Wednesday, November 28, 2018

City Council Timeline: Monday, November 26, 2018

Much of the focus on the Final Council session for November was put towards moving forward with the City's Cannabis regulation plans, with Council members receiving two reports on the topic and then expanding the area for potential retail sales after inquiries from the public.

The night also found the Council members dividing up some of their Committee and Board requirements for 2019.

Monday also provided an opportunity for two presentations on the night, both taking place through the Committee of the Whole process, with a resident speaking towards concerns related to the city's heritage trees, while a delegation from the Prince Rupert Arts Council spoke to a request for an increase to the annual Community Enhancement Grant

Some background on the work of Council on the evening and the various Agenda elements for the November 26th Council session can be reviewed here.

Council also met in a closed session earlier in the evening, with a 5 PM meeting which was closed to the public.

Further information from our overview and placement in the video archive can be found below, with the permanent record of the minutes added as they are posted to the city website.

In attendance Monday, November 26, 2018

Mayor Lee Brain -- Present 
Councillor Nick Adey --  Present 
Councillor Barry Cunningham-- Present 
Councillor Blair Mirau -- Present 
Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven --  Present 
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa--  Present 

Video Archive for November 26, 2018


Committee of the Whole

(0:00 -- 1:00 )  Adoption of Agenda -- The Mayor called the Committee of the Whole meeting to order.

( 1:00 -- 16:00 ) Presentation from Christine Malaka on the status of Prince Rupert's trees -- Her presentation put some focus on the state of the community's heritage or legacy trees as part of the city's urban forest. Noting that she has appeared at Council in the past, Ms. Malaka observed that since her last visit more of the community's trees have come down. 

To bring her discussion themes home for the Council members, she called attention to the City's Quality of Life Community plan and how nature makes for the very introduction of the document and the need to protect the community's landmarks and pristine look. 

From her observations she relayed concerns over the frequency of the number of trees that have been taken down on property in the city and noted that the Park Avenue Housing project has contributed to a large number of the city's oldest trees to come down. She recommended to Council that bylaws could be put in place to provide for protection for heritage trees on both city and private property. She also offered up a publication from the UBCM on urban forests as a good guideline to follow to develop policy on the issue. She also suggested that the Heritage trees issue could be made part of the City's Heritage Committee plans.

Councillor Adey passed on some of his observations on the topic calling on his time growing up in Victoria and the approach that they take there. He also relayed some of his experiences in his own neighbourhood when trees come down.

Councillor Skelton-Morven shared many of Councillor Adey's opinions and noted that there is a need to be more observant on the issue.

Councillor Cunningham agreed that the trees in the city need to be protected, though noted that there are many reasons for trees to be cut down citing health and safety concerns, he did agree that it would be good to resurrect the Heritage committee and that the overview on trees might fit into that mandate.

( 16:00 -- 29:00 ) Presentation from the Prince Rupert Community Arts Council -- Michael Gurney and Deborah Strand provided an snapshot of the workings of some of the fifty year history of the Arts Council and the importance to the city's quality of life that it brings to the community. The focus for the presentation was to review the 10,000 dollar civic grant that the organization currently receives with, Mr. Gurney making a call on behalf of the Arts Council for an additional 10,000 to fund the their operations.  

To highlight some of the work that the Council has delivered, he outlined a number of the events and works of art that have taken place through the Arts Council, as well as the grants that they offer to local artists. Towards the future, the Arts council is hoping to provide better updates for City Council so the member of Council and city residents can learn more of their work and how they spend the city's investment in the arts. To close the presentation, the vision of art as a sense of unity for the community was put forward to the Council.

The Mayor thanked Mr. Gurney for his presentation and noted how the City is a strong supporter of Arts, noting the Lester Centre as the vehicle of that support which he called a priority for council. He did note that he had good news and bad news on funding on the night, observing that in late October the City had passed the Enhancement Grant process, holding the line this year on funding.

He did advise that while the City is holding to the funding levels in the year ahead they plan to reinvent how the Enhancement Grant process moves, calling the current process a broken one. Stating that with Watson Island only coming back on line in the summer, Council felt that they needed an additional year to develop the new process.

The Mayor added that the Council hopes to be in a better position in 2019 to provide for better news for the 2020 round of funding.

In a show of support towards the arts community, Councillor Adey outlined some of his past experiences in the Arts and how he will be happy to advance a strong sense of support towards doing all that Council can towards the groups that are seeking funding.

The Mayor also made note of a $10,000 community grant available through Macro Properties and offered to provide a letter of support for.

Mr. Gurney also offered up the availability of the Arts council to be part of City Council's review of the Arts Grant process.

29:00 -- 30:00  Public comment period of Committee of Whole -- No members of the public came forward on Monday night.

The Mayor then returned the Council to the Regular Council Session.


Regular Council Session

( 30:00 -- 31:00 )   Regular City Council Session for November 5, 2018  --  Adoption of Agenda,  the Mayor called the Regular Council Session to order, with Council adopting the agenda and past minutes of previous minutes. 

(  32:00 -- 34:00  )   Report from the Communications Manger on the Community engagement session on Council's plans for Cannabis regulation   -- Veronika Stewart provided an overview of the November 13th community meeting at Coast Mountain College. Her summary of the events highlighted the feedback that the city officials received, with interest expressed in areas such as business licence fees, the nature of the areas to allow sales in, restrictions on smoking lounges and delivery services and how many stores may be allowed with the 75 metre distance in place.

Council voted to approve the report for information purposes.

You can review some of the elements of it here.

( 34:00 -- 44:00  ) Report from the Corporate Administrator on Committee Appointments for 2019 -- Council members approved the list of Committee and Board appointments, with Council members then dividing up the work load for the year ahead.

Among the appointments:

Northwest Regional Hospital District -- Council had to make a change from its original plan to have Councillor Adey serve on the Board as an alternate, with Council having to change that appointment to Councillor Niesh who serves on the Regional District Board, the change was required owing to the terms of reference for membership on the Hospital District.

Councillor Adey noted that it wasn't clear in the information provided at the time that the nominee had to be a member of the Regional District Board, suggesting that be included in the future.

Prince Rupert Airport Authority -- Council selected Councillor Niesh to the position.

Prince Rupert Library Board -- Council selected Councillor Adey to the position.

Civic Awards  and Recognition Group -- Mr. Mandryk noted that all City Council members are required to be part of the Civic Awards Committee.

Performing Arts Board -- Council selected Councillor Adey to the position.

Recreation Commission -- Council selected three members for the positions, Councillor Niesh, Councillor Randhawa and Councillor Skelton-Morven.

Councillor Niesh asked that he remain as chair of the Commission, it was recommended by Council that Councillor Niesh retain his position as Chair.

Healthy Communities Committee -- Council selected Councillor Cunningham to the position, he will also serve as its co chair.

Tourism Prince Rupert -- Council selected Councillor Mirau to the position.

Northern Regional NDIT  -- Council selected Councillor Skelton-Morven for the position, with Councillor Mirau to serve as alternate.

BC Ferries North and Central Advisory Committee -- Council selected Councillor Cunningham to serve on the Board.

Councillor Randhawa inquired if the City had plans to put a member of the Board of the North Coast Immigration and Multicultural Services Society. It was noted that staff did not know if the City had a requirement to be part of that Society's Board and that a report would be delivered on the topic at the next Council session.

( 44:00 -- 44:30Correspondence for Action from the Minister of Children and Family Development with a proclamation request -- Council voted in favour to name November 2018 as Adoption Awareness Month in the City of Prince Rupert.

44:30 - 52:00 ) Report from City Planner on Zoning amendment bylaw related to the City's Proposed Cannabis Regulations  --   Mr. Zeno Krekic outlined his review of the community engagement process of earlier in the month.

He observed as to some trepidation from Rupert Square Mall as to whether they wished to be excluded from the zone to allow sales of cannabis, the decision was that they be included in the zone to allow sales.

The second request came from property ownership on Park Avenue who asked to be included in a zone to allow for the sale of cannabis.

From his review he noted that there was a request to expand the area for potential retail operations with both Five Corners and a stretch along Park Avenue to be included as part of the new map in addition to the Downtown core previously outlined.

Council voted to approve the amendments, giving First and Second Reading to the bylaw and setting Monday December 10th as the date for a Public Hearing into the bylaw requirements.

Councillor Randhawa made an inquiry about the scope of the area to be included as part of the area to allow cannabis sales and how some of it includes residential areas.

You can review some of the elements of Mr. Krekic's report here.

( 52:00  - 52:30 ) Reports and Comments from Council members 

No members of council had any comments or raised any questions on the evening.

The Mayor then brought the Council session to close.

You can access the City Council Review for November 5, 2018 herewhere a number of items regarding the council session, including links to local media coverage, can also be found.

As always, our Council Timeline is only a reflection of our observations from the Council session of the night. Be sure to consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to their website for further review.

Official Minutes of the Regular Council Session from November 26, 2018 (not available yet)

In addition to the city's official minutes, the City's Video archive provides a helpful record of the events from each public council session.

Council members next meet on Monday, December 10, 2018. 

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

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