Monday, May 25, 2020

Positive Weekend case count, measured by sadness of four more deaths from COVID weekend report




The real test for British Columbia probably comes in a couple of weeks, once those who have been socially isolating and distancing through the last few months begin to ease their way back into their public routines and social experiences.

But for the weekend just passed, Dr. Bonnie Henry has some positive results on the case count numbers, with the accounts providing for some encouragement, with but 12 new cases reported over the last 48 hours.

“In the first reporting period through May 24, we had five new cases. In the last 24 hours, we have had a further seven new cases.

This represents 12 new cases since we reported on Saturday, for a total of 2,530 cases in British Columbia.

There are 267 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,102 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 37 individuals are hospitalized, seven of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation."

For the weekend breakdown by Health Authority, the results were as follows.

894 cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,253 in the Fraser Health region, 127 in the Island Health region, 194 in the Interior Health region and 62 in the Northern Health region, that makes for no change for the North since Saturday.

The positive trends however, come with some sad news from more passings in the province.

 “We are saddened to report four new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 161 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of these individuals, as well as to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

As part of their comments today, it was noted that while Hospitals begin to return to their elective surgeries and open up other services, the focus however, remains on attention to COVID and the need for prompt response if needed.

“While scheduled surgeries have returned and other health professions restart their activities, our COVID-19 health response remains in place and will remain at the ready, should the need arise. 

As individuals, we must also continue to do our part. Our efforts are working and we are making progress. People are doing the right thing, following the ‘rules’ for safe social interactions and taking the necessary precautions. 

What is clear for all of us is that our success so far, and our ability to further ease restrictions ahead, relies on our shared commitment and effort. Let’s keep going and keep everyone safe.”

You can review the Monday update here.


The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.

You can learn more about the outbreak from both the Province and the Federal government from the links below:

Federal Government site

British Columbia Government site

The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.

More from  Northern Health can be reviewed here 

You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.

Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, the string of statements that came quickly at the end of the week can be reviewed here.

For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee

Ottawa Observations

Victoria Viewpoints

While some Prince Rupert businesses look to restart, one popular business prepares to shut things down

The shelves will soon be empty at Coastal Fibres as the Prince Rupert
business brings an end to its seven year commercial run

The last few days have seen a number of familiar stores and services begin to relaunch their operations, as Prince Rupert's Commercial sector begins to explore business in a whole new COVID related environment.

And while each day brings notice of new re-openings, for one seven year operation this week marks the end, with Coastal Fibres preparing to bring an end to their retail presence on Third Avenue East.

In a Facebook post from earlier this month, the challenges of operating in the retail environment are outlined, though it does not appear from the themes provided that this is a COVID related closing, but rather one that has been in mind for a bit of time.



The final weekend for their Third Avenue location will be this coming May 29-31, and they note that an inventory reduction sale is currently underway.



You can drop into Coastal Fibres for the last time at 415 Third East in the Cow Bay area of the City.

For more notes relate to the City's Business sector see our archive page here.

SD52 releases School Restart Plan along with results of survey which indicate near 50/50 split for parents on plans to return students to school

SD52 has released the return to school plan for Prince Rupert,
Port Edward and Hartley Bay students and parents/guardians

SD52 has outlined how the BC Education Restart Plan will operate in the Prince Rupert School District, releasing a wide ranging document on Friday that lays out the process ahead for students, staff and educators as schools prepare to re-open on June 1st.

The focus of the Restart follows four guiding principles

Ensure a healthy and safe environment for all students, families and employees 

Provide the services needed to support children of our essential service workers 

Support vulnerable students who may need special assistance 

Provide continuity of educational opportunities for all students

The document provides a detailed look at the established protocols for accessing sites and minimizing risk, among some of the notes:

All sites will have a clear screening process where staff and students are asked if they are sick o External thermometer will be available at all sites if required to detect a fever o Sites will have processes for staff or students leaving if sick o Sites will need locations for students who are unable to return home.

SD52 and schools will communicate with families the importance of students not attending if sick o Families should also let schools know if child is suffering from allergies, to minimize misunderstanding

Sites should not have visitors or volunteers, but if they do, it should be by appointment, Itinerant staff will visit and provide regular service and will adhere to specific site protocols

Sites will have clearly designated staff and student wash areas

Students will bring limited materials to school (backpack, water bottle, etc.) and should not share any materials o Parents should not send students with food that needs to be prepared or heated o Students will access water from the bottle re-fill fountains only.

 PPE, as indicated by the Health Authority, are the least effective strategy in a non-medical setting, are not required, but will be available for First Aid attendants if needed. Other employees desiring to wear PPE may bring their own.

Other elements of the return to school protocols include cleaning and hygiene, measures for physical distancing and when it's not possible for such, what to do in the event of illness and the need for ongoing communication.

As they prepare for the rollout of the return, SD 52 notes of the Provincial procedures in place:

The Government of BC has established that schools in BC must be, at a minimum, offering the following direct service levels by June 1:

K-5 – Part-time 4 days per week on a rotations schedule
6-12 – 1 day per week ESW and priority learners up to 5 days per week as needed.

The Ministry has set school “density “limits of 50% for the K-5 and 20% for 6-12, though districts and regions can propose some variance provided any delivery beyond these requirements must be within guidelines established by the Health Authority.

For SD52 the roll out for rural schools of Port Edward and Hartley Bay will be as follows:

Port Edward currently has seven students and will deliver to all students four days per week with online available one day a week.

Hartley Bay’s 35 students will access staggered in-class instruction four day per week with online available one day per week.

Metlakatla students will not be travelling across the harbour to attend school until further notice and instead will continue on with the online process currently underway.

The School District has also released the results of their Return to School Survey Question asking what Parents/Guardians intend to do on June 1st.

Overall SD52 received 402 responses, indicating a very close split between those planning to send their children to school and those keeping them at home:

202 have said they would send their child to school (51%)
193 have said they would not send their child to school (49%)
6 skipped this question

By elementary School the results were as follows:

Roosevelt: 

We have received 155 responses. 
78 have said they would send their child to school (52%) 
47 have said they would not send their child to school (44%) 
4 skipped this question 

Lax Kxeen: 

We have received 91 responses. 
57 have said they would send their child to school (64%) 
32 have said they would not send their child to school (36%) 
2 skipped this question 

Conrad: 

We have received 67 responses. 
22 have said they would send their child to school (33%) 
45 have said they would not send their child to school (67%)
0 skipped this question 

Pineridge: 

We have received 54 responses. 
38 have said they would send their child to school (49%) 
39 have said they would not send their child to school (51%) 
1 skipped this question

You can review the full SD52 Restart document here.



In addition to that overview, the School District has also provided its Exposure Control plan for COVID-19, that 26 page document provides details on Risk Control and Precautionary measures to be put in place.

It covers a range of topics from risk assessment to Education, Training and resource materials available for staff and administrators.

 You can review that item here.

For more notes on Education in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Seafest to be a Virtual event for 2020

The CitWest float from a past Seafest parade, this year will offer the 
chance for residents to take part in a virtual parade of submitted
video presentations as Prince Rupert looks to celebrate the spirit
of Seafest during COVID-19
(Screen shot from CityWest Community TV)

Seafest will go on, but it will be slightly different and you will have to make your own Kebobs and other favourite treats.

You'll have to find a work around for the traditional food fair atmoshpere
for Seafest this year

With the Prince Rupert Special Events Society having cancelled the annual lead in to summer for the North Coast earlier in the Spring owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, a way to carry on the tradition while holding to proper physical distancing goals has been announced for next month's annual event which would have taken place from June 12-14.

In a post to their Facebook page on Friday,  The Special Events Society has announce plans to join forces with CityWest Community Television to present a Virtual Seafest Parade!



Those who wish to participate in the virtual event are as to submit a video of whatever they would have created had the live event gone forward as usual.

That could be what a parade float would have looked like, the dances or music you may have performed, or Greetings from your business or community organization ...

Towards the virtual event, the new theme for 2020 will be "The Tide is Turning" with your video submissions to be aired on CityWest on Saturday, June 27th at 11AM

And while the date is a little further down the calendar in June than usual, the virtual parade organizers are holding to the traditional start time for the annual Seafest parade.

There are some things to keep in mind as you create your submission:

Do Not Submit any videos containing copyrighted material or songs

Do Not Submit any videos containing content inappropriate for a family friendly parade

Only submit content that you own own and to which you agree to grant PRSES and CityWest all rights to edit and broadcast

Gain the consent of all the people in the video prior to submitting; in the case of minors, gain written consent from a parent or guardian

To submit a video, address it to this Drop Box Folder created for the Virtual parade



You care also requested send an email to seafestmovies@gmail.com to provide background to your submission and your contact information, as well you can make any inquiries you may have to that same email address.

If you're having a bit of parade withdrawal for this year, you can always relive one from the past from the CityWest Community Television Facebook page.

Or you can review our pictorial from 2018.

For more notes on Community Events in Prince Rupert see our archive page here.






Kootenay Avenue site proposed for new 55 unit multi family residential development

Prince Rupert City Council will be asked to review a proposed
housing development for the Kootenay Avenue area tonight.
Give first reading  to a zoning change,  as well as to waive
the requirement for a public hearing into the property in question.

Another piece towards a solution for Prince Rupert's housing crunch concerns will be revealed at tonight's Prince Rupert City Council session.

That as City Manager Robert Long delivers a report and will ask Council for a first reading to a proposed Zoning Amendment for property on Kootenay Avenue.

As part of the  request, the Report will also ask that Council waive the requirement for a public hearing related to the property in question.

A removal of a public engagement step that  may not be welcomed by the residents of the adjoining McCaffrey, or Ritchie street neighbourhood, who will have to make use of an alternative process of expressing any thoughts towards the redevelopment plan.

The applicant will prepare a public information package for distribution in the area, with any comments on the proposed development can be relayed through the Corporate Administrator.

In the report, it's noted that the subject property is located on the west side of Kootenay Avenue between McCaffrey Place and McKay Street with the proposal that Lots 3, 4 and part of Lot 5 be consolidated into one lot.

The remaining portion of Lot 5 will continue to be used for social housing by the owner.

The property is currently zoned as “residential” in the Official Community Plan which is consistent with the proposed rezoning to that of RM2.



As the report observes:

There is a need for, and shortfall of, non-market housing with the City of Prince Rupert and this project would replace 28 existing non-market units with new units and add additional units for a total of 65 non-market residential units. This will be an increase of 37 units.

Mr. Long's report will also make note:

While the applicant has submitted a proposed site plan and building elevations, once the rezoning is granted, the owner would be entitled to change the plans and purse alternative development concepts permitted currently within the Zoning Bylaw. In order to ensure development occurs in accordance with submitted existing plans, Council may require a Section 219 covenant on the property.

It is important to note that subsequent to any adoption of this rezoning bylaw, the application would also require a Development Permit Application and Subdivision.

The City also observes that owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and in accordance with Ministerial order No. 139 that they will seek comments to be submitted to the Corporate Administrator: 

The applicant will prepare a public information package for distribution to the neighbourhood with an invitation for comments to be provided to the City’s Corporate Administrator.

All drawings above come from the City of Prince Rupert Agenda
for tonight's City Council session

In the prospectus for the development, BC Housing highlights how they will be partnering with Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing on the proposed development.

Should they move forward with it, Twenty eight residential  units in five buildings will be removed from the development site, while two relatively newer buildings containing 10 residential unites will remain on the development site. Fifty five new residential dwelling units in the buildings are proposed to be reconstructed on the development site. An amenity building is also proposed for the site that will include indoor and outdoor amenity areas and washroom facilities. 

A total of 65 residential units and amenity building is in the process of being created from the three subject properties. The mix of housing will include town homes and apartment units as well as space for 67 parking stalls.

You can review the full overview of what Council will consider tonight as part of the City's Agenda Package, it starts on Page 40.

For more notes related to this evening's City Council session see our Council Preview here, more notes on the Monday session can be accessed here.

A wider overview of Council discussion themes can be found from our archive page here.






City Council Preview: Monday, May 25, 2020


Depending on whether the Council members may have many questions to ask (or if there are submissions for Committee of the Whole to hear), tonight's Council session could be a fairly short one, with but three items on the Regular Meeting agenda for the night.

Two of the items will be those of reports.

One a Variance report from the City Manager, the other the delivery of the Audited Financial Statements from the Chief Financial Officer.

The the third item of the night will be a Bylaw Report from the City Advisor on the Zoning Amendment Bylaw.

That towards development of parcels of land on  Kootenay Avenue for Multi Family housing.

That final item, will see the City Manager's Report outline a plan from BC Housing and ask the Council members to waive any Public Hearing process; with Council noting that in this time of COVID, the applicant will prepare a public information package for distribution in the area, with any comments on the proposed development to be relayed through the Corporate Administrator.

As we outlined last week, Council has also modified how the Committee of the Whole community engagement process will look during this period of pandemic and recovery.

With no public attendance allowed for the Council session, those with questions, concerns or comments for tonight's gathering can submit them to Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller in writing or, by way of telephone message for relay at tonight's meeting.

According to a post to the Civic Facebook Page; the Council proceedings for tonight will continue on in a remote format, with no public attendance to be allowed at this time.




Those with an interest in tonight's council session can view the Live Feed from the City website. or on Cable Television from CityWest Cable Channel 10/310.

Council members will also return to their often used Closed Council process this evening, as they meet tonight in a Special Closed Session at 5PM, citing three items from the Community Charter as the reason to exclude the public.

90.1 (c) labour relations or other employee relations; and, 

(e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality

 (f) law enforcement, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the conduct of an investigation under or enforcement or an enactment.

Tonight's Closed session will mark the seventh time that Council has hosted a public excluded session so far this year.

You can review the notes of the Agenda Package for tonight here.


**************************************************************************

REGULAR SESSION OF CITY COUNCIL

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

Reports and Recommendations 

Report from the City Manager  related to a Development Variance Permit for a property on Cormorant Road  (See page  6 of the Agenda)

Report from the Chief Financial Officer related to the 2019 Audited Financial Statements (See page  14 of the Agenda)

Bylaws

Report from the City Manager - Re: Zoning Amendment Bylaw related to proposed BC Housing development on Kootenay Avenue (See page 40 of the Agenda)

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

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

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

Our items of note related to the May 25th session can be reviewed here.

While our archive of all sessions for 2020 for Council is available here.


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

City Council Session: Monday May, 25, 2020




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

Regular Session of Council for  Monday, May 25, 2020

Home page and archive of sessions can be found here.

Live Broadcast of session can be found here


Agenda for the Regular Council Session for May 25, 2020

Notice of the Committee of the Whole Session for May 25, 2020

Notice of Closed Session of Council for 5 PM, May 25, 2020

Preview of Council Session for May 25, 2020



Attendance

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



Minutes of Regular Session of Council,  Monday, May 25, 2020
(not available yet)

Video Recording of  May 25, 2020 Council Session 
(not available yet)

City Council Timeline, Monday, May 25, 2020
(not available yet)


**********************************************************************

North Coast Review Items related to the May 25, 2020 Session of Council 

Kootenay Avenue site proposed for new 55 unit multi family residential development
Prince Rupert Council modifies Committee of the Whole Meeting format to accept questions

Further notes, as well as any Media items from other sources for the May 25, 2020 session can be found in our Discussion Points from City Council feature.

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


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Blog Watching: Week ending May 24, 2020

The Province of British Columbia is ready to open the schools and this week parents/guardians and students, as well as school staff members gained a bit more information on what may be ahead.

Two of our most read items of the week had the focus on education as readers explored our notes on a virtual town hall held last week, as well as the SD52 plans for the June launch.

Also gaining a large audience this week, an RCMP update on the investigation into a body which had been discovered last week, with the case file now advanced to that of a homicide investigation.

A pair of items that also caught the eyes of readers included the City of Prince Rupert making some plans to tackle some big projects and a warning from the City on accounts of wolf sightings in the community the last few weeks.

The restart of the British Columbia commercial sector also made for some news this week, and locally a good resource for who was opening proved to be the Chamber of Commerce Social media features.

But when it came to the most read item of the last week, Education captured the most interest, as we took note of a number of Back to School themed items for the week.

Ministry of Education to host Virtual Town Hall on Wednesday Night -- Such was the interest in the BC government's return to School plans for June 1st, that our notes on a Virtual Town Hall this past week topped our listings, as readers explored more on what was planned for Wednesday night. Also attracting a large audience on the same theme this week was the local plan moving forward from SD52.    (posted  May 19, 2020)

That article was followed by:

Terrace RCMP launch homicide investigation after discovery of male last week -- Terrace RCMP expanded on the case file of a body discovered near the city's curling club last week, with the investigation now that of a homicide.    (posted May 19, 2020)

City of Prince Rupert commences with planning for Capital - infrastructure program  -- Some forward momentum on a number of proposed capital projects was seen this past week, as the City of Prince Rupert posted a call for proposals to take on the duties of Owner's representative for the range of projects to be started   (posted May 19, 2020  )

As number or encounters grow, City of Prince Rupert joins in on chorus of wolf warnings -- While Social media has been chronicling the close encounters with Wolves in the area for most of a month now, the City of Prince Rupert provided for its own warning this week, following up on a similar update on the local situation from the BC Conservation Officer Department.   (posted May  22  , 2020)

Chamber of Commerce Social Media making for the commercial services update listings -- As the Restart BC program began to roll out this week, a number of Prince Rupert business owners resumed their operations as well, with the re-openings the Chamber's Facebook Page has become a valuable source of information as to which businesses or services are putting out the Open for Business signs.  (posted May 20, 2020 )

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.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

BC's Active case count of COVID now at 303, only 8 require ICU stay






Saturday's COVID-19 report from Doctor Bonnie Henry continued to relay some positive news on the ongoing efforts on COVID, as well as to outline how tracking any new outbreaks is vital to the response.

10 new cases of COVID-19 provided for some of the narrative, today's numbers adding to the accounts for a total of 2,517 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 303 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,057 people who tested positive for COVID-19 have recovered. Of the total COVID-19 cases, 39 individuals are hospitalized, eight of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation. "

For the breakdown by health authority 890 cases are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,244 in the Fraser Health region, 127 in the Island Health region, 194 in the Interior Health region and 62 in the Northern Health region, that amount the same as recorded on Friday. 

The province also recorded three more passings on Saturday, that a somewhat consistent account for these daily reviews.

 "We are saddened to report two new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser Health region for a total of 157 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends, and caregivers of these individuals, as well as to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Dr. Henry did make note of a new community outbreak that at the Nature’s Touch, a frozen fruit processing plant in Abbotsford, and from that account reinforced how important it is to address those incidents as quickly as possible.

“Finding new outbreaks tell us three things: first, gatherings of any kind, including workplaces, increase the risk of transmission; second, public health surveillance is working to quickly identify new cases; and third, we must continue with our restrictions in Phase 2. 

We are on the right track and must keep going. The faster we can identify new cases, the easier it is to prevent the spread to others. 

In every community in the province, our public health teams – our expert virus hunters – are working to test, trace and track the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. These medical health officers, public health nurses, environmental health officers and licensing officers are integral to our COVID-19 response. 

These teams work together to support us in our businesses and our homes, finding and isolating hot spots, and making sure people get the care and support they need, and do not inadvertently pass the virus on to others. 

The risks of COVID-19 are clear, and so are the steps we need to take to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our elders and our communities. Staying vigilant and taking the necessary precautions at work and with our social interactions will keep all of us safe.”

You can review the Saturday update here.


The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.

You can learn more about the outbreak from both the Province and the Federal government from the links below:

Federal Government site

British Columbia Government site

The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.

More from  Northern Health can be reviewed here 

You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.

Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, the string of statements that came quickly at the end of the week can be reviewed here.

For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee

Ottawa Observations

Victoria Viewpoints

Friday night seismic shuffle West of Port Hardy



A seismically active offshore area west of Vancouver Island rumbled a bit more on Friday evening, with a 5.2 magnitude earthquake recorded just south of Queen Charlotte Sound.

The lates of the quakes in the same are struck at 7:14 PM on Friday, located 151 kilometres West of Port Hardy it had a depth of 10 km.

It was later downgraded to a 4.9 mg event.

There was no tsunami generated by the Friday evening event.

On May 9th a similar sized quake was recorded south of Friday's event.

For more notes on seismic encounters along the Pacific fault of the Northwest see our archive page here.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Double digit increase in Case Counts and reminders on ban on large gatherings part of Friday COVID Report


Dr Bonnie Henry brought another week of work on the COVID response to a close with a report of 18 new cases of COVID-19, the numbers kept the British Columbia totals in double digits for the day.

The overview making for  a total of 2,507 cases in the province  at the moment there are 310 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 2,042 people who tested positive have recovered.

Of the total COVID-19 cases, 41 individuals are hospitalized, eight of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 888 cases in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,236 in the Fraser Health region, 127 in the Island Health region, 194 in the Interior Health region and 62 in the Northern Health region, that amount marks the first increase since Monday when the totals for Northern Health were listed at 60..

The provincial officials also paused to commemorate the lives of three more British Columbians who passed away over the last 24 hours from COVID related illness

“We are saddened to report three new COVID-19 related deaths in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 155 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of these individuals, as well as to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the province moves forward with the BC Restart program, Doctor Henry and Minister Dix made note that restrictions remain place as far as mass gatherings, including Drive Ins, that not something of large concern for most of the Northwest.

“While Phase 2 is now underway, the provincial health officer order restricting mass gatherings to no more than 50 individuals remains in place. Further, the order has been amended to also include no more than 50 vehicles for outdoor drive-in events, with a restriction on the sale of refreshments. 

Anyone attending these events must stay in their cars unless they have to go to washrooms, which must be serviced with running water for proper hand hygiene." 

They also  offered a reminder on WorkSafeBC guidelines in place.

"This week, we have seen British Columbians throughout the province using the WorkSafeBC public health guidelines and the rules for safe social interactions to increase their activities while protecting employees, customers, friends and family. 

This approach – moving slowly, with patience and care – is our way forward. We have made great strides to flatten our curve, and we must continue with our efforts. Let’s keep going, together.”


You can review the Friday update here.



The BC Centre for Disease control has some valuable Coronavirus notes related to COVID-19 you can explore that information here.

You can learn more about the outbreak from both the Province and the Federal government from the links below:

Federal Government site

British Columbia Government site

The World Health Organization website also offers up the latest advisories on the global situation.

More from  Northern Health can be reviewed here 

You can review our archive of past statements and local information here.

Local governments and organizations have also provided for increased awareness of COVID-19 issues, the string of statements that came quickly at the end of the week can be reviewed here.

For notes from across Canada and British Columbia we have been archiving the latest items through our political portal Darcy McGee

Ottawa Observations

Victoria Viewpoints

Prince Rupert Council modifies Committee of the Whole Meeting format to accept quesitons



With Prince Rupert City Council still on a course of hosting their Council sessions in a remote format, they have devised a work around to all for a Committee of the Whole session for Monday evening, one which will provide a forum for quesitons or concerns from the public, by way of email or voice mail.

The public engagement portion of the Committee process will see Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller read out aloud whatever concerns or themes are relayed by the public prior to the Monday night session.

Those who wish to bring a concern or topic of interest to the attention of City Council can contact Ms. Miller by way of the following options:

By email to the Corporate Administrator at rosamaria.miller@princerupert.ca, or by leaving a voice mail at 250-627-0963.

Of note from the Regular Committee of the Whole procedure, your full name and address will be required with your submission. 

All submissions must be received no later than 4:00 pm Monday, May 25th.

The City has posted the information to their Facebook page, along with an advisory posted to the Agenda page from the City Website.



Monday nights Committee of the Whole will be the first session since February, with the Council members having previously cancelled both the March and April public engagement opportunities.

It was a situation of concern that Councillor Barry Cunningham spoke to in late April.

The topic of the Committee of the Whole sessions also made for some conversation at the last Council session of May 11th.

At that same meeting City Manager Robert Long outlined the plan to shift many of the city's administrative engagement with the public to an appointment only basis.

Should there be any submissions delivered to her office, City Council Story Time with Ms. Miller will start at the very beginning of Monday evenings festivities at 7PM.

Council sessions are streamed live on the City website or through CityWest TV Channels 10/310

For more notes related to Prince Rupert City Council see our archive page here.

Chamber of Commerce Board notes need for patience as Prince Rupert businesses make for relaunch



As more and more of the city's business sector begins to return to their stores and provide services once again, the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce Board has noted that many are facing changing times and looking for new comfort zones.

With a call for respect and safety, the Chamber also outlines how feedback is welcome, but to leave the negative commentary aside as the local businesses look to find their way back.

Feedback and ideas are welcome, support and appreciation is welcome, negativity and judgement is not. Also, please know that there are many ways we can show our appreciation to our local businesses through the purchase of gift cards, take out, or shopping during their access hours or online.




As they note, recent weeks has seen the launch of the support local initiative, which offers a chance to gain a 25 dollar gift certificate when the make a purchase at participating merchants, the list of which you can review here.


Yesterday we made note of another initiative to work towards the relaunch for business in Prince Rupert and area, with Tourism Prince Rupert, the Chamber and Love Prince Rupert launching the Support Local Sweepstakes, where you can qualify for a 150 dollar gift card when you tag your photos of your favourite business with the #supportlocalpr hashtag as well as those of the three organizations.

As we outlined on Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce Facebook page has made note of many of its members who have relaunched, you can check out the listings here.

More on the city's commercial sector can be reviewed here.

When it comes to camping in BC Parks this year, residency has its priorities



As British Columbia's Provincial Parks prepare to accept reservations for the 2020 camping season on Monday, one question will loom large for anyone looking for some space.

That being a request for your home address and if it's not one in British Columbia, then there will be no space in the great outdoors for you.

Yesterday it was announced that for 2020 preferential access to provincial camp site spaces will be given to British Columbia residents, with those out of province residents who may have previously booked space now asked to contact Discover Camping for a full refund.

It was also noted that new reservations made after May 25th  found to be made by non-BC residents will be subject to immediate cancellation without refund.

The announcement came by way of a Facebook post  to he BC Parks social media stream


Prudhomme Lake Provincial Park near Prince Rupert 
will be taking reservations from British Columbians only
this summer  that as a new policy in place for 2020

As noted in their update BC Parks is taking a phased approach to re-opening, some of the key notes include:

As of May 14, 2020, many parks have re-opened for day use. The Discover Camping website and call centre will reopen to new reservations on May 25, 2020 at 7am PT. 

Campgrounds, camping opportunities and accommodations will begin to open on June 1, 2020. 

As we work to ensure a positive and safe camping experience for all park staff and visitors, we have made a few additional operational changes for the upcoming camping season: · 

Frontcountry and backcountry reservations will be available on a 2-month rolling window starting May 25th at 7am: - On May 25th, the system will open to arrivals as far forward as July 25th. - 

On May 26th, July 26th arrivals will be released; on May 27th, July 27th arrivals will be released and so on. 

This daily release of inventory will continue until the end of the reservable period in each campground is reached. - Reservations can be made in most campgrounds for a maximum stay of 14 days, subject to availability.

The move to British Columbia resident only reservations, follows similar announcements in Alberta and Saskatchewan, which have both limited use to residents of their respective provinces.

To Reserve a space in a British Columbia Provincial Park see the Discover Camping reservation page.

More notes on tourism in the Northwest can be found here.

Further items of interest from the Legislature can be reviewed here.

Indigenous residents in urban centres and off reserve to gain additional COVID-19 related supports

The Government of Canada has announced plans for additional supports for Indigenous Peoples, addressing concerns that residents of urban areas and those who are living off reserve were left out of previous funding announcements for communities across the nation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the announcement on Thursday, outlining that 75 million dollars has been put towards the new initiative, the funding will be used towards will support for community-based projects that address the critical needs of Indigenous populations during this crisis, including food security, mental health support services, and sanitation and protective equipment.

The funding could also help with other needs, such as support for Elders, transportation, and educational materials for Indigenous children and youth. Funding for projects will start rolling out in the coming weeks.

“COVID-19 is having unique impacts on First Nations, Inuit, and M├ętis across our country. For Indigenous peoples living off reserve, in urban centres, or separated from their communities, it can be even more challenging to access the help they need. We are listening to Indigenous peoples and organizations, and providing them with support to respond to this crisis.” -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Thursday with further funding for Indigenous Peoples

Few details were released with yesterday's announcement as to how the money will be distributed in the Northwest, though it was noted that the programs associated with the 75 million will be rolled out in the weeks to come.

The full statement from the Prime Minister's office can be found here.

There are a number of Indigenous resident who live in Prince Rupert residing in the city off reserve from local communities, other members from local First nations live in many other communities across the province.

For further notes on Federal funding initiatives see our House of Commons archive page.

Planting Party planned for Sunken Gardens this weekend

To look like this requires a bit of work in May, with the
Prince Rupert Garden Club set for their two day planting program
for Prince Rupert's Sunken Gardens this weekend

This weekend makes for planting season for the Prince Rupert Garden Club, with the Sunken Gardens behind the Prince Rupert Court House the location for the annual project that will bring the location to life a bit later in the summer.

With a nod towards our times of COVID, this years event is billed as Social Distancing Planting Party, with the work ahead set for both Saturday and Sunday.

Those looking to lend a hand (and maybe a few tools for the weekend) can drop by starting at 9:30 AM each day to help plant the Garden Beds.



You can learn more about their weekend plans and other items of interest from the Prince Rupert Garden Club Facebook page.

More items of note on Community Events around Prince Rupert can be explored here.

As number of encounters grow, City of Prince Rupert joins in on chorus of wolf warnings



The accounts of wolf encounters appear to be growing, something we noted earlier this month after a stream of Social media posts highlighted the annual Spring time interaction between humans (and their pets) and wildlife, in this case wolves.

Yesterday, the City of Prince Rupert took note of some of that concern, posting a short message to their Facebook page, reminding residents of the natural setting we live in and how it makes for a habitat for wildlife and with it the prospect of encounters.



In recent weeks the Prince Rupert RCMP detachment has been the recipient of phone calls on the issue and Conservation Service Officers have also been called towards addressing the issue.

Yesterday, the BC Conservation Officer Service posted a message on Social Media to warn the public of the increase in wolf activity in the City, noting of the volume of reports on attacks on dogs and cats while observing that the majority of the sightings have been at night and in the early mornings.

As the Conservation Officers note the most often location for interaction that of the golf course or near the BC Ferry Terminal.


In the past they have also noted that residents have a role to play in safeguarding their pets and property, with keeping pets on leashes, avoiding trail areas while walking with them and ensuring that your property does not provide for attractants for any form of wildlife.


If you do have an incident with a wolf or other animal you can make a report to the Conservation office at 1-877-952-7277.

You can learn more about the Conservation Officer service here.

For more notes on the work of Emergency Service providers in the region see our archive page here.



VIA Rail revises date for resumption of Service from Prince Rupert to and from Prince George/Jasper



With CN Rail's infrastructure work on the Northern mainline moving ahead quicker than apparently anticipated, VIA Rail is moving up the date for the resumption of passenger service to and from Prince Rupert.

In an update for travellers from Thursday, VIA Rail outlined a range of service notices, including the following advisory for the Northern BC route.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the owner of the infrastructure (CN) between Prince Rupert-Prince George-Jasper has been performing infrastructure and maintenance improvements which temporarily impacted the available capacity. VIA Rail service offered on this route will however resume in July.


CN has been working on the tracks between Prince Rupert and Prince George for much of the late winter and early spring, included as part of the work is the creation of additional sidings and an increase to double tracking in some locations.

Those improvements may help VIA improve on its travel time between the two communities, with the steady increase to shipments to and from the Port of Prince Rupert, the volume of freight traffic on the northern line has also increased.

Something which often leaves the VIA train idling on sidings waiting for a green light to continue its journey.



The Prince Rupert to Jasper route is part of VIA Rails rebranded program called The adventure routes.

The trains arrive three times a week at the Fairview VIA/BC Ferries terminal at 10:25 PM, the return trip to Prince George and on to Jasper departs from Prince Rupert the next evening at 8PM

The revised date makes for a one month advance on the plan to resume service, which we noted last week.

Service had been interrupted on the route for much of this year, first from the period of rail blockades in the Bulkley Valley area, then as the COVID-19 pandemic brought transportation across Canada to a halt.

You can learn more about VIA Rail service from their website.

For further notes on passenger rail to Prince Rupert see our archive page here.