Thursday, September 16, 2021

Metlakatla and Port Edward LNG to host project information session September 22

 


With Port Edward District Council moving the Port Edward LNG facility proposal forward this week, the next step towards public information for the project will come next week for members of the Metlakatla First Nation.

In an update for the Metlakatla community, the Metlakatla Stewardship Society's Environmental Assessment department and Port Edward LNG announced the they will be hosting the information session on Wednesday, September 22nd from 5:30 to 730 PM.

The event to be held virtually by Zoom with a link to the session available through the Metlakatla Facebook page or website.

At the session, representatives from the Society and Port Edward LNG will be on hand to answer any questions for the project proposed for an area east of Galloway Rapids in the District of Port Edward.

As we outlined earlier this week, the proposed development is considered a small scale LNG initiative, the Port Edward version one which will process the gas at the site off of Highway 16 and then ship it to global markets through containers, shipping out of the Port of Prince Rupert.

At Tuesday's Council meeting, Port Edward council officials addressed the Development permit required for the early works related to the site clearance for the LNG terminal location.

More notes on the proposed Port Edward LNG project can be reviewed here.

Why did the pedestrian cross the road at Cow Bay? Because the walkway on the bridge remains closed


Pedestrians in the Cow Bay Area continue to have no access for the sidewalk along the Cow Bay Bridge, with repairs still to take place for the crossing over the slough at Breakers.

The sidewalk was closed on August 24th after a traffic mishap which saw a motorist crash through the railings at the front of the popular Cow Bay pub. 

After its short flight, the car landed in the slough below, which fortunately at the time was at a low tide, with the motorist subsequently extricated by members of the Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue department and then taken to hospital for attention.

Most of the damage to the structure appears to have been directed to a walkway from Breakers to the sidewalk, which currently looks like something from an Indiana Jones movie set.


Since the August incident, the crossing has remained closed with nothing of note released by the City of Prince Rupert as to a timeline for its reopening, or even an indication for that matter that the walkway has been closed.

It's not a major inconvenience however for those transiting to, or through the Cow Bay Area  from either east or west, can make use of the city's Rainbow Crossing which is getting some additional use these days.


Keep an eye on the City of Prince Rupert Facebook page for any potential updates on the situation.

For more notes on civic infrastructure see our archive page here

Premier Horgan on cruise control as Cruise Industry related issues boil over in Alaska

Senator Lisa Murkowski 
delivered comments on
the cruise industry to the
SE Alaska conference 
gathering this week
(From SEAK conference
FB page
)
For the second day in a row, a dispatch from Alaska heralds some stormy seas ahead for the British Columbia cruise industry. 

This time with influential Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski outlining her plans to introduce new legislation that will provide for a permanent exemption from the Passenger Vessel Services Act for cruise ships transition between the Lower 48 state and Alaska.

The Senior Senator for the state provided the update on her plans for delegates to the Southeast Conference Annual meeting taking place in Haines, Alaska, noting she will introduce her proposal next week. 

The Southeast Conference is an umbrella organization of Alaskan communities that the City of Prince Rupert is member of. 

However, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain has not attended the annual function in recent years owing to a number of reasons, ranging from conflicts to the UBCM conferecnce to COVID, his last public notes on the Alaska/Prince Rupert relationship coming back in September of 2019.

At this years gathering, Ms. Murkowski charted the course of action for the Alaska cruise industry for the delegates, observing how she wants to "make sure Alaskans do not have to worry about another government shutting down their business"

The Senators office released some of the key elements of her address on Wednesday, which included:

“While the PVSA is well-intentioned to protect American jobs and businesses, it had the unintended consequence of putting Alaskan businesses at the mercy of the Canadian government. It nearly wiped out Southeast Alaskan economies as we saw business after business ready to welcome visitors, but unable to because Canadians would not respond to our requests to allow foreign stops at their ports to meet the requirement of PVSA. 

We cannot let that happen again. 

Next week, I intend to introduce legislation that will permanently exempt Alaskan cruises carrying more than 1,000 passengers from the PVSA. This legislation will create jobs for American merchant mariners in the cruise industry, and to ensure foreign-built cruise ships do not compete with U.S.-built ships, this waiver will end once there is a U.S.-built cruise ship that carries more than 1,000 passengers. 

We do not want to compete with U.S. shipbuilders—that’s why this legislation ends once there is an American market. Bottom line, we need to reform the PVSA so that Alaskans’ ability to engage in commerce isn’t derailed by the government of another country.”

Hers is the second motion from the State that will be up for consideration by the American government in the weeks ahead. 

As we noted yesterday, Alaskan Congressman Don Young has his own Bill currently working its way through Congress, one which would also have a significant impact on the Canadian cruise industry should it make it to final approval.

As part of our notes from Wednesday, we observed of a conversation this week between Premier John Horgan and CKNW radio host Jas Johal, an exchange that is well worth a listen, with the topic of Mr. Young's bill making for one of the subjects for the Premier to review.

"It's unfortunate that we have these disruptions in that relationship, but I'm going to be continuing to put my shoulder down with those who want to work with us, and I believe Senator Murkowski is among those ... she was slated to have something to say today about Mr. Young's bill ... we'll be working with Ottawa through the ambassador in Washington to monitor those things. I've got more than enough to do  with between the ocean and the mountains and the Yukon and the 49th parallel, I'll let Canadian officials deal with this issue" -- Premier Horgan on CKWN earlier this week

While Mr. Horgan seemed to suggest that his conversation from the Spring with Senator Murkowski, indicated that all was well between British Columbia and Alaska for the most part; Ms. Murkowski's comments to the Southeast conference and her percolating legislation clearly identifies one area where the two politicians are not on the same page.

When the North Coast Cruise season returns in 2022, there may
be fewer vessels making their way to Prince Rupert if proposed
US legislation is adopted


The cruise industry themes still are clearly an irritant of urgent concern for the Americans and the Premier may want to take heed of the clear warning that is being delivered, one that the British Columbia industry is going to feel a significant impact from the legislation should it move forward.

The Premier may want to pick up a phone and touch base with both his friend the Senator and once the election dust settles on Monday,  whomever forms the government in Ottawa to express the British Columbia opinion on the issue, if the provincial government has one.

As well, the Premier and his cabinet may want to provide some guidance for those that are in the British Columbia cruise industry,  stakeholders who no doubt are feeling a little abandoned by the provincial government at the moment.

Likewise, MLA Jennifer Rice may want to explore how the local cruise industry participants view the American moves and see if those in the industry in Prince Rupert have any counsel for her to take back to the government as to how to the province should approach the issue.

For more on the Cruise industry on the North Coast see our archive page here.

Smithers surges in weekly COVID data review, Prince Rupert levels remain low

When it comes to new COVID cases the Smithers region
now has the highest rate or reported cases per capita in the provinc
e

The epicentre for COVID in the Northwest, if not the province at the moment is clearly centred on the Bulkley Valley. With the Smithers region accounting for the second highest level of new COVID cases in all of the Northern Health region in the last seven days.

117 cases were reported from the Smithers area from the most recent report released yesterday. The Bulkley Valley community  now an area for concern, trailing only the much larger population area of Prince George which recorded 247 cases in the most recent report of September 5 to 11.

The concerning numbers out of Smithers caught the attention of Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen on Wednesday who used his social media forum to outline his concerns.

On the North Coast, Prince Rupert had only two new cases to report over the last seven days, that makes for a decline of one from last weeks information release.

The full review across the region looks as follows:

Smithers -- 117 cases
Nechako -- 72 cases
Terrace --
 17 cases
Burns Lake -- 16 cases
Upper Skeena --  5 cases
Kitimat --
 3 cases
Prince Rupert -- 2 cases
Nisga'a Region -- 2 cases
Bella Coola Valley -- 2 cases
Snow Country-Stikine- Telegraph Creek -- 2 cases
Haida Gwaii -- 0 cases
Central Coast --
 0 cases

Wednesday's provincial report lists 62 new cases for Northern Health, 849 Active cases.

There are currently 46 residents of the North hospitalized from COVID , with 12 listed as requiring Critical Care


BC CDC COVID data results for Wednesday September 15, 2021


The full report from the Province for Wednesday can be reviewed here

The larger BC CDC Data release is available here.

Past information statements on COVID and other notes on the Northwest response can be reviewed from our archive page.


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Advancing reconciliation a major focus in early days of UBCM convention

Josie Osborne the Minister of Municipal Affairs was one of a
number of BC NDP cabinet ministers taking part in the early
days of the UBCM convention for 2021
(photos from UBCM 2021)


Delegates attending the 2021 UBCM convention have heard of a re-commitment towards advancing Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, with the theme making for much of the conversation in the first two days for the five day event.

The delegates who are participating virtually this year owing to COVID, heard the details of a Memorandum of Understanding that updates the process for the UBCM and Provincial government, as they to work together to support meaningful engagement with local governments as the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act is implemented by the provincial government. 

In an information release from UBCM and the BC Government  yesterday, the scope of what is planned was outlined.

The MOU specifies that the Province will share information, consider local government interests and seek advice on matters including the implementation of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. 

More broadly, the scope of the MOU encompasses the wide range of agreements currently negotiated between the Province and First Nations or Indigenous peoples, including treaties and “self -governance, social, land, resource, economic development or other agreements negotiated between a First Nation or Indigenous partners and the Province both inside and outside of the B.C. treaty process that have the potential to impact local government”.

“This renewed agreement strengthens the partnership between the Province and local governments and our mutual commitment toward reconciliation with Indigenous Nations. It encourages the strong communication and information sharing needed to open doors to meaningful conversations and partnerships that will benefit communities throughout British Columbia. I look forward to working with local governments, colleagues across government and Indigenous partners as we move forward together to build stronger communities under this MOU.” -- Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs.


Those taking in the first few days of UBCM also participated in an information session on Reconciliation with Senator Murray Sinclair on Tuesday. The Acclaimed First Nations leader shared a wide range of information for those assembled. 

His commentary formed from his extensive work as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission as well as from the view of an Indigenous leader who has long been seeking movement on themes of reconciliation.


Mr. Sinclair was just one of a number of participants on the topic as part of the Tuesday session, you can recapture some of the themes of that presentation through the UBCM twitter feed.

As for the North Coast delegation from Prince Rupert, so far neither Mayor Lee Brain or the other six members of council have made use of their Social Media platforms to share any thoughts as to how the week of virtual convention going has moved along.

You can check out wha't up next for the delegates from the UBCM Program here.

You can access more notes on the event from our archive page here.


PRDTU calls for SD52 to restore cut positions from May budget decision making

The PRDTU has returned to the discussion on
staff cuts for 2021-22, outlining their position in
the local paper this week with an advertisement message


The members of the Prince Rupert District Teachers Union have taken to an open letter of sorts to the public to revive the contentious issue of the staff cuts from the Spring. 

The union takes up the topic through a message the community in the local newspaper, a missive that picks up the discussion on the future of education in the District from where it left off at the end of June.

In their notes the PRDTU recounts the cutting of nearly one tenth of the teaching staff last spring, noting that at the time they knew it would have an impact on education.

The union observes as to how the cuts may result in fewer certified teachers, over capacity in classrooms, increased class sizes and fewer supports for students. 

Warning that student learning will be impacted if the cuts are not fully restored, the PRDTU outlines how it would like to see the School District address the issue.

Noting how they don't want to see any funds moved away from direct supports for student learning, adding that funding should be kept as close to the students as possible.

Towards their goal, the PRDTU is calling for the cuts to be fully restored, with no increases in administrative pay, administrative positions or other non instructional expenses until that time.

So far the union has not made use of their online presence to share their information campaign with the public, with the last update to that forum dating back  to May 13th.

SD52 has also not addressed the latest salvo between the two sides of the education debate in the community.

The School District last addressed the cuts to positions in May with little additional information provided on the topic prior to the return to school last week.

You can review some of the history of that contentious three month period and other themes on Education from our archive page here.

SD52 and Northern Health to host COVID-19 youth vaccination clinic tomorrow at CHSS

Charles Hays Secondary School on Prince Rupert Boulevard
is the host venue for a youth COVID-19 clinic tomorrow.
Youth ages 12 and above can get vaccinated from 3 to 5PM


A letter to Prince Rupert Families from School Superintendent Andrew Samoil has outlined the scope of a COVID clinic to be held at Charles Hays Secondary School on Thursday, September 16th with the clinic set to offer opportunities for youth in the community 12 years and older to be vaccinated.

The vaccination clinic will take place from 3 to 5 PM with those youth attending asked to enter and exit the Multipurpose Room through the front doors adjacent to the parking lot, the clinic is a drop in event, with both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to be available. 

More on the clinic and some of the Superintendent's early back to school notes can be reviewed below:

click to enlarge

Links to the range of COVID information from SD52 can be accessed here.

The Suprintendents update make for the first items of note from the School Year from Mr. Samoil so far this school year.

For more notes on items of interest from SD52 see our archive page here.

More Red Flags for BC cruise industry as Alaska Congressman continues to push for changes to American Maritime policy

Alaska Congressman
Don Young
Time it seems does not heal all wounds or slights, with Alaskan Congressman Don Young once again pushing forward his plan to see the US government change its policies when it comes to cruise ship travel from the continental US states south of British Columbia to Alaska.

The Congressman who was quite outspoken on the topic in the Spring has raised a new initiative this week, providing some talking points for the Vancouver Sun, following up with some notes for his constituents in Alaska.

The key passage of his themes a belief by the Congressman that Canada in effect will continue to have a veto over the US cruise industry without changes

COVID-19 exposed critical vulnerabilities in Alaska’s economy, which required emergency action to save a portion of the 2021 summer cruise season. The return of cruise ships to southeast Alaska brought much-needed economic activity to the region. But it also served as a reminder that, in the future, we cannot allow such a vital portion of our economy to be held hostage by a foreign country, in this case, Canada. 

Make no mistake about it, without the passage of the Alaskan Tourism Restoration Act, Canada’s port closures would have doomed the 2021 cruise season despite our ability to mitigate COVID-19 on large cruise vessels. 

 To add insult to injury, Canada’s power to cancel Alaska’s 2021 cruise season was only possible because of a U.S. law known as the Passenger Vessels Services Act (PVSA). In short, the PVSA, enacted in 1886, does not allow foreign-flagged passenger vessels to make consecutive U.S. port stops without stopping at a foreign port in between. 

Upon the expiration of the Alaska Tourism Restoration Act, Canada will once again have de facto veto authority over Alaska’s cruise industry. As a result, we must reform the PVSA to protect the sovereignty of our tourism economy.

Towards his plans, the Alaska Congressman introduced new potential legislation in late July called the Tribal Tourism Sovereignty Act, which could have a significant impact on the Canadian Cruise industry in 2022 and beyond. 

"My proposal is simple yet powerful: Large foreign-flagged passenger vessels that call on ports or places in the United States owned by Tribes or Alaska Native Corporations would be compliant with the PVSA’s foreign-stop requirement. 

In Alaska, this would mean that voyages would no longer have to stop in or originate in Canada. Cruises could start and end in Alaska, maximizing their time in our state and opening new economic development opportunity for Alaskans. 

My bill also benefits tribal communities in the lower 48 states by creating port development opportunities for tribes in Washington State, Oregon, the Great Lakes, and the Northeast."

The full contribution to the Vancouver Sun can be reviewed here.

The Premier spoke to the topic on Tuesday through radio staton CKNW, with Mr. Horgan answering questions and crafting his responses to the issue through the Jas Johal program. 

For the most part the Premier expressed his concern over the provocative commentary coming from Alaska, though noting he wasn't aware of much detail to the Congressman's proposal, and noted how some Canadian ports are considered marquee locations and how he was confident that the industry would vote with its feet and include ports in British Columbia in cruise seasons to come.

He also observed as to how the ports were closed by the Federal government at the request of the province, and the situation is one that is more for Ottawa to resolve wth the Americans.  

The Premier noted of the current levels of COVID in the US and how the industry will be more interested in those concerns than the workings of the Congressman's initiative; Mr. Horgan also suggested that he would wait for further comment from other Alaska representatives such as Senator Murkowski who he has spoken with in the past.

You can tune into that discussion from the CKNW program here.

No Cruise passengers passed through the Prince Rupert Cruise
Terminal in 2021 as ports remained closed in Canadian waters.
A new bill proposed by an Alaska Congressman could make for more
trouble for the Canadian industry in 2022.

The US made temporary changes to their existing laws earlier this year to allow for the start of the lucrative Alaska cruise season; as a result vessels that may have made port calls in Prince Rupert among other ports were allowed to transit through without need of what are known as technical stops.

The Canadian cruise industry was shut down for 2021 by the Federal government back in February, the ban on vessels is set to be lifted later this fall.

You can review more notes on the American moves and other themes related to the cruise industry from our archive page here.

Advance Polling participation up in Skeena-Bulkley Valley and across Canada for 2021 election call

The Prince Rupert Elections Canada office on First Avenue West
was one of a number in Skeena-Bulkley Valley to see a good
level of participation in advance polling over the weekend

It may be the election call that few wanted this summer, but for those with plans to vote, voting early has been an option that many took advantage over the weekend.

Elections Canada has released their preliminary numbers for the four days of Advance voting which came to an end on Monday and in Skeena Bulkley Valley, just over 900 more voters compared to two years ago cast a ballot ahead of the General election of September 20th.

The count for the riding coming in at 10, 299 advance votes as of Monday, compared to the 9,394 which were cast in 2019.

The results of advance polling across Canada mirror that of Skeena-Bulkley Valley with Elections Canada noting of an 18.46 percent increase in advance poll participation this year. 

That number is an estimate from the Elections agency, it could change as they review the full list of results.

"I want to thank the electors who took advantage of advance polls for their patience and their help in making this a safe experience for everyone. I also want to thank the tens of thousands of election workers for making this possible. Canadians still have the opportunity to contribute to this great democratic exercise by voting on election day or by returning their special ballot before the September 20 deadline." --  Chief Electoral Officer St├ęphane Perrault. 


The advance polling numbers offer a hopeful trend that interest in the 2021 election will bring out a strong participation rate as voters consider their options with less than one week to go in the campaign.



The General Vote takes place Monday from 7AM to 7PM at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre in Prince Rupert, for locations wherever you live in Northwest BC see the Elections Canada home page.

More notes on the campaign in Skeena-Bulkley Valley can be found from our archive page.
 


Prince Rupert's Minor Hockey program hits the ice for 2021-22 season

The Jim is back in action as the home for another season of
Minor Hockey in Prince Rupert

This week saw the start of the 2021-22 Prince Rupert Minor Hockey season, with the first of the early morning practice sessions and those for after school getting underway at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

Towards the launch of the season, PRHMA has outlined the COVID safety plan that is in place for minor hockey this year, with a COVID Safety Rep to be in place before players, arrive at the Civic Centre for practice or play.

Among the duties of the COVID Safety Rep: ensuring that no one with symptoms is allowed to play, for those spectators planning to attend, those 22 years of age and over must provide proof of vaccination.

For the first week of play this week, no Spectators will be allowed to be in attendance.



Prince Rupert Minor hockey Officials outlined some of the plans ahead for the season, which they hope will include both regular and tournament play as part of number of social media posts earlier this month.



You can keep up with the schedule for ice time as well as the latest notes on the hockey season ahead, from the PRMHA Facebook page

Should you wish to find out more information about the Minor Hockey program this season you can contact the PRMHA at presidentprmha@gmail.com or by way of info@prmha.com

We'll follow up on Minor Hockey themes across the Northwest through the year from our archive page here.


PRMHA Archives 2021-22



Our archive of items related to the Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association and other Minor Hockey developments across the Northwest for the 2020-21 season.


Prince Rupert Minor Hockey Association Facebook Page



Minor Hockey Notes for 2021-2022


September


September 15 -- Prince Rupert's Minor Hockey program hits the ice for 2021-22 season  NCR

News Archive from previous years

2019-20
2018-19
2017-18
2016-17
2015-16
2014 and previous

Province looks to lend support with wide range of options towards Health Care recruitment in Northern Health region

The BC Government and Northern Health are looking at a
range of options to try and attract health care professionals
to Prince Rupert and many other communities across North BC


Attracting health care professionals to the North will bet a boost from the Provincial Government, with a program announced on Tuesday that will see a range of incentives and initiatives put in place to make working in the Northern Health service areas more attractive for would be employees.

Health Minister Adrian Dix provided for the overview of what the province has in mind to address the staffing issues that are found in any Local health authorities in all regions of Northern Health.

"Every person living in the North deserves to have the best possible health care close to home, when and where they need it. We are helping more people choose the North by providing support for the unique challenges Northern health workers face every day. That includes assistance with travel, housing and childcare, plus real-time access to emergency medicine physicians 24/7.”

Tuesday's information update provided for six key initiatives that will be put in place with approximately 3 million dollars in funding towards the program, three of which specifically mentioned issues of concern for Prince Rupert.

$821,000 to continue the Travel Resource Program (TRP), which supports more than 40 registered nurses (RN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN). 

Offering a flexible community fund of $115,000 that supports patient care delivery to support interdisciplinary teams and the health authority to work together and create a unique approach to address rural obstetrics needs and support 24/7 care for their communities, and helps stabilize care in the northwest (Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace). 

$225,000 in funding to develop a child care program to support expanded net new child care spots and expanded hours of operation to meet the needs of health-care workers who are often working 12-hour shifts. Anticipated regions for this include: Kitimat, Hazelton, Prince Rupert, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Ft. St. John. 

$750,000 to develop a housing program in communities where suitable market housing is barrier to permanent staffing and short-term deployments. Regions include Robson Valley, Kitimat, Hazelton, Prince Rupert, Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Ft. St John. 

Launching the Rural Urgent Doctor in-aid (RUDi) 24/7 virtual support pathway for physicians and other health-care professionals in rural communities, with $825,000 in government funding. 

$645,000 is geared toward creating clinical management supports for Prince Rupert and the northeast that will build capacity to support new graduates, provides more resources for management competency development and improves management support systems.

Some background note on the funding plans can be found here.

To give you an idea of the scope of the need for more employees in the North, the Northern Health Careers listings currently features seventeen pages, or 325 job opportunities in the Northwest, 85 of them in the Prince Rupert area.

A sample of just one page of the Northern Health career opportunities
currently listed for the Prince Rupert area



The vast majority of those listings state that the positions are open until filled. There are close to 900 positions listed as available for all three sub-regions of North East, Northern Interior, Northwest that make up Northern Health.

For more notes on Northern Health in the Northwest see our archive pages below:



CityWest prepares for next expansion with Fraser Lake the destination

Fraser Lake makes for the next direction point for the
CityWest compass
(photo from Village of Fraser Lake)

It's shaping up as a busy month for announcements for Prince Rupert based CityWest, with the City of Prince Rupert communication company announcing a new destination point for its map of communities for service, this time with Fraser Lake the next expansion location to be noted.

In an announcement from Tuesday, CityWest outlined its plans for the community located between Houston and Vanderhoof along the Highway 16 corridor, relaying that over the next few weeks, the company will begin its first stages of expansion into the community of Fraser Lake, with the goal of one day providing amazing customer services through fibre-optic Internet, TV, and phone. 

CityWest estimates the cost of the project is $2.1 million.

“It was fabulous working with our partners at Fraser Lake, because they truly understand the importance of connectivity, and they’re working hard to ensure their community is well-served. We’re excited to show everyone in Fraser Lake how our amazing employees provide great customer experiences while providing them with state-of-the-art technology.”  -- Stefan Woloszyn, CEO of CityWest. “


The first stage of expansion, will see representatives with Fraser Lake and CityWest going directly to the doors and mailboxes of residents, to sign them up for their installation, and ask permission to bury a “drop” on their property. (A drop is the infrastructure that runs from the street to the customer premises.) 

Once that is complete, customers in Fraser Lake will have access to fibre-to-the-home services when CityWest links those connections to the backbone along Highway 16. No timeline towards the start of those connections was included in the information release of Tuesday.

The addition of Fraser Lake continues on with the expansion plans east of The Bulkley Valley, that was highlighted by CityWest's move into the Vanderhoof region last year.

CityWest continues to expand its footprint for service to the
communities in the Eastern portion of the Northwest

Mayor Sarrah Storey outlined the enthusiasm for the project that the community has towards the connectivity project, noting how it was an opportunity that they couldn't pass up.

“We’re excited to partner with CityWest to bring fiber optic infrastructure to our community. CityWest has been amazing to work with. They understand the needs of smaller communities dealing with connectivity concerns. “Bringing our community into the 21st century, especially in this time where we connect online more than ever, is vital for our businesses and residents. We believe this will support growth and the sustainability of our community.”

The announcement also notes some of the financial themes of the work ahead for community residents.

The Village of Fraser Lake will leverage grant funding to pay for a portion of the build, meaning there will be no additional municipal taxes levied for the project.

The full announcement from CityWest can be reviewed here.

The Tuesday announcement was the second significant move for the Communication company in the last five days. 

As we noted on Monday, CityWest outlined its plans last Friday for service on Haida Gwaii, that project is part of the Connected Coast initiative.

For more items of note related to CityWest see our archive page here.



Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Prince Rupert RCMP seek assistance of Public on Missing Person's file


Update: The RCMP have advised that the Prince Rupert woman who was the subject of the Missing person's file has now been located and is safe.  

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

The Prince Rupert RCMP are turning to the public for assistance as they seek the whereabouts of a Missing Person.

In a case file report outlined on Tuesday afternoon the Prince Rupert detachment noted the disappearance of Alice Marie Dorothy Wilson who was last seen September 11th at approximately 1015PM in 1000 block of 10th Avenue East in the City.



Ms. Wilson is described as follows:

Indigenous female 35 Years old 

Long brown hair; Brown eyes 

5’2 (157 cm) 141 lbs (64 kg)

Should you have any information about Ms. Wilson, or where she might be, please contact the Prince Rupert RCMP at (250) 627-0700 or Crime Stoppers at 1(800) 222-8477.

The RCMP file advisory can be reviewed here.

For more notes on the work of Emergency Responders across the Northwest see our archive page here.

Rumours of a visit to Skeena-Bulkley Valley riding for Liberal candidate


The Liberal party has apparently decided the time is right for a fact-finding visit to the Skeena-Bulkley Valley constituency for their candidate Lakhwinder Jhaj. 

With the candidate telling the Terrace Standard that she has plans to stop in at both Terrace and Prince Rupert over the course of the next few days. 

Ms. Jhaj noting how she is set to be travelling to the two cities over the course of September 14 to 16.

The story doesn't exactly share details on how we'll find the candidate, with no real agenda listed; nor is there much of a presence for the Liberal's choice by acclamation from the Lower Mainland to be found on social media. 

Something that would allow for us to follow her on her last minute journey of exploration towards Monday's vote.

A quick look at the events page for the Liberals also comes up empty on when would be voters may be able to catch up with the candidate.


It does note that the Liberals find the one on one approach helpful. block by block, so perhaps leave a light on at the doorstep just in case their Skeena-Bulkley Valley candidate is running late.

Should we hear of any public events or notes on the candidates appearance in the riding we'll archive them on our election tracker page.

A blow to the CIHL Season launch ... as Smithers Steelheads announce that the team will withdraw from league play for 2021-22



While there's much anticipation for a return of the CIHL to rinks across the Northwest and beyond, today brought word of a challenge ahead for league officials, with the Smithers Steelheads Hockey Club announcing that it will not be participating in league play this season.

In the announcement posted to the teams Facebook Page, Steelheads officials make note of the  many circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic as to the reason for their decision.


The Steelheads only returned to league play in 2019 following a previous leave of absence in 2017-18, all of the CIHL teams found themselves off the ice in 2020-21 owing to COVID
 
The decision from Smithers will mean that a new schedule will now be required, with league officials still having been working on a final draft for 2021-22 prior to the announcement of out the Bulkley Valley today.

A first draft of the schedule had the league launching the season in mid-October, the league however can only operate at half capacity for its venues with COVID protocols  in place, which will make for the need for some creative approaches to managing team budgets.

While the Steelheads have bowed out for the year, a new entry will be taking to the ice with a combined team featuring players from Vanderhoof and Fort St. James to be known as the Nechako North Stars bring that area of the Northwest back into the CIHL fold, making for seven teams now for the season ahead covering a geographic expanse from Prince Rupert eastbound and on into the Cariboo region.

The remaining CIHL teams are already moving into training camp mode as they look to regain some ice legs after a much longer than planned absence from the rink.

The first game for the Prince Rupert Rampage was scheduled for October 16th, a night which would have seen  the team pay tribute to long time trainer June Robinson who passed away earlier this year. 

As well the team planned to pay its respects to the Every Child Matters commemorations. 

An update on the schedule revision plans, if that first game still holds that date,  as well as any other impact on the Rampage will be released in the days to come. 

You can find updated notes on the Rampage plans as they add them to their Social Media feed.

More notes on the CIIHL season ahead can be reviewed from our archive page.


NDP's Taylor Bacharach gets the electoral nod from Environmental Group GreenPAC

The Environmental Group GreenPAC has announced it's endorsement
list of 35 candidates for the 2021 Federal Election

Skeena NDP candidate Taylor Bachrach has received the endorsement of a national environmental group with the MP currently campaigning for a return to the House of Common, gaining the support of the organization Green PAC, which has offered its endorsements to 35 candidates from all five parties across the nation.

The criteria for the GreenPac endorsement is focused for those who have put the environment first from their experiences and accomplishments.

“These are the candidates who have shown they will stand up for our environment - candidates we can look to for strong leadership for the health of our planet,”  -- GreenPAC’s Executive Director, Sarah Van Exan.

In at the endorsement profile for Mr. Bachrach, he was praised for his work in Ottawa, as well as his prior efforts on environmental themes while in municipal politics in Smithers and Telkwa.

Endorsement biography for Taylor Bachrach
(click to enlarge)

The organization has a few caveats when it comes to their endorsement declarations, the first being the they only endorse candidates that they consider 'winnable' and they only focus on those ridings where the candidates that they have selected have have had accomplishments in environmental issues.

The organization has no ties to the Green Party of Canada, which probably explains their focus on all five political parties.

Other than being a bit of a disappointment perhaps for Green Party candidate Adeana Young, the endorsement probably won't shift much of the voting patterns in the Skeena riding, with the NDP MP having already captured the majority of the support for those with concerns on environmental themes. 

When it comes to casting a ballot on Monday,  supporters of three of the other four candidates most likely will not  be shifting their allegiances, regardless of an endorsement in this final week of the campaign.

The one area where the GreenPAC endorsement may have some impact, could be in the case of the Liberal vote in the riding. 

A volume of voters which should be in some form of flux considering the rather absent campaign in the region from their candidate Lakhwinder Jahr, who has not done much since being acclaimed in August to raise the profile of the party in Skeena-Bulkley Valley.

You can explore the full list of endorsements from GreenPac from their information release here.

A look at notes from the Skeena-Bulkley Valley campaign can be reviewed here.

North Coast Transition Society to host Virtual AGM on Wednesday


An opportunity to learn more about the local Transition Society in Prince Rupert  and area comes up tomorrow as the organization hosts its Annual General Meeting through a virtual Zoom platform starting at 7PM as part of their September 15th session.

The AGM offers a chance to hear about some of the latest developments for the group which has had a busy year providing for a range of services and housing options for members of the community.

The AGM is also a chance to become a member of the organization or to serve on their Board of Directors, you can access more information on those themes by contacting Collen for log on information and applications.

The email address is aa@ncts.ca or you can phone the North Coast Transition Society at 250-627-8959 extension 20

You can review some of their work through this year from their website or by way of their Social Media page here.

For more items of interest on Community themes see our Community Notes archive page.

District of Port Edward to review plans for Port Edward LNG facility tonight


A visual image of the proposed Port Edward LNG facility off of 
highway 16 in the District of Port Edward

(From Port Edward Council agenda)

Council members in Port Edward will be taking up a review of the latest notes on the proposed Port Edward LNG facility, with the theme of a development permit for site preparation up for discussion at tonight's Council session starting at 7PM.

Some of the background on the proposed development on Highway 16 is available as part of tonight's Council Agenda, providing for the first significant look at the progress for the project since it was announced almost one year ago in October of 2020.

The review of information for the Council members starts with a report from the District's CAO Danielle Myles Wilson, who provides for the latest status of the project and its path through regulatory themes.

Report for Port Edward Council on the
status of the proposed Port Edward LNG facility

(click to enlarge

The documentation from Port Edward LNG for tonight's Council session provides a look at the work that has taken place to date towards the Temporary Development Permit application

The overview comes with hopes by PELNG to commence with its early works on the project in October of this year with Operations of the facility to be up and running by the first quarter of 2023 following start up and commissioning. 

Once in operation it's anticipated that the facility will be capable of producing 250,000 US gallons per day of LNG with the potential for a doubling of that volume through expansion from a possible second phase.

The project is expected to generate up to 80 jobs during the construction phase, with up to twelve permanent employees upon completion as well as a number of third party  personnel in support of the facility operations.

The Report to Council provides an overview of the environmental and Heritage Conditions and a Socio Economic review.

Other elements include Traffic impacts, a blasting plan overview for the site clearance requirements and the community engagement taken on to date, including that with area First Nations.

The full report from Port Edward LNG can be reviewed from tonight's Port Edward Council Agenda.

More notes on the proposed facility can be reviewed from our archive page here.

Items of interest from Port Edward Council can be explored from our archive here


District of Port Edward returns to Zoom only access to Council meetings


The members of the District of Port Edward council will take a break from the work of the week of the UBCM convention to get in a little local governing of their own tonight, with a District Council session set for the night.

Residents of the District of Port Edward and those from outside the District with an interest in the Council meeting will have to make do with a Zoom link for the foreseeable future, that as the District announces that tonight's Council Session will only be accessible through the video conferencing platform.

That decision comes following the revision to public health orders in August and September, new. measures that have led the District officials to return to the Zoom platform for public engagement. 



The new measure goes into effect with tonight's Council session in Port Edward starting a 7 PM, with the Zoom invite link included as part of the Agenda for the session.

The Zoom link invitation is included as part of the Agenda for 
this evening's Port Edward Council session

As for the District session tonight, the Council members and those joining them on Zoom, will hear an update on the plans for the Port Edward LNG facility, as well as to hear of a funding request for Community Paramedicine in the region.

A further review of the COVID 19 health orders is included on tonight's Agenda as well.

Other items of note for discussion include the topic of Shipping Containers in the community, a request for a development variance permit for the Port Edward LNG facility, as well as reports on CMHC Funding  and Daycare in the community.

You can review the full agenda here.

More notes on items of interest from the District of Port Edward can be reviewed from our archive page.