Thursday, October 31, 2019

Alta Gas exports through Ridley Island on track for expectations for 2019

Third Quarter results showcase the impact that the Ridley Island
Propane Export Terminal is having on the larger AltaGas picture

AltaGas is expressing a very positive view of the success so far of their terminal facility in Prince Rupert, noting the strong results of shipment levels in their third quarter results report released on Wednesday,

The results report is highlighted by frequent mentions of the Prince Rupert terminal and indicates the contribution that the Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal has made towards the AltaGas operations after its first full quarter of operations.

Marking the first full quarter of operations, RIPET contributed $37 million of normalized EBITDA in the third quarter of 2019 and received approximately 40,000 bbl/d for delivery to Asian markets, averaging two ships per month.

Third quarter normalized EBITDA from RIPET benefited from a higher average FEI-Mt. Belvieu hedge rate of US$14 per barrel that included second quarter supply hedges that were rolled forward to the third quarter. The resulting impact to third quarter normalized EBITDA is a one-time benefit of approximately $5 million.

As the cornerstone asset of our Midstream business, RIPET has extended our integrated value chain in northeast British Columbia, attracting additional volumes to our system, providing strong netbacks, as well as advancing future growth across our platform.

Statistics to the end of September indicate that the Ridley Island Terminal has shipped more than three million barrels of propane to Asia, sending six ships back across the Pacific carrying the resource to Asian markets.

In notes from the Announcement, Randy Crawford, the President and CEO of Alta Gas provided a glimpse at how the export facility has added to the AtlaGas footprint in Asian trade.

"RIPET has been successful in capturing incremental value for Canadian propane in international markets - a win-win for our producers and AltaGas. 

Our focus now is execution at the terminal to gain scale and efficiencies that will allow us to grow our export capabilities by further increasing capacity."

"Building upon the momentum we achieved in our Midstream business to-date, we will continue to leverage the structural advantage we have at RIPET to attract and handle more molecules in our integrated footprint. 

At our Utilities, our focus remains squarely on driving performance to lower our cost structure, and deliver exceptional service. These measures will strengthen relationships with our customers and regulators, and create an environment conducive to future growth,"

The full report from AltaGas can be explored here.

The Ridley Island Export Propane Terminal delivered its first Shipment in May.

While they are currently operating at the 40,000 barrels per day level, it's anticipated those numbers will double towards 2020 as AltaGas sources out more supply for the product.

For more items of note on the AltaGas Terminal see our archive page here.

With a night of haunting ahead, make plans to make sure your goblins and ghosts are visible

Tonight is the night that the parade of creatures make their rounds around the city and with social media already laying out a map of sorts as to where some of the best displays may be, the streets in some areas may be a little congested as the viewing party begins.

As a quick tour of the city has shown over the last few nights, Prince Rupert residents seem to be embracing the spirit of Halloween more and more, with some fairly elaborate displays already having lit up the nights through the week.

As the night arrives however, the need for safety should be foremost in the minds of all, with drivers reminded to travel carefully along the city's streets as the trick or treaters make their rounds.

Around the house, residents are reminded to make sure the path is clear towards their house and proper lighting is available, while still keeping to your theme of the night.

Towards Safety in the community, the members of the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue Department offered up one reminder towards safety, that of using crosswalks and not to dart across the streets as the treating hours arrive.

The British Columbia Automobile Agency has also offered up some helpful advice, providing for  Safety tips for both trick or treaters and motorists on the evening.

Members of Prince Rupert's RCMP detachment will be out on the streets this evening as well, to ensure that all remains safe across the city.

In addition to the traditional door to door collection, both the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre and Earl Mah Aquatic Centre will be hosting events tonight. Included as part of tonight's Civic Centre program is the always entertaining Parade of Costumes which takes place at 6:15PM

Halloween also means Fireworks Night and tonight's showcase of pyrotechnics will take place over the Golf Course with Mount Hays as the background for the show, the first burst should come shortly after 8:15 tonight.

To help get everyone around town tonight, Prince Rupert Transit is offering FREE TRANSIT from 6 to 9 PM, as well they will be operating on their Friday schedule this evening to allow for additional service around the city.

For more items of interest on Community events see our archive page here.

MacCarthy GM and North Coast Transition Society team up to Cram the Crew

MacCarthy GM is looking for donations for the North Coast
Transition Society through November with their
Cram the Crew event

Northwest auto retailer McCarthy GM is putting the pedal to the metal to help out the North Coast Transition Society in their service to those in need in the community.

The local GM dealership on Chamberlain Avenue is holding a Cram the Crew event, asking residents of the city to stop by the dealership and bring a donation for the local organization, noting such items as winter coats and other clothing items, toiletries, diapers and such as well as food items all make for as possible donation items.

As part of the reminder to the community, the Crew from North Coast Transition Society provided this short feature on the project.

To help accelerate some interest in the initiative, MacCarthy GM is offering  a chance to enter a draw for Prince Rupert Rampage Tickets, or if you have  service appointment in the month ahead, you can get 10 percent off  with a donation.

As well, for every vehicle sold in Prince Rupert in November, MacCarthy will also be donating 100 dollars towards the Cram the Crew program.

Learn more about the project from the MacCarthy GM Facebook page.

More notes related to the city's Commercial sector can be explored here.

British Columbia's extreme winter shelter program launches tomorrow. Prince Rupert's shelter on Third West among the Northwest options

With the colder and wetter weather fast approaching, the province of British Columbia has announced that its Extreme Weather Response Shelter program will launch on Friday, running through the the fall and winter until March 31st.

In the roll out of the program, Selina Robinson, the Minster of Municipal Affairs and Housing outlined how the emergency shelter program works towards the large plan of adding to permanent housing across the province.

“During the colder months, it’s important that people experiencing homelessness in our province know that there is a place they can go to get warm and find supports and services that can help them stabilize their lives. As we continue the work of building permanent housing, we’re proud to work in partnership with communities and non-profit housing providers to provide these shelter spaces.”

The program works through Individual communities which establish a plan of the weather conditions that warrant an extreme weather alert and determine the number of spaces to activate on a given night, depending on the capacity of existing shelters and the estimated need.

Locally the Emergency Winter Shelter is the same one that currently houses the city's homeless on a nightly basis through the year, located at 328 Third Avenue West, with the Province noting that it currently will have 15 spaces available for use.

Prince Rupert's Extreme Weather Shelter is located at 338 Third Avenue West
in the old McLean and Rudderham location

The full list of shelters across the Northwest and the rest of the province can be found here.

In September, a short lived Tent City protest took place at City Hall to once again call attention to some local issues related to homelessness and while that protest appeared to be focused on some particular concerns of that moment, it served reinforce the ongoing call for additional assistance when it comes to housing for those in the most need.

The theme of the emergency shelter made for some notes from Mayor Lee Brain in September who shared some observations on the UBCM meetings in Vancouver; observing at the time how discussions with BC housing officials offered some hope for additional units for the city's homeless and plans to expand the downtown emergency shelter to a new new location.

However, since those Facebook notes of September, the Mayor and Council have not as of yet followed up on those themes and offered any kind of timeline for future action on either topic.

In August, the North Coast Transition Society made note as to how the city's homeless population is growing every day, with a number of the community's residents being left behind when it comes to some of the economic advantages that others have benefited from in recent years.

To learn how you can help the Transition Society in their work see their Facebook page.

For more items of note related to Housing in the community see our archive page here.

Flu shot season offers range of options to access immunization

A flu shot today could keep you on your feet tomorrow, and as we head further into fall and winter Northern Health is moving into the start of the flu season with a reminder of a number of options for you to access the annual flu shot.

As part of their awareness program, Northern Health has provided a facts list on Influenza highlighting what you need to know abut the flu and what you should do if you find yourself in the grip of it.

To access the flu shot, the Northern Health Unit at the Ocean Centre on Third Avenue East will have clinics in November.

There are also one day drop in clinics scheduled for Coast Mountain College and the Friendship House next month, with the potential for other one day events to be listed as the month moves forward. 

Locally, the flu shot is also available at Canada Safeway, Save On Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart and WalMart.

You can check out the details for the clinics in Prince Rupert here, as well for those living across the Northwest simply type in your postal code or community name to find the clinic locations in your area.

This year, The Northern Health Unit is set to begin its annual distribution of the influenza vaccine in the week of November 4th, some of the focus once again this year is for those in three key categories:

People at high risk

People capable of transmitting influenza to those at high risk

People who provide essential community services.

To find out if you qualify for free influenza vaccine shots see this list from North Health which expands on the three elements for recommended flu shots.

When it comes to the vaccine for 20189/20, Health officials have directed attention to four strains of flu that are anticipated to reach British Columbia this year:

A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus
B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus
B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus (in quadrivalent vaccines only)

The A/Brisbane and A/Kansas strains were not contained in the 2018/19 season vaccine.

A short video from Immunize outlines how the flu shot works to reduce your prospects of contracting the flu virus this year.

More background on health issues across the Northwest can be found on our archive page here.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Rugby fans heading for an All Nighter at the Moose this weekend

The Scrum starts here Friday night!
Prince Rupert's Rugby World Cup Viewing party is set
for the Moose Hall Friday at 8:30 PM

This coming Friday Night/Saturday morning is going to be a GreyCup/SuperBowl/StanleyCupFinal kind of celebration all rolled into one for Prince Rupert's Rugby fans.

That as the faithful of the North Coast gather at the Moose Hall for an All Night Dance Party - Viewing Party to celebrate the Rugby World Cup final.

The tournament which has been a month long festival in Japan will see two of the top teams in Rugby meeting for the Championship with England set to take on South Africa.

The event which is set for an 8:30 PM start will feature a Beer Garden from 9PM to 2 AM with music from DJ B Ran and special guests the Junior Rugby All Stars Band.

The game itself will stream live starting at 2AM with the match continuing through the early hours to determine the Winner of the Webb Ellis Cup.

The cover charge for the party is Five dollars at the door.

All of proceeds from the Friday night event will go towards the Prince Rupert Junior Rugby program.

More on the event can be found here.

For more items of interest on Community events in the city see our archive page here.

Training session puts Prince Rupert Ground Search Rescue to the test!

The members of Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue
During a lull in the storm earlier this month
(PRG SAR Facebook page)

If they were looking for the best test for their skills in some horrendous conditions, the members of the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue unit found what they were looking for earlier this month.

The local group honed their Search and Rescue skills amidst a fairly challenging environment atop Mount Hays, where they took part in a 24 hour training session to prepare for real time emergency calls for the future.

The Mid October training session was one of a number of similar events that the unit takes part in each year, though in this instance the weather matched some of the worst that they may have to face should the call for assistance come in.

The weather for the 24 hour training session included heavy rains, strong winds and rather cool temperatures at the Mount Hays training location.

The conditions on the Mountain probably were not at their best after having seen a weeks worth of rain arriving prior to the exercise.

The have posted some photos from their session to their Facebook page, if you would like to learn more about their work in the community, or donate towards their operations you can contact them through their social media portal.

For more items of interest on the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Nominations Now Open for Metlakatla Development Corporation Board of Directors

The organization that is at the forefront of some of the new wave of development in the region is seeking four members for its Board, offering a chance for members of the Metlakatla First Nation to join in on the ever evolving economic footprint that Metlaktatla is making in the community.

The Metlakatla Development Corporation issued the call for its Board of Directors last week, with the nomination period open until Friday, November 8th, there are currently four positions available as part of the process.

The shareholders of the Corporation will be electing and appointing members to the Board as part of the Annual General Meeting scheduled for November 21st.  Two of the four positions to the Board will be by election, with the other two by appointment.

The AGM is scheduled for the Banquet Room of the Crest Hotel at  9:30 AM on the 21st, with all members of the Metlakatla Band over the age of nineteen invited to attend.

To learn more about the process see this advisory from the MDC.

Among some of the key elements for consideration, nominees must be of Metlakatla ancestry, at least 19 years of age and not an employee of the MDC or any of its subsidiaries.

The full list of qualifications for the nomination process and the form to submit towards it can be found here.

For more items of interest related to Metlakatla see our archive page here.

Complete Streets for Prince Rupert offer some redesign tips for City Council

With Prince Rupert City Council set to move into the next state of their redesign Rupert planning in 2020, a local group dedicated towards improving on the city's accessibility infrastructure has offered up a few talking points for consideration.

In an Open Letter to Mayor Lee Brain and the city's six councillors, Complete Streets moved forward with their advocacy for safe, accessible and enjoyable streets for all of those who use the roads in the city.

Towards their goal of safer streets, they provided for three items of note towards their advocacy, seeking the following elements as a starting point.

Infrastructure that slows vehicles and improves visibility for all road users 

Safe and active routes to school so that more children can get to school on foot and by bicycle 

Protected spaces for cycling so that more people will feel comfortable choosing to ride bicycles

The full letter that outlines their call for a city redesign that will included a variety of transportation choices and puts a priority on safety and convenience can be explored here.

Over the summer, City Council members participated in a four day planning workshop hosted by Redesign Rupert in July, with the city's elected officials coming away from their work enthused for the future that could be for Prince Rupert.

At that time, Mayor Lee Brain advised that the rest of the community would have a chance in December to learn more of the work of the summer and what future plans may be in mind for the redesign of the community.

So far, the City has not offered up an update on when that public session will take place.

You can find more of the work of Redesign Rupert from our archive page here.

A wider overview of some of the City Council discussion themes can also be found from our Council Discussion archive page here.

Boot Camp for Bachrach! Newly elected Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP in Ottawa for information sessions

Just one week after his success at the polls, the newly elected MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley is in Ottawa receiving the first of a couple of tutorials on what's to come with his new job and the experiences ahead as Member of Parliament.

Taylor Bachrach, made note of his departure earlier this week, offering a short social media message as he took to his bike for a road trip (though he did note that the majority of the trip might not involve the two wheeled form of transit).

The MP may want to find some storage space for the bike for the next few months, while Smithers is used to winter ... the seasonal conditions in Ottawa from December to March aren't always the most hospitable towards travelling the bike paths in a comfortable fashion.

Once in the nation's capital Mr. Bachrach joined the incoming class of 2019, as the rookie MP's learned the ways of office staffing, budget making and other notes on the day to day operations of their Ottawa offices.

Still to come a second wave of information a little closer to the resumption of Parliament, at those sessions the new MP's will received more background on how the process of debate and discussion works in the House of Commons.

Mr. Bachrach is one of ninety eight newly elected MP's making their debut in the House of Commons, the newly elected government of Liberal Justin Trudeau is expected to announce his new cabinet in mid-November.

Once the cabinet is in place, MP's will have a better sense of when Parliament will return and they can make their debut in the House of Commons.

For more notes on the work of MP's in the Nations capital see our House of Commons archive page here.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Jumps to the left, time warps and Science Fiction double features all yours ... with Rocky Horror showing Wednesday night at the Lester Centre

The channeling of Transylvania will be on parade Wednesday night at
Prince Rupert's Lester Centre with a showing of the
Rocky Horror Picture Show

As the North Coast makes its plans for Thursday and a night of trick or treating, Civic Centre fun and Fireworks, a reminder of another of what is becoming an area tradition set for Wednesday night, with the Lester Centre set to bring back the cult movie favourite Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The movie which not only encourages audience participation ... but pretty well demands it, will be showing at 10 PM at the Lester Centre, with doors opening to the public at 9:30.

Audience members will be showcasing their favourite of Rocky Horror themes of the night, which should make for a colourful parade of characters making their way to the Lester Centre for the showing.

To spur on the creative minds, prizes will be awarded for those who come in the inspiration of their favourite Rocky Horror theme.

Tickets for the event are going for 15 dollars each and can be purchased at Cooks Jewellers on Third Avenue West or at the Lester Centre Box Office.

Find out more about the showing from the event page from the Lester Centre

More notes on what's ahead this week for Halloween on the North Coast can be explored from our Community Events page.

Head Start on Haunting comes Wednesday night at the Nisga'a Hall

The Nisga'a Hall has become one of the must see destinations for the days of haunting that make up a North Coast Halloween, with this years plans destined to make for a ghoulishly enjoyable experience for all who dare to enter.

October 30th marks the fourth year for the Haunted House and as those who have been there from day one will attest, each year gets better and better as the Gitmaxmak'ay youth work out new themes and new surprises for those that enter through the dungeon doors.

As they have over the last few years, the creative minds of the Youth group and their friends have cooked up a witches brew of exciting themes for this years pre Halloween night event ...

With vampires, spiders and a flesh eating butcher rumoured to have been summoned among the possible creatures of the night to reach out for those that wander through the basement of the Nisga'a Hall.

Tomorrow evening's hauntings begin at 5:30 PM with a three dollar admission fee to enter the Dungeon of Nisga'a Hall.

You can get updates on the event as the get closer to Scare time from the Gitmaxmak'ay Society Twitter feed.

For more items of note on Halloween week and other Prince Rupert events see our archive page here.

Another NDP cabinet minister making tracks for Terrace

Residents of the Terrace area will see the latest in what has been a stream of Cabinet ministers arrive in town for a visit next month.

That as Shane Simpson, the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction hosts a Consultation Session to discuss the development of accessibility legislation for the province.

The meeting set for Saturday November 9th will take place at the Terrace Sportsplex on Kalum Avenue from 1 to 3:30 PM, with the invitation open for people with disabilities, their friends and families as well as advocates to share their thoughts with the Minister.

NDP cabinet Minister
will be hosting a
community consultation
in Terrace on November 9
It is the only one of the ten sessions that have been scheduled  towards the theme to take place in the Northwest.

You can learn more about the consultation tour here.

Residents of the region, not inclined to make the drive to Terrace, can also take part in an online  questionnaire that will take approximately ten minutes of your time.

More background on Mr. Simpson's visit and the Accessibility Legislation consultation can be explored here.

Mr Simpson's planned trip to Terrace is one of a number of high profile visits by NDP cabinet ministers to the city in recent months.

Something which seems to suggest that the NDP, like the Liberals before them, believe that in the Northwest all roads to government consultation lead through Terrace.

Terrace is part of the Skeena riding currently held by Liberal MLA Ellis Ross and of late has become a community where Government consultations and major announcements seem to have made for significant focus for the John Horgan government in the last two years

For more items of note on the work of the BC Legislature see our archive page here.

City of Prince Rupert to seek bids for Branding Project for new Community Brand Identity including Civic Logo

Farewell to Rail and Ship, Bye bye to Net and Pick?
The City is looking to Win our Wealth with a search
for a new Brand and a New Logo. 

All destined for delivery by the end of 2020

The City of Prince Rupert is looking to re-brand itself, with a Request for Bids issued last week to solicit cost estimates for consulting services to develop a brand identity, which will include development of a new logo and visual identity guide for the community.

The bid was posted late Friday to the provincial Bid BC site, with Communications Manager, Veronika Stewart listed as the person on point for the new image initiative for the City.

As part of the documentation that accompanies the terms for the bid process, the City outlines the reasoning behind the desire for the brand new look with the following:

Prince Rupert currently uses our outdated City crest logo and crest and associated tag line are difficult to translate across all types of communications documents, and do not reflect our modern community. 

The City has identified attraction and retention of population as a strategic priority, which requires a new brand that will support marketing initiatives and community outreach.

Towards the work of the re-branding proposal, the successful image making applicants will be asked to develop the following elements towards a new look.

Creation of a new logo that represents Prince Rupert 

Identify a brand identity and handbook, along with branded colour palette to complement the new logo

The deadline for applicants to submit their bids is November 15th.

The timeline moving forward on the project is fairly ambitious as well.

Expectations must be that an out of town applicant will have the most success in the bid process, with one of the elements noting:

All pointing to a one year period from start to finish, included on the road to roll out will be:

A contract signing planned for January 8th of next year.

Expectations must be that an out of town applicant will have the most success in the bid process, with one of the elements noting a call for a :

First visit to gain knowledge of the community set for mid February.

The Development of multiple logos and brand samples for stakeholder consideration is set for mid April

With integration of the stakeholder feedback to be realized by the middle of June 2020.

The roll out of the proposed brand to the community will come in one year's time in November of 2020

Followed by the delivery of the New Community logo  and other elements to be provided to the City by December 15th of 2020.

So far, the re-branding initiative has not made for much in the way of conversation in the public sessions of Prince Rupert City Council, a place where there has so far been little to no indication that the existing logo and current civic marketing focus has outlived its time.

With the Request for Bids now underway, it would seem however that the City Council Members and Mayor Brain have decided that the Old must GO and that the new era of Hays 2.0, redesign Rupert and such ventures will need a splashy new visual presentation.

The decision perhaps one that has been determined through the growing number of workshops and closed sessions which chart much of the course of City Council these days.

Though, one might think that something such as a re-branding program is a topic for conversation that could have helped fill in some of those past Council sessions; particularly the one's where the city's elected officials couldn't find much to talk about.

As they look to move the plan forward, hopefully someone on Council may ask a few questions on behalf of the public in one of the upcoming public Council sessions.

Seeking some background for the public on such troublesome details as cost for the study to be launched, what the budget for the new initiative may be, as well as from where that funding will come from.

As well, some of them may want to go on the record as to whether we really need the image makeover at this time, or if perhaps, the city's finances might be best used on other more pressing items on the to do list.

So far the city's plans to ring out the old and bring in the new look have not made it to the many social media portals that they make use of towards messaging making these days.

Flying as it is a tad under the radar for the moment it would seem.

The City's rebranding plans, come following a similar project launched by North Coast Regional District which rolled out their new look in January of 2018.

The City itself has had some practice at the re-branding concept, having revealed a new look for the Watson Intermodal Trade and Logistics Park.

The City was also involved with the relaunch and refocus for redesign rupert last year.

The full documentation for the City of Prince Rupert's Request for Bids is available on the BC Bid website.

For a look at some of the previous Requests for Bids see our archive page here.

A wider overview of City Council Discussion themes of the past can be reviewed from our archive page.

Modernizing British Columbia's Emergency Program Act the goal of upcoming consultation period

The Province of British Columbia has set out on a path towards revision of its Emergency Program Act, a document which hasn't seen much change since its introduction in 1993, despite some significant changes to the nature of some of the emergencies that the province can face in any given year.

Mike Farnworth, the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for British Columbia carried forward the bulk of the introduction of the plans on Monday. With the Minister outlining what the focus for the province would be as it takes to the work ahead.

“There’s a lot of emergency management expertise and experience in this province that can help us ensure that modernized legislation is responsive to B.C.’s needs in the future. Whether it’s a wildfire or a flood, the legislative framework provides the backbone of what we do. We want to draw upon the knowledge that exists so our legislation reflects what communities need to prepare for, respond to and recover from emergencies.”

To get the engagement with the public underway, the province released a discussion paper on Monday seeking comment from the public. Among some of the themes that the document explores and is seeking feedback on are proposed changes that would:

Encompass all stages of emergency management — mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery;

Reflect a shift from disaster response to managing and reducing disaster risk;

Include an all-of-society approach where emergency management is a shared responsibility of individuals, governments, communities and private and non-profit sectors;

Further reconciliation efforts by recognizing First Nations as partners in emergency management;

Put safety first, with the protection of life, health and safety being paramount;

Make sure decisions made under the act and its regulations are transparent;

Include a funding mechanism that is responsive, flexible and disciplined; and

Ensure the act is inclusive and considers the needs of vulnerable citizens.

You can review the discussion document here.

Learn more about how to contribute to the discussion here.

As they look towards modernization of the Act, the Provincial government will also make us of it as a way to further reconciliation with First Nations in BC, something noted by Chief Don Tom, the Vice President of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs on Monday.

“First Nations have been severely affected by floods, wildfires and other emergency events, and it’s absolutely critical that Indigenous rights and community-based needs are reflected in the legislation that guides the response and recovery from those events. We have high expectations that the needs of First Nations will be properly reflected in the emergency management legislation, to ensure the safety of our communities.”

The introduction to the discussion paper includes a message from Minister Farworth which provides further detail to the citizen engagement process.

The case for the modernization is being made through adoption of what is called the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction part of a United Nations initiative that has been adopted by 187 countries including Canada.

As part of her contribution to the roll out of the new initiative, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, who is the Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency preparedness outlined some of her past travels around the province and how the modernization program will call on those events to create a more comprehensive approach to the Act.

“Over the past few years, I’ve visited communities all over the province and met with people dealing with devastating events or preparing for that possibility. It’s important that we continue to work together to learn from prior emergency events and incorporate those lessons to make all British Columbians more resilient in the face of disaster.”

The feedback from the Discussion paper will be accepted by the province until January 31st of 2020.

More notes on the British Columbia Legislature can be found from our archive page here.

CN workers eyeing potential strike for Mid-November

The engine of the Northwest economy may slow to a crawl in November, should the engines of CN Rail slow down owing a percolating labour dispute at the National railway which exclusively severs the Port of Prince Rupert and transits through many of the communities of Northern British Columbia.

The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference released the details of a recent strike vote which was held, with 99.2% of members who voted showing their support of strike action if necessary, with the prospect of any labour action still a bit off in the distance in November with the earliest the workers could hit the picket line on Tuesday, November 19th.

In a statement issued yesterday, Lyndon Isakk, the President of The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference noted with the legally mandated conciliation period having come to an end on Friday, October 25th, negotiations will continue.

“We will continue to negotiate in good faith with Canadian National in hopes of reaching a negotiated settlement. To that end, we will not be bargaining in the press or discussing the sticking points publicly at this time,”

Talks between the Teamsters and CN Rail have been ongoing for six months with federal mediators taking part over the last four months.  The next round of talks with the Federal mediators is set for November 12th.

The previous collective agreement came to an end on July 23rd of this year.

The Fairview Container Pot and other terminals around the North Coast
would bear the brunt of any labour disruption at CN Rail next month

CN Rail has not had much to say about the state of negotiations or the prospect of any labour disruption at this point.

For those looking for some encouraging signs on labour issues at the railway, CN did sign a new agreement with the Teamsters earlier this year covering 180 rail controllers in Canada.

The current negotiations involve a much larger component with over 3,000 members with trades such as conductors, train workers and yard workers all awaiting the next step towards the November deadline

More notes on CN Rail operations can be found from our archive page here.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Civic Centre Job Fair set to take place Tuesday in Prince Rupert to help fill Kitimat job openings

A one day job fair set for the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre for Tuesday is looking to help bring employers in Kitimat's percolating industrial scene together with skilled workers in the Prince Rupert area.

S L and B Consultants are hosting the Job Fair which will take place from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Civic Centre.

Of the positions they will be seeking applicants for the focus is on labourers, welders and labourers with experience with welding.

With a number of large scale industrial projects proposed in the near future for the Kitimat area, that community is expected to see a surge in job opportunities and a shift in the local employment picture. 

SL and B consultants have worked with Rio-Tinto Alcan in the past. With much of their focus has been with the aluminum industry and you can explore their work as consultants here.

You can learn more about what the job opportunities are and what is offered at tomorrows event in Prince Rupert.  Those planning to attend should bring a resume and be prepared to be interview on the spot for potential employment opportunities.

More items of interest related to labour issues on the North Coast can be explored from our archive page.

Bottle, Can and Beverage container returnees set to reap more money for their efforts

Prince Rupert's Return It Centre may be particularly busy on Friday
as North Coast residents take advantage of new return rates for
beverage containers under 1 litre

A change in the deposit price for beverage containers is about to make taking your bottles, cans and other containers back a much more rewarding experience.

Last week, Encorp Pacific outlined the new pricing structure for deposit charges and refunds, with the Industry owned, not for profit organization known as Return-It set to increase the deposit for non alcohol beverage containers up to and including 1 litre to 10 cents, a five cent increase from the current rate.

The move is part of an industry initiative to encourage British Columbians to recycle more containers in order to keep them out of local landfills.

"Raising the deposit value will provide additional incentive for consumers to return their beverage containers. B.C. is already a leader when it comes to protecting our environment and being at the forefront of industry product stewardship. The increase we are announcing today is an important step forward to optimize our system and increase recovery rates." -- Allen Langdon, President & CEO of Return-It.

As of this Friday, the new charge of 10 cents per container will go into effect at wherever you purchase your beverages, the increase will cover all ready-to-drink beverage containers containing soft drinks, juice, water, energy and sport drinks up to and including 1 litre in size.

At the same time, those returning their bottles to their local depot will receive the ten cent refund when they recycle them at the Return-It facility.

Deposits for beverage containers in the Return-It system that are above 1 litre will not be impacted by  the latest announcement.

Learn more about Friday's changes here.

With Federal election over, UFAWU-Unifor continues forward with calls for Disaster Assistance for North Coast fisheries workers

North Coast fisheries workers are urged to drop by the Fishermen's Hall
to make sure they have contributed their letter for action on the
call for Disaster Assistance for the region

They may not know who to address their letters to yet, but as the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau prepares to get to work with a minority mandate, the leaders of UFAWU-Unifor are urging local members of the fishing industry to sign on to the letter writing campaign calling for disaster assistance for local workers.

The union issued the call to workers through its Facebook page over the weekend, observing that the initiative is for all workers union and non union alike and not just those from UFAWU, with completed letters to be forwarded to the offices of the Minister of Fisheries and the Minister responsible for Employment Insurance.

Jonathan Wilkinson who held the Fisheries portfolio in the last session was re-elected in his Vancouver area riding last week, though it's not known at the moment as to whether he will return to that post in the upcoming cabinet for Prime Minister Trudeau.

Mr. Trudeau is expected to introduce his new cabinet next month, with the swearing in ceremony set for November 20th.

UFAWU-Unfior will also be looking to the new MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley to make sure their voice is heard in Parliament and that the many issues of the North Coast fishery remain on the radar of the Federal Government.

North Coast fisheries workers will be looking to new
MP Taylor Bachrach to take their concerns to Ottawa
when Parliament resumes following last weeks election

NDP candidate Taylor Bachrach was elected to Parliament one week ago, and he has been kept up to speed on many of the issues thanks to his trips to the North Coast during the campaign and from the Election forum that was hosted in the community in October.

Learn more about the UFAWU-Uniform campaign from the union facebook page.

For more items of note related to the North Coast and Southeast Alaska Fisheries see our archive page here.

Prince Rupert Transit set to transport Trick or Treaters for FREE on Thursday night

It's a free ride for trick and treaters on Thursday as the City of Prince Rupert
and Prince Rupert Transit offer free bus rides from 6 to 9 PM

The haunting of Prince Rupert will come from all directions on Thursday as Prince Rupert Transit joins in on the Halloween fun, offering Free Transit from 6 to 9 PM on the 31st.

The initiative was announced last week with the City of Prince Rupert and BC Transit joining up to offer the three hour free ride, as well to help move the city's trick and treaters to and fro the service will operate on a Friday schedule, with a number of additional trips in the evening.

The most popular route will be that serving the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre where the 32nd Annual edition of Hallowe'en Fest is set for a 6PM start on Thursday.

Learn more about their plans here.

For more items of interest related to transit service in the region see our Highway 16 archive page.

More background on Community events in the region can be explored from our archive page here.

Civic Centre to serve as a most Spooktacular venue for 32nd Annual Community Hallowee'en Fest

All ghosts, goblins, superheroes and other assorted costumed trick and treaters will be making their way to the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre on Thursday evening, with Games, prizes and treats for those that take in the annual event.

The Civic Centre event takes place from 6 to 8 PM with many returning favourite activities from years past and some new ideas as well. Admission to the event is free, but if you wish you can offer a donation to help reduce the cost of the annual event

The final preparations continue to line up all the events, with the twin highlights of the night the costume parade at 6:15 and then the annual fireworks display set for an 8:15 appearance in the sky over the golf course with Mount Hays serving as the backdrop for the display of local pyrotechnics, weather permitting of course!

In addition to the Civic Centre events, the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre will also be hosting events with a teen swim set to take place from 7 to 10 PM.

The 2019 edition of Hallowe'en Fest comes together with help from a range of local services and businesses, included in the list of those lending a hand or financial support are:

Prince Rupert RCMP
Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue
City of Prince Rupert
Many of Prince Rupert's Service Clubs and volunteer organizations
Save On Foods, Canada Safeway, Via Rail, Northern Savings Credit Union, The Northern View, Canadian Tire (Terrace) as well as a number of local businesses.

As always, volunteers are what have helped to make the event the long time fixture it has become, ad the call is out for help for Thursday's event.

If you have some time to help out, call 250-62GHOST (250-624-4678) to see what they need and how you can fit into the night's events.

This year Prince Rupert Transit is helping to get trick and treaters to their destination, with Free Transit to be offered from 6 to 9 PM on Thursday.

Learn more about the service here.

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