Sunday, March 22, 2020

Prince Rupert Mayor to bring forward motion on Local State of Emergency at Monday Council session

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain has indicated he plans to bring forward a motion to declare a State of Emergency at Monday evening's Council Session, noting that the situation may be one that lasts a few months.

"It is clear that we will all potentially be living like this for the next few months, and establishing a new system of being within the community is paramount now in order for us all to have clarity in how we should be living our lives during this crisis.

As a small island community in the north, we have a major opportunity to be resilient and as best as possible withstand the detrimental effects of this virus if we are smart and act FAST. 

 I believe we cannot wait any longer to take the localized actions necessary to protect us from what is to come."

In the latest of his Facebook posts, the Mayor outlines that he, the physician's group and the local team within our Emergency Operations Center are working on the details and provisions towards those plans.

That collective is comprised of key emergency personnel stakeholders such as the RCMP, Fire Department, Incident Command, City staff, Northern Health, amongst others.

Among the considerations that the Emergency Operations Centre are considering include:

Measures that take into account  business, industry, essential services, families, children, seniors, vulnerable individuals, the surrounding communities (Lax Kw'alaams, Metlakatla, Kitkatla, Hartley Bay, Dodge Cove, Oona River) and personal lifestyle are being taken into account when discussing which measures are necessary - including current and future Provincial and Federal orders.

Ongoing discussions include a new framework on public access and personal lifestyle, a new framework on travel and transit, a new framework for grocery stores, supplies and deliveries - among other discussions.

The Mayor also notes that, "the Province is doing their very best at handling this situation, however for our context as a rural community in the north additional measures MUST be put in place on a temporary basis to protect our families before its too late. 

 I have also reached out to my colleagues in Port Edward and Haida Gwaii. I cannot speak for them, however it is safe to say we are all moving in the same direction."

You can review his full Facebook post here.

Included in his notes for the day was a letter from Prince Rupert physician Dr. Gillaume Coetzee, as well as other correspondences from other doctors in the community.

The Mayor will provide more details on the new measures on Monday, advising that residents stay home and follow all of the existing provincial directives.

So far, the Mayor's social media forum is the only platform that has relayed his notes on the prospect of a Local State of Emergency, with no links to his commentary available from the civic website, City of Prince Rupert Facebook page or mobile app.

A wider overview of City Council discussion themes can be explored here.

Further information from local officials on the response to COVID-19 can be found here.

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