Sunday, October 17, 2021

Blog Watching: Week ending October 17, 2021

Civic themes and shipping industry notes dominates the top five items of the week, with four of the five spots from the last seven days coming from City Hall or the waterfront.

The need to address some infrastructure leads off the review, with a Request for Proposals for an east side sewer outfall of some interest to readers, as was word from City Council with the City announcing that Rob Buchan will be the next City Manager.

From the waterfront, an announcement that construction is set to begin on the Marine refuelling station on the west side of Prince Rupert. Also gaining some significant interest from readers were our notes on plans for additional service to Fairview terminal by the Chinese shipping giant COSCO.

And the latest information on COVID made for placement in the list of five, that following the latest data release on COVID levels in local health regions by the BC CDC. 

However, the top item of the week was our look at the city's plans for some required work on a sewer outfall on the east side of the city.

"Urgent' situation related to Seal Cove Sanitary Sewer Outfall spurs on latest RFP from City of Prince Rupert -- More infrastructure woes for the City of Prince Rupert, as the status of the east side sewer outfall makes for some needed attention.   (posted October  15, 2021)

That article was followed by: 

Wolverine Terminals set for construction phase on Prince Rupert Waterfront  -- A progress report from Wolverine Terminals on their fuelling terminal indicates the early stages of construction are underway on the west side waterfront, at a site located to the west of the Drax Energy Pellet Terminal. (posted  October 14, 2021) 

Prince Rupert COVID count jumps to 15 for week of October 3-9 -- While low compared to many other areas of the North, this weeks BC CDC report shows an increase of COVID cases in Prince Rupert. With the case counts increasing in many areas of the Northern Health region, some expanded measures were put in place this week for communities east of Kitwanga. (posted October 13, 2021)
COSCO lines to expand on its service to DP World Prince Rupert -- One of the worlds largest ocean shipping lines is looking to add to its use of the DP World facility in Prince Rupert as part of the solution to growing dwell times at other Pacific facilities.   (posted October 12, 2021)

City of Prince Rupert announces new City Manager, turning job over to current contract planner Rob Buchan -- After what Mayor Lee Brain called an extensive search, the City of Prince Rupert has gone in house to a fashion, announcing that the city's contract planner Rob Buchan will take on the City Manager's position as of November 2nd.  (posted October 15, 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, October 15, 2021

City of Prince Rupert Announces new City Manager, turning job over to current contract planner Rob Buchan

The City of Prince Rupert has found their man, and as it turns out, he's been hanging around the office from time to time for close to two years.

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain has announced today,  that Rob Buchan has been appointed to the position of City Manager, with the Mayor making note of his recent work on the city's planning themes.

"With over 30 years of local government experience, and a proven track record developing affordable housing and community revitalization projects, Dr. Buchan was the prime candidate to take Prince Rupert to the next level under our Rupert 2030 vision. 

Dr. Buchan has already been working with the City for the past year as a contract planner helping us implement the Rupert 2030 vision. He has helped develop the new official community plan, affordable housing policy, new market and affordable housing projects, major downtown projects such as the Gateway project and downtown tax incentive programs, with more to come.

The new City Manager will take on his duties as of November 2nd, with the City to post a new job opportunity notice to fill the position in the planning office."

The decision on the City Manager was relayed through the Mayor's Social Media feed, as well as that of the City of Prince Rupert.  

The Mayor's Facebook notes include a snapshot of Dr. Buchan's CV.

Click to enlarge

As noted by the Mayor, Dr. Buchan had his first glimpse of Prince Rupert files following the Rupert 2030 vision presentation of December 2019, he spent much of 2020 helping City Council work towards the completion of their Official Community Plan overhaul.

He took on more and more of the city's planning duties following the departure of Zeno Krekic in the early months of 2020.

Mr. Buchan shared some thoughts on his new position through the city website today.

“I am very excited to be the new City Manager for the City of Prince Rupert. The previous City Manager, Bob Long, and Council have been highly successful moving the City towards a new and bright future. It is an honour and great responsibility to continue this work with the community, a very talented staff team, and the Mayor and Council to bring the City forward.”

Mayor Lee Brain with Rob Buchan, Mayor Brain announced
that Dr. Buchan takes up duties as City Manager on November 2nd
(photo from City of PR)

As part of today's announcement, the mayor also paid tribute to the years of service by Dr. Robert Long, who announced his plans to step down earlier this year.

The City launched its search for Doctor Long's replacement in July.

While we await the next chapter of his work in Prince Rupert as City Manager, you can review some of his efforts since the end of 2019 through our Civic planning archive page here.

More notes on City Council Discussion themes can be explored here.

BC Liberal leadership candidate Ellis Ross encourages approval of candidacy for leadership hopeful Aaron Gunn

With the BC Liberal leadership campaign moving forward towards its rendezvous with a decision day in February, one candidate is speaking out in favour of another, albeit a still unofficial one, with Skeena MLA Ellis Ross calling on the BC Liberal Leadership to approve the application of Aaron Gunn.

The suddenly controversial candidate has yet to see his application for participation in the Leadership quest accepted by Party officials

Mr. Ross outlined his thoughts on the topic in a letter, which he posted to his social media stream on Thursday

The Skeena MLA noting of the need to welcome ideas from across the political spectrum and that a wide variety of candidates be welcomed into the leadership race.

click to enlarge

The would be candidacy of Mr. Gun has come under fire by some in the BC Liberal party with a number observing how some of the candidates views are intolerant.

The lead in the opposition seemingly coming from fellow candidate Michael Lee.

The call for his exclusion from the leadership contest is one which has seen some push back from Mr. Gunn.

The candidate's profile and the attention the came with it started to percolate following the release of his leadership campaign platform.

Some background on the brewing controversy can be explored below:

Aaron Gunn would be the end of the BC Liberals
Aaron Gunn's leadership bid test the BC Liberals' identity

The sudden dust up comes as the BC Liberal leadership seeks to reclaim some of the political spotlight following the recent Federal election campaign. 

The push for recognition comes as the deadline gets closer for those wishing to vote to ensure that their membership status is in good standing, that deadline comes on December 17th

You can follow some of our notes on the leadership quest from our archive page here.

BCTF renews call for BC families to 'take a stand against standardized testing'

With the provincial government indicating that it has no plans to do away with the practice of Standardized  testing under the Foundation Skills Assessment, the British Columbia Teachers Federation has once again renewed their call for the program to be eliminated.

The latest salvo in the ongoing dispute over the standardized testing came by way of an Open Letter to families from BCTF President Terry Mooring, who reprises many of the past concerns that the organization has had with the program.

The letter observing that BC's teachers have two main reasons towards their opposition:

"It’s not helpful to students, teachers, or families; and it’s making existing inequities worse."

The full letter to families can be reviewed below:

click to enlarge

Towards further action on the their opposition to the testing, the BCTF notes that over the last number of years that parents have withdrawn their children from the testing, a process which the BCTF perhaps hopes will lead to an elimination by attrition.

The BCTF has also offered some further guidance and resources for families on the them through their website.

Included in that initiative is a petition calling on Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside to eliminate the FSA's.

click to enlarge

Earlier this year, the BCTF highlighted the challenges of the pandemic in its call to eliminate the testing process.

As they note in their correspondence, the Fraser Institute uses the data taken from the FSA's towards their yearly snapshot on education and how each school district is faring when it comes towards educating the youth of the province.

The BCTF approach to the topic this week comes following a recent Fraser Institute article which observed that from their review of data Spending on BC public schools has increased, while student results are in decline.

For its part the Ministry of Education notes that the Foundation Skills Assessment provides parents, teachers, schools, school districts and the Ministry of Education with important information on how well students are progressing in the foundation skills of Literacy and Numeracy. 

The Province has outlined what's ahead for the program in 2022-22 below, with the fall FSA testing taking place through to November 12:

click to enlarge

More notes on Education in the Northwest can be explored here.

CityWest and Council Of Haida Nation announce joint partnership for Fibre to Home

The latest expansion plans for Prince Rupert based CityWest will see the communication company join in  partnership with the Council of  Haida Nation, Skidegate Band Council, Old Massett Band Council.

The project, is one connect communities on Haida Gwaii to a world-class fibre-to-the-home network.  

As part of today's announcement it was noted that the fibre-to-home network will be owned by the Haida Nation, and powered by CityWest fibre-optic services. 

The agreement – noted as the first of its kind in the telecommunications industry –will also send a share of the new company’s profits to the Haida, resulting in a direct financial benefit to community members. 

 “Developing last-mile connectivity solutions will be transformative for our communities because of the many benefits that modern fibre network solutions will bring with the capacity to meet our growing needs and provide more reliable service,” Gaagwiis Jason Alsop, President of the Haida Nation. 

In the stament from the today it was observed that the latest partnership will expand the Haida Nation’s governance over Internet services on Haida Gwaii and delivers on CityWest’s continuing mission to improve connectivity in underserved rural and remote communities 

 “We are very excited about this agreement because it’s more than a partnership – it’s an opportunity for the communities to own their connectivity destiny for many years into the future. As a company that was built in northern BC, we’re proud to have this opportunity to serve new communities in our region.” -- Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest. 

The new partnership venture to be known as CityWest Haida Communications Corp. will be able to serve customers by connecting Haida Gwaii communities to the Connected Coast network, an undersea cable project that will bring backbone bandwidth to 139 rural and remote coastal communities along the BC coast. 

The Connected Coast project is co-managed by CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District. 

Officials noted today that the partnership will yield results very soon. The first phase of construction for Internet services – building a “drop” from the road to the home – will be starting in the next few months. Further construction updates will be released as the project commences.

More on today's announcement can be reviewed here.

As we noted yesterday, CityWest representatives were on Haida Gwaii through this week to explain how the company plans would be moving forward for residents of those communities to be served.

You can review some of CityWest's path towards expansion of service area reach from our archive page here.

New ice, new hopes for CIHL return as Rampage debut 2021-22 season Saturday

After a long, long break in the action the CIHL returns to the ice at the
Jim Ciccone Civic Centre tomorrow night

It's been a long time between games for fans of the Prince Rupert Rampage and tomorrow night, the Jim will be rocking, as the home side digs into the ice for the first time for 2021-22 hosting the Kitimat Ice Demons for a 7PM start.

With the 2020-21 season cancelled owing to COVID, the CIHL regrouped this spring with a plan to move forward with a return to the ice, though as the summer progressed, a return that will see a familiar partner sitting thins out for the year, that after a decision by the Smithers Steelheads to take the year off owing to their own concerns related to the coronavirus.

While Smithers is out for the year, a new arrival is in, with the return of Vanderhoof to the league, the Nechako region city sharing the North Stars with neighbouring Fort St. James.

All of the teams, new and existing, now ready to chart their journey towards what they hope will be a Coy Cup berth come next February/March.

For the Rampage and Ice Demons that journey starts tomorrow night, as they look to shake off a year of rust from their legs the roosters a mix of some familiar and new names for the season ahead.

Tomorrow night's game at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre will also be of significant community note, with the Rampage making note of the Every Child Matters initiative in support of Residential School surivivors and observing of the  lost lives of the past.

Towards that commemoration, the Rampage has asked that everyone attending the game wear Orange for Saturday night's game, with the team's largest corporate sponsor the Port of Prince Rupert pitching in to help towards that goal.

The Rampage will also be paying tribute to one of their own on Saturday, with the team set to celebrate the life of Jules Robinson, the teams long time trainer who passed away earlier this year.

With the CIHL returning to action with COVID still the major story for the province, there will be COVID related protocols in place for Saturdays game.

The Rampage have noted that BC Vaccination Cards and Face masks will be required for attendance at the game, with entrance to the arena to take place through main entrance of the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

As well attendance is limited at the arena due to the provincial COVID restrictions.

You can access the latest information from the team through their Facebook page.

Saturday night will see six teams take to the ice, in addition to the Rampage/Ice Demons matchup, Hazelton will travel to Vanderhoof, while Quesnel and Williams Lake will renew their Cariboo acquaintances over the weekend.

We will track the Rampage work this year through our Results page available here, with updates to come following each home and away game from the Prince Rupert side.

As well, you can review all of our CIHL coverage from our archive page here

CIHL makes a return to the ice with the Coy Cup the Pot of Gold at the end of the season long rainbow

The CIHL brings some welcome news for hockey starved fans of the Northwest and Cariboo regions as they launch the 2021-22 season in three locations. 

The mid October start marking the launch of a four month journey towards the Coy Cup and Senior Hockey supremacy in the North.

For the Rampage the season is one of long homesteads and extended road trips with all of October at home, while the month of November finds the team on the road for all of its dates, included in those the marathon run into the Cariboo region.

A return home for a pre Christmas matchup will offer a chance for rest before the monster road stretch for 2022 with four games on the road through January before a trio of home games to wrap the season up.

The fourteen game regular features seven road trips and seven home stands between mid October and the start of February.

As the planning for the year ahead came to an end, we outlined some of themes for 2021-22 with some notes back in September

The full Regular Season Schedule for the Rampage as posted to the CIHL website can be found below:

Road Games are in Green, Home Dates in Red

Saturday, October 16 -- Kitimat Ice Demons at Prince Rupert Rampage
Saturday, October 23 -- Hazelton Wolverines at Prince Rupert Rampage
Saturday, October 30 -- Nechako North Stars at Prince Rupert Rampage 
Saturday, November 6 -- Prince Rupert Rampage at Kitimat Ice Demons
Saturday, November 13 -- Prince Rupert Rampage at Williams Lake Stampeders
Sunday, November 13 -- Prince Rupert Rampage at Quesnel Kangaroos
Saturday, December 11 -- Terrace River Kings at Prince Rupert Rampage
Saturday, January 8 -- Prince Rupert Rampage at Nechako Northstars (Vanderhoof)
Sunday, January 9 -- Prince Rupert Rampage at Hazelton Wolverines
Saturday, January 15 -- Prince Rupert at Terrace River Kings
Saturday, January 22 -- Prince Rupert at Kitimat Ice Demons
Saturday, January 29 -- Williams Lake Stampeders at Prince Rupert Rampage
Saturday, January 30 -- Quesnel Kangaroos at Prince Rupert Rampage
Saturday, February 5 -- Terrace River Kings at Prince Rupert Rampage 

You can track the results through the season through our Results page here, which will also include Game Summaries and our own notes from time to time.

More Background on the CIHL for the 2021-22 season can be found from our News/Archive page here.

Links to all of our local sports coverage can be found at the bottom end of the right hand column on our home page

Rampage Results/Schedule for 2021-2022 Senior Men's CIHL Season

The much anticipated return to the ice for the member teams of the Central Interior Hockey League has arrived, with teams launching the CIHL season on October 16th.

As part of our notes on the season, we will update the developments of the 2021-22 Regular season, and playoffs, posting the results and scoring summaries following each Rampage game.

Prince Rupert Rampage Schedule Preview for 2021-22


Next Game:
Saturday October 23, 2021
Hazelton Wolverines at Prince Rupert Rampage 7PM

(Game Summary when available)
(CIHL Boxscore when available)

Saturday, October 16, 2021
Kitimat Ice Demons 7 at Prince Rupert Rampage 4 

(Game Summary when available )
(CIHL Boxscore when available) Attendance 525


CIHL Standings  (click here)

Full CIHL Scoreboard  ( click here )

League Scoring Leaders ( click here )

League Goaltending Leaders ( click here )

Our North Coast Review Rampage and CIHL News Archive can be found here.  

Rampage on Social Media

Prince Rupert Rampage on Facebook
Prince Rupert Rampage on Twitter

Links to all of our local sports coverage can be found at the bottom end of the right hand column on our home page

"Urgent" situation related to Seal Cove Sanitary Sewer Outfall spurs on latest RFP from City of Prince Rupert

An aging map of some aging infrastructure. The City of Prince Rupert has
included the above document as part of their RFP for Bids
for some work on a sewer outfall on the city's east side
(From the City of PR RFP with BC Bid)

The city's aging infrastructure has sprung another leak, with the City of Prince Rupert posting a Request for Proposals to the BC Bid Website, this one related to work condsidered 'urgent" for the replacement of a 450mm Sanitary Sewer Outfall L, approximately 500ft long, along the end of Seal Cove Road. 

The prospectus towards the Outfall Replacement plan was posted to the BC Bid website on Wednesday with the City making note of some of the key elements towards the project.

The work is considered “urgent” as there is major separation in the encasement and the pipe itself is a key piece in the city’s sanitary infrastructure. 

The sanitary sewer outfall has failed and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Currently the main is active, but still leaking. 

Proponent must supply schedule and availability to start and end design works and provide a cost estimate to budget for the replacement in 2022.

Towards the work that is required, the City has provided a Scope of Services checklist for proponents for the work to consider.

The Closing date for those interested in the work is set for 4:30 on October 29th.

The timeline of expectations for the successful proponent would see a Draft Design and estimate in the city's hands by November 22nd, with a Final Design and Class B estimate required by December 5th.

The city will also host a mandatory meeting towards the project prior to the deadline for applications.

You can review more of the RPF from the BC Bid Website.

At the City Council session earlier this month, the City's Operations Director Richard Pucci provided council with a snapshot of some of the recent storm related damage that came from last month's parade of extreme weather.

Among some of his many observations from those weather events:

The wastewater treatment facility suffered some flooding, but the City was able to catch it and make sure that no releases of untreated material took place.

More notes on the City's infrastructure themes can be explored here.

Terrace Celebrates Student Housing, Library renovations at Coast Mountain College

Anne Kang, the Minister of Advanced Education and Skills
Training was in Terrace Thursday.  Taking part in the opening of new
student housing and a renovated library at Coast Mountain College

Well, as things turned out, it seems that a cabinet minister will travel a great distance for a ribbon cutting, or in the instance of Thursday, the celebration of the completion of Student Housing and Library renovations for the Terrace campus of Coast Mountain College.

An enthusiastic Advanced Education and Skills Minister Anne Kang joined Laurie Waye, Interim President of Coast Mountain College and a number of college officials and guests on hand  for the noon hour event Thursday in Terrace. 

The Minister sharing some effusive commentary following her tour of the facility, noting what it means for those attending the Terrace campus.

“The care and attention to detail in these projects will inspire students to learn more about the world around them, all while creating a safe place to call home as they adjust to life on campus. This increased student housing will also reduce the demand for rental housing in the community, helping to alleviate the housing market pressures throughout Terrace.”

As for the new housing facility, a statement from the Minister's office provides the details of what students can look forward to from their new home on campus.

The new student housing building, called Wii Gyemsiga Siwilaawksat, replaces housing that was more than 40 years old. The building’s name translates to “where learners are content or comfortable.” This is reflected in the choice to include two suites for visiting families of students, an Elder suite, two shared kitchens, two collaboration areas, a computer lab, an e-sports room and bike storage. 

A central area features a variety of Indigenous fine art created by alumni and instructors from CMTN’s Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. The building features two three-storey wings with 108 beds (104 student beds, up from 71 in the previous spaces). 

The renovated Spruce Building Library, called Waap Sa’mn, is also open. The space includes an Indigenous reading circle area that houses Indigenous collections, as well as learning and administrative spaces. The renovation was needed following a 2018 flood in the basement of the building. Phase 2 of the building renovation is expected to be complete in fall 2022.

During her presentation, the Minister had praise for the work of MLA's Nathan Cullen from Stikine and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, as well as to offer up a shout out for Skeena MLA Ellis Ross.

"I would like to thank in particular the advocacy of North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, as well as MLA for Stikine Nathan Cullen who helped push these projects forward"

Ms. Rice herself, providing a statement for the occasion to celebrate the campus amenities that have been constructed in Terrace.

“Resiliency is the key to success, and having a welcoming and inclusive place to call home while broadening one’s perspectives through study makes an important difference in the lives of our young adults. The reach and impact of CMTN is felt throughout Northern British Columbia, and the new student housing and renovated library are a fantastic example of how thoughtfully designed buildings can positively influence the lived experience of so many people.”

The Terrace announcement was not the only college housing statement on the day, with the province celebrating student housing for college campus locations in the Kootenay's on Thursday.

As well as part of their housing victory tour, the government  provided a handy checklist of all of their recent student housing initiatives across the province.

All of which serves to remind students attending the Prince Rupert campus of Coast Mountain College that there seemingly has been little progress to be found for some housing locally; the topic one which goes back to the days of former Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem who championed the need more than eight years ago.

The last we heard of any work towards a local housing option came in March of this year, when we noted that Sarah Zimmerman, the former communications director for the college had observed that the college continues to explore opportunities for campus housing for Prince Rupert.

"While we have housing in Prince Rupert and Smithers in our 5-year capital plan, and as a request for funding from the Provincial government, we do not have any projects or funding to announce in either of those communities. That said, we continue to look explore opportunities in both those communities." -- Sarah Zimmerman, Coast Mountain College March 2021

As part of our review of the challenges for community housing of earlier this year, we outlined how the City of Prince Rupert had identified student housing as one part of their recently approved new Zoning revisions, those changes coming out of their work on the Official Community plan of this year.

Still despite all of that, and with a significant crunch when it comes to rental housing in the city there does not appear to be much urgency attached towards developing student housing for the student population that have chosen Prince Rupert for their college education. 

A growing number of which include International students arriving in the community for their studies at the Fifth Street campus.

What should be a concern for civic officials and the MLA for that matter,  is that with continued roll out of campus improvements being added to the Terrace campus, students will in the end migrate east and not even explore their options on the North Coast. 

Something that would diminish the vibrancy of the Prince Rupert campus and its footprint in the city's downtown core.

The need for campus housing and housing in general in the community today, is one that is even more desperate than that of eight years ago. 

Hopefully one day in the very near future, MLA Rice and the Advanced Education Minister can host a celebration on the North Coast that announces the completion of student housing for those pursuing their studies in this area.

You can review the full statement on the Terrace housing here, the video of the Celebration is available from the BC Government You Tube page.

More notes related to Coast Mountain College across the Northwest can be reviewed here.

A look at the current concerns over housing in Prince Rupert can be examined from our archive page here.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Loading, Unloading issues put Northern Expedition off its schedule Thursday

The BC Ferries Vessel Tracker shows the
Northern Expedition underway following a day of delays

The Northern Expedition is finally underway, but not before a change of events through the day Thursday led to a delay in departure from the Prince Rupert Fairview terminal.

The delay assigned to a range of events related to loading, unloading and cleaning requirements for the vessel.

BC Ferries posted a Service Notice to their website just before 6PM tonight providing for the review of the day and what it means for an Estimated Time of Arrival in Skidegate later this evening.

click to enlarge

You can keep up with the vessels status for the return to Prince Rupert on Friday from the Service Notice page here.

More notes on Marine Transportation on the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii can be reviewed here.

Kitwanga marks the COVID line for Northern Health, with points east to be under additional health measures as of midnight tonight

There's no change for residents west
of Kitwanga, but in points east
Midnight brings a range of new health 
measures to combat COVID
click to enlarge)
Some new public health measures were put in place on Thursday by the Northern Health Authority as officials look to wrestle the ongoing challenges of COVID across much of the Health Authority.

The Delta variant is proving to be a fast transmit and with a still far too large number of Northerners still unvaccinated, today's moves are designed to slow COVID down and address issues in specific regions of the Health Authority, as well as to reduce the pressures being found for many health facilities.

As a result, Northern Health has announced that effective at midnight Thursday October 14, 2021 that the entire Northern Health region, (with the exception of Local Health areas west of Gitwangak (Kitwanga): Terrace, Kitimat, Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Stikine, Telegraph Creek, Snow Country and Nisga’awill be under the following additional orders: 

Personal gatherings, both indoor and outdoor, are restricted to fully vaccinated people, including at private residences and vacation accommodation Indoor gathering: up to 5 people are permitted 

Outdoor gathering: up to 25 people are permitted 

All indoor and outdoor organized events require a safety plan and for attendees to wear a mask and present their BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated 

Indoor event: up to 50 people are permitted 

Outdoor event: up to 100 people are permitted 

Worship services: virtual services are required 


Fast-food restaurants and unlicensed caf├ęs without table service can provide take-out only or require patrons to present the BC Vaccine card showing they are fully vaccinated. 

Licensed establishments and those with table service must not serve alcohol between 10pm-9am and must require patrons to present the BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated. 

Bars and nightclubs (no meal service) will be closed 

Sport events spectators (indoor and outdoor) are limited to 50% capacity, must have a safety plan, and require attendees to wear masks and present their BC Vaccine Card showing they are fully vaccinated

The measures will remain in place until November 19th and may be subject to extension if case counts remain high and vaccination rates continue to be low.

The urgency of the current situation was expressed by Northern Health President and CEO Kathy Ulrich

 “We are under immense pressure in our facilities that is fueled by an unvaccinated population. We continue to encourage all people age 12 and up to get immunized.”

Chief Medical Health Officer for Northern Health, Dr. Jong Kim provided the review of the current status of the health care system in the north. 

 “Hospitals in Northern Health are overstretched as beds become filled with COVID-19 patients, primarily unvaccinated. People needing critical care are being transferred to other regions of the province. Everyone needs to get immunized to help keep our hospitals open for treating people with other illnesses. Until more people make the choice to get vaccinated, we need to ensure we have orders in place to protect the most vulnerable and limit the spread."

The full information release as well as where vaccination clinics are taking place can be reviewed here.

Information related to the new measures is also available through the Northern Health Facebook page.

As we noted yesterday, the most recent COVID Data for local communities from the BC CDC highlighted the concerns related to the current situation, with many communities from the Bulkley Valley east facing concerning levels of COVID. 

The most recent notes also showing a rising tide in the Prince Rupert area, which recorded fifteen cases in the most recent report, that an increase of ten from one week ago.

Should the Northwest wish to avoid the introduction of the same measures now in place in points east, a commitment to current health requirements and a continued increase for the vaccination rate would make for the most beneficial approach for local residents.

More notes on Northern Health can be explored from our archive page here.

Wolverine Terminals set for construction phase on Prince Rupert waterfront

An artists rendering of the Wolverine Marine Terminal facility
on the shoreline of the west side of Prince Rupert

It's a green light for the next Terminal development on the Prince Rupert waterfront, with Wolverine Terminals announcing that construction is underway for their Marine Fueling Terminal facility along the shoreline of the west side of the city.

An announcement released today from Wolverine President Serge Brisson outlined the road ahead for the project

“This project further enhances the Port’s already-strong standing in the market as the closest North American port to Asia, utilizing CN’s cross-continent rail network, by providing one more significant advantage in the competitive Pacific gateway trade route ... We look forward to a lasting, positive relationship with our partners in Prince Rupert, in addition to our immediate neighbours and surrounding communities,””

The local construction activities will pick up significantly next month and will conclude with the arrival of two custom built vessels prior to operations launch. 

Once completed,  the Marine Fuel Terminal will create full-time employment, in addition to new indirect jobs stimulated by potential growth in cargo volumes. 

Today's announcement also notes that the Terminal will also generate supplementary benefits, locally and provincially, through spending on goods and services, taxes, and provide local availability of low-sulphur marine fuel, potentially reducing the number of vessels routing south to refuel.

The Calgary based company completed its Environmental Effects Evaluation in 2019 and will be regulated by the Port of Prince Rupert and Transport Canada. 

Location of the Wolverine Marine Fuel Terminal in Prince Rupert
(from Wolverine website)

The terminal located just west of the Pinnacle Pellet Terminal will be a rail-served facility, with marine operations scheduled to be operational by the first quarter of 2023, once in operation they will make for the first-ever marine fuel distribution services at the Port. 

Some background on how the terminal will operate can be reviewed from the Wolverine website.

The project was first proposed and introduced to the community in the fall of 2017.  It was originally proposed to be in operation in 2019, the timeline changing as the evaluation process went forward.

Today's update marked the first significant news for the progress of the project in the last few years.

More notes on its path towards service can be found from our archive page here.

Work underway on waterfront at CN Building near Rotary Park

Safety fencing and some equipment arrival herald some progress 
at the historic CN Station on the waterfront

What may be Prince Rupert's most interesting and anticipated renovation project appears to be in the prep  or exploratory work stage.

That as workers take to the insides of the historic CN Station at Rotary Waterfront Park. 

The structure currently behind Yellow Safety fencing, with a construction trailer and other items making for a a curiosity for those visiting the park these days.

Workers from Northern Concrete Cutting Limited of Prince George among those on the site, as the city's ambitions for the once iconic waterfront station, which has suffered some deterioration over the years, begin to move forward.

Members of Prince Rupert City Council as well as residents of the city had an opportunity earlier this summer to get a bit of a preview of what's ahead for the former transportation centre. 

The building one which Mayor Lee Brain has proposed be leased as the future location for Prince Rupert's Wheelhouse Brewing Company.

The scope of the work ahead came from a presentation on August 23rd from Mr. Charlie Maddison, of the firm Boni-Maddison, who provided the expansive 411 on what the current state of the building is and what remediation is going to be required to return it to public use.

During that session, council members while clearly very enthusiastic for the project did raise a few questions and sought out further information on the work ahead for follow up. Though so far, none of their requests of August have been updated for the public in subsequent Council sessions into the fall.

As well since August, no further notes on the project have been relayed through the City's information streams found on the City Website, the City Facebook page or that of Mayor Lee Brain.

The CN station's fate was one of the elements of the 2030 Vision plan of December 2019, some of the notes towards progress on that property can be reviewed from our Archive page here.

RCMP Response Tuesday brings man off Second Avenue Bridge for treatment in Hospital

The RCMP is providing a few details related to an incident on the city's west side on Tuesday, as members of the Prince Rupert detachment attended to a man in distress on the Second Avenue Bridge.

The daytime incident brought a large response from the detachment, with traffic stopped leading to the structure from the Graham side, as well as from the downtown part  of the city. 

The Second Avenue Bridge was the scene of an RCMP response
on Tuesday, as members spoke with a man in distress on the structure

During the course of their time on the scene, Police responders spoke with the man in his early thirties for close to half an hour, before apprehending him under the Mental Health Act. 

He was subsequently  taken to Prince Rupert Regional Hospital for further treatment and observation.

The level of distress calls has been noted in the past by the local detachment as an area of concern, when staff from the Prince Rupert detachment last made a prevention to City Council two years ago, it was noted that a growing number of calls of social issues and people in distress were making for part of a patrol officer's routine.

In late September, Prince Rupert City Councillor Nick Adey suggested to Council that an invitation be sent to the Detachment to provide an update for Council and the community, offering a chance to give residents a snapshot of policing issues in the region at this time.

So far, there has been no word from Council if they plan to move forward on the Councillors suggestion.

More notes on the work of Emergency Responders can be explored here.

Final day for CityWest to 'drop in' on potential future customers in Haida Gwaii

CityWest is laying the groundwork for providing 
improved communication services to Haida Gwaii

(photo from CityWest website)

The future for communication services for Haida Gwaii has been the topic of conversation for CityWest this week as Sales Manager Norelle Lindstrom travelled to a number of communities on the islands  this wekto share information on the CityWest plans with residents.

According to some social messaging from the Prince Rupert based communication company, Ms Lindstrom had stops scheduled in Tlell, Masset, Old Masset, Queen Charlotte and Skidegate during the course of her three day visit which wraps up today.

We made note of the expansion plans for the City of Prince Rupert owned company in September, with the prospect of improved service to Haida Gwaii one that was being received well by community leaders.

City West outlined their community engagement focus in September, Those on Haida Gwaii that may have missed out on a visit can learn more about the program here.

As well you can contact CityWest at 1-800-442-8664

More items of note on communication themes across the Northwest and Haida Gwaii can be explored here.

Wandering Bear has Port Edward residents on alert

Bears are making their way to hibernation, 
with reports this week of a bear in Port Edward

(photo not of Port Edward bear but
 from BC COS info campaign in September

As the winter season gets closer, area bears it seems are making their way to favoured hibernation locations and over the last few days one in transit has been wandering around the Port Edward area.

Yesterday, the District raised the alert for residents, noting of the bear's roaming of the community, the District advising that the Conservation Officer Service of British Columbia has been notified of the situation.

The District is reminding residents of the need to eliminate any attractants for the bears and to be observant upon leaving their residences. 

As well any further sightings should be reported to the Conservation Service through their RAPP line of 1-877-952-7277

The Conservation Officer Service recently reminded British Columbians of their part in protecting wildlife   and some of the do's and don's to keep in mind.

Updates from the District can be reviewed through their Facebook page

Further notes of interest from Port Edward can be explored from our archive page.

Items of interest on the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest can be found here.

Registration for Christmas Hamper program starts Monday

The pages of the calendar are flipping by faster and faster these days and as we move into the middle of October comes the annual reminder of the need for those requiring a Christmas Hamper to make sure that they are registered for the program which is hosted by the Salvation Army in Prince Rupert.

This years Registration period will start on Monday, October 18th, opening a one month window to get on the distribution list, with the final day to register set for November 19th.

Those that are looking to access the program this year will need to have some ID handy for each member of your household, as well as a list of expenses and income for when you call in. 

Once registered, those requesting hampers will be assigned a pick up date upon completion of the registration process.

Towards the Hamper program, if you have a toy wish list for reach child, you are asked to share it at the time of registration so the Salvation Army and the program workers can try to ensure that at least one thing that has been asked for makes it into the package.

The phone number to register starting Monday is 250-624-6180 Extension 2

Such have been the extremes in the local economic situation in the community over the last few years, that the program has been one that has filled an important role on the North Coast and has been made use of by many in need in the region.

In Mid September, the local Harley Riders took to the streets of Prince Rupert to help raised funds and collect toys for the Christmas program. Since the rides began forty years ago, local residents have raised over 700,000 dollars for the Salvation Army and other initiatives through the annual ride.

The Salvation Army's Food Bank program also benefited from the efforts of volunteers on this years Food Drive, which saw over 4,200 pounds of goods collected during the late September collection.

The Christmas Hamper program is just one of a number initiatives that the Salvation Army launches as part of the holiday period, we'll update what's ahead as more details are outlined from the local agency.

More notes on Prince Rupert area community themes can be explored here.

Coast Mountain College in Terrace to host Advanced Education Minister Anne Kang today

Preparations taking place for a visit from a BC Government
cabinet minister today at the Terrace campus of Coast Mountain College
(photo from CMTN twitter feed)

The Northwest will see a visit from a cabinet minister today, with Advanced Education and Skills Training Minister Anne Kang set to be in the House in Terrace this morning, on campus to celebrate the new Student building that was recently completed.

The event one which will be live streamed by Coast Mountain College starts at the noon hour.

Since it seems like a long way to travel to cut a ribbon, or open a new feature for students on the campus; it's likely that some kind of provincial announcement on advanced education will be relayed today while the Minster is in the Terrace area.

And indeed, in the information notes related to the live stream of today, Coast Mountain College and the Province offer up a hint towards what any announcement may reveal.

Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training and Laurie Waye, Interim President, Coast Mountain College will make an announcement that will benefit students and the surrounding region.

Those Students and the staff of the college, along with residents of the Northwest will learn more sometime before the noon hour has come to an end.

More notes of interest from Coast Mountain College can be reviewed here.