Sunday, June 30, 2019

Blog Watching: Week ending June 30, 2019

The usual routine of the downtown area was interrupted by a burst of police activity on Wednesday afternoon, as a large number of members from the city's RCMP detachment responded to an incident of a report of a fight with a weapon,

As the day's work played out the Mounties eventually had two in custody, with the events of the afternoon becoming our most read account of the week.

LNG is back in the spotlight in the Northwest and the focus is on Kitimat where the forward momentum of the LNG Canada project is bringing some significant federal infrastructure funding to that community.

Political notes also caught the attention of our readers on two other occasions, with our notes on the rising profile for Claire Rattée, the Conservative candidate who was one of the feature notes in a National Post piece this week.

On the provincial side of the political spectrum, North Coast MLA shared some well received personal news this week, announcing she and partner Andrea will be parents before the end of the year.

And our list of five wraps up with a preview of Monday's Canada Day celebrations, a birthday party that will also pay tribute to two local residents with the presentation of two civic awards at the event.

However, the top item of the week takes us to the Crime beat and Wednesday's events downtown:

Large police response to afternoon  downtown altercation has Mounties seeking second suspect -- A brazen downtown incident brought much of the city's RCMP detachment into the downtown core on Wednesday afternoon,  as members responded to a fight with a reported weapon near the vicinity of Coast Mountain College.  (posted June 26, 2019)

That article was followed by:

Federal Government invests in LNG Canada turbines and Kitimat infrastructure -- With Kitimat the new centre of attention for the regional LNG industry, the federal government is investing some significant money in the community and the terminal project     (posted June 24, 2019)

Conservative candidate Claire Rattée gets some national ink -- The Federal election is still a number of months away, but when it comes to the national spotlight, Claire Rattée the Skeena-Bukley Valley candidate for the Conservatives is creating a fair bit of buzz on the national scene with spotlight appearance in a recent National Post article.  (posted  June 28, 2019)

Great Expectations! MLA Jennifer Rice shares special family news with constituents through Social Media -- Residents of the North Coast are quite used to MLA Rice relaying some glad tidings on behalf of the John Horgan cabinet, but this week an announcement from the MLA focused on some personal news with a new addition on the way for the NDP ranks of the region.      (posted  June 24 , 2019)

City to honour two residents as part of Canada Day 2019 -- Canada's 152nd birthday celebration at Mariner's Park will take on just a bit more significance for two Prince Rupert residents, as Phuong Nguyen and Ian Lihou will receive civic awards at this years birthday event which takes place from Noon to 4 PM.  You can review all of the plans for Canada Day at Mariner's here.    (posted  June 24 , 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, June 28, 2019

Celebrate Canada's 152nd Birthday Monday at Prince Rupert's Pacific Mariner's Park

Mariner's Park is the destination for Monday as Canada celebrates
Birthday number 152

North Coast Residents can ring in our 152nd year Monday at Noon, as Prince Rupert's Special Events Society hosts the Big Birthday Bash at Mariner's Park.

The four hour party from Noon to Four PM offers fun for the whole family, with games, food vendors, music and much more all part of the plan for the day.

As has been the tradition in recent years, the City of Prince Rupert will take advantage of the
Canada Day celebration to hand out their Civic Awards for 2019. With two residents of the city set for recognition for their work in the community.

As we made note of on Monday, Phoung Nguyen will be awarded the Civic Appreciation Award, while Ian Lihou will receive the Civic Merit Award.

The civic ceremony is scheduled for a 1:30 start.

The full look at the day's events can be found from the Special Events website and Facebook page.

Weather permitting the  Canada Day Festivities will come to an end with the annual Fireworks Display over the Prince Rupert Harbour scheduled for 11PM, with Mariner's Park providing for one of the best vantage points for the display.

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.

Lightning sparks number of fires around Northwest BC

The BC Wildfire Service Map marks the areas of note from
some recent lightning strikes which have sparked fires in the Northwest

Heading into the Canada Day weekend it will be a busy period for those tasked to battle the growing number of forest and wildfires currently burning in the province, with some weather over the last few days adding a number of Northwest fires to the list.

Those who may be travelling east bound through the Skeena and Bulkley Valley regions may notice an increase in smoke and traffic on the roads as crews respond to areas of concern through the weekend.

The spark to the increase of fires of note for the region came with a weather system on Wednesday that delivered a number of lightning strikes, starting seven fires across the Northwest from Rosswood and to points to the east.

Among the fires listed were two in the Skeena Fire Zone:

A fire 12.5 kilometres to the northwest of Rosswood on the shores of Kitsumkalum Lake and another located 12.5 kilometres Northwest of Meziadin Junction.

Four fires were reported in the Bulkley Fire Zone:

A fire 3.5 kilometres north of the Smithers airport, as well as another 22 kilometres north of the Airport near Trout Creek.

Another Fire was reported some 40 kilometres north of Hazelton, along with a fire located five kilometres Southwest of Witset near John Brown Creek.

Rounding out the initial list from Wednesday's weather is a fire in the Nadina Fire Zone located seven kilometres east of Morice Lake

Background on those fires can be explored further here.

With more unsettled weather expected in the area, the Wildfire Service will be keeping an eye on the forests over the weekend and issue updates as required. They also are urging those who will be out in the woods, or travelling through the area to be extra attentive to their campsites and ensure that any fires that they may start are fully extinguished.

The current rating for the region is that of a Yellow  maening  a Moderate risk

You can access that information from their website as well as from a Facebook Page and twitter feed that they offer.

The BC Wildfire Service also hosts an Interactive map which provides details on fire incidents across the province, you can access that resource here.

As more information becomes available about the situation you can find updated notes from our archive page here.

For more items of interest related to the work of Emergency responders see our archive page.

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

Recreation Centre Open House showcases all the city has to offer

It's Open House Day
at the Recreation Complex
A chance to tour the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre and Earl Mah Aquatic Centre is available today for residents of the city, offering an opportunity to explore the vast complex on McBride Street and lear more about the Range of programs offered by the City of Prince Rupert.

The Open House began at 2 PM and will continue through until 7 tonight, with all of the features of the complex on display.

Among some of the areas you can explore:

The Climbing Wall

The Pottery Room

Art Room

As well as what is offered in the gym and arena area

Those on the tour today can also learn more about the Youth Lounge that the city is putting in place at the Civic Centre which will offer a fun and safe space for youth to gather once it opens its doors for use.

While you are there, you can also take part in the final days of the photo contest that the Recreation Department has hosted this month, with June 30th the final day for submissions on the theme of What does Recreation Mean to You

More notes on the contest and today's Open House can be found from the Recreation Department Facebook page.

To view some of the many programs offered this summer see this link to review the Summer Recreation Active Living Guide.

For more items of note on Community events in Prince Rupert see our archive page here.

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

Prince Rupert Council to explore call for help on securing vote for permanent residents

Mr. Rodrigo Samayoa spoke to Council on Monday about the lost voices
 that current  voting regulations that are in place are providing for.
Sseeking voting rights status for Permanent residents of Canada

Monday's Prince Rupert City Council provided for a lesson in Canadian civics, with Council members receiving a presentation from a Prince Rupert resident, Rodrigo Samayoa who is advocating for expanding the right to vote to Permanent Residents of Canada.

As part of his eight minute overview of the current status for permanent residents, he observed as to the lengthy process that immigrants have to take towards that permanent status and how in that period they find that they have no say in decisions that are made that have an impact on their lives.

He observed for Council members how the current political arrangements work, a status where permanent residents do not have the right to vote in any level of political life in Canada and how the lengthy process towards citizenship means that some Residents of the community could go without the opportunity to participate in elections for years.

Putting the focus on the municipal scene, Mr. Samayoa noted that studies have shown that by providing for an opportunity to vote in local elections today, the participation rate in provincial and federal elections would increase as they become permanent residents.

He used his experience as a guideline of sorts as to the challenges facing immigrants.

"I myself have been in Canada living here for eleven years, have witnessed nine elections at all three levels of government, have volunteered in five elections, yet at the age of twenty eight I have never been able to vote in an election whether it be here or in my home country of Guatemala"

He further noted for the Council membership of a large list of countries that allow permanent residents the right to vote, adding that many cities in Canada are looking to move the forward initiative but that it is in the hands of the province.

Towards the initiative, Mr. Samayoa asked for the help of the City of Prince Rupert to become the first community in Northern British Columbia to pass a resolution of support for the right to vote for permanent residents and advocate for the program with the province at UBCM this September.

"It's time for local governments to start counting these lost voices and Prince Rupert can contribute by passing a resolution in support of voting rights for permanent residents. And a vote in favour of the upcoming resolution at the upcoming UBCM in September"

As part of his review for Council, Mr. Samayoa pointed to the work of Fresh Voices a Vancouver based community action group that advocates for a number of issues on behalf of Canada's immigrant  and refugee communities, they are one of the leading groups in seeking the right to vote for permanent residents.

You can review their focus on the issue here and here

Following the presentation some of the council members spoke to the topic and indicated their support for the initiative and offered observations as to how the City could move forward on the topic.

"Having spent thirty years trying to encourage young people to become involved in politics, but most particularly to become voters, because that's where you get a strong democracy from. The notion of reducing the barriers to people participating in a democracy that affects their lives it seems to me to be a really positive initiative" -- Councillor Nick Adey

As for Prince Rupert Council, in the regular Council session Mayor Lee Brain moved the prospect of review of the request for support forward at the end of Monday's meeting, with Council members to consider the issue further at their next Council session in July.

For a look at the presentation to Council see the Video Archive from Monday's Council session starting at the one minute mark.

For a look at some of the other items of note from Monday's City Council session see our Council Timeline Feature here, a wider overview of City Council discussion themes can be explored from our Council Discussion page.

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

Final days to take advantage of Northern Savings Bursary opportunity

With the high school years now behind them, students of the Northwest can turn their attention towards the next chapter of their lives and if further study is on the horizon, Prince Rupert based Norther Savings might have some financial help available.

Three bursary opportunities for North Coast students are available this month from Northern Savings, but applicants will have to type fast, as the deadline for application comes Sunday, June 30th.

The three bursaries are part of Northern Savings Inspire program and offer financial assistance through a $1,500, $1,000 or $500 bursary.

Applicants must be residents of the communities that are served by Northern Savings and can be used at any university or college located in Canada.

Applicants can submit their presentation by way of an essay or video and must have some form of community volunteer work as part of their background.

The winning applicants will be chose by a Bursary Committee

The full details on how to apply, what the criteria is as wall as the application form can all be found here.

For more items of note on the city's commercial sector see our archive page here.

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

Conservative candidate Claire Rattée gets some national ink ...

Conservative candidate Claire Rattée
with party leader Andrew Scheer
in May
While she continues to work her way across the expanse of the Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding, Conservative candidate Claire Rattée is starting to attract some national attention for her bid to wrestle the riding from the NDP which has long held the seat in Parliament.

The Kitimat tattoo artist who secured the Conservative nomination in February has gained  some ink and valuable political exposure in a feature story in the National Press this week that looks at breaking stereotypes in politics.

With her candidacy part of an expansive article from Marie-Danielle Smith which takes a look at the growing number of women candidates that are testing the political waters as Conservative candidates.

The National Post article recounts Ms. Rattées past experience as a Kitimat councillor and her hopes to write a new narrative for Skeena-Bulkley Valley when the votes are counted on election day later this fall.

The focus on Ms. Rattée explores how she approached the Conservatives on her own initiative, inspired in part by the work of longtime Conservative MP Michelle Rempel, the Alberta MP who has become somewhat of a mentor for a number of young women looking to enter the political stage.

And the campaign that Ms. Rattée has launched has captured the attention of Ms. Rempel makes note of the work ethic of the Kitimat based candidate who has done much of the heavy lifting as she puts it, towards pushing her campaign forward

As we noted earlier this Spring, the Alberta MP was in Kitimat to help out in spreading the Conservative message and to offer some guidance and support for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidate.

You can review the full National Post article here.

For more notes related to the summer long campaigning in Skeena-Bulkley Valley see our archive page here.

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

Thirty years on ... Goalgetters soccer camp continues to develop skills for Prince Rupert youth

With summer now officially past the starting line, the list grows of sports camps and opportunities to improve skills that will be available this summer for youth in Prince Rupert.

One of the most popular and longest running of those opportunities is the Goalgetters Soccer camp, a project started in the 1980's first hosted by Northern Savings and now sponsored by DP World.

The camp features two very familiar names as hosts  for soccer parents to take note of once again, as this years five day camp prepares for tis July 8th start taking place on the pitch at Charles Hays Secondary.

Led by former Vancouver White Cap and Team Canada members Gerry Heaney and John  Sneddon, who have been part of the Prince Rupert soccer community for so long now that they are teaching skill development to the children of many of their former students of years ago.

The pair will be back in town from July 8 to 12 with camps for youth from ages 3 to 16, with a fundamentals program for Ages 5 to 8 and 9 to 15, as well as the Wee Kickers program for youngsters ages of 2 and 4.

The week will wrap up with a World Cup tournament where all groups play against each other with DP World providing juice boxes and doughnuts to bring the camp to an end.

The deadline for registration was June 15th, however there are a few spots still available and DP World has covered the cost for any late fees that would have been in place.

 Registration forms can picked up and dropped off at Seasport clothing at 295 First Avenue East in the City's Cow Bay District.

Click above to enlarge and print if wished

The sponsorship from DP World has helped to keep the cost of the camps down as much as possible, with DP World's Mike Pucci the local contact for the program, he can be reached at

Mr. Pucci, is one of those former students that Sneddon and Heaney spread the love of soccer too in previous camps, so much so, that he is now quite involved with Youth Soccer in the community and he credits those formative days as contributing to his volunteer work with Prince Rupert Youth Soccer.

The two instructors are also planning on holding a similar camp in Kitkatla this summer.

For more notes related to community events in the city see our archive page here.

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

Canada Day weekend marks start of RCMP summer counter attack

"Too often our officers are put in the position of having to notify a family that they have lost a loved one due to an impaired driving collision. We want people to enjoy the summer but we also want people to make good decisions and choose to drive sober every time they get behind the wheel. If you do plan to drink alcohol or consume drugs of any kind, have a designated driver or plan alternate ways home. " -- Some notes from Cpl. Mike Halskov of BC RCMP Traffic Services, as the Mounties take to the highways this weekend to reduce the impact of impaired driving 

While British Columbians make for the Great Canadian Exodus this weekend to celebrate Canada's 152nd birthday, members of the RCMP across the province will be watching for impaired drivers, launching their Summer Counter Attack program.

The entire month of July has been dedicated to the program which makes its debut today and as part of the program, motorists can expect to see an increased presence on our highways throughout the province during these enhanced enforcement campaigns and may experience short delays.

As part of their information campaign to launch the month long initiative, Police are asking motorists to drive safely, and obey the directions of Officers at any check-stop.

You can learn more about the program from this information item from the BC RCMP.

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

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

The Last Bouquet! Four Seasons Flowers to close storefront doors this Saturday

After serving the community for many years, Alison from Four Seasons Flowers is ready to take a step back, with semi-retirement in the offing for the popular provider of many of the floral tributes that have marked Prince Rupert occasions over the years.

The signs went up recently at the Third Avenue Shop directly across from City Hall to announce the pending store closure, a notice on Facebook from earlier this month making note of the final day for storefront operations as this Saturday, June 29th.

Though she notes in her advisory that she will still be keeping her hand in floral arranging to a fashion,  with a note that when available she will be able to assist with special event requirements.

A long time fixture in the downtown area and one of the last of the independent flower shops in the city, the storefront closing will make for one more vacancy in the downtown area, leaving the daily floral requirements to the two large grocery stores for the most part.

As part of the store closing, much of the stock is currently on sale with a range of discounted prices and marked down items available.

Friends as well as current and past customers can stop in over the next two days to wish Alison the best for her future plans and to thank her for the years behind the counter.

For more items of note related to the city's business sector see our archive page here.

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

Nathan Cullen's Summer of Farewells

With the House of Commons now on vacation and an election on the way in the fall, Nathan Cullen the outgoing MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley can look ahead to a busy schedule of farewell appearances across the Northwest, as the fifteen year MP prepares to step out of the Ottawa spotlight.

The list of farewell social engagements began earlier this month with an Open House in Bell Coola.

The soon to be former MP, may have to put in a side trip to Kitimat, after he had to bow out of an appearance at his BBQ last week in that community, the absence owing to a sudden Ottawa commitment.

With Mr. Cullen representing one of the largest ridings to send a member to Parliament, his summer itinerary could require some impressive logistics if he's to try and bid farewell to as many constituents as possible before he moves on to the next chapter of his story.

There's no word yet as to when he may be hosting a Prince Rupert get together, or if a journey across Hecate Strait is part of the tour of farewell for the summer of 2019.

You can however, keep track of the travel plans and where the burgers and hot dogs can be found from his Facebook page

For more notes from the House of Commons and the constituency office see our archive page here.

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

New Associate Dean for Coast Mountain College Prince Rupert campus to arrive in July

Studies may be over for many of the students at Coast Mountain College as summer moves forward, but when the various programs resume in the fall, students, staff and faculty at the Prince Rupert campus will have a new Associate Dean on hand.

Mr. Matt Adolphe will be taking on the duties of Associate Dean of Business, Access Education and Fine Arts at the Prince Rupert campus as of July 15th, with Sarah Zimmerman from Coast Mountain College providing the North Coast Review with a thumbnail sketch of the newest member of the college administration ranks.

Mr. Adolphe arrives in Prince Rupert with a combined B. A. in History and Indigenous studies from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario and M.A. in Communication Management from the University of South Australia in Adelaide.

He has been working in post-secondary education for almost 20 years and in that time has been an instructor, a coordinator and an academic chair.

Away from his academic work he is also an author and speaker with a number of his published works related to career development, a topic that he is very passionate about.

Some of the titles that provide a glimpse at his interest in the genre include:

Would You Hire You?
Canadian Workplace Culture: Mastering the Unspoken Rules

A sample of some of his presentation skills can also be found from this webinar session.

In addition to his writing and speaking activities, Mr. Adolphe is also a founding member of the Metis Nation of Ontario, which should catch the eye of Prince Rupert's expanding Metis community, he also is looking forward to the opportunity to work with the Indigenous Nations that are across the Northwest and on Haida Gwaii.

Mr. Matt Adolphe will join the
Prince Rupert campus of Coast
Mountain College as an Associate
Dean next month

(photo from LinkedIn)
He most recently held positions at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary and Mount Royal University in the Alberta city as well.

He has had extensive travels and employment previously in a number of countries in Asia and his resume also includes work as a course facilitator, with experience in the development of courses for newcomers to Canada.

That's something that may just may find a few visitors from Prince Rupert's Multicultural community stopping by the Prince Rupert Campus to explore the prospect of some shared opportunities.

He arrives on campus on July 15th and he and his family will be settling into Prince Rupert life through the summer.

As Mr. Adolphe takes up his duties, he will be filling one of the recently vacated positions at the Prince Rupert Campus, which recently saw Mr. Jose Areekadan depart for Thomson Rivers University after a fifteen month stay in the city.

As well long time educator and former Dean of Instruction,  Mr. Pouyan Maboubi has also relocated, leaving earlier this spring for the Lower Mainland.

Like his predecessors,  the new Associate Dean will also find that he becomes somewhat of a liaison between the community and the main campus of Terrace, with a number of local items of interest sure to be brought to his attention once he has settled in to his office.

Among them, an ongoing desire for expanded course options at the Prince Rupert campus, as well as the often mentioned hopes for some form of campus housing; a need that would seem to be growing as Coast Mountain College expands its focus towards attracting more and more international students.

The topic of developing campus housing for Prince Rupert is a theme that goes back to the days of Mayor Jack Mussallem who raised the need often with both college and provincial officials, all in hopes of moving both towards a housing plan for this community.

That call for housing seems to have been less of a priority for the current City Council membership, which rarely has called attention to the topic over the last four years and for the most part rarely speaks to many notes of interest when it comes to the College.

At the moment, Campus housing is currently available at the Terrace campus and in May of last year, Coast Mountain College opened housing options for the growing number of International students at the Smithers campus.

Coast Mountain Accommodation

Considering how Prince Rupert is still facing somewhat of an affordable housing crunch, it would seem that the issue is still one which should make it towards some form or progress sooner rather than later.

For more items of note on Coast Mountain College see our archive page here.

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

Thursday, June 27, 2019

As School year ends, Fraser Institute Report card is released for BC Secondary schools

Much like the students leaving school this week, administrators and school officials across the province have been given their grades by the Fraser Institute, which has released its annual findings for Secondary Schools in the province.

And this year, for School District 52, the Coast Mountain District in Terrace/Kitimat and the Bulkley Valley the results are showing an improved level of success from the Fraser Institutes findings.

The highest level of success from the findings for 2019 goes to Caledonia in Terrace which received a 7.1 rating, ranking 59th out 251 schools surveyed.

In the press release that comes with the roll out of data, the Fraser Institute made note of the 10 fastest improving schools from this years review, with Kitimat, Prince Rupert and Terrace all hailed for their improvement.

Angela McLeod, a Senior Policy analyst with the Fraser Institute noted that the annual report highlights both areas where improvement are needed and how improvement is possible regardless of where the schools are geographically located.

“This Report Card proves that improvement is possible in every corner of the province, in every type of school serving every type of student,”

The annual report is compiled by Ms. MacLeod and Mr. Peter Cowley and as the Fraser Institute describes it, provides the key academic indicators to help parents and guardians determine a schools performance.

As for the list of results, for Charles Hays Secondary the data review saw the Prince Rupert High school gain a 5.4 rating, listed at 167th out of 251, making for a slight dip from last year's mark of 6.0, and a listing of 121 out of 253.

But still high enough to merit the mention from the Fraser Institute analysts.

Among the areas of note from the report, an upward trend in Average exam marks and a drop in those exams which are failed.

The remainder of the findings for the Northwest can be found below:

The full report card for 2019 can be reviewed here.

Earlier this year, the Fraser Institute released its findings for elementary schools, which you can review here.

While the numbers show positive results for the Northwest, there probably won't be much mention of the findings from School District officials across the region.

As has been the case in the past, administrators and teachers prefer to take a wider overview of the spectrum of education in the region.

With the one shot data release from the Fraser Institute something which they tend to ignore for the most part, while the BCTF takes a more public push back against the annual results. Frequently noting that the limited scope of the Fraser Institute numbers does not provide a complete picture of school performance and disregards some of the challenges to education that are found.

For more information related to education in the region see our archive page here.

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

More challenges ahead for the Alaska Marine Highway Service

Taking the winter off ... the Alaska Transportation Agency will
be tying up the Alaska Ferry MV Columbia for the winter

The financial challenges facing the Alaska Marine Highway System are about to take another bite out of the fleet, with the State of Alaska transportation department making plans to mothball the largest vessel in the fleet for the upcoming fall and winter.

According to a report from public radio station KRBD, The MV Columbia which includes Prince Rupert among the communities that it has called on in the past, will be taken out of service on September 4th with its fate unknown as the Marine Service assess any future use for the ship.

Replacing the vessel on its routing will be the MV Malaspina and MV Matanuska, which are smaller vessels and considered less expensive to operate.

Though by reducing the fleet by yet another vessel, there is less of a margin for emergency replacement, should operational issues affect those ships that remain in service.

Once the Columbia is tied for the winter, the main long journey fleet will consist of but four ferries.

Beyond the fleet reduction, a reduced budget for the Alaska Marine Highway could see a number of other routes curtailed during the winter season as AMHS official try to address their funding shortfalls.

The Alaska Transportation Agency and AMHS will reassess their plans once the summer season comes to an end, as they look to continue to keep the ships afloat amid uncertainty in Juneau as to the fate of the service.

The Alaska Marine Highway System continues to look at ways to reduce costs
the latest plan that of taking the largest vessel out of service for the winter

Last year, service to Prince Rupert was suspended for much of the winter months, with the first sailing for 2019 not taking place until late February.

In May, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain in response to inquiries on the fate of the local terminal from Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa, offered up a few notes on the level of service to the North Coast port, advising as to how he has been "actively working on the topic" promising a further update  once he had assembled more information.

However, since that May 13th session, the Mayor has yet to follow up on that promised update for those on the North Coast wondering about the fate of the AMHS service and its impact on the local terminal.

On Monday, KRBD provided some further background to the fate of the Columbia and the fall plans from the AMHS.

For more notes related to Marine transportation on the North Coast and beyond see our archive page here.

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

Summer Vacation will start with a Summer Basketball Camp

While the schools will be closing for the summer by the time Friday rolls around, for aspiring Rainmakers or potential Raptors, the chance to learn some basketball skills will arrive next week.

ND42 Basketball Camp is coming to Prince Rupert with a July 2nd to 4th program to take place at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

The half day camps run from 9AM to 1 PM and will be offering skills development programs designed for Ages 10 to 13 (Grades 5 to 8) 

The instruction program was created in 2012 and ND42 hosts camps in 15 US states and across Canada featuring professional and collegiate athletes as part of their staff.

The cost of the camp is 250 dollars though interested parents and guardians can inquire about bursary programs that may be available.

Kerry Crump of the Prince Rupert Minor Basketball Association is the local contact for the camp at the Civic Centre, and you can find out about available spots, if any are left, by contacting him at  or at 250-624-9073 .

You can find out more information from the PRMBA Facebook page.

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

Five Corners area property plans to be part of Community Information meeting July 4th

A public information meeting has been set for July as part of a request
for rezoning of a number of lots along Biggar Place near Five Corners

Residents with an interest in the plans ahead for a number of lots at Biggar Place and Third Avenue West can find out more next month, when Marogna Enterprises host a Community Information Meeting at the Crest hotel.

The Public session is set for Thursday, July 4th in the British Columbia Room at the Crest, the schedule for the Information engagement looks as follows:

5:00 to 5:30 PM -- Introduction and Presentation
5:30 to 6 PM -- Question and Answer Period
6:00 to 6:30 PM -- Open House

The Information session is designed to provide more information about the application to amend the current zoning of the property, with the proponents looking to have the lots in question rezoned to permit commercial use on the entire property.

The area in question for potential rezoning from residential to commercial
(from City of Prince Rupert )

Currently the lots in question along Biggar Place are zoned for residential, though the buildings that were once in use for housing have long since been taken down after having fallen into disrepair.

We outlined the path ahead for Marogna Enterprises earlier this month, following the June 11th council session, with Council putting in motion the call for the public information meeting after reviewing a report from City Planner Zeno Krekic.

At that time, there were some concerns raised by Councillor Cunningham at how the city might be sending mixed messages on wanting housing developed in the downtown core, while at the same time rezoning land that was allocated for such housing.

It's not the first time that the fate of the Biggar Place lots has come up before council , the theme of future development was also considered back in 2015.

City staff will be monitoring the results of the Public Information meeting of July 4th and providing feedback for City Council when the rezoning request returns to City Hall for further action.

For more items of note related to Prince Rupert City Council see our Council Discussion page here, while our notes on themes of housing in the city can be explored here.

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

Steelheads set for CIHL return

There's no official welcome back yet from the CIHL, but all the stars are aligning for a return of the Smithers Steelheads to Senior Men's Hockey in the Northwest for the upcoming season.

We first made note of the tentative steps to bring the Steelheads back with our notes from earlier this month, that outlined the organizers plans to move forward.

The largest hurdles for the team's return were knocked off the list earlier this month as Smithers Town Council approved a number of requests and initiatives that had been presented by officials looking to bring the team back.

At their June 11th session, Smithers Council approved three projects related to the return of the team; approving a request for the Steelheads to take over the lease to the Civic Centre concession stand, operate a beer garden at home games and install the Steelhead logo at Centre Ice.

The lease for the concession stand was issued at one dollar, with the provision that the Steelheads organization renovate the concession from their own funding.

The Beer Garden plans are still very much a work in progress, with Smithers Council looking to create a policy that will govern the operation of the licensed area.

The Town of Smithers however will pick up the tab on the return of the Steelhead to its former home of Centre Ice at the rink, a place affectionately known around the CIHL as the Pond.

Smithers Council will dip into their "Council Special Projects" fund to pay for the new logo.

The CIHL may soon be back on the ice in Smithers
with plans in motion for a return of the Steelheads
(photo from Town of Smithers)

With a place to skate secured as well as the prospect of additional revenue streams for the season ahead, the hard work of putting a team on the ice will now begin over the summer, pending CIHL approval of course, though that should be a formality.

The Steelheads were one of the top attractions prior to their leave of absence from the league following the 2017-18 season, the Smithers rink a tough place for competitors to play in but one steeped with a strong love of the game.

Their return will be a welcome arrival from the members of the CIHL, particularly in the Northwest creating bringing back a strong rivalry for the Prince Rupert Rampage, Terrace River Kings and Kitimat Ice Demons.

The prospect of Senior Hockey back on the ice in the Bulkley Valley has been chronicled by the local media in the Smithers area.

Council backs return of Smithers Steelheads
Steelheads to return to Smithers

The Prince Rupert Rampage have not made mention of the latest progress for the Steelheads, but back in May President Ron German had indicated that the positive signs were there for a return.

The next three months should see a flurry of activity in the Bulkley Valley as the Steelheads prepare for a September training camp and the start of the CIHL campaign in October.

For a look back at some of the highlights of the most recent season in the CIHL see our archive page here.

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

Rumblings of Green planning on road towards the Fall election

The profile for the Federal Green party in the Northwest is kind of a hit and miss thing of late and mostly it takes a bit of digging through a stream of Facebook pages to find some notes on their plans.

Social media  at the moment is the best way to get an indication as to where the Federal party is at when it comes to a challenge for the seat in Skeena-Bulkley Valley.

So far, near as we can determine, the Greens had taken in some nominations for the party candidacy in Skeena-Bulkley Valley for the fall vote and a testing of the organizational waters came to pass last week, with much of the focus for the party found in the Smithers, Bulkley Valley region for the most part.

Two would-be candidates, Mike Sawyer and Edward Quinlan have the highest profiles of those indicating an interest in representing the Greens in the upcoming election

Both Mr. Sawyer and  Mr. Quinlan are from the Smithers/Telkwa area and their opening themes as they prepare for the nomination process can be reviewed below:

Mike Sawyer
Edward Quinlan

Of the two, Mr. Sawyer's name may ring a bell for Northwest residents, known most recently for his involvement in a legal challenge related to the Coastal GasLink pipeline to feed the LNG Canada terminal in Kitimat.

As they both make note of, those wishing to be part of the voting on the nominee for the party in Skeena-Buklley Valley must be members of the party in good standing for thirty days prior to whenever the party gets around to holding the vote.

Which would seem to suggest that those interested in joining up with the Greens, probably should sign on sooner, rather than later if they wish to have a say in who will represent in the fall vote.

The Skeena-Bulkley Valley page from the National Green Party site can be found here.

You can follow some of the themes of discussion from the Green Party through their website, Facebook page and twitter feed.

Like the Greens, the Liberals at the moment seem somewhat off the political radar in Skeena-Bulkley Valley with few indications yet as to when they will be hosting a nomination process for the fall electoral season.

As it is at the moment, so far there are declared candidates for the NDP, Conservatives, Christian Heritage Party and People's Party of Canada

You can find the latest notes on these early days of the Election 2019 campaign from our archive page here.

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Large police response to afternoon downtown altercation has Mounties seeking second suspect

See update below

A fight in the downtown core in the vicinity of Coast Mountain College brought members of the Prince Rupert RCMP detachment to the area in large numbers on Wednesday afternoon, after an incident involving reports of a weapon was called in to 911.

The incident in the area around Third Avenue West and Sixth Street brought up to five cars to the call, with members taking one male into custody, with the RCMP still seeking the whereabouts of a second male.

Members conducted a search of the immediate area, as well as surrounding streets as part of the quest for the second suspect.

 Mounties describe the incident which took place around 2:30 PM as an isolated one and continue with their investigation.

No further information has been released at this time.

RCMP members responded to fight in the area near Coast Mountain College
on Wednesday, taking one male into custody and continue to seek the
whereabouts of a second person of interest

Should you have any information that may be of assistance, you are asked to contact the Prince Rupert RCMP at 250-624-2136 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 

Wednesday had already made for a busy day for the local detachment, as well as Prince Rupert Fire Rescue and BC Ambulance; with a number of checks on well being conducted by members on people in alley ways, parks and empty storefront locations around the downtown core of the city.

UPDATE: Prince Rupert RCMP updated their notes on the incident on Thursday advising that the second suspect involved in Wednesday file had turned himself into Police, the investigation continuing, with court dates schedule for August and the prospect ahead for more charges to be laid.

For more items of interest on Emergency Service calls across the Northwest see our archive page here.

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

City Council to throw support behind local CBC Prince Rupert advocates

There wasn't a lot of detail to the plan that Mayor Lee Brain has in mind when it comes to lending support to a local initiative to impress on the importance of CBC Radio in Prince Rupert.

But when it comes to making that affirmative view known to the national broadcaster, the City of Prince Rupert will be on board.

Mr. Brain introduced the topic at Monday's Prince Rupert Council session, the call to action part of a short observation on the night that had Council direct staff to "Provide a letter of support to advocate for keeping the CBC radio One in Prince Rupert, as well as to collaborate with the group that presented that recommendation"

Following the Mayor's comments, Councillors Adey and Randhawa moved the motion forward and it was unanimously supported by those in attendance on the night.

As we noted earlier this month, the community based initiative comes from a presentation that Kathleen Palm made on June 10th to Council that outlined the steps that her organization has in mind as supporters of public broadcasting.

For more items related to media in the Northwest see our archive page here.

A look at further background to Monday's City Council Session can be found from our Council Timeline feature here, while a larger overview of Council discussion themes can be explored here.

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