Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Staff shortages impact on SD52 After School program

The Prince Rupert School District launched its 2022-23 After School program last month, however some temporary staffing shortages have meant a reduced scheduled for the time being, with the program available only once a week at community Schools.

The original plan was to offer the program twice a week, which remains the goal for the District once they resolve their Staffing issues. 

As it is, the Program takes place at the local schools on the following schedule.

For the Prince Rupert Schools: The program for Grades 1-3 is from 3-4PM with activities for Grades 4-5 taking place from 4:30 to 5:45 PM.

In Port Edward: The Wednesday program for all grades takes place from 2:45 PM to 4 PM

Contact the school which your child attends to learn more about the program.

The notice to parents/guardians was posted to the SD52 website.

More notes of interest from the District can be explored here.

Prince Rupert RCMP update case file of missing man

The Prince Rupert detachment has closed an open file  from September related to a missing resident of the region. 

Advising today that the subject of their search been found deceased.

In their update, the Mounties note that Foul Play is not suspected and that the investigation is now in the hands of the BC Coroners Service with support from the RCMP.

The 55 year old man reported missing on September 23rd has been found deceased. The Prince Rupert RCMP would like to thank the public for its help in locating him and sends its condolences to his family. 

At this time no foul play is being considered and the death is not being marked as suspicious. The BC Coroners Service will be conducting its own investigation in with support from the RCMP. 

No further information will be released at this time.

More notes on the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest can be explored through our archive page.


Surge of job postings marks October career opportunities at City Hall


If you're looking for a career with the City of Prince Rupert this month may be the one where you find your opportunity to join the City team.

The job listings board at City Hall continues to grow, with a trio of new opportunities announced this week, the focus that of a number of supervisory posts for the Operations Department.

With each position noted as providing oversight for a crew in three areas of Civic Services: Utilities-water/wastewater, Utilities-roads, or Sanitation-waste collection/landfill/parks. 



The scope of what the City is looking for  towards each of the positions can be reviewed here, along with a reminder that the City's COVID vaccination policy remains in effect for any new civic hiring.

The newest positions for the Human Resources department to receive applications towards add to a fairly lengthy list of current fall opportunities. 

With many of the job postings related to openings at both  the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre and the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre, as well as at City Hall.


You can keep up to date with the career opportunities with the City through this link to the Careers page.

More notes on past civic hiring can be reviewed from our archive page.


Latest collaboration for PRPA Community Investment Fund takes to the kitchens of the Gitga'at Nation

Community Kitchen funding for Harley Bay makes for the latest
investment from the Prince Rupert Port Authority's 
Community Investment Fund
(Photo from Information release)


The latest funding initiative from the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s (PRPA) Community Investment program has collaborated with the Gitga’at First Nation to upgrade and expand a cooperative community kitchen in the heart of Txalgiu (Hartley Bay). 

In a background piece to go along with the funding announcement, the PRPA highlights some of the features of the facility and how it will serve the community.

The project is one that  enables larger-scale food production and opens new culinary training opportunities for people of all ages in the community. The overhauled space also strengthens food security and supports traditional cultural values and practices by providing a more suitable venue for transferring knowledge and processing sustainable resources, such as plants, fish, and animals, harvested by the Nation.

Efforts to convert the kitchen to a commercial-grade facility were launched prior to the pandemic, but much of the work was completed while Txalgiu was in isolation to limit the spread of Covid-19. Though multiple supply challenges were faced during the process, they served to reinforce key objectives of the project – namely, to become more self-reliant and reduce the community’s dependence on groceries transported by barge.


The total cost of the renovations was $126,244; with the PRPA’s Community Investment Fund contributing $78,870 to the project.

The Gitga'at initiative is one of a number of food security projects that the PRPA fund has been used towards, some of the others include:

Gitxaala Community Kitchen and Garden - $244,000 
Metlakatla Greenhouse - $46,623 
Friendship House Community Kitchen - $94,172 
Prince Rupert Garden Club Greenhouse - $11,250

More on the announcement from Tuesday, as well as how the initiative is being viewed can be explored from the information statement here.

A wider overview of the PRPA Community Investment Fund can be found from our archive page.

Council approves of a correspondence from Mayor Lee Brain to seek immediate financial assistance from BC Cabinet on critical infrastructure issues

Mayor Lee Brain making his case Monday night for approval of council
for a letter directed to the Premier and cabinet to seek immediate
funding for infrastructure issues in the community


If the current collective of Prince Rupert City Council were to look to channel an iconic TV show when it comes to their escalation of the battle over the Port Property Tax Cap issue, the best example might be taken from elements of the legendary program the Sopranos  

With the Council members going to the mattresses as they would say on Monday, firing off a sharp reproach of the Provincial Government over the issue that has become their all consuming mantra of late.

The theme has been on the high boil for weeks now, a push perhaps even orchestrated to time with the end of this council's mandate which comes at the end of this month. 

The narrative taking up much of the attention for a good portion of the ongoing election campaign for the next council; leaving any review of the previous work of the class of 2018 for the most part unexplored.

The issue recently gained some additional traction through the introduction of a petition movement designed to galvanize the community behind the current mayor and Council. 

Mayor Brain providing for the majority of the communication of their goals towards more fairness from the province, that mostly through his very active social media stream and his frequent updates on the progress of the movement.

Monday night, an agenda item served to accentuate some of those recent talking points as Council gave their approval towards a correspondence to the province.

"That Council authorize the Mayor to send a letter to the Premier and Cabinet members requesting immediate action on providing funding and new/restored revenues to enable the City of Prince Rupert to respond to our critical infrastructure renewals as soon as possible."

And while the text of the motion appeared somewhat generic, in his commentary to explain what Council has in mind for the correspondence, Mayor Brain left no doubt as to what the target of the city's frustrations is.

"I'll just quickly speak to this. I mean the wording can probably be more specific, but we can  include it in the letter.

Essentially this is referred to the Port Property Tax Act, what is clear is that we have issues at the Ministry of Finance level interpreting their own reports. 

Clearly the reports that they've generated on the Port Property Tax Act articulate some of the challenges and some of the solutions that have been presented around how to solve the Property Tax Act. And it seems that there needs to be a little bit more encouragement at the Provincial level.

I'm not sure if the rest of the cabinet feel the same as the Ministry of Finance on this issue, and so I think what's appropriate now is that we actually have the Cabinet together and make a decision on the Port Property Tax Act specifically.

I think that the problem is so complex, but also should not be left to just one ministry given the impact  it has on a community like ours.

The fact that we lose revenue every year from it, there was a recent statement that was put out by the Ministry of Finance saying that we were compensate for the Port Property Tax Act, which is not necessarily true.

We receive a stipend, but it does not keep up with depreciation, which means we still have to make up for the tax loss on residences and small businesses.  

And a variety of data has already been provided,  reports have already been provided, reports have been generated to the provincial government that absolutely show that there's pretty much no argument remaining for the Port Property Tax Act to remain in place, given the unintended consequences of its lasting beyond its temporary use."

The Mayor also presented a rather dystopian look at the future for the community if the province does not see the issue as the city has presented it.

"So what this would be, is requesting that the Premier and Cabinet make a decision on that and consider a decision on it. 

And also in the letter, we would outline some of our immediate infrastructure needs, cause we are at reaching critical failure on some of our infrastructure.

We all see McBride and we're looking at issues like that happening all over the community. 

We have a one hundred year old water system, distribution system within the town site and it needs immediate replacement, or we could be facing longer term consequences."

Mr. Brain then pointed towards what Council's goal seems to be.

"And we need every tool under our belt to collect as much resources as possible and we need to be able to charge accordingly with these industries that are here. Particularly the ones that are classified Marine export industry, a variety of other challenges like that.

So, we need to make its very clear, and I think Council needs to send this letter off and authorize a letter like that. To raise it up the chain so that we can get some of the traction that we need to come to a real resolution on this issue" 

None of the council members in the chamber on Monday, followed up on the mayors comments with any observations of their own.

The city's concerns towards the Port Tax Cap and their belief that the Provincial government has it all wrong have served as the narrative for much of the timeline of their ongoing  discussion of the topic.

Though how the council membership has made their financial decisions over the last eight years towards priorities and where they have spent the money that they did have, doesn't seem to fit into the conversation or message making that the city is seeking to deliver to the province and the public.

The bulk of the City Council communication on the Port Poperty Tax Act issue to date  has been culled mainly from the Mayor's talking points, community vision presentations and social media dispatches. 

None of which have allowed for the provision of the reports and other information mentioned from the province or the Port for a review, something which would allow for a balanced examination for residents towards all the facts of the issue.

The introduction of the motion and the Mayor's soliloquy to the topic can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive starting at the 40:30 mark of the night's work.



So far neither the Mayor or the organizers of the #ScrapthePortTax initiative have provided for an update on the tally of signatures received from the month long campaign and Sunday's one day blitz.

More items of note on the #ScrapthePortTax themes can be reviewed through our City Council Financial page archive.

Further notes related to the Monday Council session can be explored through our Council Timeline feature.

City's Framework for Reconciliation, a living document that will evolve as it moves forward

City Council members and Metlakatla Hereditary Chief Clarence Nelson,
Nis Toyx, pause for a photo following the introduction of the city's
Framework for Reconciliation at the Monday Council session


The City of Prince Rupert has released how it will engage in measures of Reconciliation in the years ahead, with a Framework for Reconciliation introduced Monday night by the City's Communication Manager Veronica Stewart.

In his preamble  to Framework, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain observed how the city had been working behind the scenes on the document for quite some time and how it was a city wide policy of what the city wants to do towards reconciliation.  

"This has been a framework that has been worked on behind the scenes for quite some time This is in  addition to the MOU's that we have signed with Metlaktala, Lax Kw'alaams and Kitkatla. This is more of a city wide policy of what we want to do in terms of reconciliation. 

And so we have Clarence Nelson here with us this evening, a Hereditary Chief of Metlakatla. Traditional name is Nis Toyx and I would like to maybe call Clarence  forward to the microphone and maybe do a traditional welcome and maybe speaking to what this would mean for Council to be passing a framework for Reconciliation in the City of Prince Rupert" -- Mayor Lee Brain


In his commentary towards the City's Framework, the Hereditary Chief spoke extensively to the topic as part of a general overview of the theme of reconciliation. 

First noting that he had not had opportunity to review the full document as of yet; though to the spirit of the framework he offered up a number of observations.  

He started his presentation with an oral history of some of the pivotal moments in recent North Coast times for the Indigenous nations of the region, collectively known as the Nine Tribes.

Mt. Nelson observed of the changes that have come to the region through the course of history, with a particular focus on the story of the people of Metlakatla, His commentary included the current focus on education for youth in his community and how it creates opportunity for expanded learning of their history.

Noting of the involvement of Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven in the creation of the Framework for the City, Mr. Nelson observed of how he hoped that the work taken on by the city on reconciliation would also have an impact on bringing the regional First Nations together.

"Years ago we used to have a Tribal Council, we were all One Nation in those days in regards to where we came from, Kitkatla, Hartley Bay, Metlakatla, Lax Kwa'laams, Kitasoo, Kitselas, Kitsumkalum and we were all under the Tribal Council and we had good unity you know. 

But of course times changed, and the other leaders they wanted a little bit more of the action, where the money came from. They said well we have a bigger Band than you guys we need a little more money and that broke up. 

You know we lost the Tribal Council and I think that was a big loss for our nation. 

Now with this reconciliation thing maybe it will start bringing our people back together again and realizing and focused on things that are important for each community and the nation and the young people" -- Metlakatla Hereditary Chief, Clarence Nelson Nis Toyx

As part of his presentation the Hereditary Chief also outlined the transition of the area of the City of Prince Rupert from a First Nation community to one which saw people from other areas of Canada and from around the world arrive, most of them drawn to the region at the time by then flourishing fishing industry. 

To bring the example forward to our times of today, Mr. Nelson noted of the current dominance of the Port and how it is now providing the jobs for many in the region.

Towards the City's Framework he framed it as a document that puts in motion plans towards expanding on our relationships.  

"I'm really not familiar with the whole presentation you made Mr. Morven and I didn't get a chance to read it, but I'm sure these guys  have reviewed it and I hope its accepted ... we have to look at how we are going to all work together, regardless of who we are" -- Metlakatla Hereditary Chief, Clarence Nelson Nis Toyx

He also made note of the large segment of the city's population that is First Nations and also towards the investments that the area Bands and First Nations have made in Prince Rupert, with much of that money being put towards improving the city.

Of note he observed of the Metlakatla led Elders/Seniors housing complex in the city, as well as the gas bar located in the Industrial Park.

Closing his comment Mr. Nelson offered the council his best wishes as they work forward with their Framework.

Ms. Stewart then formally introduced the Framework for Reconciliation, observing how the Framework is a living document, noting of some of the key elements of the document.

"Just a little bit of context for the way that this information is presented it's really intended to be a living document, with some basic direction for staff to proceed on different items. So some of those items include working with an employment equity policy, kind of entrenching more visual and cultural identity in Prince Rupert.  

So opportunities like having parks renamed after Indigenous people where they are just currently named after the street they are on, or if we're opening new subdivisions to have those considered for Indigenous names. 

Other  items within the policy framework are looking towards supporting Indigenous First Nations like we have with things like the MOU and auctioning on shared objectives like housing and economic development ... so that's something that we are looking at cementing into a council policy"   -- City of Prince Rupert Communication Manager Veronika Stewart

Ms. Stewart  also observed how the living document would include a committee of people from the community to direct staff towards the evolution of the Framework and how it needs to be community driven.

Councillor Skelton-Morven who was involved in the drafting of the Framework outlined how his absence on the night was related to a family issue which required his travel to Vancouver, something which resulted in him not being able to provide a copy of the document to the Hereditary Chief before the Council session.

To the theme of the Framework presentation, Mr Skelton-Morven compared it to building a foundation. Noting of the upcoming election, the councillor observed how it was important to lay the framework as to how the municipality would address the topic in the future. 

"Just to kind of speak to some of these pieces, for me I look at this framework policy as building a foundation, and the foundation of a house that will then become something else in the future. It being a living, breathing document it gives the opportunity for it to be involved as relationships do. And that's relationships  with each other, relationships between nations. For me especially as we're creeping up to an election and all these other pieces, it's important to lay the framework and the standards for these and how were going to do this as a municipality moving forward" -- Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven

He also recounted some of the elements of the framework and how they would work with previous MOU's, housing and developments, shared prosperity agreements and the work required to enhance them.

The councillor spoke of the wall between the two sides and how the framework would be taking those bricks down bit by bit.

"When it comes to reconciliation between the Western world and Indigenous ways of being, we have a wall in between us, it's right here. And that wall is a barrier of hostility between traumas and  experiences that have happened throughout history.

There's a rift in between on both sides and that's the fear and apprehension that we have  to be able to take down these bricks and a lot of the time that's where it prevents us from having a relationship and having a connection.

So I look at this policy as us taking bricks down bit by bit, in collaboration with our neighbours and our families and friends and finding a way forward together" -- Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven

Mr. Skelton-Morven also highlighted the importance of the land acknowledgement piece of the Framework which will put the emphasis on the Ts'msyen territory and Nation.

Mayor Brain thanked both the Councillor and Ms. Stewart for their work on the Framework.

Towards commentary most of the Council members shared some thoughts on the Framework. Councillor Nick Adey calling on some of his early experiences in the region starting with his arrival as a 23 year old teacher in Kitkatla and the welcome he received from the community.  

Though his observations, he noted how that has shaped his views and how he was very supportive of the City's Framework.

Noting of the the work in progress that the document is, the living document that will make for an important aspect of the work that the City is taking on and how it offers a guide for the next council as it looks to develop it along with the regional First Nations.

"I think that's a really important aspect to this because it is a very complex and multi-faceted set of ideas and issues and so it has to be a work in progress. Because you can't grasp it all in one moment. 

But I also think that it's valuable because it gives the future council, the next council, a guide for future action. 

And it provides some flexibility in terms of how the next council can continue to develop it along with First Nations People. Mindful of the emerging opportunities and challenges as time goes by"  -- Councillor Nick Adey

Mr. Adey also called attention to the opportunity that the Framework offers and how it will create "a visible, this is who we are face" to it, noting of the areas related to street naming as important to those goals.

He also observed how the Framework's emphasis of how Council can be supportive to Indigenous preservation and revitalization of language and culture was the proper emphasis towards that element of the Framework.

"The short version of that is that I'm very much in support of this, I'm really excited to see where it goes. I think it reflects how far we've  come since I was a young man on the dock in 1983 and I think obviously there is still a ways to go but it's part of a very encouraging history" -- Councillor Nick Adey

Councillor Niesh offered up a short commentary to the document, noting how it offers the community a chance to move things forward and trying to make things better.

Councillor Cunningham offered his full support to the Framework as well noting of the progress that the city is taking towards its goals for reconciliation.

"I support this document 100 percent. It brings some meaning to the word reconciliation it's been bantered around for quite a while, a lot of people talk about it but don't do anything about it. 

The city here is actually putting some action into the words, its you know it comes as Councillor Adey said from different agencies right up to the UN.

I think it's great the city is doing this. It's giving us a framework to actually do something about reconciliation and like the Chief said you know  it's bringing the Bands together as well as the city. 

We've all got to work together if we want this region to prosper, and this is going to be a step in that direction, we're going to be taking that step with a lot of partners and I think that's very important' -- Councillor Barry Cunningham

Councillor Randhawa also offered his support of the document and congratulated both Mr. Skelton Morven and Ms. Steward for their work on the Framework.

The introduction of the Framework came to an end with a few more words from the Metlakatla Hereditary Chief who spoke on the theme for protocols, recounting a story on a totem Pole for the College that created some controversy as a guiding message towards communication for the Council members to keep in mind.  


Mayor Brain then spoke to the initiative, first by reviewing some of the previous agreements that the City has taken on with area Indigenous Nations and how they have set the foundation for what is ahead. 

"We've been working closely with the First Nations communities on specific agreements with each community. You know we have our agreements with Kitkatla we're building the waterfront project together - a thirty million dollar project. 

We have agreements with Lax Kw'alamms, with Metlakatla and as well as both of them together, the Coast Ts'msyen and we have a variety of frameworks under that on housing on land agreements, on social agreements.

And so what I think this is, is even broader and more entrenched city wide policies that will raise the cultural profile of the entire community. 

You know one of the conversations that I've been having for the last eight years with all the Bands in the area, is creating a Ts'msyen kind of Mecca out of Prince Rupert.

That this place should reflect the culture that has been here for thousands of years.
 
And so, you know, I dream in the future that you walk down the street and you see you know street names, or you see signage, or you see cultural art, or you see longhouses  and you see that culture  just integrated into the community. Which has a variety of benefits not just in terms of recognition, but in tourism  all kinds of things.

I just see nothing but positive things coming from a framework like this, that takes it to the next level, which is the entrenchment of the culture embedded into the community. And just that recognition that yeah we are fifty percent First Nations in this community and we are all living here together.

And started that process with the rebranding of the city, right, we went through that process we rebranded the community we have new symbology that  reflects the true nature of this community, the City of Rainbows. 

And I think that this is just the next step in that process and I think that it's something that you know over the next decade will continue to be expanded upon, continue to be refined and it's just nothing but positive energy around something like that. So that's why I'm definitely in support of the motion"    -- Mayor Lee Brain  

Councillor Skelton-Morven offered up some final thoughts on reconciliation, expressing his view as to how it offers the chance for the community to walk together as one.

The Council members then approved the motion with a unanimous vote.

Further notes on the Framework can be reviewed through our preview of the document from Monday which includes a link to the Agenda Package where the full document can be examined.

The introduction of the Framework and discussion that followed that can be reviewed from the City's Video Archive page from the start of the session.



More related to the Framework and the other items of Monday's Council session can be reviewed through our Council Timeline Feature.

A wider overview of past Council Discussion themes is available here.

Council Timeline: Monday, October 3, 2022





With incumbents on the clock towards Election Day and a pair of council members preparing to make for their Goodbyes later this month, the second last Council session for the Class of 2018 provided for two key policy initiatives in one evening.

The First and the topic that made for much of the discussion on the night was the release of the City's Framework for Reconciliation, crafted by the City's Communication Office, Planning office and Councillor Reid Skelton Morven, the framework was introduced as a living document which will evolve over the next decade.

The second piece of the policy making on the night was some additional work on Climate Change issues, with a report towards application for provincial funding towards some of the City's climate goals.

Council members also approved the motion to have Mayor Lee Brain forward a letter to the Premier and Provincial cabinet requesting immediate action to provide funding and new/restored revenues to enable the City to respond to critical infrastructure renewals as soon as possible.

Other items on the night included approval for a Temporary Use Permit for the Industrial Park, changes to some fees related to Airport Transportation, approval of the Temporary Borrowing Bill and final reading for the Permissive Tax Exemptions.

Some background on the work of Council for the night can be reviewed from the Regular Council Agenda 

Council also hosted a Closed Meeting, making for the seventeenth of the in camera sessions for 2022.

The details related to the reasons for the behind closed door gathering can be reviewed here.

Further information from our overview and placement in the video archives can be found below, with the permanent record of the council minutes added as they are posted to the city website.

In attendance Tuesday, October 3, 2022

Mayor Lee Brain -- Present 
Councillor Nick Adey -- Present 
Councillor Barry Cunningham -- Present
Councillor Blair Mirau -- Present 
Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven -- Present (Participated for part of session Remotely)
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present 
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa -- Present

Video Archive for Tuesday, October 3, 2022 

 

  
REGULAR SESSION OF CITY COUNCIL

(0:00 - 1:00)  Adoption of Agenda and Past minutes -- The Mayor reviewed the agenda for the evening and Council adopted the minutes of past meetings. They added one item to the night's work and moved the Reconciliation Framework item to the top of the council session.

Reports and Resolutions

(1:00 - 40:00 )  Report from Communications Manager  -- Framework for Reconciliation Policy Document --  In his introduction to the agenda item, Mayor Brain observed how the city had been working behind the scenes on the document for quite some time and how it was a city wide policy of what the city wants to do towards reconciliation.  

Prior to the delivery of the report from the City's Communication Manager Veronica Stewart, council received a presentation from Hereditary Chief Clarence Nelson, Nis Toyx from Metlakatla. 

He observed that he had not had opportunity to review the full document as of yet, though to the spirit of the framework he offered up a number of observations.  

He started his presentation with an oral history of some of the pivotal moments in recent North Coast times for the Indigenous nations of the region, collectively known as the Nine Tribes.

He observed of the changes that have come to the region through the course of history, with a particular focus on the story of the people of Metlakatla, His commentary included the current focus on education for youth in his community and how it creates opportunity for expanded learning of their history.

Noting of the involvement of Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven in the creation of the Framework for the City, Mr. Nelson observed of how he hoped that the work taken on by the city on reconciliation would also have an impact on bringing the regional First Nations together, recounting how the days of a unified Tribal Council in the region had splintered, hoping that this new emphasis on reconciliation that it may bring people back to together.

As part of his narrative to the presentation he outlined the transition of the area of the City of Prince Rupert from a First Nation community to that with people from other areas of Canada and from around the world, most of them drawn to the region at the time by then flourishing fishing industry. Noting now towards the current dominance for the Port and how it is providing jobs for many in the region.

Towards the City's Framework he framed it as a document that puts in motion plans towards "how we  are all going to work together, regardless of who we are".  

He also made note of the large presence of First Nations residents in the community and of the investment of money that the area which Bands and First Nations have put into Prince Rupert, with much of that money being put towards improving the city.

For examples he pointed to the Metlakatla led Elders/Seniors facility and the gas station located in the Industrial Park.

To conclude his commentary he offered the council his best wishes as they work forward with their Framework.

Ms. Stewart then formally introduced the Framework for Reconciliation, observing how the Framework is a living document, noting of some of the key elements of the document.

Among those notes included for review by the Communications Manager: working with employment equity policies, entrenching more visual and cultural identity in Prince Rupert, areas such as renaming parks after Indigenous people where they are just currently named after a street or to make use of Indigenous names for  streets in new subdivisions. Continued focus on development of additional MOU's and actions on shared objectives such as housing and economic development. 

She also observed how the living document would include a committee of people from the community to direct staff towards the evolution of the Framework and how it needs to be community driven.

Councillor Skelton-Morven who was involved in the drafting of the Framework spoke to his absence on the night and how it was related to a family issue which required his travel to Vancouver, his travel resulting in him not being able to provide a copy of the document to the Hereditary Chief before the Council session.

To the theme of the Framework presentation, Mr Skelton-Morven compared it to building a foundation which will become something else in the future, a living breathing document that will advance relationships with each other and relationships with Nations.

Noting of the upcoming election, the councillor observed how it was important to lay the framework as to how the municipality would address the topic in the future. 

He recounted some of the elements of the framework and how they would work with previous MOU's, housing and developments, shared prosperity agreements and the work required to enhance them.

He spoke of the wall between the two sides and how the framework would be taking those bricks down bit by bit.

The Councillor also highlighted the importance of the land acknowledgement piece of the Framework which will put the emphasis on the Ts'msyen territory and Nation.

Mayor Brain thanked both the Councillor and Ms. Stewart for their work on the Framework.

Towards commentary most of the Council members shared some thoughts on the Framework. Councillor Nick Adey calling on some of his early experiences in the region starting with his arrival as a 23 year old teacher in Kitkatla and the welcome he received from the community.  He noted how that has shaped his views and how he was very supportive of the City's Framework.

Noting of the the work in progress that the document is, the living document that will make for an important aspect of the work that the City is taking on and how it offers a guide for the next council as it looks to develop it along with the regional First Nations.

Mr. Adey also called attention to the opportunity that the Framework offers and how it will create 'a visible, this is who we are face to it', noting of the areas related to street naming as important to those goals.

He also observed how the Framework's emphasis of being supportive to Indigenous preservation and revitalization of language and culture was a proper emphasis to that element of the Framework.

Councillor Niesh offered up a short commentary to the document, noting how it offers the community a chance to move things forward and trying to make things better.

Councillor Cunningham offered his full support to the Framework noting how the document brings a meaning to the word Reconciliation, noting how many people talk about it but don't do anything about it. 

He observed how the City is putting action to the words, with it coming from different agencies right up to the UN and how it offers the city a chance to do something towards reconciliation, observing how all in the region need to work together if we want the region to prosper and this is a step in that direction with a lot of partners.

Councillor Randhawa also offered his support of the document and congratulated both Mr. Skelton Morven and Ms. Steward for their work on the Framework.

The introduction of the Framework came to an end with a few more words from the Metlakatla Hereditary Chief who spoke on the theme for protocols, recounting a story on a totem Pole for the College that created some controversy as a guiding message towards communication for the Council members to keep in mind.  

Mayor Brain then reviewed some of the previous agreements that the City has taken on with area Indigenous Nations and how he would like to create a form of a Ts'msyen Mecca. 

Observing of his dream of creating a reflection of the culture that has been here for thousand of years with street names and signage and other cultural elements integrated into the community and how the Framework in place would  work towards those ambitions over the next decade.

The Mayor highlighting the aspect of the positive energy it will build for the community.

Councillor Skelton-Morven offered up some final thoughts on reconciliation, expressing his view as to how it offers the chance for the community to walk together as one.

The Council members then approved the motion with a unanimous vote.

The City  Council members then gathered for a photo to commemorate the introduction of the Framework on Reconciliation document.
(see page 15 of the Agenda package  for the full test of the Framework for Reconciliation  )

( 40: 00 -- 45:00  )  Recommendation  -- Correspondence to the Premier and Provincial Government to seek action on providing funding and new/restored revenues for the City's critical infrastructure renewals  -- Council approved the motion that will see Mayor Lee Brain forward a correspondence to the Premier and Provincial Cabinet to seek out additional resources towards infrastructure issues. The Mayor noting that the focus of the recommendation is that of the Port Property Tax Act and the concerns that the city has voiced about it. 

The Mayor observing that of note is how the Provincial government has issues at the Ministry of Finance level towards interpreting their own reports and how there is a need for more encouragement at the provincial level.  He called on the Provincial cabinet to come together and make a decision on the Act specifically and how it should not be left to one Ministry alone.  

Mr. Brain also made note of a recent provincial statement that had indicated that the municipality had been compensated for the Act, a statement which he described as not necessarily true. 

With the Mayor stating the City is still required to make up for tax loss on resident and small businesses. Following his commentary, Mr. Brain observed that the letter would also include some of the immediate infrastructure needs, noting how some are reaching a critical failure state which could lead to longer term consequences.  

None of the Council members offered up any comments to the topic following the mayor's talking points towards the correspondence. 

45 - 52:00 )  Report from Planning - Temporary Use Permit   -- Proposed use of land in the Industrial park for ship breaking work --  Ms. Miller noted that the city had not received any letters of concern related to the proposed used. Councillor Mirau raised a question on the nature of hazardous material disposal and what would happen. 

The City Manager Mr. Rob Buchan explained the parameters of the Temporary use permit observing that an amendment be added to the motion to address any materials that the city is not aware of to ensure that they are taken care of by the permit applicant.  

Councillor Cunningham relayed some thoughts to the topic, expressing his concerns over would be monitoring the work, to which the City Manager did not have any process in place for monitoring but if made aware they could take action to respond to any issues.  

Mr. Buchan followed up with a review of some of the provincial measures in place to address hazardous materials.

Mr. Cunningham also suggested that the City use the salvage barge that will be taking the material away to transport some of the derelict vehicles the City may have at the time. 

The City Manager observed how part of the current proposal at hand. Suggesting that if council is seeking to move derelict or scrap vehicles city staff could look into the issue and seek out an answer to the issue, noting how there are other circumstances to consider such as who would receive them at the other end.

The Mayor observed how there could be economies of scale to explore from the Councillors suggestion.
(see page 9 of the Agenda package  for report on the requested variances)

52:00 - 58:00)  Report from Planning - Prince Rupert Low Carbon Resilience Climate Action Plan    -- Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller outlined the scope of the Report noting how it builds on climate  commitments in the City's 2021official community plan, with a focus on the climate crisis identified as a significant and a pressing issue. 

Ms. Miller noted that  while the City is not viewed as vulnerable to such incidents as forest fires and heat domes, other climate change vulnerabilities such as sea level rising, flooding,  tsunami and landslides have become more and more likely as climate change continues. 

Towards discussion of the report, Councillor Adey spoke of his support noting how its an issue of critical importance, observing the report as a practical step on the horizon towards the climate change initiative.  He also observed of the potential for cohesion with other elements that the City is working on. 

The Councillor noted of the September 30th deadline for the funding application, in response to that inquiry, Ms. Miller outlined how the city's request would meet the deadline.

Councillor Cunningham raised the topic of how most of the heavy industry in the community is not under the city's control and is under the domain of the Port, suggesting that the city should seek out some cooperation with the port on shared goals.

The Mayor addressed the observation as to how the proposal for the Climate Plan would create a process for the City to have that kind of engagement. 

Referencing the OCP the Mayor outlined some of the areas that could be taken on, from local food production, local energy production, electrification of the fleet, Net Zero buildings. 

Mr. Brain also pointed to the city's waste treatment solution ambitions, noting how Council had also elected to purposely raise the height of the dam toward the future potential for electric generation  from the dam which could  create renewal energy for the community and be a revenue generator for it. 

Councillor Cunningham also observed how the measures could not only enhance the quality of life in the community but enhance the tax situation in the community.

Council then voted to approve the motion. (see page  22 of the Agenda package  for report)


Bylaws

(59:00 - 1:00:00 )  Report from Chief Financial Officer -- Digby Island Ferry and Prince Rupert Airport Ground Transportation, Systems Tariffs, Feeds and Charges Amendment Bylaw, 3503, 2022  -- Council received a presentation on the report from CFO Corinne Bomben, who provided an overview of the proposed changes.  

She observed how it will provide clarity for charter services outside of regular hours and how the increases would be three percent  over the next four years, making for the first changes in ten years.   

The exception  to the increases is directed towards aircraft passenger bus fares and monthly passes for passenger vehicles, they will remain unchanged to continue to encourage the use of the local airport for commercial air travel. Council approved the motion without any discussion.   (see page  44 of the Agenda package for report)

(1:00:00 - 1:00:15)  Report from Chief Financial Officer -- Police Detachment Borrowing Bylaw  -- Council provided Fourth and Final reading towards the bylaw to authorize borrowing for the new Detachment build at Third Avenue East and McBride   (see page 48  of the Agenda package for report)

(1:00:15 -1:00:30 )  Report from Chief Financial Officer -- Permissive Property Tax Exemption Bylaw Not 3501, 2022  -- Council reviewed the request to repeal the Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw from 2019 and a 2021 amendment, and then to provide Fourth and Final Reading of the new Tax exemption bylaw for 2022.  Council had no discussion for the topic and approved the motion  (see page 49  of the Agenda package for report)


(1:00:30 - 1:01:55)  Reports, Questions, Comments, Reports and Inquiries from Members of Council.

The Council membership had no discussion topics to bring forward on the night, with the Mayor making note of the upcoming election wishing good luck to those seeking a seat on Council.

He observed that there would be one final council session set for October 24th, with the new council to be sworn in to office on November 7th at 7PM in council chambers.

He also noted of the advance polling opportunities to come prior to General Election Day of October 15th, Ms. Bomben reminded voters that the advance polling takes place at the Recreation Complex in the Raven Youth Lounge and not at City hall as it has in previous years.

Council then brought the session to a close.

You can access our Council Archive for the October 3rd session here, where a number of items regarding the Council Session, including links to any local media coverage can be found.

As always, our Council Timeline is only a reflection of our observations from the Council Session of the night.  Be sure to consult with the official minutes from the City, when posted to the City website for further review.

Official minutes of the Regular Council Session from October 3, 2022 (not available yet)

The Next Session for Prince Rupert City Council is set for Monday, October 24, 2022.