Thursday, January 17, 2019

MLA Rice offers response to City Council's call for letters

Four days after a call from Councillor Wade Niesh for residents to start mailing their elected officials at the Federal and Provincial level, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice has offered up a response to the City Council comments from their Monday evening session.

As part of his presentation to the Community at Monday's Council session, Mr. Niesh issued the  call for help from the public, looking for the public to direct some of their feedback to the senior level politicians.

Posting to her Facebook page at 7PM on Thursday evening, the North Coast MLA provided for a response to the ongoing Boil Water situation expressing some empathy for those that have been inconvenienced over the last five weeks and then to outline some elements of the process that all municipalities take part in when it comes to infrastructure programs, as well as her efforts with the city on the file.

When it comes to overseeing water infrastructure, each level of government carries responsibility. Municipalities are responsible for the actual treatment and distribution of drinking water to the public while the provincial government sets out legislation and policies to protect the quality of drinking water. 

These policies are based on the federal government’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

The Province has been working with the City of Prince Rupert to improve its drinking-water system. We continue to work with the City and the Northern Health Authority to address the current level of treatment.

We also recognize that there are many communities who have gone without adequate infrastructure funding for far too long. That’s why in partnership with the Government of Canada, we are investing almost $6-billion over 10 years to cost-share important infrastructure projects in communities across the province. Administrators at the city are aware of these funding opportunities which they have applied for.

As part of her correspondence to constituents, the MLA notes how she has been in frequent communication with the Mayor and City administrator on a range of issues to offer support on the city's priorities.

Ms. Rice also offers up an observation as to the tone of the Monday Council session and the comments from Acting Mayor Wade Niesh.

I was surprised by the comments made by acting-Mayor Niesh during the Jan 14th council meeting. Directing blame does little to resolve issues, but rather, carries the risk of misinforming the public and creating confusion. The residents of Prince Rupert deserve better.

You can review her full commentary for North Coast constituents here.

One of those constituents who took the time to reply to the MLA was Mr. Niesh himself, with the City Council member offering some criticism of her approach to the issue through her correspondence.

You can track the growing file of notes related to the City's ongoing Boil Water troubles from our archive page here.

Some background on Monday's Council session can be explored here and from our Council Timeline Feature.

For more notes related to the work of MLA Rice in Victoria see our Legislature archive page here.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment