Tuesday, November 30, 2021

It's last call for alcohol at Bars and nightclubs across Northern Health as expanded Health measures now include Prince Rupert, Terrace and surrounding communities

The Provincial Health Officer has delivered some new challenges for the bar owners of Northern British Columbia issuing a new measure today that will see bars across the entire Northern Health region close. 

The new Health Order one which will include the Prince Rupert area and other communities that previously had been exempt from the expanded Health Measures introduced earlier this fall.

The Bar and nightclub closure are in effect as of tomorrow and will last until January 31st of the new year. As well restaurants, which will remain open, will be required to cut off their liquor sales as of 10PM.

Also seemingly impacted will be worship services across the Northern Health Authority region.

"The Chief Medical Health Officer in the North has reviewed the restrictions that are in place there, and we've been in a transition period as I've mentioned over the last week and a bit to try and ensure that we are having restrictions that are commensurate with the risk in those areas, as well as the strain on the health care system.

And so Northern Health will be revising their orders one: to have an expiry date of January 31st of 2022, the order will cover all of Northern Health Authority. 

It will include that bars and nightclubs remain closed. Restaurants must continue to end their liquor service at 10 PM 

Given the situation in the north, there is still no In-Person worship services being allowed at this time, although drive in services will be permitted.

Social gatherings at private residences will be for up to 10 people inside, or 25 people outside, if people are fully vaccinated.

Outdoor events with more than 25 people, will have a fifty percent capacity with use of the BC Vaccine card. 

And indoor seated events with greater than ten people will have a fifty percent capacity limit and that includes funerals, weddings, sporting events, theatre, arts and performance events 

And I know some of these were restricted to a much lower number in the past so theses changes will come into effect starting tomorrow as well with the use of the BC Vaccine Card."  -- Doctor Bonnie Henry at today's COVID information session

Some of reasoning behind the decision to expand the health orders to the entire region may be related to a recent surge in COVID reported cases in the Terrace area, which saw a significant jump last week. Though the Prince Rupert region had seen reported cases drop to just one case.

The BC CDC COVID case report map from Nov 14-20

Northern Health has still not updated their guidance for residents of the north through their website or Social Media pages.


Revised Public Health Orders for Northern Health now posted here

More on Provincial and Regional restrictions can be reviewed here.

The announcement was part of todays wider information session, which also noted that British Columbia had seen its first case of the Omicron variant which was first noted late last week as a variant of concern.

Today's update also made note of the ongoing vaccination program, and highlighted the introduction of a vaccine program now in place for children ages 5 to 11.

The full information session can be reviewed below, the areas of note for the Northern Health Region can be found at the fifteen minute mark.

More notes on Health Care in the Northwest can be reviewed here.

The latest themes from the provincial response to COVID are available here.

Investigation into practices of commercial salmon harvester brings heavy fine, prohibition from fishing

Aerial photography of the Fishing Vessel Prestige II which was under
observation of DFO members in 2017 and 2018
(From DFO)

The Department of Fisheries and Ocean has released some background into a recent sentence handed out to  a North Coast commercial fisherman, a case file that led to two separate investigations into fishing practices off the coast of Haida Gwaii by the Fishing Vessel Pretige II and it's captain Garry Dean Stoner.

In the information release of today, it was noted  on July 2nd of this year, that Mr. Stoner entered a guilty plea on 12 counts of the Fisheries Act related to infractions that took place between June and September of 2017 and in July and August of 2019 in waters north of Haida. Gwaii.

As a result of the plea, The Honourable Justice Calvin Struyk ordered the commercial salmon harvester to pay $1,200 in court fines, plus $42,800 in penalties, to be directed towards fisheries management and the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat. 

Justice Struyk included an additional $44,644 penalty to recover revenue obtained through the sales of the illegally caught Chinook salmon. 

Mr. Stoner was also prohibited from commercial salmon fishing for 18 months. 

As part of the enforcement operation, members of the CCGS Goddard
boarded the vessel under investigation

The original investigation was launched following a routine fisheries inspection in 2017 in which Fishery officers on board the Conservation and Protection enforcement platform, the mid shore Patrol vessel  CCGS Captain Goddard, boarded Mr. Stoner’s vessel, the F/V Prestige II, while it was actively engaged in the Area F commercial salmon troll fishery. 

The subsequent investigation established that Mr. Stoner had: failed to submit a single Coho or Chinook salmon head between the three separate required landings; overfished his Chinook salmon quota; retained prohibited fish, and violated other commercial licence requirements. 

The second investigation of 2018 was conducted by fishery officers of the Prince Rupert Conservation and Protection Detachment who examined Mr. Stoner's fishing activities during that year's commercial opening after reports of continued non-compliance with his licence conditions.

As part of the sentencing Justice Calvin Sturyk took note of a number of aspects of the case that resulted in the actions delivered.

“Mr. Stoner’s unwillingness to comply with licence conditions is an affront to all fishers attempting to comply with complicated licence conditions,” and “In the court’s view, Mr. Stoner’s flagrant non-compliance with licence conditions justifies a salmon fishing prohibition.”

More background into the investigation and court proceedings can be reviewed here.

Past enforcement  and judgments can be found from our Fishery archive page, as well as from our archive of the work of Emergency Responders across the Northwest.

North Coast residents, members of BC Liberal Party remembering Don Silversides upon his passing

From Remembering.ca
Don Silversides is being mourned in many corners of the province today, with the word of his passing earlier this month gaining a relay from many directions.

The highly acclaimed Prince Rupert lawyer passed away on November 16th following a battle with pancreatic cancer, an obituary from the Remembering.ca website providing a fascinating glimpse into his life and times.

Born and raised in Prince Rupert, he went away for schooling at age 13 returning to the community to practice law for over 50 years.

Known not only for his legal work in the community, but for his community spirit, Mr. Silversides had a wide reach across the community. 

Serving both as a Housing Society Director with the Muks-Kum-Ol Housing Society and with the Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce.

A life-long Liberal, he answered the call of the party a number of times and up to his passing was serving as Acting  Party President and involved in the ongoing Leadership contest that will come to an end in February.

The Party paying their tribute on Monday with a Social Media post.

Mr. Silversides service is set for Tuesday, December 7th at the First United Church on Sixth Avenue West in Prince Rupert. 

He is survived by his spouse, Rhoda Witherly, her children Michael (Stacy) and Kate (Chris) and grandchildren Sophia, Violet, Natalie, and William. Don is also survived by sister Kathy (Ron) and niece Nicole. 

Memorial donations are asked to be made out to the Prince Rupert Salvation Army for their Christmas Appeal 

Mayor Lee Brain provided from an official note from the City with a tribute to his Social media page earlier today.

You can pay your respects through the Remembering.ca guestbook, which is already quickly filling up with memories and salutes.

More notes on community themes can be reviewed here

Lax Kw'alaams makes plans for community wide financial gift distribution

Residents of the community of Lax Kw'alaams will see a little extra cash to start off the new year, as the Band Council outlines its plans for a one time gift of $500 per member set to be awarded by the Council.

A notice on the Lax Kw'alaams Band Website and Facebook page provides the details of the program which will require members make application once the gift application period opens and the forms are posted to the Lax Kw'alaams website, the link as of yet not posted to that site.

The program has become somewhat of an annual bit of sharing, with the same amount offered up as a gift in 2020.

For more notes on items of interest from Lax Kw'alaams see our archive page here.

Charles Hays Theatre returns to the Lester Centre Stage this weekend

A welcome billboard has been going up around the city in recent weeks, notice of the next presentation of the Charles Hays Theatre program and this years production of the Musical Matilda.

The much anticipated event set for its three day run from Thursday to Saturday at the Lester Centre of the Arts, the 2021 musical the first live stage production before an audience in two years.

This years feature presentation is the story of an extraordinary girl who dares to take a stand and change her own destiny,  a wee bit of a primer on the original script can be explored here.

Roald Dahl's creative genius is taken from the book by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics from Tim Minchin.

The production is once again helmed by Alison O'Toole and the talented cast, crew and musicians from Charles Hays Secondary, along with a few helpers from local theatre and music to round out the ensemble and those behind the scenes.

The 2020 production did not have a live audience and instead was streamed online, a unique solution to the then challenging COVID  times. 

This year however will allow the cast and crew to receive that instantaneous feedback that a live audience can bring to an event, so anticipation must be high for those that have been involved in the project through the fall.

From the early development of September, through the auditions, rehearsals, set building and other odds and ends of a major undertaking; the cast of 24, musical contingent of 15 and those working with them all no doubt look forward to the curtain rising on Thursday with three shows to deliver.

Tickets are available for 11 dollars for Students and Seniors 16 for adults you can purchase them through Cooks Jewellers, the Lester Centre or online.  

The three shows take place at 7:30 PM on December 2nd and 3rd and at 2PM on December 4th.

The usual COVID protocols will be in place for anyone planning to take in the production. With the audience required to wear masks and have vaccine passports on hand for admittance.

With the additional time required for those protocols, audience members are asked to arrive early to allow for and easier admittance process.

When the houselights come up at the end of each show, Rupertites will also have an opportunity to not only reward the cast, crew and musicians with applause, but provide for a salute to the Head of the Charles Hays Drama Department, providing appreciation for the work of Ms. O'Toole, recently recognized as the BC Drama Teacher of the year.

There seems no better venue to hail the talented Ms. O'Toole than on the stage of the Lester at one of Prince Rupert's most cherished of events, one thankfully back and ready to welcome audiences starting Thursday.

More notes on Community Arts and Entertainment can be reviewed from our archive page here.

City to explore 'options' on peat and hog fuel resources on city owned land

It's been the topic of a few Council sessions in the last year or so, just what to do about all that peat and stockpiles of hogfuel on city owned lands.

The issue of accessing that land that consists of muskeg and other factors that have provided challenges for development was part of the City's list of Housing actions for approval in June of this year.

The role that muskeg and such has had in those housing challenges has been a topic raised frequently by City Councillor Wade Niesh, who has often noted of the vast amount of city land that could be available once those elements were removed as an obstacle.

With this latest Request for Expressions of Interest to the BC Bid site, the City of Prince Rupert appears ready to turn an impediment for land development into a resource development option.

The request for Proposal was posted to the BC Bid website on Monday and outlines the city's focus for the potential harvesting of the resources.

click to enlarge

The Peat Moss locations are identified by two maps included in the Bid Package from the City.

click to enlarge

The Hog Fuel component of the city's plans are found on the Watson Intermodal Trade and Logistics Park.

click to enlarge

Some of the background and the city's conditions related to the harvesting of the resource are outlined in the Bid documentation as well.

click to enlarge

City Manager Robert Buchan is handling the file for the City, with a Closing date for any expressions of interest on the Peat and Hogfuel Harvesting plans set for 2PM on January 31st.

You can review the full documentation package from the City from the BC Bid Website.

For more notes on past City of Prince Rupert Requests for Bids and Expressions of interest see our archive page here.

Northern Health charts out COVID-19 vaccination program until January

Thursdays and Fridays through the first three weeks of December will be the schedule for COVID-19 vaccinations in Prince Rupert from Northern Health, with the Health Authority releasing it's plan for the month through its Prince Rupert Facebook page on Monday.

The vaccinations take place in Room 260 of the Ocean Centre, with jabs being offered between 9 AM and 4 PM with the exception of a one hour break from Noon to 1PM.

The vaccination program is by appointment only.

In addition to first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, the clinics will also be in operation for those eligible for the third dose booster shot if eligible.

The clinic will be closed from December 20th until January 4th for the holiday period

The where you can get vaccinated page from the Northern Health website has additional information and guidance on the 12+ and 5-11 vaccination programs, which takes place at the Prince Rupert Health Unit 300 Third Avenue West

You can find any updates to the information flow from Northern Health available through their Prince Rupert Facebook page.

To contact the Prince Rupert Health unit call 250-622-6380

More notes on health care in Prince Rupert can be explored from our archive pages.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Special Weather Statement alerts North Coast and Haida Gwaii to more strong winds

The weather forecasting app Windy tracks
the wind direction and speed for Tuesday 

Another wind event is forming up for the North Coast and Haida Gwaii, with Environment Canada issuing a Special Weather Statement Monday afternoon. 

The advisory noting of Southwest Winds from 10 to 80 km/h gusting to 100 km/h arriving in the morning and continuing through to the early afternoon period, when the winds will abate as the low weakens.

Also of note with the approaching system is a GALE WARNING currently in place for Hecate Strait, with Winds of up to 45 knots expected by Tuesday morning subsiding by the afternoon. Seas will be up to 4 metres early Tuesday as the weather front passes through.

Updates on the weather system can be followed through the Environment Canada website.

Road information can be reviewed through the Drive BC website, or Drive BCNW twitter feed.

You can also access the regional Highway Camera network through our feature here.

You can review some of the past weather events for the Northwest from our archive page here.

Another 14 days for BC's State of Emergency

British Columbia will remain on a State of Emergency for another fourteen days, that as Deputy Premier and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth outlined the still precarious situation of the province's fuel supplies to the south and ongoing work to shore up and replace damaged infrastructure, all while another weather system makes its approach to the province tonight.

“People in our province have been affected by the devastating floods and while we’re making major progress in our recovery, we’re still in a volatile situation. I want to thank British Columbians for doing their part so that essential vehicles can continue to operate. The fuel conservation measures are working but with another storm on its way, we are extending the order to ensure that we prioritize emergency services for another two weeks.”

It's a range of measures that haven't had too much impact on the Northwest, with much of the area of concern located in the Southwest and Interior regions.

To put some of the situaaion into focus, Mr. Farnworth outlined both tally of properties facing either an evacuation order or alert the vast majority of them in Southern British Columbia. 

Since the initial atmospheric river from Nov. 14-16, a series of storms has worsened existing flooding and created new flooding and landslides in southwestern B.C. 

There are currently 3,606 properties on evacuation orders and 7,402 properties on evacuation alert. The fuel order applies to all fuel suppliers in the Lower Mainland-to-Hope region, the Sea-to-Sky region, Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island. 

Essential vehicles will continue to have unrestricted access to fuel as required, using predominately commercial trucking gas stations (cardlock gas stations).

The Full statement from the province can be reviewed here.

The Information session with reporters of earlier today can be reviewed below:

Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice were also relaying some notes this day, noting that the Northwest is in store for another pacific system as well.

You can follow the latest weather updates from Environment Canada here.

Updates from the River Forecast Centre are available here.

More notes from the Legislature can be explored here.

BC Ferries realizes increased revenues with passenger loads among highest company has experienced

With a return to more normal travel opportunities over the summer, BC Ferries has found that travellers were anxious to get from point A to point B aboard their many routes from north to south along the BC coast.

In a Second quarter results advisory this month, the Ferry Corporation noted that for the the three and six month period ended September 30th vehicle traffic had returned to the system in record numbers.

In the three months ended September 30, 2021, BC Ferries carried 7.0 million passengers and 3.0 million vehicles, an increase of 28 per cent and 20 per cent respectively, compared to the same period in the prior year. 

When comparing the three months ended September 30, 2021 to the same period in 2019, a pre-COVID-19 time, passenger traffic decreased nine per cent, while vehicle traffic increased by three per cent, representing the highest vehicle traffic levels BC Ferries has experienced in any quarter.

The Ferry Corporation noted of reduced Public Health orders and the introduction of fare options for passengers that spurred on the summer rush for transit to their destinations.

BC Ferries’ net earnings for the second quarter of fiscal 2022 were $79.9 million, $42.1 million higher than the same quarter the previous year. Year-to-date since April 1, 2021, net earnings were $84.6 million, compared to net losses of $24.2 million in the prior year. 

 Revenue for the quarter ended September 30, 2021, at $316.8 million, was up $69.2 million over the same period in the prior year. Year-to-date since April 1, 2021, revenue was $546.0 million, up $161.0 million over the same period in the prior year. During the three months ended September 30, 2021, expenses from operations increased by $28.0 million or 14.3 per cent to $223.3 million compared to the same period in the prior year. 

Year-to-date since April 1, 2021, expenses from operations increased $55.1 million or 14.5 per cent to $434.1 million, mainly due to staffing level changes and greater fuel consumption for a higher number of round trips provided, as well as increases in traffic control and security costs.

BC Ferries President and CEO Mark Collins observed on the strong summer results, but also added caution owing to the season nature of the service and ridership levels.

“We were pleased to see strong traffic levels this quarter, but we remain cautious about what the future will bring. Summer is our high season so it’s challenging to predict with any certainty when conditions will return to pre-pandemic levels for the longer-term. 

Due to the seasonality of ferry travel, we usually see positive net earnings in the first half of the fiscal year, partially offset by net losses in the remainder of the year when traffic is low and routine vessel maintenance is scheduled,. BC Ferries must continue to invest in the ferry system to ensure we have a sustainable, reliable and affordable coastal ferry service for British Columbians.”

The report which you can review here, also makes note of the Safe Restart Funding from 2020 which had a significant impact on the financial picture of the year.  

The report however does not include a breakdown of the ridership levels on the southern or northern routes.  So no comparison from 2021 to 2020 is available for the local routes.

The Northern Expedition on its way to Dock in Prince Rupert

In the North, the season was impacted by required repairs to the Northern Expedition just as the peak travel season was arriving. 

As well the service has seen challenges continue into this fall as the routes of the North Coast in and out of Prince Rupert have been affected by ongoing weather events resulting in delayed or cancelled sailings.

More notes on BC Ferries and other marine transportation on the North Coast can be reviewed here.

BC Rent Bank program offers supports to stabilize rental housing during short term financial challenges

The Province of British Columbia along with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice are steering renters facing some financial challenges in the direction of the BC Rent Bank, a province wide initiative that looks to offer support for tenants  through interest free loans to put towards rent and essential utility costs. 

The program is designed to provide housing stability and prevent homelessness by offering the loans to help renters navigate difficult times. 

In an announcement from last week, the provincial government noted how BC was the first in the country to offer 100 precent rent bank coverage for those that need the assistance.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice, used her Social Media stream on Friday to outline more on the program

As the province explains it further:

Rent banks provide interest-free loans for tenants in urgent circumstances so they do not lose their housing. BC Rent Bank, a project of the Vancity Community Foundation, is partnering with the Kamloops and District Elizabeth Fry Society on an interim basis to centralize rent bank services throughout the province. 

This means people in communities that did not previously have access to rent bank loans and services, including on Vancouver Island, in the south Okanagan and in northern B.C., can now access help to stay in stable housing wherever they are in the province. 

 BC Rent Bank, which is supported by a $10-million investment from the provincial government, is working to secure long-term partners to provide rent bank services in each of the newly covered 15 regions to localize services and support the delivery of other wraparound services to rent bank clients.

From the programs Frequently Asked Questions page, some of the element of the program are explained.

Starting with the Most common use of the Red Bank Loans

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Also outlined is the criteria that program officials use to determine whether the program is the right fit.

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The scope of the interest free loans is explained as well

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Applicants for the program can get their start from this online resource

A look at the housing situation in Prince Rupert and area is available through our archive page here.

A wider overview of the MLA's work can be explored from our Legislature archive page.

Days away from the start of the Northwest Ski Season, local ski facilities face staffing challenges

Ski season in the Northwest is almost a go, above the
 from Shames Mountain 
(image from Shames Mountain FB)

The countdown is on for those looking to hit the slopes, with the two northwest ski areas making their final plans for a new season of skiing and snowboarding in the Northwest. But some staffing issues are making for a few challenges towards Opening Day and beyond.

In Smithers, Staff training was taking place over the weekend in anticipation of Opening Day, which is set for December 4th with Hudson Bay Mountain promising a "What to Expect" Post to their Social Media stream for sometime this week.

Like many ski areas in the province, Hudson Bay Mountain is dealing with a staffing crunch, and for December at least they will be operating on a reduced schedule, while they continue their efforts to recruit staff.

Shames Mountain is also prepping for the season ahead, with potential opening weekend of December 4 and 5, though it has not bee decided as of yet if the facility will open this weekend.

The My Mountain Co-op has posted its tentative plans for the season ahead, with most of the skiing to take place Thursday through Mondays, with Daily skiing operations through the upcoming Christmas Break though they will be Closed on Christmas Day.

They too are facing a serious situation when it comes to staffing positions, recently posting an update on the situation through their Social Media Stream.

The full list of available openings can be found here.

Once Shames does open, local outdoors enthusiasts will find some new features at the ski area just west of Terrace, with an expanded parking area, beginner conveyor, snow tube lanes and new equipment and maintenance facilities among the many off season enhancements.

Keep up to date with developments from Shames through their Facebook page

For more notes on the Northwest ski scene see our archive page here.

Prince Rupert Council, if it wishes, gets another chance to join other Northwest Communities on Highway 16 shuttle bus program

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice aboard one of the first 
BC Transit community to community shuttle buses in 2017.
The City of Prince Rupert remains one of the few communities
along the Highway 16 corridor not to participate in that 
BC Transit program. 
(photo from BC Gov't)

The province of British Columbia is looking to continue on with its work in connecting the communities of the Northwest, having offered up over three million dollars towards transportation solutions for rural and remote communities, announcing the funding last week towards an ever evolving response to the gaps in community to community connection that have come with the demise of Greyhound service.

The additional funding of 3 million dollars for the program for Northern communities is being facilitated through the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

In their information statement of last week, the new funding outline was described as follows:

The new community shuttle bus grant money is part of a $7.9-million Safe Restart grant provided this year by the federal and provincial governments to help address the need for public transportation in rural and remote communities in northern B.C. 

 Applicants, including agencies that have previously received community shuttle bus funding, can seek a maximum of $100,000 for capital costs (such as a vehicle purchase), and operating costs to a maximum of $150,000. The total funding request per applicant cannot exceed $200,000.

NDIT has set aside approximately $3 million to help applicants with the costs of introducing, expanding or continuing passenger transportation services in its service area for as long as three years. 

The organization began accepting applications to the new program on Nov. 15, 2021. 

 The northern community shuttle program provides crucial, community-led transportation support and will replace the existing community transportation grant program, which will end on March 31, 2022.

The NDIT's Joel McKay put the funding opportunity into focus by noting how it serves the North.

“Northern B.C. is a vast and vibrant place with residents living in many remote and rural communities. Dependable and affordable transportation options are necessary to allow people of all ages to safely travel to access health care, services, education and employment. Reliable transportation also plays a significant role in allowing people to attend social activities, reducing feelings of isolation and building a strong sense of community.”

The announcement of the lates round of funding now available for transportation in the North comes in the days following a report earlier this month from the Auditor General of British Columbia which called attention to ongoing challenges for travel in the region.

At the moment, travel by road east from Prince Rupert is a patchwork of options, from the BC Bush North, Northern Health Connections bus and a local twice a week shuttle operated by the Friendship House.

And while most days of the week end up covered off in one way or another, the actual ability to travel back and forth daily is rather limited.  

That's something that has been addressed to a fashion from Terrace through to the Bulkley Valley and beyond, with municipal governments and Regional Districts working together to create a transit link of BC Transit service through the region.

The City of Prince Rupert and Regional partners took a pass on the then percolating transportation funding plans back in 2016, citing availability of Greyhound and VIA Rail service at the team. 

Their preference of five years ago a program to be developed with the North Coast Transition Society, an initiative which eventually became the Friendship House Shuttle bus.

With Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain making note of the city's thinking in 2016:

“Unfortunately in Prince Rupert’s context as a more isolated community and a service center for many rural island communities, this 2 or 3 times a week bus will not directly address the main concerns for our location regarding the Highway of Tears. However, we do understand that the proposed bus would work well in the Terrace, Hazelton and Smithers areas, where there are clusters of rural communities in close proximity,” said Mayor Lee Brain. “For us, supporting NCTS is a localized solution that can act in complement with improved transportation between communities inland.”

The City remained absent from the launch of the Community Shuttle program in 2017, and despite the abandonment of the Northwest by Greyhound and the less than reliable schedule of travel by VIA Rail, the North Coast continues to be the missing partner of the Northwest Community Transit program, something that was first noted in November  of 2017.

Following the launch of the shuttle program, one year later the province hailed it as having been well received by most communities along the Highway 16 corridor.

As for the newest funding, NDIT notes that it is designed for a range of applicants; from local government and First Nations to community groups , non profits and small to medium businesses.

Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. (Pacific time) on Dec. 23, 2021. Funding decisions are anticipated in early 2022.

More items of note from the Legislature can be explored here.

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross challenges views of Actor/Environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio

Headline to a National Post feature this weekend where 
Skeena MLA Ellis Ross challenged some of the themes
of a recent social media post from Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio
(From the National Post November 26th edition)

We're not sure if Ellis Ross has ever picked Leonardo DiCaprio in an Oscar Pool, but the Hollywood celebrity is certainly on the MLA's A list for correspondences these days.

The Skeena MLA received some national and international attention over the weekend  after he contributed an editorial piece for the National Post on Friday.  

The MLA taking on Hollywood heavyweight Leonardo DiCaprio, that following some comments the actor and environmental activist made on the current situation related to the Coastal GasLink pipeline in the Wet'suwet'en Territory.

Mr. Ross's contribution to the National Post came following a social media note from the Actor and Environmentalist that outlined his thoughts on recent Wet'suwet'en events. 

Leonardo DiCaprio's twitter message of November 22nd

In what the National Post calls an Open letter to a misinformed movie star the Skeena MLA notes of his confusion and alarm at the twitter shout out of November 22nd, observing that perhaps the actor with his busy schedule had not heard the full story behind the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.

Mr. Ross then outlines for Mr. DiCaprio some background as to how the support the project has received from a number of elected Chiefs along the route and observes how the actor is ignoring the democratic rights of thousands of First Nations people.

The remainder of his letter to the actor travels much of the same path as his past commentaries both in the Legislature and away from it, when it comes to the development of resources in the province and how First Nations can share in the opportunities that the development offers.

He wraps up his correspondence with an invitation for the actor to come visit his home community of Kitimaat Village to learn more about how the Haisla have approached the themes of development and environment.

You can review the full Open letter here.

It's not the first time that the Hollywood actor has taken an interest in Canadian resource development, in 2016 he raised his concerns over the fate of the Canadian Arctic and the ongoing development of the Alberta oilsands.

More notes on the work of the Skeena MLA can be reviewed from our archive page.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending November 28, 2021

There was no change  to our list of ten for the last seven days, the pace of transactions for the upper reaches of the realty listings coming to a slowdown following a few weeks of activity

With the ten top end listings coming in at just over 7.8 million dollars.

The split from east to west finds seven properties on the west side of the city and three east of the McBride Street line.

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

The Archive for our weekly review can be found here

Our list of the top ten priced homes for the week ending November 28, 2021 can be explored below:

Real Estate Listings for the East Side of Prince Rupert
for the week ending November 28

Real Estate Listings for the West Side of Prince Rupert
for the week ending November 28

The total value of the list of ten now sits just over  the 7.8 million dollar mark.

The lowest mark for the review of the week is at $575,000 while our top end from the last week remains marked  at the price point of  $1,250,000 

Below find our findings as of the Week ending November 28, 2021

430 4th Avenue West                     $1,250,000 --   Remax
1320 Overlook Street                     $920,000 --      Realty Executives 
1433 Sloan Avenue                        $899,000 --      Remax
219 4th Avenue West                     $849,000 --      Remax
555 4th Avenue East                      $799,000 --      Remax 
706 Ritchie Street                          $678,000 --      Remax 
1053 First Avenue West                 $649,000 --      Remax
1978 7th Avenue East                    $619,000 --      Remax
800 Comox Avenue                       $590,000 --      Remax
245 5th Avenue West                     $575,000 --      Remax

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

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

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

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Blog Watching: Week ending November 27, 2021

It being a City Council week, our volume of Council related notes found a large readership, with a range of topics from the Monday Council session of interest to blog readers.

Among the themes, plans for a new downtown feature for Food Trucks in the city, an update on the progress of the new RCMP detachment, approval for a range of fees towards garbage, recycling and landfill themes, as well as some notes on the launch ahead for the curbside program. 

Approval of a location for the proposed PUMP Track to be built by the North Coast Mountain Bike Association also found a large audience.

And COVID mandates made for much interest, as we outlined a pair of measures towards requirements for COVID-19 vaccinations from the Lax Kw'alaams Band and the City of Prince Rupert. 

Also making for much interest and just off the pace of our top five was our look at Wednesday's windstorm with the ferocity of the winds making for much work for the City's Emergency responders, city crews and workers from BC Hydro.

However, readers clearly had the munchies on the mind this week, with our look at plans for a dedicated placement for Food Trucks in the city generating the most interest of the last seven days.

Meet you at 'Eat Street Square' -- City Council heard an update from the Director of Operations on plans to develop a Food Truck Square at the corner of Seventh Street and Third Avenue West, adjacent to the city's new but to be opened Urbaloo public washroom. (posted November  25, 2021)

That article was followed by: 

Kingdom Hall to remain standing until summer of 2022, as City of Prince Rupert continues on with new RCMP detachment planning  -- Council heard an update on the progress towards the new RCMP detachment in the city, the planning for which continues on, but with no firm timeline for construction yet.   (posted  November 26 , 2021) 

Lax Kw'alaams introduces mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all employees and contractors -- Measures related to COVID vaccination mandates made for some of the newslfow this week, first from Lax Kw'alaams which has put in place a requirement for full vaccination for COVID for Band Employees and contractors. This week also delivered notice that the City of Prince Rupert has its own version of a COVID vaccine mandate, that now a requirement for any external job applicants for employment with the City.    (posted November 24 , 2021)
Garbage can swaps and fee increases among themes from Waste Bylaw review at City Council -- Council put in place a schedule of new rate increases and other fees related to the city's garbage collection, recycling program and landfill site usage.    (posted November 24  , 2021)

Community PUMP track plans could move forward at tonight's Council Session -- Our preview on Monday of what a new piece of recreation infrastructure may look like gained a large readership, with Council reviewing and approving on Monday evening the use of land along McClymont Park for the new facility to be built by the North Coast Mountain Bike Association   (posted November 22 , 2021) 

You can find our weekly Blog watching feature posted every Sunday morning by 9AM, making for a handy way to catch up to the week that was, at a leisurely weekend pace.

You can also review the full listings of the week just past, from our Blog Archive index page found on the right hand side of the page.

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

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here.   

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