The ongoing crisis in forestry communities across the province has brought Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen into the conversation, with the NDP MP calling on the Federal government to become involved and provide support for those affected by a string of job losses.
“What we need now is swift action from the federal government to support workers, starting with help to carry over the gap from these shutdowns”
The job losses have been piling up across the Northwest and Northern BC in recent months, with Fort St. James the latest community to impacted by mill closures, with Mr. Cullen making note of their situation as part of his call for Federal action today.
The BC Forest industry is facing some challenging times this summer
“These are tough times for folks and the closure of the mill in Fort St. James will be a big loss to the community. Unfortunately, we just haven’t seen help for forestry workers from the Liberal government. Mr. Trudeau promised to solve the ongoing softwood lumber dispute but didn’t even bother mentioning it when he recently met with the US President and Congress”
Mr. Donaldson has been feeling some heat in recent months as the litany of bad news on the provincial forestry continues to roll on, with many impacted by the closures wondering what assistance the province is set to provide and what planning is in mind towards securing a viable forestry industry in British Columbia.
Lunch time diners at the Stardust restaurant had their meals interrupted shortly after 1:15 today, as Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue personnel attended to a small fire in the rear area of the Third Avenue West restaurant.
Upon their arrival smoke was visible from the rear and Firefighters made quick work of the call, which was handled through the use of extinguishers, with no need to roll out fire hose along the 600 block of the downtown street corridor.
Traffic however, was re-routed around the location for roughly 45 minutes while they took care of the situation.
A number of bystanders lined the sidewalks and rear of the restaurant by Coast Community College to watch as the fire department went about its work.
By 2 PM fire personnel were already using industrial fans to dissipate any lingeing smoke that may still be found in the restaurant.
The City is looking to see some more quarry work get underway at the Ridley Island land fill site (map from City of PR RFP)
With a 100,000 dollar budget to work with, the City of Prince Rupert has released a Request for Proposals for some work to be done at the Ridley Island Access Road Landfill site, with the blasting and processing of rock at the quarry site up for bid.
The RFP was issued on Monday with a closing date of August 21st with the city looking for a contractor to provide for the following services.
Clearing and grubbing as necessary to carry out proposed work plan; Drilling and blasting of exposed rock within limits of design contours; and Processing and stockpiling of rock to the following gradations and proportions
The quarry which is part of the Landfill site has been partially developed, but requires the removal of the remaining rock to be completed.
The City is focused on a number of mandatory requirements for potential bidders to consider before submitting their proposal, they include:
Proponent's Experience - list of completed or current work comparable to the Project, including a brief description of the work, approximate contract value and references (with phone numbers) for each work that the City may contact Costs - detailed costs for the Proponents provision of the Services in Canadian Dollars, inclusive of all costs, expenses and charges, but exclusive of GST and Provincial Sales Tax; and Project Plan – provide sufficient detail to allow the City to determine the Proponent’s position from the documents received, such, as, details of the Proponent's team, including, their roles and responsibilities and reporting relationships, understanding of the Project and proposed work plan for carrying out the Services within the prescribed Budget.
As part of the application process a mandatory information meeting has been set up for August 7th at the Landfill site on the Ridley Island Access road.
At that session the city will outline information regarding an overview of the project and RFP requirements and an overview of the background documents.
2019 Graduates from Charles Hays and others from across the province are awaiting more details on the fate of their final mark transcripts
Update: Minster Rob Fleming issued a statement on the situation at 3:20 PM on Wednesday, advising that the situation had been resolved and outlined the steps taken by the Ministry. You can review that information here.
As things turn out, the graduating class for 2019 at Charles Hays Secondary and other schools across the province may not be done with their high school years just yet!
That after anomalies found from the final marks for Grade 12 June exams, the results of which contribute towards the final mark transcripts from the Ministry, may yet provide for some slight modification; a situation leaving a large volume of students awaiting further guidance from the province as to any impact it all may have on the post secondary plans.
The exams make for a significant element in the overall grading process and for many students the difference between accessing scholarships or potential acceptance at an institution could be determined by the fate of their marks.
The Ministry has begun the process of reviewing every June 2019 exam result, with the focus to ensure that student grades are reflected in an accurate fashion on their transcripts, the documentation that is among the criteria for admission to post secondary education.
The timeline is tight for the Province to fix the issue, many post secondary institutions have a deadline in August for the submission of final marks as part of the application process.
The situation is providing for some stress for students who thought that their high school days might be behind them as they make their plans for their post secondary years.
The first indication there was a problem with the transcripts came through a range of media reports on Tuesday, as parents expressed their concern and confusion over the situation.
Some significant change to the community of Hartley Bay may soon be seen, should grant funding come through for a pair of ambitious development programs that would change the nature of the Gitga'at community's Harbourfront area and create an expanded trail system.
As part of a request for support of North Coast Regional District, the Gitga'at Development Corporation provided a prospectus of Phase One of a development plan that would see a 28 room hotel facility, 52 seat restaurant and nearby market style retail space developed along the harbour area.
The design as described for Regional Directors would see up to 6 mini-longhouses built to house the three elements, with an estimated cost of close to 90,000 dollars.
The Gitga'at highlighted the current level of interest in their community from visitors by way of cultural and ecological tourism which brings people to the area via ferry, cruise ship and private boat.
As well, they made note as to how Indigenous Tourism is growing rapidly throughout the region and the Nation wants to diversify into the tourism economy to capitalize on these opportunities.
In their briefing for Regional District, the Gitga'at also noted the growing industrial and economic activity in the region, along with Hartley Bay's placement as the site for an Emergency Response station and from all of that activity the potential for increasing the numbers of visitors to the community that could be realized.
Noting that many skip by the community owing to a lack of amenities such as a hotel, restaurant or market. The project should it prove to be feasible, is described as providing for a venue to incubate local entrepreneurs and jobs for some of the 200 Hartley Bay residents.
The Gitga'at Development Corporation anticipates that the planning and construction phase of the project would generate work for approximately 28 full time positions and a further 60 jobs would be created for Gitga'at members from ongoing operations.
The Nation has long wanted a hotel and restaurant in the community. The proposed Hartley Bay Harbourfront Development Project will increase community resilience and support economic diversification into the tourism and retail sectors. The hotel, restaurant and longhouse waterfront development will combine to bring more traffic into the community, and keep visitors for longer periods of time. This will have a positive economic multiplier effect for community-owned businesses and positive influence on fuel sales and docking revenues, both of which benefit the Nation. Hartley Bay is well known as a spot in which boats can fuel up, and also safely tie up for the night on the docks behind the breakwater. The development will be seen from a great distance and together with the retail market will help to draw visitors into the docks in Hartley Bay, which will in turn help to develop other needed services such as a grocery store. -- From a background letter on Hartley Bay Harbourfront development for Regional District
An overhead look at the Hartley Bay waterfront area (google images)
The Harbourfront development is one of two projects that the Gitga'at Nation is working on, also outlining plans to develop a 1.5 km trail with 3 bridges that would connect Hartley Bay to Malsey Bay Campground, which would serve to realize their goal of expanding into the ecotourism and cultural tourism markets.
In their notes for Regional District the Gitga'at highlighted the features the development would provide for:
The existing trail will be widened and covered with geotechnical fabric to limit vegetation regrowth and then resurfaced with gravel and compacted in layers. Based on a ground truthing of the land, there are several new sections proposed for construction that in order to reduce the grade and make the trail as user friendly for all age groups and abilities as possible. A trail sign is proposed at the trailhead in Hartley Bay that draws people’s attention to the trail use rules and map. A second trail sign is proposed at Malsey Bay Campground that tells visitors about the unique coastal ecosystem and history of the Tsimshian people. The project includes development of the forestry campground with 4 tent sites and a picnic shelter.
The estimated cost for the development of the Trail is $440,000 and with it comes the opportunity provide for a valuable training opportunity for the youth of the community.
The training component of the project would see such programs as Chainsaw Certification, Level 1 First Aid, WHIMIS and WorkSafe BC knowledge. The in-class instruction will be followed by a work experience component.
Once completed the Trail would consist of the three bridges, along with picnic tables and shelter which are proposed to be built of yellow cedar from the territorial land of the Tsimshian.
The Gitga'at note that as the trail will have two ocean front access points to allow boaters the flexibility of staying overnight at the campground, or in the comfort of a Bed and Breakfast.
Trail development is among the items proposed for the Hartley Bay area should funding be approved (Map from Gitga'at Development Corporation)
The request from Regional District was for letters of support for their request of $10,000 dollars in grant money to complete the business analysis and site selection for the Harbourfront Development plan, as well as for support on the Trail construction funding request.
The RD Board of Directors approved both letters of support at their mid July meeting, the Gitga'at will now take their application (and letters of support) to the BC Rural Dividend Fund Project Development for consideration of the current call for submissions.
As part of their information update from Monday afternoon the MAR, made note of current Sockeye run projections and retention ambitions.
The FSC Skeena Sockeye cut off is set at 400,000 projected Sockeye run size expected to pass the Tyee Test Fishery. This is an enforceable conservation measure by DFO to ensure enough Sockeye reach the spawning grounds.
All First Nations that target Skeena Sockeye had new FSC communal licences hand-delivered by DFO Conservation and Protection officers with the amendment to close Skeena Sockeye retention and closure for all gillnet fishing. Nations at the headwaters will be provided with a proportional opportunity to harvest Sockeye and those details have not been communicated.
Metlakatla officials also note how they, Lax Kw'alaams and Kitkatla have all informed DFO officials that only their own Band members have authorization to fish in their respective traditional territories.
The Skeena Sockeye closure is in effect for all Marine First Nations as well.
As part of their own program of watching over the stocks and as they do not as of yet have the
authority to issue charges they provided the following guidelines for their members during the current closure.
Please call DFO's Observe, Record, Report line (1-800-465-4336) as soon as possible if you see suspicious activity out on the water (e.g. non-designated First Nation people fishing in the Coast Tsimshian Traditional Territory, recreational over-fishing anywhere).
Indications to this point are that the lifting of any closures will not be revisited until more certainty is seen towards positive trends in the returns, considered to be Friday at the earliest.
The importance of safe drinking water, a topic that should catch the eye of many in Prince Rupert considering the events of earlier this year, was the guiding focus for a report released today by Carol Bellringer, the Auditor General for British Columbia, who reviewed the oversight related to the drinking water of the province and in some cases found much room for improvement.
Oversight of drinking water is very complex, involving 23 pieces
of legislation and many ministries and agencies. To ensure clear
accountability, government stated that the Ministry of Health (Health)
would provide the leadership and coordination of the many ministries
involved. However, over time, Health’s leadership has waned. As a result,
most coordinating bodies have disbanded, there is no strategic plan to
guide the direction of drinking water protection, and efforts to protect
small water systems have been limited. Health has undertaken some
action but more needs to be done. Given the complexity of drinking water protection and the challenges faced
by the Ministry of Health, it is time for government to clearly articulate roles
and ensure that ministries and agencies are held accountable.-- From the Executive Summary of the Auditor General's Report on the protection of Drinking water.
For the 2019 Audit, the Auditor-General's office focused on three pillars that the government has established to protect drinking water:
1. Leadership and coordination by Health 2. Actions by Health and the PHO 3. Accountability of Health and the PHO
From the Report the Auditor General notes:
We concluded that Health and the PHO are not taking
the needed actions to protect drinking water for all
British Columbians. However, Health had taken a
number of actions, including developing guidance
documents and working with some of its partners to
advance an approach to identifying and mitigating risks. The PHO had not demonstrated adequate oversight
of drinking water officers, nor had the Office of the
PHO been able to show the tracking and resolution of
significant impediments to drinking water protection. Overall, the accountability to government by Health
and the PHO for the protection of drinking water
was of concern. Health provided no information on
drinking water in its annual service plan reports, and
the PHO has reported sporadically on drinking water
and potential issues over the years, but not annually,
as required in the Drinking Water Protection Act.
The report reviews the leadership of the Ministry of Health when it comes to legislation to protect drinking water as well as the actions of the Public Health Officer, providing for eight recommendations, which both bodies delivered responses towards.
The eight recommendations from the Auditor General's report
(click to enlarge)
The report outlines how the risks to drinking water are increasing whether it be the demand of a growing population, industrial practices or proximity to agricultural areas of the province, it also explores how climate change is expected to impact the province and could impact on the quality and quantity of drinking water available to the public.
The majority of the report is focused on the smaller water systems of the province those which serve fewer than 500 people in a twenty four hour period. It's estimated that 480,000 residents rely on those small water systems.
The report however notes that attention to all of the province's water systems is required to ensure that all proper safety measures are being followed up on regularly.
Much of the data reviewed was taken up to the year 2017, with the good news delivered that no known outbreak of water borne illness has been recorded in BC since 2004.
However as the Auditor General has found there's much to be done when it comes to accountability from both the Ministry and Public Health officer, with few of the recommendations from a string of previous reports over a number of years yet to be acted on.
The report which you can read here, comes with a video presentation from the Auditor General's Office which condenses the report and makes use of graphics to deliver the key elements.
The largest takeaway from the report, is the need for more oversight and accountability on all of the province's water systems and the need for more improved communication with residents.
Themes that the City of Prince Rupert may find helpful as they address local concerns.
While not noted in the AG report today, Prince Rupert has seen some past water issues of note, earlier this year a false-positive report on the city's drinking water had residents boiling their water for close to six weeks much of it over the holiday period, before the all clear was finally issued in March.
In May, the City of Prince Rupert and Northern Health issued a call for volunteers to test the quality of their home water.
And while the school issue took place under the watch of the previous Liberal government, as the Attorney General's report indicates, there is still much work ahead for the NDP government towards keeping a watch on the province's water systems.
The latest report from the Port of Prince Rupert takes note of increase in jobs that have been delivered in just the last two years
1,000 new workers have taken up employment with the Port of Prince Rupert since 2016, many of the new jobs created on the North Coast, though a growing number of employment opportunities are being realized across the northern corridor.
That is just one of a number of key takeaways from a new report released by the Port of Prince Rupert today which highlights the impact of Port Development not only on the City of Prince Rupert but all of Northern British Columbia.
The surge in jobs comes as the Port of Prince Rupert reports that 6200 jobs are now to be found through the movement of trade through the province to the shipping terminals at Prince Rupert.
The report was compiled by InterVistas and studied a range of factors to determine the role that the port plays in the development of Western Canada's economy.
The 2018 totals indicate some of the factors that have led to the significant economic and employment benefits for the region, based on the 26.7 million tonnes of product that were shipped last year.
The value of that trade was set at approximately $50 Billion and created 1.5 Billion dollars of economic activity in the region.
The report makes note of how that trade has created jobs stating:
The businesses and organizations involved in marine, terminal, rail, truck logistics and other activities required to safely move goods through the region employed 3600 full time equivalent jobs, and the contracted services and supplies required by those businesses (i.e. indirect employment), generated another 2600 jobs. Although many of the total 6200 jobs are located in the Prince Rupert area, thousands of women and men find employment as residents of communities throughout northern BC.
Annual wages associated with that employment totalled $481 million and the average annual wage rose to $87,200 in 2018. As the charts below indicate, the majority of the jobs are permanent in nature, providing for stable, year round employment .
The bulk of the job opportunities come through rail and trucking operations as well as the work taking place through terminal and stevedoring operations on the Prince Rupert waterfront.
For government at all levels the port's success is also translating into financial benefits, with 125 million dollars in annual tax revenues delivered through stipends, personal tax, corporate tax and property tax revenues.
The Canadian and BC governments were the largest recipients, but property taxes generated from PRPA lands increased to $9.3 million in revenues for local government as well.
“The Port of Prince Rupert’s success is built on the hard work of the women and men that contribute to moving cargo efficiently and safely through the gateway every day, building our global reputation for innovation and reliability. Northern BC is our home. We’re proud of the economic benefits we’ve been able to cultivate with all of our partners over the last decade. As we look to the future, we are optimistic that we will collectively continue to deliver a globally competitive trade corridor for BC and Canadian exporters, and reap the economic benefits from it, given the Prince Rupert Gateway’s strategic advantages and demonstrated track record.” --Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “
The Direct impact of growing trade opportunities and employment increases is highlighted by the following graph which charts the increases found since 2009.
Compared to the most recent economic impact study compiled in 2016, the economic indicators across the board show a significant upward trend, which reflects for a 40 percent increase in port volumes during that two year period.
The report digs deep into the data, providing a very comprehensive glimpse into the both the growth of the port and its operations, as well as the impact that it is delivering, both in employment, injection into the local economy and financial benefit provided to all levels of government.
All lanes leading to the AMHS Terminal at Fairview Terminal remain clear of vehicles as the strike heads towards the one week mark on Wednesday
Weekend negotiations seemingly did not bring the two sides in the Alaska Marine Highway System dispute any closer to a settlement and as the ongoing strike nears the one week mark tomorrow, the Marine Highway Service has announced more schedule cancellations.
While the dispute continues the AMHS is warning its customers about some fraudulent text messaging that passengers may be receiving, as scammers seek to take advantage of the travellers situation to access their credit card numbers.
The fraudulent messages provide an assistance number and then travellers are asked to provide their credit card numbers. The State of Alaska urges anyone receiving such a text to ignore or delete it and contact the State Security office at 907-269-5000 or by email at email@example.com
Fraudsters are trying to take advantage of AMHS customers who are stranded due to the ongoing labour dispute
(click to enlarge)
As we noted on Friday, the strike action has left travellers in ports up and down the Alaska coast, as well as in Prince Rupert holding in their respective ports, awaiting further information, or making alternative travel plans, sometimes at a fairly significant cost.
Container moves were on hold last week as DP World investigated an unspecified odour on site
Something was in the air last week at Fairview Terminals and as a result container movements came to a standstill as officials conducted an investigation.
That for the most part is the theme of a review of a July 26th incident at the west side container terminal, with DP World releasing some details of the event today.
In an information release, the global shipping company outlined how an unspecified odour was detected around 9AM on the 26th at the Prince Rupert Fairview Container Terminal and as is their protocol for such events, container yard operations were temporarily halted.
As part of their procedures a local incident management team immediately conducted on-site assessment and air quality monitoring, with the source identified by 10AM and the results deemed to be non-hazardous.
Additional tests were conducted at the noon hour at which time the site was confirmed to be safe, with normal terminal operations resuming at 4:30.
The length of time consumed by the incident was seven and half hours.
No details as to what substance caused the odour were released by DP Word as part of their information update.
Terminal shutdowns have happened in the past under similar situations, though this is the first one reported for 2019.
Some favourite shows for Lax Kw'alaams viewers may go missing for a few weeks, but their temporary absence will herald an improved service as the Lax Kw'alaams Cable service upgrades its delivery system.
In an update for customers, the Lax Kw'alaams Band Council outlined the nature of the changeover, with a number of Standard Definition channels taken off the air as content providers shift towards a High Definition options.
The first part of the upgrade project got underway in mid-July with repairs to lines and replacement of obsolete equipment, replacing them with new models that are compatible with the changes.
The next step that is underway is the installation of new equipment at the Cable Company Head end and the installation of a new Satellite dish to pick up new satellites.
The investment by the Band Council is designed to bring Lax Kw'alaams Cable to the latest technology and allow them to remain a less costly alternative to other television providers in the region.
Members of the Prince Rupert detachment are seeking the help of the public related to a suspicious incident downtown last week
Prince Rupert RCMP are asking for the assistance of the public as they investigate what they are calling a suspicious incident in the 400 Block of Third Avenue West.
While they don't identify the building by name, it does appear from photos provided by the detachment to be the back side of Prince Rupert City Hall. the area of interest that of the alleyway between the building and that of DFO/Canada Post.
Video surveillance has captured a black lifted Chevrolet Pick Up roll up to the building at approximately 9:45 PM on Thursday, July 25th.
The RCMP outline how the video shows two men get out of the the vehicle, with one man climbing onto the building which resulted in some damage. The other man of interest in the incident stood in the parking lot watching.
The Two suspects are described as follows:
The man climbing is wearing blue jeans and a T shirt, the man in the parking lot is wearing blue jeans, brown boots and tan shirt.
A second photo of the man climbing on to the building can be viewed below:
A photo of the truck in question can be viewed below:
A late Sunday evening trail of damaged vehicles ended at the Fairview Docks waterfront, when members of the Prince Rupert RCMP responded to a dangerous driving call.
The ride through the city which took place around 11:30 in the evening included travel along Second Avenue West and left damaged vehicles along the way.
It ended at the dock between the Fairview Floats and the Smit Marine dock with a truck having crashed through a barrier and lodged on the the empty dock space along the access road.
A trail of damage was found from the downtown area through to Fairview as an alleged impaired driver left a mark through the west side of the city Sunday night
Social media has a number of photos of the incident which came to a conclusion with a 20 year old male in custody and facing recommended charges of impaired driving, driving over the legal limit of .08 and failure to comply with an undertaking.
Fortunately other than the damage to vehicles, on one was injured during the course of Sunday's road journey to the Fairview area.
Should you have any video or other information related to the Sunday incident you can contact the Prince Rupert RCMP at 250-627-0700, or through CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS)
A new Senior staff member will soon be taking on duties at the District of Port Edward office
After a four month search, the District of Port Edward has found the right candidate to fill the role of Chief Administrative Officer, announcing the hiring of Danielle Myles Wilson who will depart her current post as Manager of Economic development for the City of Terrace to join senior staff in the District.
The announcement was made by Mayor Knut Bjorndal last week, with the District posting the notice of the hiring to their website.
In the notice, the Mayor observes that the Ms. Wilson was one of forty five candidates identified for the job by the Executive Search firm of James R Craven and Associates. The corporate recruiters then provided a short list for the mayor and Council to consider.
In addition to her work with the Terrace Economic Development office, Ms. Wilson has previous experience as the Regional Manager for the Economic Operations Branch as well as serving as a policy analyst for the BC Ministry of Aboriginal Relations.
The City of Prince Rupert is taking submissions as part of a community engagement process on Recreation services in the City, with the Rupert Talks program currently hosting a six question survey on the topic.
Among some of the themes of the questions how important do you rate Recreation to your family, how much do you use the city's facilities, how do you access information on recreation options and what barriers do you find when it comes to recreation in Prince Rupert.
The survey also includes a note on some of the funding sources available to those with limited finances and whether local residents have taken advantage of those programs.
Traffic will be snarled through the day/week today as Paving crews work the George Hills Road area through the week. The City has advised that motorists use alternative routes to avoid the paving project
Today is Pave Day for George Hills Way, as the city's ongoing summer of road rehabilitation moves forward, with a significant stretch of the east-west roadway linking Cow Bay with the east side of the city to be paved today.
In an advisory for the public this morning delivered through a range of information options, the City of Prince Rupert advised motorists to avoid the area as paving crews were to work the area from the Cow Bay Bridge to the Canadian Fish Plant through the day.
Paving crews are working in the George Hills Road area through the week.
While one lane will be open for traffic, delays are expected as traffic controllers provide for alternate traffic openings.
In addition to the traffic restrictions, there is no Parking allowed along the stretch of the roadway today and overnight. It is hoped that the George Hills Way and Drydock Road paving project will be wrapped up by the end of this week, weather permitting.
With just under two seasons under his belt, Golf Course Superintendent Peter Drake has accepted a position with the City of Revelstoke (PR Golf Club Facebook photo)
After working his magic with the Prince Rupert Golf Course greens and fairways since April of 2018, Course Superintendent Peter Drake is packing up and moving on, having accepted a position with the City of Revelstoke.
The Prince Rupert Golf Course announced his upcoming departure last week, with August 15th his last day on the job on the North Coast, with a Revelstoke start date just four days later.
The task has not been without challenges as maintaining and training a constant staff has provided for some difficulties over the course of the two seasons, as well as having had to deal with the rather harsh weather climate that the North Coast delivers on golf course.
Still, in that short period of time Mr. Drake has had some remarkable success in keeping the course on a path towards improvement and he has compiled a list of suggestions for the next Superintendent.
The opportunity to lead the turf department with the City of Revelstoke, a community he has live in before, as well as it's proximity to family in Kelowna made the decision a relatively easy one for Mr. Drake to make.
There have been challenges, but Course Superintendent Peter Drake has received some rave reviews for his work on the turf at the course (PR Golf Course Facebook photo)
Prince Rupert Golf Course members expressed their disappointment at his pending departure, however noted the nature of the opportunity for him; as well as the work ethic he brought to his work in Prince Rupert over the last two seasons.
The Prince Rupert Golf Course has not outlined what its plans for the remainder of the season may be or what replacement plans they may have for the off season when a majority of the course remediation work takes place.
A team from the Canadian Transportation Safety Board is at the site of Friday's floatplane crash on Addenbroke Island
An investigation has been launched by the Canadian Transportation Safety Board into the circumstances that led to the crash of a Float plane on Addenbroke Island on the Central Coast Friday, which tragically took the lives of four and has sent another five to hospital.
The flight had departed from Vancouver on Friday morning and was destined for the nearby Calvert Islands and a fishing lodge on the island, it crashed around 11 AM, with weather at the time listed as featuring intense rain.
Also assisting in the response were members of the RCMP out of Bella Bella, as well as a number of vessels in the area, including the BC Ferry Northern Sea Wolf, which was in the region as part of its transit from Port Hardy to Bella Bella and other central coast communities.
Late Friday afternoon, the Premier offered his condolences on the incident and thanked those that responded to it.
Some of the latest notes on Friday's incident can be reviewed below:
The Provincial government is taking the message of reducing plastic waste pollution to the residents of the province, seeking our opinions on the issue and some of the initiatives that the government is considering for the future.
“The message from British Columbians is loud and clear – we need to take action to reduce plastic waste, especially single-use items like water bottles and plastic bags that often find their way into our waters, streets and environment. We have all seen the striking images of animals and fish being caught up in everyday plastic waste like grocery bags or beer can loops that ensnare these beautiful creatures and it cannot continue. I look forward to hearing from people about how we can all play a part in reducing plastic pollution and plastics use overall.”-- George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
Among some of the actions that the Province is considering are four key elements designed to reduce the impact of plastic on the environment, they include:
Bans on single-use packaging: determining which types of plastic packaging to phase out altogether, as well as any necessary exemptions, such as those for health, safety and accessibility, to keep products available for the people who need them Dramatically reduce single-use plastics in landfills and waterways: requiring producers to take responsibility for more plastic products, ensuring more single-use items like sandwich bags, straws and cutlery get recycled Plastic bottle and beverage container returns: expanding the deposit-refund system to cover all beverage containers – including milk and milk-substitutes – with a 10-cent refundable deposit, keeping millions more containers out of landfills and waterways Reducing plastic waste overall: supporting effective ways to prevent plastic waste in the first place and making sure recycled plastic is reused effectively.
Towards collecting the opinions of British Columbians, the province has launched a survey for residents to take that explores such themes as the potential for bans on single use packaging, reducing the use of plastics overall, recycling of plastics and making sure we return plastic bottles.