Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Spring Break from Blogging

We're hot on the tail of the Easter Bunny today, making tracks for a bit of a break from our overview of Prince Rupert/North Coast News and events here at the North Coast Review.

The plan is to take a short sabbatical from our chronicles for a few days, with hopes of a return by early next week, and with that our regular features that require attention on a daily basis will be somewhat of an untended garden for that period as well.

Upon our return, we'll try to play a bit of catch up, as best we can.

Until the first of the new items towards the end of the month we invite you to wander along our various topics and dig a bit deeper into some of the items found on our right hand column, which may offer you a chance for a second look at some of our past material.

Blog Watching: Week ending April 21, 2019

The final stages of the 2019 Civic Budget process, along with the last of the discussion on a change in the salary expectations for Council and Mayor made two of four related city council themes this week.

Also finding some wide interest from readers over the last seven days, was some still unfinished business with Port Edward over the Ridley Island Tax Dispute, as well the City launched its Help Wanted search for a Deputy Fire Chief for the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue Service.

At the provincial level, a list of highway plans for the Northwest provided a look at some of the work ahead this spring and summer, yet there's no final word to be heard yet towards construction of the Mile 28 overpass, which would remove the last level rail crossing on Highway 16.

And the Northwest received a rare visit from a travelling collection of Senators, as the Senate Committee on Transportation and Communication came to Prince Rupert and Terrace to hear testimony on the proposed oil tanker ban for North Coast waters.

However the top story of the week finds us back to the days of discord when it comes to the Ridley Island Tax Agreement and the share that Port Edward receives from it, with reports stating that the City has taken the controversial discussions to the ministerial ranks of Premier John Horgan's NDP government.

The Bully Boys of Third Avenue West? -- With Prince Rupert and Port Edward seemingly at loggerheads when it comes to the dispute over the Ridley Island Tax Revenue Sharing Agreement, the latest step may require the intervention of the Province, with Prince Rupert reportedly seeking some strong measures out of Victoria.    (posted April 17, 2019)

That article was followed by:

Mile 28 Highway 16 overpass seems stalled in the planning stage  -- It was one of the most publicized of transportation highlights for the Northwest a few years ago, but to date there is little to show in the way of progress when it comes to a start on the Mile 28 Highway 16 overpass,   (posted April 15, 2019)

City of Prince Rupert on the hunt for new Deputy Fire Chief -- The Prince Rupert Fire Rescue Service is looking to hire a Second in command, all while Council gives consideration to potenteial changes in how they deliver fire service to the community.    (posted  April  15, 2019)

Frustrated Cullen to call on Senate to 'stop running out the clock: on oil tanker bill -- Prince Rupert and Terrace played host to the Senate of Canada's Transportation and Communication Committee this week, with Senators hearing from a range of local representatives speaking to the oil tanker bill as part of their work in the Northwest.  (posted  April 15, 2019)

Council now one vote away from finalizing salary increases and full time Mayor status -- The final week of review for the City of Prince Rupert Budget and salary plans for Mayor and Council session moved the process towards its conclusion this week with a fair bit of discussion still to be hear for both topics.  By Thursday's Special session the Council members brought all the talk to an end with their  final approval of both the Budget and Salary plans.    (posted April 17 2019)

You can find our weekly Blog watching feature posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, making for a handy way to catch up to the week that was, at a leisurely weekend pace.

You can also review the full listings of the week just past from our Blog Archive index page found on the right hand side of the page.

For those looking for updates to items as they are posted to the blog, don't forget about our email alert access.

A daily review of the latest items on the blog can be delivered to your email in box, simply by entering your email address into the information bar, items posted to the blog will be delivered to your e-mail account each day.

You can find the link to that feature on the upper, right hand side of the blog. It can be found underneath the Follow the North Coast Review by Email indicator.

As well, those who use Twitter can get updates as we post new items from our twitter feed

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here.

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

Friday, April 19, 2019

Senators make way back to Ottawa with much to review following two days in the Northwest

A large crowd greeted Senators throughout the day on Tuesday
as participants in the Senate Committee Hearings on the proposed Oil Ban
on the North Coast provided their testimony to the Upper Chamber members
(photo from MP Nathan Cullen's Twitter Feed)

The travelling party of the Senate of Canada's Transportation and Communications Committee have taken their leave of the Northwest following two days of testimony this week, morning and afternoon sessions in Prince Rupert and Terrace which provided for a range of views on the fate of legislation from the House of Commons related to an oil tanker ban on the North Coast.

In Prince Rupert the group heard from a number of First Nations leaders, community members, representatives of industry and elected officials, all providing short presentations to the Senators as they compiled their notes and observations on the commentary found in the region.

Among those who spoke during the Prince Rupert session of Tuesday,  were Mayor Lee Brain, MP Nathan Cullen, MLA Jennifer Rice and BC environment Minister George Heyman.

For whatever reason, unlike past sessions in Ottawa, the Senate chose not to provide an audio or video feed of their tour of the Northwest.

So much of the testimony to the committee will be released through transcripts at a later date, however some of the participants of the Prince Rupert session have posted their contributions to their respective information streams.

The Minister of Environment's themes were relayed through a statement on the BC Government News website, with Minister George Heyman making note of the unique nature of the North Coast, while also reinforcing the provincial government's dedication towards reconciliation  with Indigenous communities.

“British Columbia’s northern coast is a unique, ecologically rich marine environment valued internationally and even more so by the communities whose histories and futures are tied to its health and protection. “Our government has been very clear we are committed to protecting our environment, the economy and our coast from the devastating impact a heavy oil spill would have. British Columbians expect nothing less. We oppose the expansion of the movement of heavy oil through our coastal waters and we have been consistent in this position.

B.C. is committed to true reconciliation with Indigenous peoples and, in particular, the right of Indigenous peoples to pursue development in keeping with their own needs and aspirations. This means that an informed and meaningful opportunity for dialogue with Indigenous groups whose rights may be impacted is required."

The full statement can be reviewed here.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice included her comments for the Senate committee as part of her social media stream, making note of how Bill C-48 is an essential act towards protection of the North Coast from oil tanker traffic.

So far, neither Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen who has been the strongest advocate for the tanker ban on the North Coast, or Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain have provided for a text of their comments to the Senate Committee.

Much of Mr. Cullen's take on the Senate hearings put the focus on the fact that the bill had been approved by 67% of the elected representatives in the House of Commons and how the time for Senate approval of the Bill was at hand.

The Senators session in Terrace heard from a range of presentations with very differing opinions, though the testimony of Wednesday in Terrace consisted of much more of the way of support of creating some kind of allowance for oil tanker shipments on the North Coast than that of the day before in Prince Rupert.

Once they catch up with their transcripts and accounts of the Northwest sessions the results will be provided to the Senate website here.

You can follow the fate of Bill C-48 from the Senate Committee website.

Some of the local coverage of the Senate Committee hearings in the Northwest can be found below:

First Nations divided on impacts of tanker ban at Northern BC Senate hearings
Northwest BC leaders divided over oil tanker ban
Water is life for coastal communities, says MLA Jennifer Rice in Senate Committee testimony
Terrace Tanker Hearing (video)
Oil Tanker Ban in Prince Rupert
Representatives from Canadian Senate hear feedback concerning proposed tanker ban oat BC's northern coast

For more items of interest on the Federal political scene see our House of Commons archive page, for a wider overview of Federal politics see our political  D'Arcy McGee archive here.

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

Short Thursday Session of Council approves Budget, Salary increases for Prince Rupert City Council

In a Special session last evening that went on a little longer than many might have been expected, Prince Rupert City Council approved the passage of their Five year Financial Plan along with the two percent property tax reduction proposed by Council for 2019.

The evening put the final stamp on the details of the Five Year Financial plan elements and the bylaw putting in place the two percent property tax decrease for 2019.

As well on Thursday, Council put in place the creation of a reserve fund for the recently delivered 8.1 million dollars in capital and infrastructure funding from the provincial government.

All of which can be explored from the Agenda Package that Councillors reviewed on Thursday which is found below.

City Council Agenda for Thursday, April 18th

The process of quick approval slowed down a bit during the near twenty minutes of Council work, when Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa once again tried to convince his fellow councillors to reduce their salary prospects.

With the second term councillor looking once again to sever the compensation to that of the Mayor's salary which calls for Councillors to receive 25 percent of the Mayors 75,000 per year salary. As well Mr. Randhawa sought to hold Council to just the replacement of the lost tax exemption from the change to the Revenue Canada regulations.

As it was in the April 15th session, the majority of the Councillors disagreed with Councillor Randhawa's attempted amendment, though the length of the debate and nature of the council commentary was scaled back from that of the previous sessions that explored the city's budget and salary proposals.

"It's not that much, I think we're getting maybe another 1,000 dollars more, give or take a few cents if you factor in that 25 percent and I believe the Mayor, when you factor in that is making only a couple of thousand more, maybe three max, so when you look at those figures those aren't big raises ... I think if you look at any wage structure in this town, there's a lot of people making a lot more than $75,000 that are working at jobs, there's a lot of people in town not making that much too, but hopefully over the next few years those wages will increase " -- Councillor Barry Cunningham

"The reality of this is you know, that there was a Blue Ribbon committee formed, I mean,  I don't know how many times I have to say that, they were the ones that looked all aspects of this and they are the ones who looked at these numbers. You seem to be concerned about having a couple thousand dollars and you're trying to say that it's going to be a tax increase for our residents next year, well it's not going to be a tax increase. What it's gong to be is next year we're hoping that more money comes in and Alta Gas is paying more taxes, when Pembina is paying more in leases. I only hope that next year we can do a tax decrease and not even be concerned about what this is going to do for us next year ... I feel that the numbers are fine, I have no issue with it, this Committee was formed and they've come up with these numbers" -- Councillor Wade Niesh

In addition to the salary observations, Councillor Cunningham delivered one more tribute to the work of Mr. Brain over the last four years and noted how he has always been in support of the Mayoralty as a full time positions,

"I've said this before, and I'll say it one more time I think the benefits of having a full time Mayor in this town far outweigh anything else. I've seen it over and over again in meetings, I seen it in results with Watson Island and a few other places. We have a person who's there all the time to negotiate with whoever it is and that's just the way life is nowadays, if you don't have someone competent there to deal with these people, you're either not going to have them come to your town and investing the money and creating jobs, or their going to go someplace else, and so far the track record for this town, our staff and this council is pretty good ... I've supported a full time mayor since I got on this council and I still support a full time mayor,  you have to pay a full time mayor. If you want young energetic, vibrant, far reaching people to run something you've got to pay them the money" 

As the conversation continued most council members were in agreement with Mr. Cunningham that the Mayor's position and salary status should be that of a full time Mayor and now fixed at the 75,000 per year level.

However,  no one took the time to point out that as Mayor, Mr. Brain also has the opportunity to add to his compensation levels through membership with the North Coast Regional District and other board duties.

Last year, that membership added close to 13,000 dollars to his compensation level above that of his salary from Prince Rupert.

When it came to the final word on the councillor salaries, Councillor Nick Adey sought some clarification from the Chief Financial Officer on the nature of the pay raises if all they did was to make up for the lost tax exemption.

The mayor observed that the difference would between 16,000 to 18,000 for council members, with the City's Financial officer noting that would be a 15 percent increase.

When it came time to vote on the issue, Mr. Adey also sided somewhat with Mr. Randhawa's council salary themes, voting against the motion as outlined in the bylaw, but reinforcing for Council that he did believe a salary increase was warranted.

"It's a bit of a dilemma because I took a position when I made the amendment on Monday that it would be a more moderate increase and so on the basis of that, I would be opposed to the motion but I would like to make it clear that I'm in favour of an increase ... that's where I'm at"

Council members also didn't have much to say when it came to Mr. Randhawa's  observation that the process should have taken place as part of the election agenda prior to the election of 2018.

"When we released our election agenda at that time if we tell people Ok if I get elected I would get like a ten or twenty dollar raise or this much raise because my qualification is there ... I don't think anyone should have any problem then, but after an election ... I don't think we are fair with the community then"

And that really is one of the main issues related to the way Council approached their delivery of compensation and the return of the Mayor to Full Time Status.

Had they allowed for a timeline of consideration prior to the Municipal vote of 2018, the Council could have fully consulted its residents on the compensation deemed appropriate for their work and whether the community as a whole believes that the Mayor's position should be full or part time with the requisite compensation that is required.

That way, those seeking office would have been running for their positions with a full understanding of what they could reasonably expect to earn at the job and in the case of the Mayor's position whether full or part time fit into their vision of the job.

Instead as it was rolled out, the Council has set their own salaries by way of recommendation of the Select Committee panel, well after they've taken office, which seems somewhat of a back door approach to full consultation and transparency with those who in the end will have to pay for the salary structure now in place.

Back in March, we touched on the themes and recommendations now part of the Bylaw from the Blue Ribbon Select Panel Committee along with the first of what became a six week long period of festivus like declarations that came from some of the council members as the debate carried through until last night's final approval.

On Thursday, Councillor Wade Niesh made note that as council approves salary increases, they can also decide to scale them back should the situation warrant.

"Any Council can choose, we could next year we could decide to give ourselves a fifty percent decrease if we want, just because we make a bylaw today, does not mean that the bylaw can't be changed, anytime you want to update a bylaw, you update a bylaw ... if in four years Lee decides not to run and somebody else decides they come in to be the mayor and council in that day decides that they want to give him a part time job and cut his wages back then they can do they have that option"

Those are observations which will have residents keeping a watchful eye as to whether all of the industrial development and additional revenue streams that Council believe are on the way, will actually arrive; allowing for the continuation of one of the more generous compensation packages to be found in the Northwest and much of the province.

With the passage of the bylaws, the discussion period for Council will come to an end, though if some of the commentary found through social media over the last few weeks is any indication, the process that council put in place and their final decisions on salaries may make for a theme of discussion for a longer period.

So far the City has not posted the video presentation of their Special Session of Thursday, should they add it to the inventory, you will be able to find it here.

You can review the process that the City Council made use of towards deciding on their final compensation levels below:


April 17 -- Council now one vote away from finalizing salary increases and full time Mayor status 
April 17 -- Council Timeline, Monday, April 15, 2019
April 8 -- Council almost to the finish line towards approval on salary increases

March 27 -- With consultation period near an end, Budget decisions await City Council
March 1 -- Dollars for Democracy: The hyperbole of Council salary recommendations

January 30 -- As Mayor reverts back to previous salary status; City's Council pay issues to be reviewed as part of budget process


December 21 -- Updates on Mayor's Blue Ribbon Select Panel on pay review few and far between as deadline news
November 9 -- City changes application notes on Council remuneration Committee
October 29 -- To this point Mayor Brain's Blue Ribbon Committee on Civic compensation remains a Facebook only invite project
October 24 -- Mayor Brain to call for participants in Committee to review Council remuneration issues

June -- City of Prince Rupert's SOFI Report provides details on Council salaries in 2017

April 20 -- Will Prince Rupert City Council join the moves to address lost tax exemption money on civic salaries?

February 28 -- Full time Mayor status, salary to be reviewed by next council, following October election

For more items of note on the Budget and salary discussions see our Council Discussion archive page available here.

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

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Easter Trail leads to Civic Centre on Sunday

Once the Easter Bunny has taken care of the residential areas of the city, the famed bunny of treats makes tracks for the Prince Rupert Civic Centre for the annual Prince Rupert Amazing Easter Egg Event ...

Activities for the youngsters of the city will taken place in two sessions, with those Six and Under set for an Easter Egg Hunt from 11:30 to Noon ...

From Noon and through the Noon hour those who are from 7 to 12 can search the Auditorium in the quest for treats, the day also features an Easter Swim at the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre from 1 until 4 with Easter themed activities part of the fun of the pool.

As it is the Easter Season, the Recreation Department reminds residents that the Civic Centre and Earl Mah Aquatic Centre will both be closed on Good Friday and Easter Monday.

You can find out more information on both the weekend closures and the Easter Sunday Egg Hunt from the Civic Centre's Facebook page.


The Civic Centre hunt is the second of the Easter themed events planned for the city, as we noted earlier this week, the Rotary Club is hosting their annual Easter Egg event on Saturday starting at 11 AM, you can learn more about that event here.

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

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

Prince Rupert's Gas Prices settle in at $1.389/litre as long weekend beckons

After a sharp spike as high as $1.45 per litre on Wednesday, a little relief at the pumps was delivered today as Prince Ruperts four gas stations got back into sync, with $1.389 the price per litre found from the Industrial Park to the downtown core Thursday afternoon.

The pricing while still low compared to the prices of Vancouver and Vancouver Island is still a spike from recent weeks, where $1.289 per litre had been holding as the Prince Rupert benchmark price for a fair bit of time.

For those travelling the highway this week the price point varies across the Northwest with  providing the latest notes on the price at the pump as you make your way along Highway's 16, 37 and other byways of the North.




Burns Lake

Prince George

Click on the panels above to enlarge

More items of note related to travel along Highway 16 can be reviewed here.

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

From Okotoks to the Ocean ... Taylor Reidlinger Ocean Network Canada's Youth Science Ambassador is set to research the North Coast ocean

The 2019 Ocean Networks Canada program of observation is underway on the North Coast with Prince Rupert the home base for one of the program ambassadors Taylor Reidlinger, who has made her way to the region by way of the University of Victoria and the North Coast Innovation Lab.

Ms. Reidlinger who hails from Okotoks Alberta, is currently working on a Master's Degree in Environment and Management, she and the other participants in the OCN program were recently profiled by the OCN organization, providing a snapshot of the work ahead for this year.

“I love being the Youth Science Ambassador for Prince Rupert because it lets me connect with the community, the youth, the teachers ...  Traditional research methods don’t always integrate the social and economic aspects that are important in community, so I love that this role helps me connect with people about what they want and need to know about the ocean. ONC helps bridge that gap so that people can be informed and make a positive change as we move forward."

The Ocean Networks Canada Youth Science Ambassador Program was launched in 2016 and seeks to engage students, educators and the public in coastal areas that are served by the ONC's community observatories. Participants make use of high-tech ocean sensors and interpret the data provided by them to inform decision  making when it comes to changing nature of the ocean.

A wider introduction to the Prince Rupert Youth Ambassador and more on the current program can be explored here.

As well if you know someone who may be interested in the Youth Science Ambassador program you can learn more about it here, and apply for job opportunities here.

A look at some of the work of the North Coast Innovation Lab is available here.

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

Kaien Island SlowPitch League season nears

It won't be long until we hear "Play Ball" for the Kaien Island Slow-Pitch League

Last week we shared some news about the up and coming prospects of Softball in the Prince Rupert area, with the merger of the North Coast Baseball Association and the Prince Rupert Minor Softball Association.

When it comes to the Big Leagues of Softball in the region however, the heavy hitters ply their trade in the Kaien Island Slow Pitch League which is getting closer to the launch of the 2019 Season.

And while like the Minor Softball players, the KISL will have to await the all clear from the City when it comes to field availability, some of the gravel fields have already seen some of the hopeful players for 2019 getting in some practice and shaking off some rust.

The KISL held an organizational meeting last week and team officials will soon be putting the finishing touches to scheduling and other notes for the year ahead.

Much of the play takes place at Chris McGuire Field at the Civic Centre, which plays host to league games and tournaments into the summer.

A Facebook page affiliated with the League is currently serving as kind of a matchmaker program for those that are looking to find a place on any teams that may still need players.

The portal also provides updates on league meetings and other notes on the season ahead.

You can follow the progress towards opening day here.

As the softball season draws closer we'll follow the KISL and other notes on the sport from our archive page here.

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

Sports: Kaien Island Slo Pitch League 2019

Our Archive of notes for the KISL (Kaien Island Slow Pitch League) Prince Rupert's home for softball from late April into the early summer.

Notes on the league can be found from this affiliated  Facebook Page


April 18 -- Kaien Island Slow Pitch season nears  NCR

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

As Budget moves towards adoption, Mayor Brain brings his Facebook followers on a tour of success

Fresh from a few weeks of praise for his efforts from his fellow councillors and on the cusp of a 75K a year salary confirmation, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain took a bit of a Facebook Page Victory Tour on Wednesday.

With the city's top public official posting a string of good news proclamations for his avid followers now that the 2019 Budget process is all but complete.

The Mayor's themes delivered through Social Media, perhaps offer a glimpse as to what will be featured as part of the City's Annual Report when it is released later this Spring.

For his Facebook faithful, Mr. Brain, opens his update seemingly declaring that his notes serve as the answer to those that may be trying to convince residents that Prince Rupert is not moving forward.

And from that declaration,  the Mayor's notes indeed do move forward, covering a range of recent news that City Hall wants to get the word out on.

Some of the news actually delivered thanks to the financial distributions of the provincial or Federal governments, but still making for an integral part of his narrative of a community blazing its trail forward.

The entries of the Facebook posting actually channelled a lot of the discussion from the Council chambers of the last few weeks, as the City's Councillor's saluted the work of the Mayor over the previous four years and now well into his second term.

Calling the road  to revitalization that of a marathon and not a sprint, Mr. Brain makes note of recent Port related industrial arrivals such as AltaGas and the Raymont Grain facility on Ridley Island, as well as the city's efforts with Pembina on Watson Island as signs of transformation.

Though when it comes to the city's re-investment and focus on Watson Island there's no mention if any other new tenants have been lined up for the Watson  Intermodal Trade and Logistics Park, since the Pembina announcement of almost a year and a half ago.

Mr. Brain calls attention to recent partnerships on local trails and ballparks, as well as the arrival of affordable housing, though the latter comes without mention of the province's funding which brought those projects to life.

He also makes mention of the recent Burger controversy with A &W, noting that while the restaurant won't be supported by the city at the mall parking lot, that talks apparently continue on the proposed eatery.

With the Budget set for final approval today, yesterday's post to Facebook highlighted some of the elements of the Council's decision making.

Though again, it should be noted that some of those decisions became much easier to deliver with the addition of 8.1 million dollars of one time funding from the province and an additional $600,000 from the Federal Gas Tax revenues, with the latter earmarked mostly towards an expansive paving project this year.

In his missive to the masses, or those at least who follow along on Facebook, Mayor Brain looks to address those who may not share quite the same view as he does on the state of the city's success so far, with a clarion call to his most devout of Facebook followers to  "Please share if you are a true Rupert booster and believe in our future"

Something which seems to leave open the question of the loyalty status  as "True Rupert Boosters" for those residents of Prince Rupert if they don't click on the share button on their Facebook pages ...

You can review Mayor Brain's check list of success from this link.

For more background on the work of City Council see our archive page here.

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

Prince Rupert Port Authority to ask for letter of support from City on Supply Chain initiative

Raising the visibility of the Port of Prince Rupert's place in Canada's
supply chain will be the focus of potential new initiative
(photo from Port of PR)

Council members will be asked to lend their support towards a program to raise the visibility of the supply chain opportunities that are offered along the Northern Gateway and through the Port of Prince Rupert.

The project that the Port is calling attention towards is called the Supply Chain Visibility Initiative and is considered a critical part of the strategy to preserve the speed and reliability that is required to help keep terminals competitive for cargo and prevent future congestion as the Port continues to grow.

The Port has partnered with the Port of Vancouver, the railways that serve both ports, Transport Canada and a range of terminal operators and shipping lines to create a Foundation for a West Coast Supply Chain Visibility platform that will provide for a set of standards and protocols for the West Coast port industry.

The City's input by way of a letter of support is considered to be a valuable element towards finding success as part of the funding program.

You can review some of the Port's main themes of the project from the letter asking for the city's letter of support below:

More notes of interest about Port related initiatives and developments can be found from our Port Archive page.

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

City Council Preview, Thursday, April 18, 2019

Considering the volume of commentary already assembled on the twin themes of the 2019 Budget and the Blue Ribbon Select Committee recommendations on salary increases for the Mayor and Council, it most likely will be a very short Special Council session that is called to order at 5PM this afternoon.

Today's pre-Easter weekend session is set to provide for the formal approval for both the Budget and Salary increases, with the latter set to deliver some back pay for the Mayor and his Council Six with the new salary provisions to be effective as of January 1st.

With Council having hosted two extensive discussions on both of those elements in the last ten days, 

City Council Session April 15
City Council Session April 8

we most likely will see nothing more than the fast approval of the agenda items set for this evening.

Council will also put in place the formal amendment towards a Reserve Fund that is required to establish the Northern Capital and Planning Grant Reserve Fund, one of the conditions tied into the recent 8.1 million dollars in one time funding from the Provincial government.

Council will also be asked to lend their support towards a Port request to support an application to the National Trade Corridor Fund, the program designed to support supply chain visibility initiatives.

You can review the Full Agenda Packages for the Regular Council Session from the City's website here.


Adoption of Agenda and Past minutes -- Mayor Brain will review the agenda for the evening and Council will adopt the minutes of past meetings.  (See page 3 of the Agenda)

Petitions and Delegations

Correspondence for Action 

A request from the Prince Rupert Port Authority for support for an application to the National Trade Corridor Fund for a Supply Chain Visibility initiative. (See page 3 of the Agenda)

Unfinished Business

Reports and Recommendations

Resolutions from Closed Meetings


Report from the Chief Financial Office -- Re: Reserve Fund Bylaw -- Council will be asked to adopt of the creation of Reserve Fund related to the Northern Capital and Planning Grant. (See page 5 of the Agenda)

Report from the Chief Financial Office -- Re: 2019 Five Year Financial Plan -- Council will be asked to adopt the Five Year Financial Plan  (See page 6 of the Agenda)

Report from the Chief Financial Office -- Re: Property Tax Bylaw -- Council will be asked to adopt the 2019 Property Tax Bylaw (See page 19 of the Agenda)

Report from the Chief Financial Office -- Re: Mayor and Council remuneration -- Council will be asked to adopt the Mayor and Council Remuneration Amendment (See page 21 of the Agenda)

The evening will come to an end with any Additional Items as well as Reports, Questions and Inquiries from Members of Council.

Council members can also take advantage of the period to offer up any items or concerns that they have for consideration on the night.

The Live broadcast of the City Council session can be found here, a video archive of past sessions is available here.

Our items of note related to the April 18th session can be found here.

While our archive of all sessions for 2019 for Council is available here.

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

Special Council Session: Thursday, April 18, 2019

Our archive of items from the session can be found below.

Regular Session of Council for  Thursday, April 18, 2019

Home page and archive of sessions can be found here.

Live Broadcast of session can be found here

Agenda for Special Council Session for April 18, 2019

Info to Council 



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

Minutes of Regular Session of Council, April 18, 2019
(not available yet)

Video Recording of  April 18, 2019 Council Session 
(not available yet)


North Coast Review Items related to the April 18, 2019 Session of Council 

Short Thursday session of Council approves Budget, Salary increases for Prince Rupert City Council 

Further notes, as well as any Media items from other sources for the April 18, 2019 session can be found in our Discussion Points from City Council feature.

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Major Terminals on the waterfront show increased shipments through first three months at Port of Prince Rupert

The Port of Prince Rupert's many terminals were bustling with activity
in March, with all of the major shipment points ahead of last years volume

Coal, Grain and Containers all had a strong first quarter at the Port of Prince Rupert as the final numbers for the first three months chart what's been a good start of 2019 for the various shipment points along the Prince Rupert waterfront.

The Monthly Performance listings from the end of March show a significant jump for the Ridley Coal Terminal, which saw 400,000 more tonnes of coal pass through the terminal in March compared to this time last year, setting a pace that is already close to 400,000 tonnes ahead of last years numbers.

The continued growth of shipments out of RTI has made for some buzz in the international shipping and commodities journals, which note that the current numbers have Ridley Terminals reaching a a five year high from levels of 2013.

Canada's Ridley Terminals March coal exports jump to five-year high
Prince Rupert quietly becomes a port powerhouse

As for the remainder of the terminals for the Port, the results have also pointed to positive trends for the year so far.

The Fairview Container Terminal also saw a good March up over 115,000 tonnes for the first three months of the year, with close to 2.5 million tonnes shipped through Fairview so far this year.

Grain Shipments at Prince Rupert Grain also are on the rise, with 55,607 tonnes shipped in March, up from the 2018 mark of 476,911, that brings the total tonnage shipped out of PRG to close to 1.5 million so far in 2019.

The Westview Pellet Terminal has also had a good March, with 129,854 tonnes of pellets shipping out in March, making for more than half of the total shipments of 251,800 on the year after a slight slowdown following incidents at inland factories in the fall and earlier this year.

The Port's statistical review also highlights the absence of the Alaska Marine Highway for much of January and February following the suspension of service to Prince Rupert during that period, though even with that reduced service, the numbers so far in 2019 are showing a positive trend compared to last year.

The Full breakdown of cargo from the report can be reviewed below:

Click on all of the charts above to enlarge

A full overview of the Port's statistical package can be found here.

For more background on Port related news see our archive page here.

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

The Bully Boys of Third Avenue West?

Twenty minutes away but miles apart on issues of Ridley Island
the Prince Rupert/Port Edward tax dispute is heading to a new level 

The ongoing dispute between Prince Rupert and Port Edward has escalated significantly it would seem, with the latest stage of the ongoing tumult now adding the province to the mix of the stalled discussions.

In an account from CFTK TV yesterday, it was reported that Mayor Lee Brain has taken the ongoing issues of the dispute to the province, seeking the assistance of the province to explore the issue and take measures to bring it to a resolution.

In their report TV 7 outlined some of the significant escalation to the dispute that has taken place and how the City has reportedly asked for the province to de-incorporate the District of Port Edward, apparently as a solution that would end the continuous revenue sharing dispute over Ridley Island.

For his part Port Edward Mayor Knut Bjorndal referred to the city's move as that of bullying, with CFTK observing that Mr. Bjorndal dismissed both the idea of de-incorporation, or any call for amalgamation with the larger community to the Northwest.

The CFTK Report can be viewed here.

The Television station also noted that as of yesterday, the City of Prince Rupert had offered no comment to their report, a theme that seems to be holding true into today, with no mention of the City's letter to the province to be found on the City website.

Also on radio silence on any themes of Port Edward and disputes for now is the Mayor's Facebook page, a portal that is normally an ever flowing fountain of the Mayor's thoughts on all topics including the city's issues with Port Edward, commentaries that are usually applauded by his loyal followers.

The heated debate over the Ridley Island Tax issue has been a long running story with the most recent brush fire arriving with a difference of opinion on the provision of mutual aid for the two fire departments.

You can travel back in time to explore the course of the dispute from the entries below:

October 2018 -- The Prince Rupert City Council Forum: Eight variations of a similar theme
September 2018 -- The Victory speech he won't have to make: Mayor Brain's Northern View podcast moments 
September 2018 -- Ridley Island Tax issues with Port Edward remain a concern for City officials
June 2018 -- Annual Report presentation channels many of the Hays 2.0 themes
June 2018 -- Partnerships and Solutions part of the focus for City of Prince Rupert's 2017 Annual Report
May 2018 -- In your mailbox this week ... your 2018 Property Tax Bills
May 2018 -- City releases notes on recent audit of 2017 finances
April 2018 -- Small Business Committee Report finds common ground with many City Council initiatives
April 2018 -- City's Small Business advisory committee to deliver report to Council tonight
March 2018 -- In final year of their mandate, City Council's list of feuds continues to grow
March 2018 -- City's Budget Presentation now available online; providing City's message along with a review of revenues, expenses and taxation loads
March 2018 -- Some rumblings of discontent from one of the BC NDP's most loyal constituencies
February 2018 -- Budget preview charts course towards public consultation period in Prince Rupert
February 2018 -- Council members to receive Chief Financial Officer's 2018 fiscal blue print tonight

June 2017 -- City's Annual Report available online; public comment session set for June 26th
June 2017 -- City's tax notices make their journey to your mailbox this week
May 2017 -- Prince Rupert City Council's election Quiz
March 2017 -- Familiar themes and a mill rate increase mark Budget Presentation to council

The District most recently made note of the ongoing dispute for Port Edward residents in their March Newsletter, though to this point Port Edward officials have not followed up with the information release that was noted in their report.

To provide some sense of the long running issues between the two communities, here's how the District viewed the dispute two years ago.

Since that time the only thing that seems to have moved forward is the level of heated rhetoric on the issue, much of which is coming from the Council Chambers on Third Ave West in Prince Rupert.

More items of interest on Prince Rupert City Council can be found here, while our notes on the District of Port Edward can be explored here.

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