Monday, January 31, 2022

City work crews tackle infrastructure work along McKay Street

City crews are working along McKay Street today

City Work crews have been busy on the west side of Prince Rupert since Saturday, attending to some required infrastructure repairs under the road surface along McKay in the area of Sloan down to Kootenay.

The work which began on Saturday morning,  has continued through the day today.

As a result of the repairs, traffic is not being allowed to travel down McKay towards Kootenay, along with pedestrian traffic along the east side of the Roadway. 

However the lane uphill towards Sloan remains open to traffic.

More notes on the city's Operations can be reviewed from our archive page.

RCMP outline details to shots fired call in Prince Rupert from Saturday

The Prince Rupert RCMP have provided some background to a shots fire call from Saturday evening, noting of their attendance to an apartment building in the 800 block of Sixth Avenue East.

On January 29, 2022 at approximately 10:00pm, the Prince Rupert RCMP received a report of a shot fired inside an apartment building in the 800-block of 6th Ave E. Due to the high-risk nature of the call, police attended rapidly and set up containment around the building. 

The occupants of the surrounding units were evacuated and a safety plan was established to enter the unit where the shot originated. 

No one was inside when police entered which means the unit was vacated prior to police arrival. 

The bullet shot was found to have gone through multiple walls into the next door unit which was occupied. 

Thankfully, no one was injured and support from Victim Services was provided on scene to address the traumatic event the residents went through. 

Towards the incident, the RCMP also shared further details on who they are looking for related to the incident.

 "There is no indication that this was a targeted event, however, the investigation is ongoing and any information from the public can be helpful. We believe that there were 3 people present in the residence where the shot originated, 2 men and 1 woman, and we are looking to identify and speak to them." -- Cst. LETNES of the Prince Rupert RCMP, lead investigator assigned to the file.

Should you have any information related to the case file you are asked to contact the Prince Rupert RCMP at 250-624-2136 or through CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8447) 

More items of interest related to the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest can be explored through our archive page.

Lester Centre back on the hunt for a General Manager for city's Arts facility

The city's premiere arts facility is apparently once again seeking the services of a General Manager, with the City of Prince Rupert posting the Job opportunity at the Lester Centre to their Social Media stream this morning.

The Search committee is taking a twin approach towards the post, as outlined in their message on the new search.

This posting is for both an Interim General Manager position and a Continuing General Manager position. 

Should a suitable Continuing General Manager be found immediately, the Interim position will not need to be filled. 

Reporting to the Prince Rupert Performing Arts Centre Society board of directors, the manager will be responsible for directing all aspects of the theatre’s operation including, but not limited to, planning budgets, staffing, rentals, box office operations, scheduling of theatre and equipment use, community relations, staff development, volunteer management, marketing, advertising, building maintenance and capital replacement programs, and fundraising.

The City notes that the posting will remain open until the position is filled. 

If interested, you are asked to email your cover letter/resume with salary expectation to their HR Committee at:

The full scope of the Job requirements and leadership characteristics for the post can be reviewed here.

The position had previously been filled by John Roper following a 2020/2021 search for a new GM, no details as to the status of the previous General Manager were revealed in the latest dispatch from the City.

More notes on the city's Arts Scene can be reviewed here.

Past labour postings through the City of Prince Rupert can be examined here.

Rampage drop both weekend games as visitors take four points out of the Jim

The Prince Rupert Rampage had a rough go of it in the friendly
confines of the Jim in weekend CIHL Play

The race for second place in the CIHL tightened significantly over the weekend, with the Prince Rupert Rampage dropping from second to third spot overall following a pair of losses at the hand of visitors rom the Cariboo on Saturday and Sunday.

The weekend double header opened with a visit by the Williams Lake Stampeders Saturday night at the Jim and the Stamps put their mark on the Rhinos early and often with four goals in the first period.

The visitors adding two more in the second before the Rampage could manage an answer, the first Rampage marker of the night going to Kory Movold, with assists from Tyler Ostrom and Marcus Atchison at the 12:11 point of period number two.

Four minutes later, Movold would have a helper on the Rhino's second, goal that a marker from Cole Atchison.

The third period show some push back from the home side as the Rampage picked up two more goals closing the gap on the Stamps, with Jean Luc Rendell-Fouries scoring at 7:36 of the third frame on the power play, with assists for Jacob Sanurbano and Korny Movold.

Hunter Johnson also picked up a power play marker eight minutes later assisted by Tyler Ostrom.

That however is where the comeback came to a stop, with the Stamps holding on for the 6-4 victory, the game a rather tame one compared to some of the past visits by the Williams Lake side.

On the night, the Stamps served 12 minutes of penalty time on six infractions, the Rampage 8 minutes on four infractions. 

The full scoresheet for the Saturday contest can be reviewed here.

Sunday afternoon brought he Quesnel Kangaroos to town and they too found the net often, though the game did get off to a positive start for the Rampage, with Kory Movold claiming an unassisted goal fifteen minutes into the first period, a goal however which was answered quickly by the Kangaroos three minutes later.

Quesnel hit their stride in period two, with two quick markers mid period taking a 3-1 lead, a gap which was closed to one goal following Jean Luc Rendell-Fournier's marker at the 18 minute mark, helpers going to Hunter Johnson and Kory Movold.

That however would be the last of the Rampage scoring on the weekend, Quesnel picking up two more goals in period number three to take the 5-2 victory.

The Sunday matchup was somewhat more physical than Saturday's with the Kangaroos assessed 26 minutes of penalty time on 9 infractions, the Rampage sitting out 8 minutes in the box on 4 infractions.

The full scoresheet for Sunday's match up is available here.

The Rampage stumble over the weekend should ensure that the Terrace River Kings keep a hold on First overall in the CIHL, the Prince Rupert side now dropping to third, with one game left on their schedule.

Hunter Johnson aided his own cause atop the CIHL Scoring leaders tables, with two points on the weekend; however he may need a strong showing next weekend to hold off the charge of Colin Bell in Terrace who is just one point off the pace heading down the homestretch of the CIHL season.

Next week, the River Kings travel down the road from Terrace for a Saturday contest at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

You can keep up with the latest news from the Rampage room from their Facebook page.

More notes on the CIHL can be explored here.

City of Prince Rupert starts process of planning for new RCMP detachment

The proposed site for the new RCMP detachment in 
Prince Rupert at Third Ave East and McBride

(Photo from City of PR Report)

While City staff prepare to share word with the public on how to participate in the Alternate Approval Process towards the required 25 million dollar loan for a new RCMP detachment, plans are seemingly moving forward towards the design of that new facility.

Two Request for Proposals were published with the BC Bid website last week which outline some of the city's planning when it comes to the downtown detachment set for the corner of McBride and Third Avenue East.

The introduction of the project for those reviewing the opportunity on the BC Bid website looks as follows: 

As Prince Rupert continues to grow, so too does the need for increased technology, modern facilities, and a larger staff contingent to maintain the current level of service in the region. 

Over the years, investments have been made in the RCMP detachment in downtown Prince Rupert, but the facility is again running out of capacity and in need of repair. 

Projections show the need for increased space in the next three years. 

The City of Prince Rupert would like to build a new facility that meets their requirements for security and capacity, to enable the RCMP to continue to provide a safe environment for the community of Prince Rupert. 

The First RFP is that for Professional Consulting services

Towards the project, the City outlines how they have assembled an Integrated Project Team (IPT) consisting of the City’s Project Manager, the Design Builder, the Design Builder’s retained sub-consultants, City’s retained consultants, and other stakeholders. The IPT will work together in delivering the project on budget and on time within the established parameters of scope, quality, and sustainability.

The Schedule for the firs RFP is as such:

The Second Request for Proposals is for Commissioning Authority Services towards the project.

Towards that RFP, the Scope of Services is explained as follows:

The Commissioning Authority will work with the Integrated Project Team and perform the Services described in the Contract required to create a Commissioning Plan based on drawings and documents presented by the architect’s team. The services required for this Project will comprise, without limiting: (i) Professional Commissioning Authority Services

The contact person for both RFP's is Tino Mbara with Colliers Project Leaders who is listed Project Manager. Colliers is a project development organization with a number of offices across Canada.

You can review more on the twin call for applications from the BC Bid website.

As for the  use of the Alternate Approval Process, City Council chose the AAP option over a wider community referendum at last Monday's City Council session.

The City's information relay to date on the plans the City has outlined the scope of the 25 million dollar loan and the repayment period that will be required towards it.

The loan is planned to be repaid over a 30 year period, and is estimated to increase taxes potentially by approximately 1% the year following the dispersal of funds. The tax increase will only be necessary IF all funds are required to complete the project. 

The City has been setting aside additional tax revenues since 2019 to reduce the future impact of loan repayment for this project. If this step had not been taken, the project could have potentially increased taxes by 6%.

As of yet, it doesn't seem that the city has started the clock on the engagement process, with no instructions available for residents as to when the window will open to express, if they desire, their opinion towards the borrowing plan.

Though the City has provided for a video on the process, as well as a home page on their website with more details on the consultation plans.

More notes on past City Council themes can be explored from our archive page here

Canadian Cool in the Arizona heat: Taylor Northcott and Sun Devils on countdown towards ACHA playoffs

She originally hails from perhaps one of the wettest places on the planet and plays her hockey in the sunniest and driest of climates, with Taylor Northcott making for the most southern of Rupert athletes taking to US college sports with the Arizona Sun Devils.

The third year  ASU student, currently patrols the Sun Devil blue line with a goal and six assists for seven points in the fifteen of the nineteen games that the team has played in so far in the 2021-22 season.

Joining the Sun Devils in 2019, the former Rupertite, played her high school hockey at Shawnigan Lake prior to heading to the ACHA and the pace of University Hockey in the US.

With last year's season cut short by COVID, 2020-21 has brought a return to the ice for the ASU program, with the Sun Devils  currently ranked tenth  in the ACHA standings, with seven games to go in the regular College season.

In their own conference the WWCHL, the Sun Devil program is currently ranked number one with a 9 and 1 record,  with that success, they will host the Regional Conference Finals later in February.

That tournament will take place February 18th through 20th, with the conference championship slated for the morning of February 20th. 

The top 4 teams in the WWCHL will play for the conference title. 

The champion will receive an automatic bid to the ACHA DI national championships. 

You can keep up with their travels towards the playoffs and find occasional links to stream casts through the team's Facebook page or ASU twitter feed.

More notes on Prince Rupert athletes pursuing their sports in other locales can be explored here.

Real Estate Tracker: Week ending January 30, 2022

This week finds one new entry to the list of ten residential properties in the city, with the addition of a property from Atlin Avenue to challenge for the top spot in the Prince Rupert review, pushing the total value well over the 7 million dollar mark

The property atop the list is just under the 900,000 dollar point, a level which has been holding at at point since the start of 2022.

Things remain an even split once again from East to West, with five properties found west of McBride and five to the east.

The real estate review below is purely for information purposes, for further background on the properties recorded, see our links pages 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 January 30, 2022 can be explored below:

Real Estate Listings for the East Side of Prince Rupert
for the week ending January 30

Real Estate Listings for the West Side of Prince Rupert
for the week ending January 30

The lowest mark for the review of the week is at $519,000  while our top end is marked  at the price point of  $895,000 

Below find our findings as of the Week ending January30, 2021

673 4th Avenue East                      $895,000 --      Realty Executives
2090 Atlin Avenue                         $889,000 --      Remax   (new)
219 4th Avenue West                     $849,000 --      Remax
555 4th Avenue East                      $789,000 --       Remax
1845 Atlin Avenue                         $777,000 --       Remax 
129 Crestview Drive                      $749,000 --      Remax 
706 Ritchie Street                          $678,000 --       Remax 
1501 11th Avenue East                  $598,000 --       Realty Executives 
517 Cassiar Avenue                       $595,000 --       Remax
736 4th Avenue East                      $550,000 --       Remax

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

For background on Housing issues in the Prince Rupert area see our past items here

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

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Blog Watching: Week Ending January 30, 2022

Education themes dominated two out of our Five top items for the week, with our look at the sparse nature of information sharing coming out of the School Board offices these days, along with with moves by the local Teachers' union to supply its members with N95 masks for use at local schools, both gaining some strong attention over the last seven days.

It being a City Council week, a number of our stories coming out of Monday's Council session found a large audience, among the two to crack the list of Five, the Decision to go with the Alternate Approval Process for the loan authorization for the RCMP detachment, along with some notes on an east side resident's request to pay for some work on a lane adjacent to the property.

The pace of COVID also captured some attention this week, as the numbers of new cases declined for a number of communities across the Northwest.

However, the most read item for the week takes us to the School District 52 Offices and themes of communication.

Poor Grades for SD52 Board Administration on themes of communication -- After a good Start towards information sharing in September, the flow of detaisl on Board activities and measures; along with the release of background on Board meetings in recent weeks has not kept pace with developments out of the SD52 offices   (posted January  27 , 2022)

That article was followed by: 

Alternative  Approval Process the choice for council  on RCMP Loan Approval Vote  -- Council will be seeking the consent of residents towards a 25 Million dollar loan authorization for the new RCMP detachment and to gauge the level of interest in the loan requierment, they'll be using the Alternate Approval Process, which requires residents to advise City Hall if they object to the plan.   (posted January 26, 2022)

COVID counts begin decline in most areas of Northwest   -- After spiking significantly in the first two weeks of 2022, this week saw the case counts decline in a number of Northwest communities, though some areas of the region still have numbers of some concern   (posted January 26, 2022)   
7th Avenue East resident looks to pay for lane access remediation -- A variance request to get some work done around a property on 7th Avenue East is moving forward to public notification, with the property owner willing to pay the cost for the road work required. That request coming with City Council having apparently put aside any plans to introduce a Local Service Agreement with shared costs for area improvements.  (posted January 28, 2022)  

Prince Rupert Teachers' Union to offer membership N95 masks for use -- The union representing public school teachers with SD52 having expressed concerns over some of the COVID measures in local schools, has outlined a plan to provide for their own higher level mask for use of their members in local schools.    (posted January 24 , 2022)

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

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

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

Our archive of weekly Blog Watching can be found here.    

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

Friday, January 28, 2022

Jeff Beckwith takes on duties as Fire Chief for Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue

It was promotion day today for the Prince Rupert Fire Rescue department, with the City of Prince Rupert announcing that Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Beckwith has taken on the duties as Fire Chief.

The appointment relayed by an information release from the City today, noting that he takes over from Chief Dave McKenzie who served as Chief for thirteen years of his over 30 years of service with Department.

As for the new chief, today's announcement from the City provided a bit of a look at his career to date:

Beckwith has been with the Department for 23 years and was promoted to Deputy in 2009. He moved to Prince Rupert in 1995, working in commercial fishing before taking a position with the City’s local Fire Department. Prior to that, he also worked as a volunteer firefighter in Pender Harbour for three years on the Sunshine Coast. He is married with two kids, and finds it rewarding to have a position that lets him give back to the community. He said he is looking forward to leading the team of Prince Rupert’s highly skilled staff.

“It’s a supportive team of firefighters and dispatchers that really makes the fire service work. It’s the people that make the job worthwhile.” -- Newly promoted Prince Rupert Fire Chief Jeff Beckworth

The city also outlined some of what's ahead for him in his new role with the Department.

As Fire Chief,  he will oversee a Department of 20 firefighters and 7 dispatchers, who provide both fire and ambulatory response services to the Prince Rupert area

Duties of the Chief include attending fires and overseeing fire suppression crews, overseeing fire inspections and investigations, directing public information regarding fire prevention, among other tasks.

City Manager Rob Buchan spoke on behalf of the city about the appointment today

“Chief Beckwith has given many years to the Department, and is well-qualified for the position. These past two years have been especially challenging for emergency responders, and we are grateful for the dedication of both the leadership and staff of the Department for continuing to provide essential care to the community through the pandemic.”

No details of the future plans for now former Chief McKenzie were included in today's announcement.

More on today's announcement can be reviewed here.

Further background on the work of Emergency Responders in the Northwest can be explored here.

Rampage homestand offers chance to solidify hold on Second place; set the pace for a scoring championship run for Hunter/Repole

After a long, long absence the Prince Rupert Rampage and their fans can catch up on things this weekend, that as the Rhinos return to the friendly confines of the Jim, for a weekend homestead against some invaders from the Cariboo.

The last time that the Rampage skated out for the warm up to a friendly crowd was back on December 11th when they lost a hard fought battle with the Terrace River Kings.

Since then the team has been on Road Warrior duty, logging kilometre after kilometre of CIHL mileage through the month of January.

Now the skates are on the other feet, with the Williams Lake Stampeders and the Quesnel Kangaroos making the trek to the North Coast, the Stamps in town on Saturday night, the Kangaroos making for an afternoon affair on Sunday.

With the CIHL Regular Season coming up to the end in early February, this homestand could set the Rampage up in good stead for the playoffs. 

With a Second place finish up for grab as the weekend arrives, the first place Terrace River Kings having had a remarkable run in 2021-22 would appear to be safe in the top spot heading down the homestretch.

Though a run of the table for the Rampage and a couple of stumbles for the River Kings and maybe a discussion for first place will come up on February 5th when Terrace comes to town for the season ender.

For the moment for the Rampage, the showdowns with the Cariboo teams feature the two teams directly below them in the standings, both still looking to improve on their playoff situations.

While team always comes first, for a pair of Rampage snipers, this weekend also offers a chance to make a move in the CIHL scoring race.

For Rampage Forward Hunter Johnson the two game homestead will provide opportunity to build on his one point lead on Colin Bell from Terrace, while Judd Repole will be looking to close the gap from fourth to first, which at the moment is just three points.

Mostly though, the weekend provides the Rampage a reunion with their fans, as devoted a fan base in the CIHL and one ready to bring some noise down to the Madhouse on McBride.

The Pregame Lineups for both contests can be reviewed below:

Saturday - Williams Lake at Prince Rupert
Sunday -- Quesnel at Prince Rupert

Tickets are available a the door for both contests this weekend, with the Rampage sharing some further notes on the twin games through their Social Media page.

If you have some spare time, the Rampage would like to share some of it with you, they are currently looking for volunteers for a range of duties on game day.

Find out more about happenings with the team through their Social media stream

More notes on the Rampage and the CIHL can be found from our archive page

With Fibre optic cable laying off Ridley Island, CityWest marks milestone for Connected Coast project

Crews laying fibre optic cable for
 the Connected Coast project
this week off Ridley Island
(photo from CityWest)
Those watching the harbour the last few days may have noticed a vessel  working the local waters, eventually charting a course for the Ridley Island area, where the first step in laying the first fifty kilometres of  fibre optic cable for the connected coast project has been taking place.

The Connected Coast project, a joint initiative of CityWest and the Strathcona Regional District on Vancouver Island hit a milestone this week, as the first 50 kilometres of fibre-optic cable was laid at landing sites across Northern B.C. 

As we noted last week, the fibre project was working around the community of Metlkaktla, with fibre then put in place and connected at shore landings at Lax Kw’alaams and Dodge Cove. 

Another leg was brought ashore at Ridley Island, which will connect into CityWest’s main network, the work of the week noted by CityWest President and CEO Stefan Woloszyn  

“After years of hard work and arranging permitting, we’re ecstatic to see fibre going into the water. We’re extremely proud of everyone who has been involved to get us to this point, and we’re looking forward to bringing underserved communities world-class connectivity. This is what they need and this is what we’re bringing!” 

Also sharing in the milestone moment for the Prince Rupert owned and based communication company was North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice who outlined the importance that the project has for the provincial government.

“This is a significant milestone for a project that’s laying the groundwork to bring better connectivity to 139 remote, rural and Indigenous communities along B.C.’s coast. Supporting innovative approaches to expanding connectivity has been a priority for our Government. With each successive kilometre of fibre being laid, this project ensures these communities will be able to participate in the digital economy and stay connected to their friends and loved ones.”

Once complete, the Connected Coast project will provide backbone communication services to 139 rural and remote communities, including 48 Indigenous communities – representing 44 First Nations – along the BC Coast from Prince Rupert, to Haida Gwaii, south to Vancouver, and around Vancouver Island. Financed by the federal and provincial governments, the $45.4 million project is a joint partnership operated by CityWest and Strathcona Regional District.

While Contractors were working on the Northern Fibre lay, in the south CityWest was starting work on the underground drop network for Cortez Island, one of the communities on the east side of Vancouver Island that CityWest is bringing service to as they expand their service footprint in the province.

In their information release of today, CityWest/Connected Coast noted that the first 50 kilometres is just the beginning of the work ahead.

Over the next few weeks, weather permitting, the project team will lay more subsea fibre-optics to other Northern communities, like Kitkatla and Oona River, before going westward to Haida Gwaii. 

The construction project team will then move down to the southern areas of the network off the east coast of Vancouver Island. When complete, the project will touch approximately 90,000 households in rural and remote communities around B.C., stretching 3,400 kilometres – about the distance from Vancouver to Ottawa. Laid in an environmentally-friendly manner on the ocean floor, it will be one of the longest coastal subsea networks in the world.

More on today's announcement can be reviewed here.

To learn more about the Connected Coast project see their website here.

Further notes on CityWest can be explored through our archive page.

Province of British Columbia, UBCM team up for review of municipal finance challenges

The Province and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities are preparing to work together to review the local government finance system in British Columbia, a program that they hope will assist municipal governments in remaining resilient the face of economic change.

The initiative which was announced on Wednesday notes of the challenges from COVID and recent weather events as providing for disruptions and challenges at the municipal level.

“From the COVID-19 pandemic to recent extreme weather events, we are all facing new challenges that did not exist a decade ago,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Through this new agreement, I look forward to making progress together on matters of mutual interest as we work to gain a greater understanding of local government financial resiliency.” --   Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs

The Memorandum of Understanding between the province and UBCM will include a review of the local government finance system, as well as discussions on about cost pressures local governments may be experiencing around attainable housing, community safety and climate change, and the impact of the new economy.


While the Housing component will be of high interest for the City of Prince Rupert,  when it comes to the impact of COVID on the civic treasury, areas which have seen challenges for the city include the Airport Ferry usage, port calls for the Cow Bay Marina and lost revenue on Prince Rupert Transit to name a few areas of note from past monthly financial reviews for Council.

As for a timeline for the work, the joint announcement notes of the following elements to be considered towards the project.

click to enlarge

The framework of their review came out of a UBCM membership endorsed report published in August of 2021

That document offered up 20 recommendations to strengthen the municipal and Regional District finance system.

The project has an initial timeline of three years, at which time it will be reviewed unless the two parties choose to an early review or termination.

More on Wednesday's announcement is available here.

Further items of interest from the province can be explored through our Legislature archive page.

7th Avenue East resident looks to pay for lane access remediation

A request for some remediation of a lane that was once on the maintenance list of the City of Prince Rupert has moved forward a bit, with a Seventh Avenue East resident noting that he would take the cost of the work to be done on as his own.

That bit of potential civic generosity, one that perhaps many others in town won't quite be able to provide to the City, was outlined at Monday's City Council Session, as the council members moved an application request that dates back to the Summer of 2021.

City Manager, Rob Buchan outlined the nature of the request and the history of its pause, noting that Council had put it on hold as they contemplated introducing a Local Service Agreement policy in the community, a plan which it would appear has now been put on the shelf.

"This application has been before Council but it was put on hold until Council considered a policy for Local Service Area.  Now that policy review has been completed and Council has elected not to proceed with adopting a policy at this point. 

The applicant has been in contact with staff in terms of providing the Laneway improvement that is recommended here and has agreed to pay for the improvements, it's approximately 5,000 dollars of work to make the laneway usable and to a municipal standard." -- City Manager Rob Buchan

Towards that work, the applicant has requested two variances towards bylaw zoning for the work, with  Council now moving the process ahead to public notification for the variance application.

While they had nothing to say on the topic of the application, nor did the Council members take the opportunity discuss the decision to not go ahead with the Local Service program option.

The original request for that variance of the summer of last year, led to a much larger review of how the city should work towards local area improvements, resulting in a proposal that was introduced by the former City Manager Robert Long and Mayor Brain back in June of 2021.

The proposed policy in effect would see local neighbourhood residents come together with the City on a cost sharing basis, to fund local improvements such as lanes and other amenities.

The discussion at that time indicating that it was a rather controversial proposal and not one universally welcomed by some on the Council at that time.

The two competing narratives of the time best exemplified by how Mayor Brain and Councillor Cunningham viewed the topic back in the summer.

"I understand the situation, I mean  I've been here for seven years and I've had many places that have lanes that want upgrades. I mean we're going to approving a paving budget tonight which we only doubled like a year ago and that's for the entire town. And we know that the roads budget for the entire town is well over 90 million dollars, that does not include laneways ... So maybe this is the time to start bringing the local improvement bylaw forward on a lot of different areas because I have a lot of different areas in the community  that want to do stuff like that, and I think that's a way of accelerating the work rather than solely relying on the paving budget " -- Mayor Lee Brain June 2021

"Here we are, we are pushing for people to clean up their houses, improve the neighbourhood. This person comes along, wants to improve their lot and we're going to penalize them now by saying that he can't use the lane that he's been using for the last forty or fifty years, if it wasn't him it was the person who lived in the house before. And we don't know, records don't show who put that lane in there, it could have been the city that put it in fifty years ago" -- Councillor Barry Cunnigham June 2021

Considering they've put the plan on the shelf and didn't make much mention of it at the most recent session, Council members may want to take advantage of some of their discussion periods at an upcoming meeting to expand on the decision a bit for the sake of history and further guidance for the public.

As for the approval of the work for 7th East, Mr. Buchan's review and Council's quick approval to move the process forward can be reviewed from the City's Video archive at the six minute mark.

More notes on Monday's Council session can be explored from our Council Timeline Here.

Further background on past Civic Discussions can be found on our archive page.

Coast Mountain College scholarship opportunity looks to keep Geo Scientists in the Northwest

Geoscince study at 
Coast Mountain College
(photo from CMTN website)
Coast Mountain College has introduced an new, one of a kind scholarship, that will soon be available for students in the Pre Engineering and Geoscience programs, the goal one to train and hopefully retain professionals in the field in the Northwest upon graduation.

The Focus for the Scholarship opportunity is to recruit more Indigenous and Women engineers and geoscientists to study and work in the Northwest, the criteria for application for the Scholarship program is open to Anyone from Northern BC.

“It’s a good opportunity to get rural, remote and Indigenous engagement, because typically, engineering and geoscience programs are limited to people who can travel to the bigger centres," -- Coast Mountain College geoscience and math instructor Stuart Toop

The initiative is being led in part by the Coast Mountain College Geoscience program along with the Engineers and Geoscientists BC northern Branch.

You can lean more about the program and the scholarship plan here.

Fundraising for the scholarship is being facilitated in part by the Coast Mountain College Foundation, which was established in 2017 to support student success by easing financial barriers through scholarships, bursaries, awards and programs.

If you want to get behind the initiative, you can make your donation through their online portal here.

More notes on Coast Mountain College in the Northwest can be explored through our archive page.

Prince Rupert Marine Rescue among Northwest groups to benefit from Gaming Grant Funding from 2021

Prince Rupert Marine Rescue has relayed some funding
from 2021 in an announcement from the Province today

The Province of British Columbia has released some more of the gambling revenue in the Province directed towards community groups and organizations and for the Prince Rupert marine Rescue Organization, that means an additional 67,200 dollars for their Operations on the North Coast.

The Prince Rupert share part of the 5.5 million in funding the province directs towards Emergency and Safety organizations in British Columbia.

“This funding helps not-for-profit organizations continue to provide vital programming and supports to people so they can thrive and feel safer and healthier in their communities. We are supporting local organizations that are committed to a wide range of activities that enhance the environment and improve public safety, including search and rescue, restorative justice, conservation and wildlife preservation, and more.” -- Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

The funding is from the year to date totals as of December 31st 2021 as revealed today in the provincial announcement..

The Marine Search and Rescue group is the only Prince Rupert based organization to receive funding in this go round, among some of the other Northwest communities to realize funding today included:

Coastal communities

Massset, Massett Marine Rescue $10,000
Oona River, Oona River Resources Association $22,000
Queen Charlotte City, Laskeek Bay Conservation Society $11,500

Inland Communities

Terrace, Skeena Volunteer Ski Patrol Society  $15,000
Terrace, Terrace Search and Rescue Society $65,000
Smithers, Bulkley Valley Amateur Radio Society $6,500

You can review today's provincial announcement here

The full list of successful recipients is available here.

For more notes from the Provincial Government see our Legislature archive page.

Progress on Water Dam, Eat Street plans ... slight delay in progress for Third Ave East extension among themes from Major Projects Report

Richard Pucci the City of Prince Rupert's Operations Director
provided a Major Projects update on Monday evening

The City's Operations Director Richard Pucci provided for a monthly checklist on some of the City's Major project work at Monday's City Council session, the update marking the progress for some of the higher profile items on the city's to do list.

Mr. Pucci making note that there has not been a lot of progress this month, as the city comes out of the Holiday period which saw a pause on much of the work.

"There hasn't been a lot of major project progress over the last month or so, just because of the holiday break and a lot of the consultants and teams working on these were also away and taking a break, but there has been some progress"

Among the positive trends were reports on the City's Woodworth Lake Water Dam project, with Mr. Pucci noting that the project is now 90 percent complete, with building now taking place on the main structure with hopes towards an April completion and a return to Woodworth Lake for the city's water supply.

"I am very pleased to say that our Woodworth Dam is approximately 90 percent complete, we've seen some very good progress in the last couple of months. Even with the weather, we were still able to get the project out of the ground, it's taking shape and we are building on the main part of the dam right now. 

And we are looking to have that operational for the end of March, early April  and commission it and be back on our main water supply sometime in April . So where we are at now, we are out of a lot of the flood risks and a lot of the other risks associated with weather"

The Eat Street project, which will feature a number of the City's Food Trucks gathered around the newly installed Urban Loo at Third Avenue West and Seventh Street is getting closer to an opening, with the Director noting that it requires a bit of electrical work and finishing touches before the site becomes a Foodie's utopia.

"The Eat Street Project is about 95 percent complete, the project is just waiting for a little bit more of electrical, but other than that it's ready to go. The Snow and the Ice obviously stalled that project, we're just going to do a final grade and open it up very soon"

Mr. Pucci also observed that the Landfill cell expansion is complete, with the City now awaiting final word from the province to allow them to put the facility into operation.

"The new landfill cell I am very pleased to say is complete. So we are just putting ... submitting our DOCP which is our Design Operations and Enclosure Plan to the Ministry of Environment and we are looking to receive  that back soon and we can start putting refuse into that cell"

The Operations Director also declared the launch of Curbside Recycling as a success making note of the first three weeks of the new service.

"The recycling program 100 percent complete. We are very pleased with the roll out of that. We are still working out some kinks in it, but we are pleased to say that the program we feel is a success and  staff are very pleased with how that is going with the community.

Progress on the Road extension past RONA to the Marina District 
has been set back
by a few geo technical issues
(Map from Prince Rupert 2030 presentation
click to enlarge)

One item not going as quickly as the City anticipated is the extension of Third Avenue East that will take the roadway behind RONA and connect with George Hills Way further to the West.

On that project, Mr. Pucci made note of some geo technical issues that need to be investigated further in the area of redevelopment.

"The Third Avenue Extension is approximately fifteen percent complete, we are doing new geotechnical investigation on that project. We have found some issues with some geo-tech there that we have to investigate to either pre-load or digging out"

Some of the other topics covered included the forward momentum on the RCMP detachment,  the Water line communication program known as SCADA, the. planning for the Sewage treatment project, submarine line to Woodworth Lake and the City as well as the Water Treatment project and that of the Waterfront development plans.

The Council members had no questions or comments to add to his report upon his completion of the January checklist on Monday evening.

Mr. Pucci's Report is available for review from the City Council Agenda for January 24th, his checklist available for review below:

click to enlarge

You can take in the Operations Director's Major Projects Tutorial from the City's Video Archive starting at the one minute mark.

More notes relation to the Monday Council Session can be explored through our Council Timeline Feature.

An overview of some of the City's Major Projects can be reviewed here

While a wider review of past Council Discussions is available here.