Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Provincial Recovery Funding moves Prince Rupert waterfront project along

Waterfront development is set to move forward near the Kwinitsa
station area following a grant funding announcement by the 
BC Government earlier today

The British Columbia government has divvied up some 20 million dollars in Provincial recovery spending today and among the 38 projects in rural areas to receive a share is the Prince Rupert waterfront plans for the Kwinitsa Station area. 

With 1 million dollars on its way to the City of Prince Rupert towards the Waterfront Airport Ferry Landing Development.

In the Provincial announcement which you can review here, Premier John Horgan observed as to how the Rural Economic Recovery program grans will support and diversify rural communities.

“We are working to support economic recovery in every corner of the province, so families and communities can get through the pandemic and start looking towards their futures again. These shovel-ready projects will put people living in rural British Columbia back to work immediately and support building diversified economies in their communities.”

Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain was quick to celebrate the funding award with the followers of his Social Media page, providing an overview of how the funding will be put to use.

His comments touched on the nature of the partnership between the City and Gitxaala Nation, which was first outlined back at the Rupert 2030 Vision presentation of 2019.

This investment is in addition to the existing funds that have been allocated between the City and Gitxaala Nation partnership to rebuild the main waterfront area, set to be completely transformed with detailed designs currently underway. 

This will include a new ferry for Gitxaala members and public access dock, the relocation of the airport ferry launch to the main waterfront area (this $1M investment contributes to that), a fully refurbished old CN train station (with early engineering works currently underway), new public amenities, and various parking/traffic and waterfront design improvements!

As the Mayor notes, some of the work on the CN train station is already underway and in November of 2020 the City put out a call for Expressions of Interest seeking feedback from those interested in taking on tenancy once the building is refurbished, though the City has yet to outline what level of success that Request may have had.

The shift of the airport Ferry to the area once designated as Rupert's Landing (but a designation which Council suggested should be changed towards a more inclusive approach that would incorporate Sm'algyax or Coast Tsimshian elements into the name) would see the ferry make its transit to and from the Digby Island airport from a point closer to the city centre and making for a new visual entry point for travellers. 

The Ferry landing to anchor the access for what was at the time the city's only daily flight in and out of the community; though at the moment there are no commercial flights using the city's airport following Air Canada's decision to suspend service to the community in mid January, with any word on a timeline for return still unknown.

Also part of the new development of the Waterfront area will be the Gixaala Nation which will see the area used as the Rupert Port for a new Ferry in the planning for the Nation, that project was announced in August of last year.

In his Social Media post of today (available here), the Mayor has received a number of accolades from his followers related to the announcement; as well as questions related to the funding, with the Mayor choosing to reply to some of the correspondents on themes he wishes to expand on.

In his statement he notes that the City has plans to deliver a full update for the community to outline the ongoing plans for the area in question set for early this Spring.

For now you can review some of the history of the proposed development from our archive page that tracks some of the Vision plan projects of 2019.

For more notes on the work of City Council see our archive page here.



  1. If the city has or going to enter into an agreement the taxpayers have a right to know what the agreement is. What is our share and responsibilities, what are the other parties responsibilities. Will the the construction bid process be transparent.

    The city came up with a number of whatever it was something like .018 % of our budget to run a 24 hour washroom. I expect the city to give us a costing of this project.

    Look around the city. If this is our priority council should resign. Put your efforts into fixing the city, pipes roads, buildings. Hell novel idea build a subdivision.

  2. I admit the city is great at writing grants and asking for money. What the city isn't great at is being held accountable by tax payers for project timelines. Will Rupert's Landing be another case, time will tell.

    Examples include;

    - Water upgrades- 5+ years, not complete
    - New RCMP detachment - 5+ years, not complete
    - EV Charging Station - 2+ years to complete
    - Citywest fibre-to-the-home build out - 3+ year timeline, is it complete?
    - Curbside recycling - August 2021 apparently
    - Kanata - 5+ years not developed
    - Stiles Place Condos - 7+ years not developed

  3. I will add to the list Fraser Street rebuild completion delayed one year when the mayor took office. Not completed.

    Sidewalks in downtown area less then half done, job in limbo. The very worst area is in front of city hall never touched. Very poor approach to start with.

    We have had no dump for building materials for a couple of years. The mayor says soon, his soon is two years late and counting.

    The dilapidations of the downtown core getting worse not better. The mayor ran on this 6 plus years ago.

    Now the mayor wants to go chasing more rainbows at the old CN Station. Ask the mayor to put a hold on new stuff until some of the old stuff is fixed. If we keep going like this we will have a huge hole of unfinished works to repair. The object is to build to completion. The mayor has not grasped this concept.