Wednesday, September 30, 2020

An increase in cases of COVID and a reminder to remain kind to each other the focus for the Wednesday COVID-19 report

A jump in daily case counts, holding firm on the number of passings on the day and a slight increase in the number of active cases made for the background to today's COVID 19 update from Public Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry

 “Today, we are announcing 125 new cases, including one epi-linked case, for a total of 9,138 cases in British Columbia. 

There are 1,284 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,202 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 7,591 people who tested positive have recovered. 

Currently, 72 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 21 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation."

There were no new deaths to report today, with British Columbia having seen the families and friends of 234 patients mourn those who have passed since January.  

3,340 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 4,658 in the Fraser Health region, 208 in the Island Health region, 533 in the Interior Health region, 312 in the Northern Health region, an increase of three from Tuesday

87 cases of people with COVID have been recorded in those who reside outside of Canada.

Doctor Henry noted of the strain that the long lasting effort towards COVID is taking on all British Columbians, calling on them to remain kind and generous in spirit during these current times.

“COVID-19 has required all of us to change how we work, go to school and spend time with friends and family. This has put an emotional and mental strain on everyone. 

Despite this added obstacle, people across B.C. have risen to the challenge with compassion and determination to help keep our curve where we need it to be. 

While the ongoing focus is not always easy to maintain, now is the time to keep going – to continue to support and care for each other through the efforts we make. 

Take a moment to thank the people at your local grocery store, reach out to your elderly neighbour to help with their garden cleanup or send a note to a friend that you haven’t seen for a while. A small kindness is good for us all. 

Let’s protect our communities by choosing to do our part every day. This is what will keep us strong and allow us to get through the COVID-19 pandemic.”

You can review the COVID-19 report for Wednesday 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, those past advisories  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 

Harbour Debris Society to host virtual AGM session on Friday

A Harbour Debris burn fro years past
the Prince Rupert Harbour Debris Society
hosts its 
AGM this week online
(Photo PRPA FB page)

The Prince Rupert Harbour Debris Society, the local organization that works towards reducing the dangers to navigation in area waters is hosting it's Annual General Meeting this Friday afternoon, with a virtual session set to start at 2 PM.

The Society will be making use of the Microsoft TEAMS program to conduct the meeting, which will review past work and plans for harbour and waterway remediation for the year ahead.

Most know the group from their giant burns each year, where the accumulated debris is destroyed in a safe and responsible manner. The burn usually takes place one a year, with only natural materials burned off.

The Society gains funding through local marine related businesses and services and has receive support from the Prince Rupert Port Association, along with in kind services towards the annual clean up.

To learn more about this Friday's AGM contact for more information.

Some past notes on the previous work of the Society can be found on our Prince Rupert Port Authority archives as well as our Community Notes page.

Kitimat RCMP join Terrace RCMP in providing for public updates on calls for service

Following the lead of the Terrace Detachment and its ongoing work on providing public information when it comes to Policing, the Kitimat RCMP have now introduced their own Calls for Service Report to the detachments website.

The updates provide residents with a glimpse into some of the challenges that the local members see during their time on watch, something that is useful for residents to understand where attention may be needed and to help smother some of the unfounded rumours that can percolate.

A useful bit of information for Kitimat residents
comes by way of an RCMP Service Call Update

(click to enlarge)

The Terrace Detachment has had their Service Report listings in place for a few years now, regularly updated to keep the residents of that city informed.

You can review both below

Terrace RCMP website
Kitimat RCMP website

The online background is in addition to the frequent updates that RCMP members provide for the city councils for both communities, with senior RCMP officials regularly providing a review of policing issues and concerns for the elected officials in Terrace and Kitimat as part of their public regular council sessions.

City Councillors in Prince Rupert don't seem to share that interest in seeking such information, or at least if they do receive it, in making it public. 

The appearance of RCMP officials at Council is mostly a once a year invitation if that, with the Council members for the most part content to receive the RCMP's notes, with few follow ups.

The last public session which featured a member of the Prince Rupert detachment came in December of 2019, an appearance which at that time brought to an end a two year gap between appearances.

Council's take away following Policing report: Prince Rupert remains a Safe Community
Results from RCMP updates only as successful as the Questions asked

Since that December session,  City Council has received delegations from the public and heard concerns from residents over a number of themes from wildlife incidents, to downtown social issues that perhaps could make for some informative discussion topics should they wish to invite the local members of the detachment back for a visit.

Council would seem to have the time to fit more frequent updates into the schedule, what with some recent council sessions lasting less than half an hour, 14 minutes in the case of the only meeting in September.

In January of this year Council did review a new project called the Situation Table program, which is designed to take the pressure off front line responders when it comes to social issues; though Council has not provided for an update on that program and whether they have gone ahead with it or if it is still in the planning stages.

The Prince Rupert detachment has not as of yet adopted the online opportunities that have been taken up further inland with the Detachment Service Reports; with the local RCMP website used much less frequently for information sharing on the North Coast than it is inland.

To follow what updates we do receive and to follow other themes of the work of Emergency Responders across the Northwest see our archive page here.

Nominations announced for November Nisga'a Election

Residents of the Nisga'a Nation will head to the polls on November 4th, with a range of choices to make when it comes to leadership and regional office holders for the Nisga'a Lisims Government.

Yesterday, the full list of those looking to seek office was released, with five candidates seeking the Presidency of the Nation, a vote which will see current President Eva Clayton facing a challenge from four other nominees.

There are a number of other office holders to be elected as well during the November election, with positions including Secretary-Treasurer and Chairperson for Council or Elders part of the vote.

The villages of the Nisga'a Nation also will host campaigns for office this year, as well as those who represent Local representation in Nisga'a Urban areas.

For the North Coast, the local representative race for Prince Rupert/Port Edward will see three candidates on the ballot, with incumbents Clifford Morgan and Juanita Parnell facing a challenge from Farley Stewart, the North Coast sends two representatives to the NLG.

The other Urban areas include Terrace and Vancouver which also have two seats each available with large list of candidates seeking office.

You can review the full list of candidates for all positions here

Last week we took note of some controversy over the upcoming vote, with a number of Nisga'a residents signing a petition to suspend the election until next year, though with 547 names signed to date, to this point it does not appear that the petition organizers have had much success in having that suspension put in  place.

For more notes related to events in the Nass Valley and for the urban Nisga'a in the Prince Rupert area see our archive page here.

Time to prepare for the Shift into Winter as Winter Driving regulations start tomorrow

The Days of winter driving are not too far away!
Above is the Kwinitsa stretch of Highway 16 from
January of this year

With the turn of the calendar page from September to October, motorists across the Northwest will have to make a shift of their own, preparing for the Shift into Winter and the challenges that winter driving can bring for those travelling the highways of the region.

As of tomorrow, Thursday, October 1st, those travelling beyond the Port Edward turnoff will be required to have winter snow tires on their vehicles, with additional requirements in place for commercial drivers as well.

The Ministry of Transportation has a helpful guide to the transition towards winter driving as part of their Shift Into Winter Program, with a range of material to help prepare us for whatever it is that Mother Nature may have planned for the next six months or so.

For those travelling this fall and winter, the first glance at the road ahead can come from a range of online sources, which provide up to date road information and alert motorists to any hazardous situations or road closures if required.

Drive BC website
Drive BC twitter
Drive BC NW twitter

Those listings also include the growing list of highway camera locations to give you a glimpse towards what you may be driving into, on our right hand side of the blog we have also listed the Northwest cameras from Prince Rupert into the Bulkley Valley for easy access.

Further items related to the Shift into Winter can be reviewed here.

More notes on Transportation across the region can be found from our archive page here.

Orange Shirt Day 2020 builds on reconciliation across British Columbia and in Prince Rupert

Another step towards reconciliation comes today as staff and students in Prince Rupert, at the elementary, secondary and college level observe Orange Shirt Day. 

This year marking the seventh commemoration of awareness sharing of the harm of the Residential School program of the past.

First observed by Indigenous leaders in the Williams Lake region, the day commemorates the history of Phyllis Webstad, a residential school survivor of St. Joseph Mission Residential School in Williams Lake.

Her story of the day that School officials took away her Orange shirt, leaving her to feel as though she no longer mattered has built the foundation for the awareness raising that has progressed since 2013.

The day serves as a way to look back at our history and how the Residential School program created pain and harm for Indigenous people, offering a path forward towards our work on further reconciliation.

Towards further understanding. Ms. Webstad and Joan Sorley have developed a 156 page book that will help to educate students on the history of residential schools, its designed for students at Grade Five and above, but makes for an excellent resource work for parents and the general public as well.

Next week, Coast Mountain College will be hosting an online Brown Bag Lunch presentation with Phyllis Webstad, providing an opportunity to learn more about the Residential School system and the creation of Orange Shirt Day. That presentation takes place Monday from Noon to 1PM, learn more about how to join in on it here.

At SD52 Wap Sigatgyet has posted some resources to seek out for Orange Shirt Day 2020, the focus is on reading material, as well as video and spoken word projects which add to the story so far.

More on the province wide observance of Orange Shirt Day can be explored from the organizations website and Facebook page.

In Prince Rupert you can follow the progress of Orange shirt Day through the SD52 Social media feeds of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Coast Mountain College themes on the day can be explored through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well.

For a look at Aboriginal Education in Prince Rupert visit the Wap Sigatgyet page part of the SD52 website

Further notes on education in the Northwest can be found from our archive page here.

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach calls for action on stalled internet access for rural Canadians

The lack of progress when it comes to connecting many rural areas of Canada to the online world made for the theme of a contribution to Tuesday's House of Commons work, with Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach raising the issue during Question Period.

Speaking towards the end of the daily opportunity to raise issues of concern, Mr. Bachrach made note of past government promises towards connectivity and how the timeline towards connecting communities is not moving very fast. 

Of note for the Northwest, Mr. Bachrach called particular attention to the ongoing delays for Haida Gwaii and other areas of the region and the issues that it is creating for those who rely on the internet more and more these days.

"Many rural residents in the Northwest can’t work remotely because they don’t have good enough internet. They can’t go to school online. And they can’t access government services. It’s unacceptable during normal times but even more during a crisis. "

You can review his Q and A with Liberal Cabinet Minister Maryam Monsef from his Facebook page here.

Prince Rupert's CityWest is part of a partnership with the Strathcona Regional District on Vancouver Island that is developing the Connected Coast project to significantly expand Internet access for the North Coast, Vancouver Island, Central Coast and Haida Gwaii.

Towards the project, the City of Prince Rupert owned communication company has created a new company, CityWest Connected Coast Network Corporation which will be its focus for the project; though little has been outlined by CityWest to date, as to how that company will be structured and what investment CityWest will be making towards setting it up.

 When it comes to progress for Connected Coast, as we noted in late August, the path to a start for the project has been somewhat slow in moving forward. 

So far there has not been much in the way of detail provided as to timelines for construction and when those looking for improved internet connections may realize the much anticipated arrival of improved and reliable service.

The latest updates for the Connected Coast plans can be explored here.

For more items of note from the House of Commons see our archive page here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

105 cases on the day, decline in active cases but one new death make for Tuesday's COVID report

The daily case reports of COVID from Dr. Bonnie Henry, crossed over the 100 case mark today, though active cases did make for a decline on the day, though sadly on additional death was recorded in the Lower Mainland area.

The Province's top public Health official relayed a range of data, as well as some thoughts on how British Columbians may approach Thanksgiving this year.

"Today, we are announcing 105 new cases, including three epi-linked cases, for a total of 9,013 cases in British Columbia. 

There are 1,268 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,337 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases and 7,485 people who tested positive have recovered.  

Currently, 69 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 20 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation. 

There has been one new COVID-19 related death in Fraser Health, for a total of 234 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Across the province there have been to date, 3,286 cases of COVID-19 reported in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 4,594 in the Fraser Health region, 206 in the Island Health region, 531 in the Interior Health region, 309 in the Northern Health region and increase of six from Monday. 

87 cases of COVID have been recorded in people who reside outside of Canada.

With Thanksgiving coming up in early October, Dr. Henry observed that smaller is better and that a virtual celebration may be the best option as we look to reverse the current direction of the COVID curve.

“We have had to change our special celebrations and gatherings to keep the people we care about safe. This same approach is how we need to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. Rather than travelling to see friends or hosting a large family dinner, make it small this year and plan to connect virtually instead.  

Although this may not be what we want to do, let’s not lose sight of the fact that by making these sometimes difficult choices now, we will be healthier and stronger tomorrow. By choosing to stay home and stay small, we are reducing the potential for transmission of COVID-19 and protecting the people in our family and community who are most at risk. 

Keeping a safe physical distance, visiting from afar, using our layers of protection and always remembering our safety basics is how we show we care. Let’s do the right thing and support those around us to do the same.”

Today also saw the Province of British Columbia extend the State of Emergency in the province and taking the provisions  in place forward until October 13, 2020.

 You can review the COVID-19 report for Tuesday 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, those past advisories  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 

Port Edward refreshes the rules on garbage collection

The District of Port Edward has provided a reminder for residents on some of the protocols in place towards the collection of garbage, advising on some of the changes both in print and through social media.

Included on notices that were handed out yesterday was a reminder on the two can limit, weight restrictions and the need for the use of proper containers for the storage of your household garbage.

The notes on loose garbage are a timely thing, with the Fall winds set to arrive and the prospect of any unsecured garbage flying across the town site probably an unappealing one.

More background on the rules and some of the growing community comment that has followed the advisory can be found here.

For more notes on items of interest from the District see our archive page here.

Return-it BC introduces new unified deposit for all refundable beverage containers

Prince Rupert's Return-It Depot on Third West may
be a busy place for the next week as new unified 
deposit returns go into effect

As October looms just over the horizon, you may want to collect whatever beverage containers you have and get them into the Return-it Centre on Third Avenue West in Prince Rupert. 

That way you can take one last advantage of 20 cent deposit returns, with some items set to a return to a ten cent pay out starting October 1st.

The Return-It program outlined the changes last week for its customers, noting that containers that previously carried a 20-cent deposit, such as plastic, glass, and gable top containers over 1 litre in size, will switch to the new unified 10-cent deposit. 

By having one unified deposit for all beverage containers – regardless of the size - will simplify the overall system and make it even easier for consumers to recycle all their beverage containers. 

Consumers will have until October 11th to return beverage containers purchased before the the deposit change of last year, after that date consumers will be charged the unified deposit rate of 10 cents for all containers covered by the Return-it system.

With the date for the change to the new system only days away, you may anticipate a bit of a congested sorting depot for the next week, as wise Rupertites cash in on their investments.

More on the move to the unified pricing structure can be explored here.

Further Community Note items can be found from our archive page.

Northwest ski hills making plans for ski year ahead in times of COVID

It's almost time to dig into the slopes with the 2020-21
Ski season focused on COVID-19 requirements

(photo from Shames Mountain FB)

The arrival of Fall means that winter is not far behind and with it the launch of the 2020-21 Ski season, one which will see some changes to how ski enthusiasts hit the slopes. 

Through the month of September both Shames Mountain and Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers have been putting the finishing touches on the COVID-19 planning, rolling out the details in recent days for those looking ahead to the ski year.

Terrace based Shames Mountain outlined their blue print last week with a Social media post on their Facebook page, which provided some background to their protocols.

The full review of the Shames Mountain COVID protocols can be explored here

As for the season ahead, September has also been the month of the Early Bird Sales and with September 30th but one day away, time is ticking away on the Shames deals for Early birds.

Learn more about their packages here.

Catching some air at Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers
(From Hudson Bay Mountain FB)

Much the same kind of planning is underway in Smithers, where the management of Hudson Bay Mountain has also put together their COVID-19 policies for the year ahead.

You can review their policies here.

The Bulkley Valley Ski destination also has their own pre season savings programs underway and you can learn more about those options here.

As we get closer to your opportunities to shred some snow, we'll keep up on any changes or new additions to the ski season planning through our archive page here.

Sports: Skiing Notes for the Northwest for 2020-21

Our Archive page for events and items related to skiing in the Northwest.

Shames Mountain Website  (Terrace)


Hudson Bay Mountain Website (Smithers)


Skeena Cat Skiing and Boarding (Hazelton)


2020-21 Ski Season


December 28 -- Shames Mountain Rains make for preparations to mitigate issues later this season NCR


November 19 -- As the snow begins to stick, Shames Mountain prepares for a most unusual season ahead  NCR


September 29 -- Northwest ski hills making plans for ski year ahead in times of COVID  NCR

Cross Country or other ski/snow board related events


Archives from past years

Prior to 2015

You can check our latest information from our right hand Sports Columns location .

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

New Search and Rescue aircraft begins to roll in for RCAF

Shiny and new are almost ready for service, air crews from
CFB Comox are now training on the newest acquisition for the
RCAF, the Airbus Kingfisher SAR aircraft

(photo from Airbus)

Sometime in the future, hopefully just for show and not for service, residents of the North Coast may see the newest addition to the Fleet of the Royal Canadian Air Force, with the military taking possession of the first of their new generation of Search and Rescue aircraft.

The new aircraft, known as the Kingfisher is part of a growing list of procurement for the military, with the new SAR plane set to replace the workhorses of Search and Rescue in Canada of the Buffalo and Hercules, both aircraft which have more than served their time with distinction.

When the roll out of new CC-295 aircraft is complete, the RCAF will take possession of sixteen of the new planes, on an ongoing basis until the fall of 2022. 

Manufactured by Airbus at their facilities in Spain, the value of the replacement and support program is 4.7 billion dollars.

To get a glimpse of what the new SAR craft will offer flight crews,Airbus offered up a tutorial on what the RCAF is getting and its capabilities with this video.

Air crews are now training on the newest planes, with the Armed Forces anticipating that they will be in full service early next year, with a steady stream of planes to come for Comox and other Air bases across Canada.

19 Wing at Comox is responsible for all of the British Columbia coast and responds to Search and Rescue missions and other calls for assistance from the Vancouver Island base. 

Working in concert with local Coast Guard ships and members of North Coast Marine Rescue groups, planes and helicopters dispatched from Comox have been key participants in past North Coast calls for assistance.

You can review the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest from our archive page here.

Rupert Lawn and Garden gain strong reaction for Pumpkin Patch plans

October will bring pumpkins to a patch of the Seal Cove 
location for Rupert Lawn and Garden

With October 10th circled on their calendars, Rupert Lawn and Garden are anticipating a good turn out for their latest community initiative, that being the hosting of a Pumpkin Patch event for families in the Prince Rupert are.

In a note posted to their Facebook page over the weekend the Seal Cove Greenhouse and retail store observed of the strong and positive reaction that their planning has received so far, providing a refresher on what they have in mind for the Pumpkin Patch next month, including the measures that they will have in place as part of their COVID-19 response plan


You can learn more about the October 10th event which takes place from Noon to 7PM, from the Event Page, created by Rupert Lawn and Garden.

In their update of the weekend, Rupert Lawn and Garden also hinted that they are considering another event closer to Halloween, with more to come on that should the move ahead with the plans.

For more notes on community events around Prince Rupert see our archive page here.

Tax Sale project could be blueprint for wider COVID era community engagement for City Council

If the members of City Council are looking for ways to bring such initiatives as the Official Community Plan and other community engagement projects forward during these times of COVID, the may want to just review the rules that they put in place for this years Tax Sale.

The Tax Sale which took place yesterday was shifted to the Civic Centre Auditorium and included a cap in participation at 45 members of the public, along with other COVID related measures such as social distancing, the wearing of masks and collection of contact tracing information.

That may be the approach that Council could make use of to seek out some wider feedback as they move forward on large community themes such as the current OCP program, which recently had the City take bookings for one on one meetings with the Mayor, a project that Mr. Brain had observed recently was well received.

Still, if the Council Members want to get a wider overview of how the community views their plans, a larger in public session might offer them the best feedback and using the Tax Sale planning as their guide may provide the path to follow.

It may require two separate sessions on the same day to accommodate as many participants as possible and provide for a wider  cross section of the public. A process which would see residents interested in attending having to reserve a spot which still might limit the attendance to those accepting of the COVID measures required. 

Council could also offer a work around for those that couldn't get a reservation or have concerns about attending such functions even with precautions in place; that would be by the use of the CityWest community channel, or the City's social media options to stream each session, with both the Civic Centre and Lester Centre both already wired for CityWest stream casting. 

Council could follow up on each session with the use of the city's Rupert Talks portal and YouTube page, providing for rebroadcasts of the presentation and to allow for further comments or questions to get as wide a range of opinion as possible for the initiative.

The ambitious OCP overview is the new centrepiece for the current city council and administration and every opportunity to make the community aware of and to comment on the public record should be a welcome addition to the dialogue.

The theme of adding to the conversation made for a valid comment to one of our stories of last week on Transportation opportunities and the OCP, with one of our readers seeking a wider forum to provide feedback to the city.

The Tax Sale Model with modifications, could also be used for Public Hearings on some of the current and percolating land questions that are being addressed or have yet to be addressed by City Council, something which seems to be a topic that generates quite a bit of interest by the public.

City Council sends PRPA back to the drawing board on proposed Park Avenue Land use
BC Housing plans for Kootenay Avenue set for forward progress tonight

If required, City Council could even shift their Regular Council Sessions to the larger venues to allow for larger attendance and take advantage of City owned CityWest's connectivity until we return to more normal times. 

It may even give Council opportunity to devote more than just a quarter of an hour to civic issues.

Earlier this summer, Councillor Barry Cunningham noted for Council that they needed to guard against letting COVID become a barrier to wider engagement with the public; in their recent Tax Sale the template for such engagement is available for the Council and their senior staff if desired.

If it's good enough for collecting tax revenue, it probably is worth a shot when it comes to a nod towards local democracy and community engagement.

For more notes on City Council see our Council discussion page here

Monday, September 28, 2020

267 Weekend case counts of COVID-19, three additional deaths in BC

Monday's British Columbia COVID review by Dr. Bonnie Henry, provided a data review that found a total of 267 cases of the coronavirus recorded in British Columbia over the course of 72 hours, though the number of active cases in the province declined from the last review of Friday.

"Today, we are announcing three 24-hour reporting periods. In the first reporting period from Sept. 25 to 26, we had 68 new cases, from Sept. 26 to 27, we had 125 new cases and in the last 24 hours, we have had a further 74 new cases. 

These represent a total of 267 new cases, including 10 epi-linked case, for a total of 8,908 cases in British Columbia. 

There are 1,302 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,372 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 7,346 people who tested positive have recovered. 

Currently, 69 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 22 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.  

There have been three new COVID-19 related deaths, one in Vancouver Coastal Health, one in Fraser Health and one in the Vancouver Island Health region, for a total of 233 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic."

Across the province the Break down by Health Authority is as follows:  

3,226 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 4,555 in the Fraser Health region, 206 in the Island Health region, 531 in the Interior Health region, 303 in the Northern Health region, which marks an increase of 14 reported cases since Friday. 

87 cases of COVID have been recorded in people who reside outside of Canada. 

The focus for the message for the day was the need to step back from the temptation to expand our social groups, with a dedication towards lowering the curve where we should be directing our attention to now.

“Public health contact tracing has shown the primary source of COVID-19 transmission continues to be through socializing with others – whether in your home or less controlled settings. That is why we all need to take a step back from our social interactions, see fewer people and travel less right now. 

We have it in our control to push our curve back down. You can make a difference by making safe choices in how you spend time with others. 

All we have to do is look to the many, many restaurants, retail stores, salons and other businesses who have shown us that by using our layers of protection and safety basics, we can keep ourselves, our customers, colleagues and communities safe. 

Let’s take a moment to appreciate our shared successes and use that to fuel and energize each other in the months ahead."

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, those past advisories  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 

11th Avenue East roadwork to continue for a few more days

Detours for eastbound drivers on 11th Avenue East
remain in place as work continues on water main issues
in the area 

Residents of the Two hundred block of 11th Avenue East will have to be patient a few more days, as the City of Prince Rupert extends the end of work date for ongoing infrastructure work on a water main in the area.

Last Tuesday we took note of the work and the impact of residents as it reached the second week of repair and on Friday, the City delivered the news that road restrictions on eastbound travel were going to continue to be in place into this week.

As a result of the work on the city's infrastructure, residents in the immediate area have been on a Boil Water Order since the work began, that advisory remains in place until the work is complete.

For more notes on the city's infrastructure themes see our archive page here.

BC Ferries travellers now navigate a new website in quest of information

BC Ferries has introduced a 
new website for travellers to consult
A new look for customers of BC Ferries now greets those seeking information through the Ferry Corporation's online website, with the new mobile friendly site launched last week.

The bright appearance comes with some enhanced features, as well as with a range of options for travellers to access prior to booking or boarding.

Features of the new website include dynamically generated, real-time daily and seasonal schedules available for all routes, as well as travel conditions at major terminals to provide greater travel certainty. 

Enhanced account management capabilities let customers manage all their bookings in one place, and add, change or cancel bookings with ease on their own. The new trip planner tool helps customers find sailings and calculate fares on any route before travelling. 

 The BC Ferries and BC Ferries Vacations™ websites have been combined, so creating a customized vacation package with hotel and ferry in the same booking is now more convenient. Customers can choose from over 140 hotels and 35 activities in 65 destinations throughout B.C.

For those of us on the North and Central Coasts, as well as Haida Gwaii customers on the Northern routes can now book and pay for vehicle and passenger fares online, including Resident fares. 

On applicable Northern vessels, cabins and seats are also available to book online in advance, on direct sailings. 

Perhaps the most important part of the website, that of the Service Notices is easily found, located on the top task bar, which also features options to consult Schedules and Current Conditions as well as rapid access to any advisories that are in effect.

Today's Service Notice alerts will be of interest to residents on Haida Gwaii looking to access the MV Kwuna, which has cancelled its final sailing of the day, owing to crew rotation requirements.

You can learn more about the new look and what's available here.

For more notes related to BC Ferries on the North Coast see our archive page here.

North Coast dodges full impact of weekend weather, further inland the streams run high however

High water at Shames Creek is one of the visuals of a weekend
of strong winds and heavy rain across the Northwest

(from Prince Rupert Ground Search Rescue FB)

Considering the forecast of late Saturday, the North Coast handled the arrival of a very fast moving pacific front quite well, with the occasional burst of strong winds and periods of heavy rain, but not to the volume that any significant impact was felt around town, at least as far as any reports today would indicate.

While there had been predictions of up to 100 mm of rainfall in the twenty four hour period, officially Environment Canada observed 36.3 mm on Sunday, which we all seem to have weathered well if you will.

There have been some areas of note though from the burst of fall weather, the most dramatic visual coming from the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue group which posted some video to their Social Media stream from near the Shames Creek area last night, offering a glimpse as to how high the rushing water gets to the highway and railway bridges in that area.


The Northwest returns to the theme of precipitation this week, with showers today and then periods of rain overnight and into Tuesday. Things settle a bit through the week with occasional showers, but another pacific front is on the way for next weekend. 

Whether the oncoming weather will reach the need for public alerts from Environment Canada won't be known until we get closer to Friday.

More weather related notes from the Northwest can be explored here.