Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Prince Rupert Special Events looks ahead to days of festivals to come


With a string of  COVID reduced particpiation events for Prince Rupert now in the rear view mirror, the City's Special Event's Society is looking ahead to future days and a return for some familiar community sharing opportunities for residents of the region.  

The Society made use of their Social media stream on Monday to provide a glimpse to their plans for the year ahead, with planning now back on track for events where those on the North Coast will once again be able to gather together for.

Leading off the Parade and set for later this year is the 26th Annual Winterfest, that event on the calendar for December 3 and 4, marking for our first chance to enjoy the company of a large crowd at a public event.

Next years roster of events includes the 31st Annual Children's Fest in March, the 43rd edition of Prince Rupert's Summer Festival of Seafest in June, as well as the 155th celebration of Canada Day on July 1st, 2022.



You can keep up with the planning for those events from the Prince Rupert Special Events website and Facebook page.

As well, the Society is always ready to welcome more volunteers, the local group one which puts on these major events in the community fuelled by the efforts of local residents.

More notes on Community Event themes can be explored from our archive page here.

Report from Wilderness Committee charts frustrations of Northern BC with decision makers in the south



A report from the Wilderness Committee of British Columbia published in June is providing a snap shot of opinion and optimism form Northern British Columbia, as well as a heads up for southern based government decision makers as to some of the ongoing irritants in the relationship from south to north.

The report titled Voices and Vision of Northern British Columbia was compiled by Megan Gordon of the Vancouver based organization with interviews with a range of leaders from across Northern BC taking place from April to May of this year.


The North Coast and Nechako Region was one of three regions of the North examined by the Committee, the Executive Summary for the report providing the guidelines towards the themes to be explore which cover a fair amount of territory from Reconciliation to Climate Change, aspirations for continued growth of the economy and frustrations with senior levels of government and the way that they approach the issues of the north.


When it came to the challenge and barriers to change that Northern leaders have found or are frustrated over, the list included many familiar themes from the years of the past, included among them Economic volatility, Cost of living, Climate Change, Cumulative impacts, Aging infrastructure, Social issues and lack of services.


Towards a path forward, the document makes note of the important role that the provincial government plays in supporting Northern communities, as well as to explore what it is that the north wants from Victoria.

The list of some of the areas where improvement is needed includes meeting community needs, providing for better grant and direct funding and a re-dedication towards the goals of resource revenue sharing with Northern communities.


 
Many of those themes are familiar from the days of the Northwest BC Resource Benefits Alliance, which has been championing the need for a new relationship with Victoria for a number of years now. 

Though their profile of late, has been somewhat reduced from just a few years ago, when the organization had outlined a range of concerns for the Provincial government to consider. 

The conclusion to the Fifty page report notes how successive provincial governments have funded hospitals, schools and public transit with resource revenues from the north, the time is now at hand to repay those debts and ensure that the North has the foundation for long term prosperity.



The focus of the report is to gain the attention of politicians in the south and policy makers in government and towards that goal, the Wilderness Committee has taken to an information campaign, recently sharing some of themes of the study through the editorial pages of the Victoria Times Columnist, a placement that should gain some readers for their  larger work from those working at the Legislature and for the government's various departments.


More notes on provincial issues can be explored from our Legislature archive page.

Metlakatla Stewardship Society highlights current comment period on VOPAK project for members

The area of note to be developed should the VOPAK
Bulk Fuels Terminal proposal gain approval

(image from PRPA)

The Metlakatla Stewardship Society has provided for a notification for Metlakatla members that the thirty day public comment period is now underway for the VOPAK Canada Bulk Fuels Terminal project which is proposed for Ridley Island.

In a notice for members posted to the Metlakatla social media stream the MSS provides a brief overview of the project as well as an contact person for Metlakatla residents should they have any questions for the Melakatla Stewardship Society's Environmental Assessment Department.

Those wishing to seek out more information from the MSS can contact Erin Mutrie or Deanne Watts with their Environmental Assessment Office, their email addresses can be found from the poster below:


(click to enlarge)

We made note of the VOPAK public comment period back on July 15th, you can review the BC EAO process now underway from this link to the Provincial website

As of today, the site notes that no comments have been provided towards the project to this point.


You can review more notes on the proposed terminal development from our VOPAK Terminal archive page.


City of Prince Rupert's search for next City Manager/CAO now officially underway


With a job posting now available for review on the City of Prince Rupert website, the quest to find a replacement for the retiring Dr. Robert Long is now underway. 

Toward their search the city is providing for a fairly extensive overview as to what they are looking for from prospective applicants; as well as the vast range of duties associated with the city's top staff position.

The work ahead for the City towards securing a new City Manager/CAO was first mentioned last week, when Mayor Lee Brain posted the advisory of Dr. Long's planned retirement, which is effective as of the end of the year.

The Help Wanted posting starts out as a travelogue, selling the merits of a life on the North Coast and then shifts towards the key requirements for employment with the City, along with the focus that the city has put on the position.

Potential candidates will have a minimum five years of experience as a City Manager/CAO or equivalent management position working directly with elected officials, diverse stakeholders, and the public. In addition to hands-on experience candidates should have a commensurate training and education background.

The successful applicant will be joining a seasoned management team and an energetic Council who have jointly accomplished a lot in the last 5-10 years. A number of significant infrastructure issues have been tackled, a new OCP and strategic plan are in place and financially the City has weathered the “Great Recession.” 

Do not worry, there are many challenges ahead that will test your skills including an ambitious revitalization initiative, achieving financial sustainability, continuing to enhance citizen engagement, building relationships with neighbouring First Nations and other stakeholders.

The position also feature five significant ambitions for the position that the City has identified:

1. Understand the political context of Council, and is comfortable helping Council navigate the inevitable political issues while maintaining the professional detachment required of a City Manager/CAO. 

2. Be committed to corporate excellence leading all City staff by example and with a sense of the positive professional legacy they wish to create. 

3. Maintain and enhance the important relationships with community and business stakeholders as well as with local First Nations. Additionally, they will understand and can support our working relationships with Federal and Provincial partners. 

 4. Have the strategic focus necessary to ensure the successful implementation of the City’s OCP and Strategic Plan while possessing the pragmatism to support staff and Council to respond to emergent conditions. 

5. Be a curious, committed learner, open to constructive criticism, and able to encourage others to follow their example. 

click to enlarge




In addition to a posting on the City of Prince Rupert careers page, the position has also been posted to the province wide municipal careers listings with the Civic Info BC website.

The city is also making use of an executive search group to assist in their work to find the right candidate for the position, with management consultants The Shoop Group based out of Victoria  handling any inquires that those with an interest in the job may have.

The City of Prince Rupert is one of a number of British Columbia organizations that the management consultants are providing services for at the moment, or have provided services for in the past.

Of note from the small world files, The Shoop Group principle Michael Shoop is an alumnus of the Antioch University Leadership in Change program from the Midwest US based University, as well he is a  former adjunct professor with the University from 2008-14.

As we noted last week, Dr. Long completed his Phd through the Antioch Leadership and Change program in the fall of 2020, making use of his experiences and the dynamic between Mayor and CAO as the focus for his dissertation.

The deadline for submissions for the City Manager/CAO position is August 20th.

You can review some of the past Job opportunities with the City from our archive page here.

A wider overview of past Council Discussion themes can be reviewed here.

Monday, July 26, 2021

As BC returns to a sense of more normal times, COVID counts inch up; though bulk of new cases now listed for those without vaccinations

Today's daily review of COVID-19 related data provided a snap shot of a virus that is still circulating, with the weekend case count reaching 267 cases,  94 from Friday, 79 from Saturday and 94 from Sunday.

The increased numbers have come as the province moves into the the latest phase of the COVID recovery program and as more and more British Columbians take advantage of the relaxed measures and more opportunity to return to a more normal time and the additional access to family and friends that has come with the end of the State of Emergency related to COVID.

The vast majority of the new cases are found in the Interior Health region with 144 cases reported over the last three days, while the Northern Health region only listed five new cases over the weekend for a total active case count of 14.

The COVID Data Dashboard for July 26th for
both British Columbia and Northern Health
(click to enlarge)

The most recent release on July 21st of local health data for the period of July 11 to 17 from the BC CDC,  continued to show the success that has been found in the Northwest, thanks mainly to the aggressive community vaccination sessions that took place over the Spring and into the summer.

Much of the Northwest continues to deliver strong results when it comes
to COVID-19 in the Northern health region
(click to enlarge)

However, of significant note from the latest data is, that for the most part the majority of those cases of the virus are now being diagnosed for British Columbians who are partially vaccinated, have not as of yet been vaccinated for COVID-19, or by those who have chosen not to be vaccinated.

96% of COVID-19 cases are among those not fully vaccinated, BC health officials say
COVID-19 cases in BC are up - but 78 percent of new cases are among unvaccinated people

The data itself as good an advertisement as could be found to spur on British Columbians to seek out an appointment to get the double jab to add some protection for them and their families. Some advice recently delivered door to door across the region by way of a home mailer campaign. 

(click to enlarge)

Towards British Columbia's vaccination efforts, Health Minister Adrian Dix shared some statistics today to chart the progress to date.

Find out the ongoing Vaccination program in your area of Northern health here.

More on today's information release can be reviewed from the Monday COVID review.

We track the daily statements from our archive page available here, updates to the totals are made each evening that results are released by the province.



Flotilla forming to pay tribute to Troy Pearson on Prince Rupert Harbour this coming weekend

The waters of Prince Rupert Harbour will be the venue for a 
tribute to Troy Pearson this coming Saturday.
The Tugboat operator and crew mate Charley Cregg lost their lives
in a marine incident in February. Third crewmate Zac Dolan was
rescued following a search as part of the incident response.

A memorial tribute to Prince Rupert Tug boat operator Troy Pearson is in the final stages of being organized, with a growing number of members of the Prince Rupert marine community set to take to the water on Saturday afternoon.  

The memorial which is being organized by Mr. Pearson's spouse Judy Carlick-Pearson and family members will see those in the community pay their final goodbyes in a 4 PM ceremony on the water in the Prince Rupert Harbour.

Ms. Carlick-Pearson has been sharing word of the plans for this weekend through her Facebook page, with the list of participants for the event growing by the day.



Mr. Pearson lost his life in a marine incident on February 11th, the sinking of the tug Ingenika in extreme weather conditions took place in an area of the Gardner Canal south of Kitimat. It also claimed the life of crew mate Charley Cragg, a third member of the Ingenika crew Zac Dolan was rescued as part of a search following the incident.

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada launched its investigation in the incident in April, it originally noted that the investigation would take up to 220 days, which would mean a final report could be expected as of mid October.

In her social media message, Ms. Carlick Pearson outlines that one element of this weekend's activity on the waters of Prince Rupert harbour will be to show Transport Canada, WorksafeBC and the RCMP that many are still in support of raising the tug to gain further insight into the incident.

You can learn more about this weekend's plans from Ms. Carlick Pearson's Facebook page.

More notes on the February incident can be reviewed from our archive page here.

Council to gain some insight into state of Airport Ferry related financials tonight with May Variance report

Airport Ferry revenues
make for part of the May
Variance report to be
reviewed tonight at Counci
l
City Council members may gain a bit more background on the challenges facing the Prince Rupert airport coming out of COVID times, as the City's Financial Officer delivers her variance Report for the month of May at this evening's session.

As part of her report to Council this evening, CFO Corinne Bomben will outline the impact of the extended suspension of air service to the community, with the projections for airport ferry revenues among part of her notes for Council. 

In her report, included as part of the Agenda package for tonight, Ms. Bomben also outlines how if the normal flight patterns return by September any financial shortfall should be limited to the 100,000 dollar mark, with the shortfall to be funded by money received by the City through the COVID Smart Restart reserve.

The City had budgeted revenues of $550,000 from the airport for 2021, however owing to the suspension of air service, the actual revenue stream to May was listed at $47,500. That number taken from prior to the resumption of Air travel to the city in late June.

During the same period to may, the City had listed spending on the Airport Ferry of $760,847 from  a budget of $1,436,153.


The report also notes of the status of Capital purchases related to the Ferry Dock and the site of the proposed relocation of the dock to the Prince Rupert waterfront at Rupert Landing near the Kwinitsa Station museum.


Air Canada suspended service to the Prince Rupert Airport in January, the Digby Island Airport received its first flight since the start of the year in late June, Air Canada plans to expand on its current schedule to offer a weekly schedule of near daily flights in August.

Just over an hour or so to the east, the Terrace Airport, which remained open during the COVID period of the last seven months released its latest passenger totals, with the airport seeing a jump in levels of 3,000 passengers from May to June, with 24,000 passenger making us of the Terrace facility in the month of June.

Tonight's Council session will provide an opportunity for the council members to explore further financial themes on the Prince Rupert airport with the CFO. 

It could also give some on council an opportunity to suggest that officials from the Airport, or the Airport Authority be invited to make a presentation to Council at a future council session, providing for a more detailed overview of the challenges and ambitions for the Prince Rupert Airport as it comes out of the COVID period.

Such an opportunity to speak to themes of Airport operations in a public venue would provide a more complete overview of the current status of the Airport and what initiatives the civic officials may have in mind in generating more use of the airport.  As well as to what the status may be of trying to bring alternative air carriers to the community to provide for more frequency of flights in and out of Prince Rupert.

You can explore more themes on aviation in the Northwest from our archive page here.

More notes on tonight's Council session can be found from our Preview feature here, while a wider overview of past Council discussion topics is available for review here.



Plans for Telus Cellular Communication Tower in Prince Rupert up for review at Council tonight

A tale of two options will be the focus for a report to City Council
tonight that outlines plans for a Cellular communication tower
within the city limits in Prince Rupert

(From the City Council Agenda for the July 26 session)

City Councillors will have opportunity to review and comment on a report from the city's contract planners at iPlan on the proposed placement of a cellular communication tower in Prince Rupert, with a bit of a difference of opinion to be found on the location preferred by Telus (located near the BC Hydro location on Highway 16), compared to the city's desires for a placement (on the highway adjacent to the Industrial park area).

In his report Robert Buchan fro iPlan outlines some of the concerns that that the city has expressed about the visual impact of having a cell tower at the location preferred by Telus, a tower which has been modified from the original plan of a 50 metre tower to that of 30 metres.

The report notes that the Telus proposal does not meet the criteria for two of the six elements listed as part of City Council policy.

The report, along with the recommendations to Council towards their options, is included as part of tonight's Agenda can be reviewed below.

Following the presentation of the report, the City's council members will have an opportunity to ask further questions and seek additional guidance from the contract planner on the topic.

More notes of the Monday evening session for Council can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of past Council Discussion themes can be explored here.



Community Energy initiatives the focus for Ecotrust presentation to City Council this evening

A look at some of the past work and plans for the future towards community energy initiatives in the region will be the theme for a presentation to City Council tonight, that as part of the Committee of the Whole process this evening starting at 7PM.

Graham Anderson, the Director of Community Energy with Ecotrust Canada will speak to the council members towards energy themes, with Council to then consider a request for a letter of support later in the evening as part of the Regular Council session.

Mr. Anderson joined Ecotrust Canada in 2015 as a Financial Strategist supporting business planning and financial analysis across all program areas. 

In 2017, he worked in partnership with Heiltsuk First Nation to pilot the retrofit of community homes with high-efficiency heat pumps. That project underlined the need for solutions to support energy security in rural and Indigenous communities across British Columbia.

Much of his work has helped to put in place the foundation for Ecotrust Canada's Community Energy Initiative which was launched in 2018.


More notes on this evening's City Council session can be explored here.

For more notes on past Council Discussion themes see our archive page here.


City Council Preview: Monday, July 26, 2021


Tonight's Prince Rupert City Council session features many elements, ranging from a Public Hearing on a proposed hotel development, to a presentation on community energy as part of the Committee of the Whole Process.  

As well in addition to their regular Council themes, a Closed session will take the membership behind closed doors at 5 PM

The Public Hearing related to the proposed modular hotel development on Park Avenue will be open to the public at 6 PM.

The Regular Session features a number of reports and resolutions for Council's consideration, including a report on the proposed placement of a cellular communication tower within city limits.

The City's CFO Corinne Bomben will deliver the May Variance report, while Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller will relay a resolution from a recent Closed session, as well as to deliver a report  outlining the details towards a request from Ecotrust Canada for a letter of support.

The City's contract planners from iPlan will outline the scope of the bylaw requirements and rezoning themes towards the Park Avenue hotel proposal 

And the Corporate Administrator will return to present the fourth and final reading of the new Recreation Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw.

A chance for council members to share any reports, questions or make any inquiries will bring the evening's work to an end.

As outlined above,  it being a Committee of the Whole night, the city's elected officials will be able to learn more on the theme of Community energy initiatives, that from a presentation tonight from Graham Anderson with Ectorust Canada.


As we noted earlier, with the Council members now having returned to in person Chamber Council sessions, the public as well can now attend the public sessions, though attendance remains limited and social distancing practices and mask wearing requirements will be in place.

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

You can review the Regular Council Agenda here.  

Council will also host a Special Council Session at 5PM,  the meeting closed to public owing to two elements. 

Labour relations or other employee relations, as we'll as the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements and negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages.

The outline of Councils work ahead can be reviewed below:

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

PUBLIC HEARING RELATED TO THE PROPOSED MODULAR HOTEL DEVELOPMENT ON PARK AVENUE 


The Public Hearing takes place at 6PM in City Hall chambers.

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

COMMITTEE OF THE WHOLE SESSION OF CITY COUNCIL

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

Delegations

Graham Anderson, Director-Community Energy Initiative, Eco-Trust Canada

Question Period from the Public

Reports Questions and Inquiries from the Members of Council

Adjournment to reconvene to the Regular Council Session


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

REGULAR SESSION OF CITY COUNCIL

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


Reports and Resolutions

Report from iPlan -- Council will receive a report from Rob Buchan from the city's contract planners at iPlan that outlines city staff's review of a proposed Telus Cellular Communication Tower within the city limits. (see page 9 of Agenda Package)

Report from CFO Corrine Bomben on the May 2021 Financial Variance Report -- Ms. Bomben will outlined her report for Council (see page 12 of the Agenda package)

Report from the Corporate Administrator -- Council will receive a report from Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller, releasing the details of a resolution from a recent closed session of Council.  (see page   of Agenda package)

Report from the Corporate Administrator -- Council will receive a report from Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller, outlining the details of a letter to support request for an initiative from ECO-Trust Canada.  (see page  16 of Agenda package)

Bylaws

Report from iPlan-- Council will receive a report from the city's contract planners at iPlan related to the proposed Travellers Accommodation for Park Avenue, among the measures, restricting the proposed hotel to 60 suites and restricting the use of the C2 land to that specific purpose.    (see page 17  of Agenda package)

Report from iPlan-- Council will receive a report from the city's contract planners at iPlan related to the First and Second readings to the proposed development apartments on 11th Avenue East, with a proposal to proceed to a public hearing at a future date.   (see page 18 of Agenda package)

Report from the Corporate Administrator -- Council will receive a report from Ms. Rosa Miller who will outline the details to the Recreation Fees and Charges Bylaw, Council will then be asked to  provide fourth and final approval to the Bylaw.  (see page 19 of Agenda package)

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 July  26, 2021 session can be reviewed here

While our archive of all sessions for 2021 for Council is available here.   


City Council Session: Monday, July 26, 2021






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

Regular Session of Council for  Monday, July 26, 2021

Home page and archive of sessions can be found here 

Live Broadcast of session can be found here


Public Hearing on Park Avenue Hotel proposal (6PM)




Preview of City Council Session for Monday, July 26, 2021



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, July 26,  2021
(not available yet)


Video Recording for Monday, July 26, 2021 Council Session
(not available yet)


Council Timeline for Monday, July 26, 2021
(not available yet)




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

North Coast Review Items related to the Monday, July 26, 2021 Session of Council 


Further notes, as well as any Media items from other sources for the July 26, 2021 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.


Jody Craven back to the electoral chase -- set to contest for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley seat in the House of Commons


A flurry of activity in the last few days has seen most of the political parties of the Northwest announce who will be their candidate should the country find itself heading to the polling booth sometime this summer or early fall.

The latest to confirm a candidate is the People's Party of Canada, with leader Maxime Bernier traveling around the Northwest late last week, introducing Jody Craven as the Party's choice in Skeena-Bulkley Valley, making for the second go round for the Kitimat resident under the PPC banner.

It's been a busy political period for Mr. Craven since the last federal election of October 2019, with the Kitimat politician making a run for provincial office, contesting the North Coast riding in last years BC election on behalf of the BC Libertarian Party.  

His was an unsuccessful challenge to incumbent Jennifer Rice, with Mr Craven finishing third when the final tallies came in on October 24th 2020.

The campaign did however provide Mr. Craven with a forum to further his conversation topics on politics of the times. It's been a theme he has continued on with through his People's Party of Canada Facebook page, which has been semi-active through the spring and summer months as the prospects of an election began to generate some speculation.

With confirmation of his candidacy, the total number of nominated candidates from a range of parties in the Northwest now stands at five, only the Liberals have yet to announce a candidate among the more well known political parties.

You can keep up with the latest themes on the pre-election campaign speculation from our archive page here.

Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association gains funding from Province as part of Local Sport Relief Fund program

A Prince Rupert sports organization was one of twenty one Northern BC groups to get some well received news on Friday, with the Province of British Columbia distributing grants of up to $7,500 dollars to a range of sports program providers, part of the second allocation of funds thanks to additional financial support from the Government of Canada.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice spoke to the importance of helping community sports groups remain a key part of the participants that they serve.

“Our government is committed to maintaining a resilient sport sector. This second round of funding through the Local Sport Relief Fund will help ensure sport opportunities remain available in communities so that people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of ability can continue to reap the physical and mental benefits sport offers.”

How the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association plans to make use of their funding was outlined by President Jackie Touchet.

“It’s great to be receiving this grant. Now that people can return to sport, we can’t wait to spring back into action. This funding will help us offer a fine selection of recreational and competitive gymnastics options for all ages as we work to get our programs off the ground.”

Other organizations across the Northwest that were also included in the Friday funding release included:

Bulkley Valley Gymnastics Association -- Smithers
Bulkley Valley Soccer Society -- Smithers

Fraser Lake Curling Club -- Fraser Lake
Fraser Lake Minor Hockey Association - Fraser Lake

Houston Ringette Association -- Houston

Kitimat Minor Hockey Association -- Kitimat

Terrace Curling Association -- Terrace

The full list province wide is available here.


More notes related to the Friday announcement can be explored here.

You can learn more about the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association here.

Our notes on past themes of Northwest gymnastics can be reviewed here.

A wider overview of past items of note from the Legislature is available here.



Rio Tinto workers take to the picket lines in Kitimat, Kemano over weekend

BC Works at Kitimat, the giant aluminum plant is currently
behind at picket line as a labour dispute escalated to a strike situation.
(Photo from Rio Tinto website)

One of the largest employers in the Northwest, if not British Columbia, is facing a job action today, that after workers at Rio Tinto in Kitimat acted on their strike mandate over the weekend.

The labour dispute began following a 24 hour extension on Saturday to labour talks to allow for further bargaining; though the lack of movement on the key issues led the union to make the decision to take workers off the job at 12:01 AM on July 25th.

Members of Unifor Local 2301 outlined a range of concerns that led to the work action, including alleged violations of the existing contract using contractors and temporary employees, as well as a failure to address pension and retiree benefits.


The most recent correspondence between the Union and its membership can be reviewed here.

Past and future updates for the membership can be found from the Unifor archive page.

There are over 1,050 employees on the Rio Tinto payroll, over 900 of the workers are union members, the company contributed over 842 million dollars to the British Columbia economy in 2019.

Rio Tinto officials have not as of yet offered any further comment other than the smelter and powerhouse continue to operate, with staff and employees working under an essential services order granted by the B.C. Labour Relations Board.  

You can track some of the past items of note leading up to the labour dispute from our archive page here.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending July 25, 2021

A new addition, makes for a new top listing in Prince Rupert with the return of a property on Graham Avenue to claim the top end of list of ten  residential properties for sale.

That has shifted the total value of our list to above the 8.5 million dollar mark, that as a result of two properties now listed above the 1 million dollar benchmark. 

The latest addition also rearranges the balance from west to east, with each side of the McBride street line hosting five properties for this week.

The listings below are purely for information purposes, for further background on the properties recorded, see our links page for access to the individual real estate listings.

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending July 25, 2021 can be explored below:

Real Estate listings on the East Side of Prince Rupert
Week ending July 25, 2021



The total value of the list of ten now sits just over the 8.5 million dollar mark.

The lowest mark for the review of the week is at $627,000 while our top end from the last week remains marked  at the price point of  $1,499,000


Below find our findings as of the Week ending July 18, 2021

2130 Graham Avenue                  $1,499,000 --      Remax
1138 2nd Avenue West                $1,200,000 --     Remax
1320 Overlook Street                     $995,000 --     Realty Executives 
555 4th Avenue East                      $899,000 --      Remax 
1160 11th Avenue East                  $769,000  --     Remax
1827 Sloan Avenue                        $719,000 --      Realty Executives
340 4th Avenue East                      $678,000 --      Remax
1218 Second Avenue West            $650,000 --      Remax
341 4th Avenue East                      $649,000 --      Remax
1038 First Avenue West                 $627,000  --     Realty Executives  


For more items related to Real Estate see our archive page here.  

For background on Housing issues in the region see our past items here.

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































Sunday, July 25, 2021

Blog Watching: Week ending July 25, 2021

A range of municipal notes generated the most interest from  the 40 unique stories which we generated this week, with the city's latest plans for redevelopment in the downtown core capturing the most attention from those passing through the blog over the last seven days.

Readers also found some interest in our municipal themes related to the upcoming new recycling and garbage program at the City of Prince Rupert as well as word that City Manager Robert Long will bring a 40 year career in municipal government to an end this year, eight of them as the top municipal staffer in the community.

Other themes explored on the week included the changing of hands for one of the most well known of city buildings, with the Highliner Inn now in the growing inventory of holdings of Prince Rupert residents Corrine and James Warburton.

And with election speculation gaining a fair bit of attention this summer, the Federal parties have ramped up their planning on the off chance we head to the polls. With a number of them announcing candidates for the Skeena-Bulkley Valley House of Commons seat, should the Prime Minister decide to take the nation to the polls. 

However, the top item of interest for the week puts the spotlight on the latest part of the City's Prince Rupert 2030 vision planning and a call for Bids for a downtown redevelopment program for Third and McBride.

Latest element of Prince Rupert visions planning out for Bids as Gateway project comes into focus -- We started the week picking up on a bid package posted to the BC Bid website, a document that outlined some of the details of a proposed development in the downtown area focused on McBride and Third. On Tuesday, Mayor Lee Brain and the City outlined some further notes on the proposed development with the release of an official announcement towards their plans.      (posted July 19, 2021)

That article was followed by: 

Prince Rupert's signature downtown building to change hands   -- While the City was putting the spotlight on plans for Third and McBride, one of the city's most iconic downtown buildings was making some news, with word that the Highliner Inn had changed ownership and returned to local investors.    (posted  July 22,   2021) 

How much can you cram into the can? City's deliver of new garbage cans puts the R into Reduce   -- As the city's operations department pushed forward with the delivery of cans for the city's new recycling/garbage program, some of the replies to the City's and Mayor's Social media campaign made note of the reduced size of the garbage cans the city is providing to residents as well as other questions related to the theme of recycling.   posted July 20 , 2021)
  
Federal parties make preparations as summer election possibilities percolate   --  With election rumblings continuing though the summer, some of the federal parties have begun to make their plans for any potential election call. By weeks' end, the Conservative party had joined the NDP, Green's and CHP in announcing their candidate for the potential vote (posted July 21, 2021) 

After eight years of service in Prince Rupert, City Manager Robert Long prepares to bid his adieu  -- A major announcement came out of City Hall in the early evening of Wednesday as Mayor Lee Brain made use of his Social Media forum to share word that the city's top municipal official, City Manager Robert Long will be retiring. Bringing a run of the last eight years in Prince Rupert and a career in BC municipal government to a close.    (posted July 22 , 2021) 

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.

A note for those that previously used our email alert delivery option, Blogger has discontinued that feature, so we direct you to our CharlesMHays Twitter feed, where we post updates to the blog as we post them.

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here.   

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

Friday, July 23, 2021

Claire Rattée to return as Conservative candidate should election be called

Kitimat resident Claire Rattée has announced that she
will be the Conservative party candidate should the voters
of Skeena-Bulkley Valley head to the polls this summer
(photo from Skeena-Bulkley Valley Conservatives)

With election speculation picking up speed this summer, the Conservative party of Canada has put its affairs in order and now stand ready to contest the vote, should the Prime Minister choose to take the nation to the polls.

And as it was in 2019, Kitimat resident Claire Rattée will be the Conservative candidate in Skeena-Bulkley Valley. Ms. Rattée announcing her success towards the nominations through Social media earlier this evening.



Two candidates had announced for the race prior to this weekend, with Theresa Tait-Day also seeking the Conservative post along with Ms. Rattée. 

No details as to how the nomination process went forward were released today.


On election night of October 22nd 2019, the Conservative candidate gained some impressive results after a strong campaign, but came up short of Taylor Bachrach who had gained the NDP nomination following the retirement of Nathan Cullen.

Mr. Bachrach had a 3,188 vote advantage over Ms. Rattee when the final tallies were posted by Elections Canada

Her success in the nomination process as announced this evening makes for a rematch between the two top contenders.

The other political parties have started to fill out their nomination cards as well, we outlined the status of Skeena-Bulkley Valley earlier this week

You can track the latest news from Skeena Bulkley Valley through our archive page here.