for decades and as the next thirty days wind down, Shutter Shack will bid its farewell to Prince Rupert.

With the long time photography store which at one time processed many of Prince Rupert residents most treasured memories set to close its doors for good at the end of December.

The Closing Out and Sale Signs are making for the final goodbyes, though the business itself had been on the realty market for a number of years as ownership looked to move out of the retail sector.

The changing times of the world of photography, changed the focus for Shutter Shack as the years went by, that as a new era of cel phones an digital cameras turned photographers into their own processing units, with less and less need of Shutter Shacks core services.

As that photographic revolution continued on the store began to add a range of gift items, tee shirts and other mementos to try and capture some of the city's tourism business, while still providing for passport photos and other community photo projects such as class photos and other requests from their loyal base of customers.

Shutter Shack will join Farwest Sports now as another local business to wrap up their business, leaving the main floor of the building at McBride and 1st Avenue East vacant come January.

Those with fond memories of Shutter Shack can drop in through December to offer their best wishes and perhaps find a few bargains for Christmas as the Closing Out Sale continues.

For more notes related to the city's Business sector see our archive page here.

Tsunami risk being evaluated as 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes near Anchorage

No Risk for British Columbia from today's quake in Anchorage, Alaska

See updates below:

There has been a large earthquake north of Anchorage Alaska, with 7.0 magnitude seismic event striking the Alaskan city at 9:29 BC time  this morning.

Original recordings had listed the quake as a 7.2 event, but it was subsequently downgraded.

The event was located 10 kilometres North of Anchorage, with a depth of 38.5 kilometres.

Some background on the event can be found here.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre has issued an advisory for tsunami activity for a number of Alaskan cities and towns so far, while the risk to points south including British Columbia are still be assessed by officials.

So far there have been no additional warnings issued, we shall update this item should that situation change.

The City of Prince Rupert issued a notification through its mobile app program at 10:07 advising of the earthquake and noting that Emergency Management BC has not issued any warning related to the event at this time, adding that the City is monitoring the situation.

The City also posted updates to their website and Facebook page

Television station KTVA  is streaming live through their Facebook page providing the latest details from Anchorage following today's quake.

At just before 11 AM BC Time, the Tsunami Warning Centre cancelled its original Tsunami Warning

For more items of note related to seismic events see our archive page here.

City seeks temporary Recreation Centre manager

The Prince Rupert Civic Centre offers up the latest opportunity to join
the staff of the City of Prince Rupert

The City of Prince Rupert is looking for a Temp, though one with a bit of experience in facility management and human resources requirements as they seek the services of Recreation Complex Manager for up to the next eighteen months.

The position has opened up to cover a temporary leave period.

The job posting which was delivered to the city's Careers page on Thursday provides for an extensive list of duties and responsibilities, as well as educational and past experience requirements for the position.

Communication skills, leadership and conflict management make for some of the elements that the City is looking for as part of their list of attributes for the position.

Notes related to the job opportunity can be reviewed here.

The deadline for applications is December 28th.

For a look at some of the past employment opportunities with the City of Prince Rupert see our archive page here.

Senate report calls for Coast Guard to stand alone with focus on Search and Rescue funding

Increases in staffing, better funding and making more use of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and exploring the use of private contractors make for some of the recommendations from a Senate report which has reviewed the capacity of Canada's Coast Guard and it's Search and Rescue duties.

Should the Federal government follow through on the recommendations, the West Coast services of the Coast Guard could see some significant improvements and funding increases, something which could expand the Coast guard footprint on the North Coast out of the Seal Cove base in Prince Rupert, as well as for First Nation coastal communities along the British Columbia Coast.

The 71 page document with the title of When Every Minute Counts provides an extensive review of the services and resources available to the Coast Guard and finds that the Federal government needs to deliver more attention to the needs of the Coast Guard to attend to its duties across the nation.

The report digs deep into the way that Search and Rescue duties are tasked in Canada, making note of the partnership between the Coast Guard and Armed Forces and how the division of duties between the two is handled.

From its look at the history of the Coast Guard dating back to its creation in 1868, the review examines the various shifts in responsibility for the service, which in 2005 was merged into operations of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans,  something that a number of those providing background to the Senators suggests isn't working to the benefit of the Coast Guard.

To address the need for a better approach towards delivering on its core duties of providing for Search and Rescue and Safety on the water, the Senate Committee made two recommendations:

That the Canadian Coast Guard be established as a separate statutory agency reporting to the Minister of Transport.

That Capital planning for the Coast Guard be extended to 20 years to reflect the need for the fleet's renewal, upgrade and modernization.

The Senate Committee travelled across Canada as well as to Europe to see what does and doesn't work when it comes to Coast Guard services and mission statements and how the Canadian Coast Matches up with some of the other services that they examined as part of the findings of their report.

Some of those discussions with the European agencies helped to shape some of the findings, including the final recommendation to return the Coast Guard to the oversight of the Transport Canada Ministry.

It was noted that a separate statute for the CCG along with a transfer to the TC portfolio would better align with its mandate and the approach taken by other jurisdictions, such as, for example, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Solutions at home were also explored, with the Senate Committee noting that improved funding for Coast Guard Auxiliary services and expanding the relationship with First Nations communities could help to increase the ability to respond to incidents.

In British Columbia, the Senators recommend more training opportunities for Coastal First Nations, observing that often it is their members who are the first on the scene when a call for assistance issued.

Given the valuable experience gained to date by members of coastal and Indigenous communities as part of this course and the high demand for this training, the committee sees the Coastal Nations Search and Rescue Course as an excellent opportunity to improve maritime SAR response on the West Coast. The committee heard remarkable stories where Indigenous peoples were actively involved in maritime SAR incidents. Similar courses could be provided in other regions, including, for example, coastal communities in the Canadian Arctic that are experiencing an increase in maritime activity. 

Indigenous peoples living in remote coastal communities are and will continue to be the first responders to marine incidents in their waters. It is the view of the committee that the time has come to meaningfully develop the capacity of local peoples willing to help respond to maritime SAR incidents in their regions as they arise.

With the coast guard facing staffing challenges today and the prospect of a twenty five percent turnover with retirement in the years ahead, the committee has called for an aggressive recruitment and retention strategy to address those shortages, recommending the Coast Guard target a wider pool of potential  employees.

The committee recommends that the Canadian Coast Guard, in collaboration with the Canadian Coast Guard College, expand and intensify its human resource recruitment strategy to target a broader audience. 

The committee recommends that the strategy have a particular focus on attracting and retaining Indigenous cadets and employees within the Canadian Coast Guard organization.

The report also offers praise for those who participate in the Canadian Coast Auxiliary program, recommending that the Canadian Coast Guard establish a maritime Search and Rescue Fund to support the purchase of equipment and services needed by regional Coast Guard Auxiliary organizations.

The report also recommends that assistance be provided to Regional Coast Guard auxiliary organizations so they can diversify their funding sources.

The Report also urges the Government to provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the ability to increase and diversify its search and rescue workforce to respond to the increased demand for search and rescue.

The prospect of making use of private contractors was also explored in the report, with the Senators reviewing how the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway and Australia make use of private resources to compliment their own services.

And while they don't recommend that Canada follow the lead of the us of private contractors as found in some of the services that were studied, they do see an opportunity for public/private partnerships.

The committee does not believe that privatization of aeronautical SAR (like in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia), or another large government capital expenditure project for additional SAR aircrafts (or to rebuild the older ones), fit Canada’s unique requirements. 

However, the committee believes that alternative service delivery – in the form of public-private partnerships that leverage the best of both public and private capabilities/resources – could offer, in the short- and medium terms, an innovative and cost-effective solution to supplement SAR resources in regions with little or insufficient coverage.

As part of the review, the Senate report also called attention to the risks involved in the commercial fishing industry, noting that it hosts the highest fatality rate among employment sectors in Canada.

The recurring finding of an average of 12 deaths per year in the commercial fishing industry is of great concern to the committee. The persistence of this number indicates that something must change. Along with witnesses, members of the committee believe that real and lasting improvements in fishing safety can be realized through changes to fishing vessel regulations, commercial fisheries management, and prevention.

Towards addressing those concerns, the Senate Report has recommended that Transport Canada amend its regulations to extend the mandatory use of Emergency position locating radio beacons, as well as to develop and disseminate user-friendly information regrading vessel stability to reduce unsafe practices in the commercial fishing industry.

The Senators also have set a three year timeline from the tabling of the report for Transport Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard an the Canadian Marine Advisory Council to work with Fish harvesters to develop an action plan on safety in the commercial industry.

The Senators report provides for seventeen different areas for recommendations, with twenty two individual recommendations.

The twenty two recommendations from the Senate
Committee Report in Search and Rescue services in Canada
(click to enlarge)

You can review the full report from the Senate here.

For a look at some of the work of the Coast Guard and other Emergency Responders across the Northwest see our archive page here.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Collision on Highway 16 west of Terrace claims life of American man

Terrace RCMP have released some details into a fatal collision on Tuesday afternoon on Highway 16 between Terrace and Prince Rupert, an incident which saw members called to the scene near the 90 kilometre marker at Exchamsiks at 12:40 PM after reports of a single vehicle collision.

According to reports from the scene, the vehicle had been travelling eastbound when it passed another vehicle and then drove into the ditch, then hitting the rock face along the highway near the Exchamsiks River Bridge

The Terrace Fire/Rescue department was already on scene and had successfully extracted the driver from the vehicle, sadly the driver a 75 year old American resident, succumbed to his injuries while en route to hospital by ambulance.

 A single vehicle accident near Exchamsiks has claimed the life
of a75 American man

Driving conditions at the time of the accident were said to be foggy and wet, the highway was closed in both directions while traffic analysts investigated.

The RCMP's statement on the collision can be reviewed here.

For more items of interest related to Northwest Emergency Responders can be found here.

BC Legislature breaks for Christmas with NDP looking to showcase highlights; but trapped by public's view of chaotic end

With the fall session coming to an end, Premier John Horgan was trying
to keep the focus on the NDP's success on legislation, all while controversy
swirls around the electoral reform referendum and recent staffing
developments at the BC Legislature

(BC Gov't photo)

Premier John Horgan was looking to put the best light on the final day of the Fall session of the Legislature on Tuesday, and by most measuring sticks he should have been able to head off into the season of Christmas cheer in a fine mood.

Housing initiatives have seen the governing NDP making some headway on the long standing issue, with announcements made across BC delivering housing resources for a number of communities including Prince Rupert and Port Edward.

And with the government outlining the nature of an increasing surplus this fall, Finance Minister Carole James is proving to be a fairly steady hand with the province's books.

“We’re taking on the big challenges in our province, from the housing crisis to child care, while getting the Province’s finances in order,  ... The second quarter results show we can make B.C.’s economy work for everyone, while investing in people and providing strong fiscal leadership for B.C.” -- Carole James, Minister of Finance and deputy Premier. 

There were some success stories in education as well with a number of new school announcements made by the NDP (though none yet for Prince Rupert) and the health ministry has made some significant announcements in the Northern Health region for both Terrace and Smithers.

Of major note to the Northwest, when it comes to economic development, the Terrace-Kitimat corridor received some positive news this fall.

With the Final Investment Decision for the LNG Canada's terminal project for Kitimat, a the NDP government was able to share in the accolades for having successfully delivered on one of the many LNG proposals for the region.

Though for the residents of the North Coast, the celebrations of the Kitimat area were a reminder of that the once promising future for LNG development for the Prince Rupert area has been all but dashed with the cancellation of a number or proposed terminal developments over the last few years.

As the fall session came to a close, the government released its review of the successful ticks of the To do list for 2018.

All told as the final day of the Legislature came to a close, the final tally of Bills Receiving Royal Assent looked as follows:

Yet for all those positive developments and an energetic agenda, two end of session themes have pretty well knocked all of that good news out of the spotlight and for the most part have framed the end of the fall work with more than a bit of curious suspicion from the public.

First there  is the final stage of an electoral reform referendum that has been marked more by the lack of interest that has been found among the voters, as wall as a significant amount of confusion of the process and the options that the BC NDP and Greens are hoping will find favour once the votes, whatever number they reflect are counted up.

The referendum campaign to this point has seen a twenty nine percent return rate,  (19 percent on the North Coast) and has also seen the Premier change one of the elements of the Pro Representation options at mid-referendum, something which provided the Opposition Liberals with more than a few talking points over the last  month.

You can catch up on the referendum notes from our archive page here.

The other issue that loomed large over the Legislature came last week, with a chaotic week at the Parliament buildings all after Speaker Darryl Plecas initiated an investigation into two senior Legislature officials, resulting in the surprising announcement that both had been suspended.

The story became even more controversial after it was disclosed that the investigation was conducted by a friend of the Speaker, hired to a newly created position by the Speaker in January.

Making the the situation even more confounding wast the revelation that Speaker Plecas had then recommended that his newly hired assistant be promoted to one of the suspended officials post.

In the end, more sensible heads prevailed and that did not come to take place, but the handling of the affair and the many unanswered questions related to it have clouded much of the final weeks of the Fall session.

The situation related to the Speakers' role in it all will remain unresolved over the holiday season, that as an RCMP investigation  also continues into the original concerns related to the two now suspended staff members.

The post holiday blues may follow the Premier upon his return to work in January when there will most likely be renewed calls for more transparency on the controversial events of November, a situation which may yet provide for more drama and a potential showdown with the Opposition Liberals over the fate of the Speaker.

You can follow all the latest twist and turns in that controversy from our political blog D'Arcy McGee.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice has for the most part spent the bulk of the last few weeks taking to her social media streams to get out the vote in favour of Proportional Representation options in the Referendum campaign, with a large volume of messages to constituents to share the preferred NDP themes on the choices available.

As for the other major story of the last week out of Victoria, Ms. Rice has not had much to say on the current controversy over the decision of the Speaker to suspend two senior Legislative officials, or the hiring of a friend of Mr. Plecas to a newly created assistants role.

In a session ending post to her Facebook page, Ms. Rice did however make note of  some of the success of the NDP agenda this fall, and noted how they get "a bit silly" at the legislature as the Fall session came to an end.

Constituents will be able to catch up with their MLA in December when she and Skeena Bukley Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen host an Open House at their Ocean Centre offices on December 7th.

For a look back at some of her work in the Legislature this fall see our Legislature archive page here.

British Columbia outlines Free Use Permit process for Christmas tree cutting

Residents of Northwestern British Columbia looking to head out into the woods to harvest their own Christmas tree are reminded that it's not a wild west of chain saws and axes out in the woodlands with the province reviewing the list of Not cut areas that you should be aware of.

As part of the annual free use permit for Christmas Tree cutting a list of rules and regulations provides for the guide for those taking to the Coast Mountains Resource District between now and Christmas.

Among the things to keep in mind when looking for your tree,

NO CUTTING of Christmas trees is permitted in the following areas:

Private Lands 
Treaty Lands 
Forest Plantations and Research Areas 
Parks, Ecological Reserves and Conservancies 
Community Watersheds 
Juvenile-spaced reforested areas 
Woodlot Licenses and Community Forests unless authorized by the License holder 
Any other areas alienated or reserved for a special use

The Free Use Permit authorizes the Permittee to cut 1 and only 1 Christmas tree for their own personal use.

Make sure it is the tree you want before you cut it. And be aware that any Christmas tree cut under the Free Permit Use cannot be offered for resale.

You can access and print out the Free Use permit from this link.

More background on the annual Christmas Tree Permit program can be reviewed here.

Contacts for questions for the Ministry of Lands, Forests and Natural Resource Operations can be found here.

For those that prefer that their Christmas tree come to them, Save On Foods has started receiving their annual supply of Christmas Trees, and next weekend the Prince Rupert Rotary Club will once again be selling their supply of trees, setting up in the Rotary Tennis Courts at McBride Street and 6th Avenue West.

For more notes related to Community events see our archive page here.