Friday, December 31, 2021

Blog Watching! The year that was 2021!


For our Blog watching feature for year's end we once again offer up a trio of headings to provide for a glimpse of some of the news highlights of the year soon to end.

Category number one will be the Overall Top story, as determined by the amount views the article received over the course of the last 365 days.

Category Two will feature those stories of note from Prince Rupert City Hall.

Our third category explores some of the key topics of the year from the Business or Industrial footprint in the community.

All of our results have been determined by the viewer count for the stories through the year.

At the bottom of each section you will also find links to additional blog resources to review themes in more detail, listed by the month.

Our Lists of the year, unfold as follows:

Overall top stories

2021 was a year which was obviously dominated by COVID-19 once again, the never ending coronavirus making for sadness for some, challenges for many, as it continued its course around the world for a second year, now heading for a third.

It once again left popular festivals cancelled, the shared experiences of gatherings banished from time to time and saw hopes of an end rise and fall, with a new variant Omicron to take us into new and uncharted waters.

Still, life did move on, whether with local politics or provincial and Federal, our industry continued to operate though with new measures in place.
As it was in 2020, among the hardest hit by the path of the coronavirus were the business and tourism sectors, with many operators having their legs pulled from under them as the range of protective measures rolled out, a range of restrictions took root and customers and visitor numbers declined.

Our look at how the months unfolded can be reviewed below:

Most Read -- All Inclusive


Prince Rupert hears of its first death owing to COVID, with passing of Acropolis Manor resident 


Two more passings reported from Acropolis Manor, brings to twelve the number of COVID-19 related deaths since Mid January at the long term care facility in Prince Rupert 


Prince Rupert to receive staged community-wide COVID-19 vaccination program starting March 15th


Prince Rupert District Teachers Union raises concerns over budget uncertainty and potential for layoffs


Guidance on second COVID shots leaving Prince Rupert residents somewhat confused 


Prince Rupert RCMP release details and background to police pursuit along Highway 16 on Friday


Prince Rupert's signature downtown building to change hands


City of Prince Rupert sets August 23rd for Public Hearing on proposed Apartment complex for 11th Avenue East


PRDTU survey notes of concerns on classroom overcapacity, union hails goals of better transparency from SD52 board


Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner denies City of Prince Rupert's quest to Not Release Body camera footage of August 2019 dog incident 


Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce finds right fit for Executive Director Post from within Board of Directors


City's Snow Strategy leaving some residents wanting

See our right hand column feature North Coast Review Backgrounders for links to archives of the year on a range of topics of note for the region.

Also as part of our right hand column options we have a North Coast Review Extra Edition feature which offers more in depth reviews of some of the larger issues of the Northwest this year.

Tracking the year in politics is fairly easy as well from our right hand column listings as well, just check out our archives for both the House of Commons and Legislature for items of note from the North Coast and Northwest in 2021.

Those who have deeper interest in the federal and provincial scene will find our companion blog D'Arcy McGee of interest, where we have archived notes from both Ottawa and Victoria.  


Municipal government

COVID continued to have an impact on municipal governance in Prince Rupert, the measures towards coronavirus making for a mix of remote appearances and in Chamber sessions, but continuing to make for a diminished access to City Hall and council proceedings as they City Council continued to roll out its COVID response.

The provincial measures also meant for limited opportunity for public engagement on some of the larger files and presentations, while COVID was noted in a number of areas as providing for a financial hit on revenues and expenses in 2021.

What municipal themes caught the interest of the readers through the year looked as follows:

Most Read -- Municipal Government


Parking analysis and recommendations for changes part of tonight's Council session


Prince Rupert Council to consider Temporary Use Permit for area of land near Miller Bay


Petition looks to stop progress on rezoning for 11th Avenue Housing proposal


Council hears call for approval of 11th Avenue Housing plans


April's Lax Kw'alaams Housing proposal presentation for 11th Avenue East is now available online


A can of worms ... and other conversation starters


Latest element of Prince Rupert vision planning out for Bids as Gateway project comes into focus


City of Prince Rupert sets August 23rd for Public Hearing on proposed Apartment complex for 11th Avenue East


Some of City Council's Priority list may not match up with that of Prince Rupert residents


Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner denies City of Prince Rupert's quest to Not Release Body camera footage of August 2019 dog incident 


Meet you at Eat Street Square


City's Snow Strategy leaving some residents wanting

Our archive of the year on the Municipal scene includes the following elements:

Council Discussion Topics



As it has for a number of years now, Port development once again dominated much of the year's industrial review, with the container terminal expansion plans framing much of the discussion this year.

Among some of the other port related items that grabbed attention on the year, plans for another terminal on Ridley Island for the Dutch shipping giant VOPAK, the start of work on the Wolverine Marnie Fuelling terminal as well as  the ever closer completion of the Fairview-Ridley dedicated access route and the ports own development plans for Ridley Island all made for much followed items of note for the year.

Some of the stories of the year are as follows:

Most Read -- Business/Industry


Air Canada set to suspend air service to Prince Rupert: report 


Hopes for a little speed dating for Prince Rupert ... as Online worker/resident recruitment program launches


November 30 target for Prince Rupert Port Authority for removal of Fairview Bulk Liquid Storage Facility


Wolverine Terminals advises that Construction period underway for Fuelling Terminal on city's westside

For more background on the region's industrial and commercial sector see the following:

Industrial Archive

To all our readers, we hope you have a very happy and enjoyable New Year's Eve as we all provide our own farewell to an unforgettable twelve months of 2021. 

We offer our wishes for all the Best in 2022. We're looking forward to seeing what stories will be the ones that resonate through the year when we do this all again on December 31st, 2022!!!

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching for the year now ending can be found here

Vaccine invite acceptance level leaves Health Officials puzzled: Province provides for final COVID update for 2021

Health Minister Adrian Dix, Public Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry and Dr. Penny Ballem, who has the lead on British Columbia's vaccine rollout program hosted their final information session of 2021 this morning. 

A 10 AM session that looked the challenges of 2021 and put much of the focus on the vaccination program moving forward in January.

"I know that many of us are fatigued it has been a long road for us and another year of challenge, and COVID-19 has proven to be a difficult burden and an ever-changing burden for us. 

We have lost parents, friends, grandparents. We've faced isolation and separation, but through all of that we have found ways to connect and support each other. Even though it had disruption of things we enjoy in life, from arts to sports to music. 

Despite these hardships through what are highly effective and safe vaccines combined with the efforts of everyone, we have, without exaggeration saved many, many lives" -- Doctor Bonnie Henry at today's information session

The success of the first and second dose program made for some of the data review from the session, as well as a look towards the vaccine program for children and for the third booster shots.

Towards the oncoming crush of Omicron Doctor Henry noted:

"But what we are seeing right now, is once again this virus has changed and as we've talked about in the last two weeks, it has changed to become more infectious it is spreading rapidly in our communities and we see that reflected just in the numbers of people who are tested and the numbers who are positive ... For those people who are vaccinated it is mostly causing mild illness and that is a good thing but with rapid increasing in numbers we are also facing challenges. 

We are facing challenges in people being off work because of illness and that is stretching some systems, it's stretching our health care systems and we know now that we can spread this rapidly even with very mild symptoms. "

In the health care sector, Doctor Henry observed of the impacts on the provincial health care system and that of Long Term Care, that making for the lead in to a new measure, that will restrict visitors to Long Term Care facilities to those who are only essential visitors only, that as a move to decrease the number of visitors to better protect the Seniors and Elders. 

That measure will be re-evaluated on January 18th.

The Booster Vaccination Program, which is being administered by Doctor Penny Ballem, took most of the  spotlight for the remainder of the presentation, with Doctor Ballem providing the snapshot of the approach ahead to roll it out over the next few weeks.

"You know I think it's a remarkable feat that we continue to increase the numbers of fully vaccinated British Columbians, we're up to 92% of our province has been vaccinated with dose one, of those who are eligible and 89% dose two, is a remarkable achievement and to Doctor Henry's points, is actually providing us very significant protection against this new phase of the pandemic. 

Since we started our booster program on October 27th, we sent out 1.146 million booster invitations, we've actually provided 905,784 boosters to date, that's up to the end of yesterday ... One of the things if you look at access to appointments for vaccines,  there are 720 locations as of today in British Columbia that are providing vaccinations and that will continue to increase in the coming weeks. 

And there are accessible appointments even this week,  as of yesterday we had another 8,400 slots available for you to get your vaccination before the New Year rings in on Saturday"

For the New Year, Doctor Ballem outlined the work to increase capacity through January and into February to bring it to a conclusion even sooner, noting that as of today there are 240,000 British Columbians with invitations to book an appointment today, who have yet to take the province up on the offer.

The coming weeks could see whole community clinics in plac and an increasing reliance on Pharmacy partners spread around the province, Dr. Ballem noting of the work of the pharmacies to join in on the BC Vaccination network information program, and makes for one point to book an appointment.

As for the booster vaccine rollout the priorities have followed the guidance of the previous dose one and two program,  of those as risk, who are vulnerable due to immuno suppression, because they are elderly or to protect the health care system. 

As well Indigenous communities and those who work in the Health Care system have been among those to gain an invitation as a priority group.

Health Minister Dix spoke the challenges facing the health care system, amid the rising cases of Omicron variant, observing of the steps British Columbians can take to reduce the burdens on the system.

"But our biggest test, this may be as big a test as we have faced though this pandemic. And so we are taking those steps and we need everyone to take those steps. 

To exercise the control we have and the cases numbers rising like this, is a sense of lack of control. But we have control. Control means, this evening limited gatherings, celebrate with the ones you love. 

Control means limited  the gatherings in general, control means staying home when you're sick, control means wearing your mask, control means washing your hands, control means when invited to be vaccinated to book an appointment and to get vaccinated"   

The gap between vaccination invites and acceptances so far, was also a focus for HealthMinister Asian Dix, who urge British Columbians to book their appointments as soon as invited.

"When you get your invitation, book your appointment and get your booster ... this would be a good day, this would be a good day. When you're one of those people in those vulnerable categories, and if you're one of those 240,000 people you're there, because you have vulnerability to COVID-19. 

This would be a good day, the final day of 2021, to book your booster dose and I encourage everyone to do so"

The province has also reduced the period of time for self-isolation  after testing positive to COVID-19 to five days down from ten for those who are vaccinated, people who are infected however, will still be require to wear a mask for an addition five days after leaving self isolation, that when they are around others.

If you're not vaccinated, the full ten day period of self-isolation remains. 

The Q & A session with media reporters covered much of the vaccine rollout program, as well as themes of testing and the current pressures on the health care system.,

You can review that session below:

Locally Northern Health has been providing guidance on the Vaccination program, though if the comments from the Prince Rupert specific Facebook page in recent days are an indication. There may be a need for a more comprehensive information campaign to be introduced in January to share the word on the program in the Northwest.

You can follow the daily updates on COVID from the Province through our archive page here.

New bathtubs and a new design add to the comforts for residents of Prince Rupert's Acropolis Manor

Acropolis Manor care aide/activity
worker Kim Nelson with one of the
improvements for bath time
(photo from Northern Health)
Residents of Prince Rupert's Long Term Care Facility Acropolis Manor are enjoying their bath times a bit more these days and doing so in a safer environment. 

That after Northern Health put some funding from the Provincial Health Authority and medical supplier Arjo to work to redesign bathrooms to bring in some new equipment for the home of many of Prince Rupert's Seniors and Elders.

An update from Northern Health outlines the new features for the three new state of the art tubs that have been installed at the Manor. 

Those new features include:

Lifts to help residents get in and out of tubs more safely. 

Integrated disinfectant dispensing systems to clean and disinfect the tubs and lifts. 

Anti-scalding protection, including a digital temperature display and easy touch controls. 

Temperature- and pressure-regulated mixing valves. 

Automatic hot water shutoff when the temperature exceeds safe levels.

Emergency lowering in case of power outage. 

An increase in maximum weight capacity to 401 lbs.

The care aides at the facility also got into the redesign process,, that as Marcie Garinger, the facility manager hosted a design contest, with Kim Nelson's contribution the one that caught the most eyes.

Following guidelines from DementAbility, the new look features Lavender walls; which according to DementiAbility, make for a calming bathroom colour. 

Also part of the makeover, new wall decals, door, cabinet, wall mirror, and bathmat to make the room feel more like a regular bathroom.

Learn more about the new look at Acropolis Manor from this review from northern Health.

More notes on health care in the Northwest can be explored here.

As the final storm of 2021 makes its way to the North Coast/Northwest, Avalanche Canada highlights backcountry risks for the weekend


As we outlined yesterday, the North Coast and Northwest is in store for a very active weather period to bid farewell to 2021 and ring in 2022, with rain for the coastal regions and heavy snowfall ahead for those inland.

And with that as a preamble, Avalanche Canada has done some forecasting for the backcountry conditions in Alpine areas of our region and while today is a low risk day, as we move towards New Years day that situation is going to change.

Avalanche Canada will issue the next forecast for the coastal an inland regions  at 4PM, you can access those notes here.

More notes on weather themes can be reviewed from our archive page.

As 2021 comes to an end, Vision Plans will mix with re-election plans for Prince Rupert Council in 2022

The final weeks of 2021 traditionally brings the annual remembrances of events and activities for politicians of all levels.

Already on the North Coast this month we have seen an update from  MLA Jennifer Rice as she shared some remembrances of the year soon to end.

On the Municipal side of the reviews of 2021, Mayor Lee Brain provided for a fairly active social media feed prior to the Christmas period, with a string of daily postings on a range of projects put forward in 2021 by Prince Rupert Council.

The final notes from that flurry of announcements, some original, some recycled themes making for a parade of achievement from the to do list on the year as the Mayor and Council viewed them.

The Mayor's work of Christmas week serving as a teaser of sorts of much more to come in 2022, some perhaps to be revealed as part of his New Year's Eve message set to be posted as 2021 comes to an end.

The blueprint for many of the projects comes out of the 2019 Vision making Presentation at the Lester Centre of the Arts, where the Mayor moved forward on the agenda of progress that he has envisioned for the community, that a build out from his days of the Hays 2.0 period of his first term of office.

As things are evolving, many of the items on the checklist will come to fruition just in time for the October 2022 Municipal election, something which will make for some nice photos for the household flyers and social media messaging to come in the lead up to Election Day, if indeed the Mayor seeks a third term of office.

Likewise, considering how they have been lock-step with the Mayor on the program as it has been revealed, the current six council members are very much tied into the Rupert Vision program and will also be closely aligned with it as they consider whether another four years of municipal service is in their future. 

Many of the projects outlined have moved forward with a mixed bag of discussion, some making for conversation and overview in public session more than others.

A few others coming as a bit of a surprise for residents and showing up with little in the way of conversation or any idea if they were universally acclaimed, or if some on Council may have had a few questions to ask behind the closed doors.

Questions to ask, may be a theme that the six councillors may want to work on as a resolution for 2022, far too often the Public Council sessions move by with little in the way of feedback, or questioning by the six councillors of the information presented or the plans that are developed.

The Council members frequently refer to their collective as a team, which while a good thing for collegiality, also seems to have left a few things on the floor when seeking accountability in such areas as increased costs, or delays when such intruding themes come along.

There has been some progress made towards better information sharing with the public, or at least the promise of such.

As the year comes to an end, the Mayor and Council had previously announced plans for frequent updates on Major Projects for the public, something for residents to hold them to as the list of work on the go currently continues. 

Though so far the promised online resource through the City website of a checklist of sorts has yet to be delivered.

As they took to their work in 2021, Council it seems relied a fair bit on the conversations that they have on topics outside of the public council meetings, the location where where the real municipal action seems to take place.

This past year was one which featured 20 public council sessions,  some meetings lasting over an hour, others less than 20 minutes. In some the councillors were very engaged, particularly when it came to those themes they they were passionate about.  

But in many other cases there was little in the way of explanation of the details for the public, or making for a vigorous discussion. 

As well it was a banner year for Closed sessions, with Council closing the doors to the public on 23 occasions.

Considering how they seemingly had the time, the shorter of the public sessions of the last year left much on the sidelines that could have been addressed; had the council members wished to raise some of the themes they surely have heard about through the year from residents.

You can compare the Prince Rupert Council's public engagement footprint with that of some of the surrounding communities of the northwest by reviewing the work of Terrace, Kitimat and Smithers councils over the last year.

Of note from all of the council themes of 2021 and a topic that will continue to generate much interest in 2022 is the state of housing in the community. 

Particularly the lack of affordable housing, already a major issue for the community and  something that once again has become a point of concern following the Angus Apartments fire of this week.

Last year saw a few contentious public hearing periods on proposed housing developments in the community, with the main concern of those who addressed council that of a lack of communication on the plans in motion and the impact of the projects on those already living in the areas to be developed.

City council has revised some of the process of housing engagement and approvals for the community, so time will tell if those measures provide relief in the future for residents, or if they just raise more questions on how City Council approaches housing issues in town.

One thing is certain, there is already a dire need for many more housing units in the community and if the anticipated growth that Council frequently suggests is coming does develop, there will be a need for much much more.

And so far the list of projects of the past considered by this current Council membership that were cancelled, or suspended ... by far out number the projects currently either in development, or under consideration.

You can review some of the housing themes from 2021 here.

A look back at the Council year from 2021 can be reviewed from our Council Discussion archive page here.

As for the Vision plans and the ongoing rebuild of the city's infrastructure those themes can be explored below:

Prince Rupert 2030 Vision Tracker page

Infrastructure and Major Projects

The Council members return to their duties on January 10th, set to begin the journey of the final ten months of their current mandate, with decisions to be made in the months ahead by the current membership as to whether the six councillors and Mayor Brain will seek a return to office.

The next few months will also provides some hints as to whether they will have any competitors for elected office when we go to the election booth on October 15th, 2022

With those on the sidelines over the last few years giving their consideration towards whether a quest for a Council seat, or even a run for the mayoralty is something they wish to take on.

When it comes to the Mayoralty, how the next ten months move forward will determine if Mr. Brain has a free path to another four years as that of 2018 when he was acclaimed as Mayor without any competition; or if there are some members of the community considering making for a challenge to the Mayor's office in 2022.

As the year ahead evolves, we look forward to covering all of the local political scene on the way to Election Day in October. 

A wider overview on a range of municipal themes from 2021 can be reviewed here.

UFAWU-Unifor looks back at the challenges of 2021, sees more ahead for 2022

Commercial fishing vessels making use of the 
City owned Cow Bay Dock this past summer

The union representing the members of the once thriving fishing industry on the North Coast have provided for an end of year message that looks back at a challenging twelve months and observes quite correctly that things will remain much the same for the year ahead when it comes to fishery issues in the region.

UFAWU-Unifor posted their message to members through their Social Media page last week, reviewing the difficulties faced by Fishermen, Tendermen and Shoreworkers, while noting of how they have tackled challenging times in the past and will continue to do so in 2022.

While they resolve to carry on in the New Year, they could use some help from government, with regulations from DFO in the last few years bringing a halt to many fishing opportunities, along with a changing narrative as to how the industry may look in the future.

As we noted earlier this month, the herring season, once a major income generator for local shore workers and fishing crews, not to mention the economy of Prince Rupert has dwindled in recent years, and next year won't take place at all.

The industry also once again has to reintroduce itself to yet another new Federal Fisheries Minister, with Joyce Murray taking on the duties as part of the new cabinet introduced in November. 

Minister Murray's portfolio includes a number of new directions outlined through her mandate letter which we shared the details on prior to Christmas.

More notes on the Fishery on the North Coast and Haida Gwaii can be explored here.

Central Coast travellers lose Northern Sea Wolf service until early January

BC Ferries is citing staffing issues as the cause for cancellation of service for the Northern Sea Wolf on the Central coast from today through to January 7th.

The three days of cancelled sailings start with the Bella Coola Departure that was set for 2:45 PM today.

Click to enlarge

For Central Coast Travellers looking to connect with the Northern Expedition sailing of New Year's Day, BC Ferries has the following advisory.

Complimentary water taxi service from Bella Bella to Shearwater will be provided for customers travelling on the Northern Expedition 6:00 pm Port Hardy departure on January 1, 2022 and needing to connect to Shearwater. The water taxi will depart Bella Bella at 2:15 am on January 2, 2022.

The Ferry Service  notes that they anticipate that the regular transit of the Northern Sea Wolf run will resume on January 7th.

BC Ferries was not specific on the nature of the staffing issues that have impacted this weekend's sailings on the Central Coast, further south, what appear to be COVID-19 related staffing situations have resulted in a number of cancelled sailings for the southern fleet.

Updates on BC Ferries Service through the New year's weekend can be accessed through the Service Notices page.

More notes on Marine transportation on the North Coast, Haida Gwaii and Central Coast can be explored through our archive page.

Angus Apartment residents now seeking new homes as building declared uninhabitable

The Angus Apartments on Wednesday following the Tuesday fire

A full count of how many residents are impacted has yet to be outlined, but for those who called the Angus Apartments home, the search now begins for new accommodation. 

That as the building has been declared uninhabitable following the Tuesday night fire that sent tenants into the streets on a bitterly cold winters night.

Officially the structure is listed as a fifteen unit apartment complex, but it's likely that there were a number of additional residents living in the apartments other than those listed as the renters; and for them the task ahead will be a daunting one in a housing market still constrained with few affordable apartments or rooms for rent.

Thursday evening, the CBC posted a story that outlines the history of a number of complaints about the structure from the past two years and the listing of fines that were assessed as part of those past complaints.

Included in the story from reporter Kate Partridge are the rulings from the Residential Tenancy Branch, which highlight the litany of concerns of tenants that led to the fines. 

The report also features commentary on the situation in Prince Rupert from local housing advocate Paul Legace, as well as to note that no one was available for comment from the City of Prince Rupert.

For the short term, the residents that were forced out of their homes by the fire are part of the City's Emergency Social Services program which offers up to 72 hours of lodging and food service and other items of need at times such as these.

Should you have word on potential accommodations for them you might want to contact that service to ensure that those options are known for those in the most need.

You can reach them at  

The community has also responded in the last few days to the now former residents, with a growing list of items collected to be turned over to them to help rebuild their lives and replace in some fashion some of their belongings lost earlier this week.

Find out more on those efforts here.

A review of the state of housing in Prince Rupert can be explore from our archive page here.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

One Final blast of Winter ahead for North Coast - Inland and coastal regions

Watches and Warnings make for the New Year's Eve forecast

2021 is going to go out with a blast, a wintry blast, as Environment Canada issues a Winter Storm Watch for the North Coast, both for those inland and on the coast.

The Watch which was issued this morning notes of significant snowfall particularly for the Nass Valley, Terrace and Kitimat regions with up to 50 cm of snow possible before the approaching weather maker moves on.

For the Prince Rupert area, the Environment Canada Forecast notes that while we may see some snow on New Year's Eve afternoon, a warming trend over the next few days will bring rain, starting Friday evening and continuing through the weekend.

However, don't put the shovels, salt or ice melt away just yet, the cold temperatures will return to the coastal areas of the North Coast on Monday and through next week

click to enlarge

For those that may be making plans for an eastbound journey for New Years, you can access the Drive BC updates from their website and Twitter Feed.

You can also get a look ahead to the road conditions from the Highway camera locations across the Highway 16 corridor and feeder routes.

To review some of our weather of the last month see our archive page here.

More woes for Prince Rupert Library, as water damage closes Sixth West facility

More issues of note for the city's Sixth Avenue West Prince Rupert Library
with water damage leading to a temporary closure for the facility

Having only recently re-opened after some heating issues, the Prince Rupert Library is once again Closed to the public this tine after the structure has suffered water damage.

The Library making note of its latest situation through their Social Media feed this morning.

Few details were provided towards the nature of the water damage, with patrons advised to make use of the blue bin for Library Returns in the interim period.

In their website advisory, they note of hopes to reopen as soon as possible.

You can monitor either their website or Facebook page for updates.

Last week we relayed their notes on Boiler issues at the 6th Avenue West facility, those troubles had left the Library closed for December 20th and 21st, the Boilers are scheduled to be replaced as part of a Capital program in 2022.

With water now also a concern, a peek into the plumbing in the building may be worth a look as well, and perhaps even an exploration for the year ahead towards the prospect of a new facility for the House of Reading in Prince Rupert.

More community themes can be explore through our Community Notes archive.

Prince Rupert District Teachers' Union weighs in on Delayed return to School

The Union which represents Prince Rupert's Public School teachers has released an information update on how they view the return to school plans announced on Wednesday by the Province of British Columbia.  

With the main focus to this point on what they don't know about the local plans for the first weeks of January 2022.

The PRDTU has heard today’s news that schools will reopen on January 10th, with some students returning earlier. The PRDTU has not been informed of any more details and we will let members know when we know more.

In their notes from yesterday, the Prince Rupert District Teachers' Union (PRDTU) also reviews their ongoing call for safe schools for students and staff.

 Among three of their key points:

The provision of N95-type masks for staff, students, and visitors in schools 

Improvements to ventilation in schools, including the addition of portable HEPA filters where needed 

Access to boosters so that teachers and others in schools are fully (3-shot) vaccinated

As well the PRDTU relays some of their past concerns on the response to the pandemic since the COVID-19 coronavirus first arrived more than two years ago. 

Included on that list a call not to increase on the workload of teachers, hybrid teaching options, and for SD52 to adhere to the collective agreement on teacher autonomy and teacher workload.

The full statement from the PRDTU can be reviewed here.

As for SD52, the Board office this morning issued a short message through Social Media, noting that they would have more information for staff and families as hey hear more from the Ministry of Education.

click to enlarge

As we outlined yesterday, Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside and the provinces Publich Health Officer Doctor Bonnie Henry relayed some of the return to school program as part of an afternoon information session.

The main item of note a staggered, or delayed return to school.

Schools will be open for students whose parents work in the health care system and for students with exceptional needs who return on the third of January with the remaining youngsters to return on the 10th.

Other measures include maximizing space between people, enforcement of mask wearing and a pause of extracurricular sports tournaments to name a few, the full list available below.

click to enlarge

More on the Ministry of Education plans can be explored here.

Further notes on education across the Northwest can be explored from our archive page.

Cold snap brings extra work for City crews with water main break on Prince Rupert's East side

Traffic around the Green Street area is being redirected
owing to a waterman break on the east side

As if there isn't enough to do in these final days of 2021 dealing with the volume of snow in recent weeks, the city's work crews are contending with a watermain break on the City's East side.

The line in question suffering its fate along Green Street between Fifth Avenue East and Sixth Avenue East.

Motorists  travelling in the vicinity are advised to use caution around the area and to obey the traffic control devices and personnel on the work site.

No timeline towards the repairs was provided from the City of Prince Rupert, which relayed its notes through a Social media message this morning.

More notes on civic infrastructure can be explored here.

British Columbians to make their mark on the Order of Canada appointment list for end of 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, Governor General Mary Simon has released the list of the 135 Canadians to be celebrated for new appointments to the Order of Canada, one of the nation's highest of civilian honours.

Created in 1967, the Order of Canada recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. More than 7,000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order. 

Those who bear the Order’s iconic snowflake insignia have changed our nation’s measure of success and, through the sum of their accomplishments, have helped us build a better Canada.

In the Announcement from Government House on Wednesday, the appointment order was outlined.

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada, announced 135 appointments to the Order of Canada. The new appointees include 2 Companions (C.C.), 39 Officers (O.C.), 1 honorary Member and 93 Members (C.M.).

Among the 135 Canadians named to this years lists, are some very recognizable British Columbians, a collective that make up 20 of the 135 announcements for the final days of 2021.

Officers of the Order of Canada 

Pieter Cullis, O.C. Vancouver, British Columbia 
For his contributions to the advancement of biomedical research and drug development, and for his mentorship of the next generation of scientists and entrepreneurs.

Connie J. Eaves, O.C. Vancouver, British Columbia  
For advancing our understanding of cancer development, and for her national and international leadership in stem cell biology.

The Honourable David Ross Fitzpatrick, O.C., O.B.C. Kelowna, British Columbia
For his lifelong dedication to the cultural and economic development of the Okanagan, and for his leadership and conservation efforts in the region.
Margo Lainne Greenwood, O.C. Vernon, British Columbia 
For her scholarship as a professor of early childhood education, and for her transformational leadership in Indigenous health policy.

Donald Chisholm McKenzie, O.C., M.S.M. Sidney, British Columbia 
For his expertise in sports medicine and for his seminal research on the effectiveness of exercise as an intervention for breast cancer patients.

Jean Riley Senft, O.C. West Vancouver, British Columbia
For her contributions to the sport of figure skating as one of Canada’s leading judges and promoter of fairer judging rules.

Verena Tunnicliffe, O.C. Victoria, British Columbia 
For her outstanding contributions to ocean sciences and for being a pioneer in the scientific exploration of the deep sea

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, O.C. North Saanich, British Columbia 
For her ongoing commitment to improving the child welfare system and supports for Indigenous people in British Columbia

Members of the Order of Canada

Lily Siewsan Chow, C.M. Victoria, British Columbia 
For preserving and promoting the history of early Chinese immigrants to Canada and their contributions to the country’s social and economic development.

Janis Dunning, C.M. and Jacques Lemay, C.M. Victoria, British Columbia 
For their numerous contributions to the arts and to young artists in Canada.

Walter N. Hardy, C.M. Vancouver, British Columbia 
For his pioneering contributions to the fields of particle physics, materials science and high-temperature superconductivity, as a distinguished theorist and experimentalist.

Jane Heyman, C.M. Vancouver, British Columbia 
For her long-lasting contributions to Vancouver’s cultural landscape through her various roles within the theatre sector.

Jacques Lemay, C.M. and Janis Dunning, C.M. Victoria, British Columbia 
For their numerous contributions to the arts and to young artists in Canada. 

Joy Kathryn MacPhail, C.M. Vancouver, British Columbia 
 For her pioneering contributions to politics and for her tireless advocacy of underserved and marginalized communities. 

Ralph Nilson, C.M. Nanaimo, British Columbia
For his exemplary leadership as a university administrator, and for his student advocacy and commitment to the process of reconciliation.

David Roche, C.M. Roberts Creek, British Columbia 
For his pioneering contributions to the field of disability art, and for promoting acceptance, inclusion and diversity across Canada and the United States. 

Diane Sowden, C.M. Powell River, British Columbia 
For her leadership in raising awareness of and preventing the sexual exploitation and human trafficking of children and youth. 

Curtis A. Suttle, C.M. Vancouver, British Columbia 
For his innovative scholarship in the area of marine virology and for his mentorship of the next generation of scientists. 

Peter Zandstra, C.M. Vancouver, British Columbia 
For his pioneering leadership in the field of stem cell bioengineering and its subsequent innovative health and economic impacts. 

David Zussman, C.M. Victoria, British Columbia 
For his contributions to public service management and policymaking, as a scholar, public servant and sought-after advisor.

The full list of the 135 and their short biographies can be explored here.

Some background on the national honours program can be reviewed here.

Northern Savings takes CEO search to International recruiting firm Boyden

The quest for the next CEO for Northern Savings is going national, as the Prince Rupert based Financial Services organization with branches located in Terrace and on Haida Gwaii looks for the executive to take charge of the services and requirements of their over 14,000 members.

As we outlined in mid December, the current opening came with the retirement of Bob Marshall, with Stefan Delloch taking on the role on an interim basis until the employment search is complete.

Towards that search, Northern Savings has turned the file over to Boyden Canada, an international executive recruiting firm, that serves some of the largest and most recognizable firms in Canada.  

Boyden Canada placed their first call for applications earlier this month. The focus for the search that of experience, innovation and financial stewardship

You are a seasoned business leader with a reputation for building and leading an evolving business in a senior management or executive capacity in an organization of similar complexity. Experience that includes credit unions, banking, financial services or related is an asset, but not required. Armed with superior interpersonal skills and business acumen, you will bring a history of innovation and financial stewardship that will enable profitable growth and change.

The Full Career posting can be reviewed below:

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Those with an interest in the position can make use of the application process available with Boyden here.

More notes on Northern Savings can be explored through our Commercial Sector archives.

Regional District to make use of Alternative Approval Process for proposed purchase of new garbage truck on Haida Gwaii

The Board of North Coast Regional District is looking to go shopping for a new garbage hauler for Island Solid Waste in 2022, and in order to move forward with the plan, the Regional District is looking to borrow up to  250,000 dollars through the Municipal Finance Authority.

The loan proposal if approved would be repaid within ten years, with no rights of refusal

Towards that spending plan the RD is going to the public on the Islands through an Alternative Approval Process, the scope of that process and who will be involved in the approval requirement is outlined below:

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In their notes, the District outlines the communities of interest for the AAP process, which is where the truck would be put to use, that list includes: Village of Masset, Village of Port Clements, Village of Queen Charlotte, NCRD Electoral Area “D”, and NCRD Electoral Area “E”. 

The Alternative Approval Process is one engagement instrument that is being used more frequently of late by both Regional and Municipal governments in the region. 

In this case it will allow the NCRD Board to proceed with the action unless at least 10% of the eligible electors state their opposition within a prescribed period. In this case, the Board has opted for the latter process. 

If at least 10% of the eligible electors state their opposition to the proposed action, the matter requires the Assent of the Electors if the Board wishes to proceed. 

NCRD notes that the Alternative Approval Process under the Community Charter replaces the Counter Petition Opportunity under the Local Government Act that some may have been familiar with.

You can review the full AAP information release here.

An Elector Response Form is available for downloading here.

Should you have more information, you can contact: Howard Tsang, Corporate Officer at the North Coast Regional District office at 14-342 3rd Avenue West, Prince Rupert, BC or by telephone at 250-624-2002, ext. 2. 

Any plans to express opposition to the purchase must be delivered through the AAP process by no later than 4:20 PM on Monday, January 31, 2022.

More notes on Regional District themes can be explored here.