Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Council Timeline: Monday, June 27, 2022

A review of the progress for Major infrastructure Projects, the quest for more grant funding for a test project wastewater treatment facility, along with an extensive discussion on the Zoning Bylaw Amendment proposals made for some of the key elements of the final session for June for Prince Rupert City Council.

Also of significance on the night was approval for the RCMP Detachment Loan process and approval of an amendment to the Five Year financial plan, that bit of civic attention required owing to the work taking place on the McBride Street waterlines and repairs for Airport Ferry infrastructure.

A range of reports on variance requests from Planning, a letter of support for the Port Edward Harbour Authority Fairview Dock users and a few other items rounded out the one hour and seventeen minute meeting the last of the twice a month sessions until October.

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

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

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

Monday also brought a Committee of the Whole the Agenda that which mostly focused on the delivery of the 2021 Annual Report, the focus for that element of the night 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 Monday, June 27, 2022

Mayor Lee Brain -- Present 
Councillor Nick Adey -- Present 
Councillor Barry Cunningham -- Present
Councillor Blair Mirau -- Present
Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven -- Absent  
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present 
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa -- Present

Video Archive for Monday, June 27, 2022 


Committee of the Whole Session

( 0:00 - 4:00  ) Committee of the Whole Session for Monday, June 27, 2022

Public Comments on Annual Report

Only one member of the public gallery came forward with comments, that was Larry Golden who spoke on the topic of the Annual Report and a need towards more engagement and information related to Greenhouse Gas reduction planning.

 Report on the 2021 Annual Report -- Council received a video report from Veronika Stewart the City's Communications Director who outlined the key elements of this years Annual Report and the goals for 2022. 

Public Comment Period on any other notes of interest

No members of the public came forward with an commentary or questions.


Regular Council Session 

( 4:00 -- ) Regular Council Session for Monday, June 27, 2022

Mayor Brain called the session to order, adopting the past minutes and Agenda for the evening's session, with the addition of one item for the night, that related to an request from the Port Edward Harbour Authority and a letter of support request.

Reports and Resolutions

( 4:30 -- 9:30 ) Report from Director of Operations and Intergovernmental Relations -- Major Projects - Monthly Update  -- Council received a report from the Director of Operations Richard Pucci providing an update on the status of Major projects that the city has underway. As part of his review, the Operations Director provided for a slide show of some of the projects underway. 

Among the notes of interest the status for the Woodworth Dam project which is near completion, with the city awaiting the rebound of the reservoir, while demolition of the old dam infrastructure takes place, he observed that they hop to have the transfer over to the Woodworth water supply in the next month or so.

Also noted among the other items on the list, was the  work on the RCMP detachment project, work on the waterfront project, as well as other water infrastructure themes. 

The only question for Mr. Pucci came from Councillor Barry Cunningham who asked for some additional details on the Scada communication line project.   (see page 8  of the Agenda package)

 (9:30 -- 16:00  ) Report from Director of Operations and Intergovernmental Relations -- Wastewater Treatment Grant Application - Strategic Priorities Fund  -- Council received  a report from Mr.  Pucci related to the proposed Omineca Wastewater Treatment Facility, the Operations Director will be seeking approval to apply for grant funding for the project. 

He provided some background on the grant program as well as the scope of the first project for the Omineca area of the city.

In Questions, the Mayor asked for the total cost of the project, in reply the Director of Operations noted it was six million dollars, up from the four million previously noted, an increase he attributed to the need to build a road to reach that location.

Councillor Cunningham had some questions about the technology and long it has been in use.

To that Mr, Pucci observed that it's not that new, new for Canada but used in Europe and elsewhere in the world for decades and decades, noting how there are three compliant systems in place that are fully permitted in Canada.

Councillor Adey offered up some thoughts for how the roll out for the future may go, asking how the City would translate the pilot project to the entire city.

The Operations Director noted of the feasibility study completed previous and how 11 wetland treatment areas could be developed within the city's green space areas at a cost then of 80 million, compared to 200 million dollars for the more traditional waterfront system.

Councillor Randhawa followed up as to how that may impact on water infrastructure, Mr. Pucci outlined how the current system of separation of the lines would continue, he also added that this phased approach would make for an ongoing level of treated waste ahead, noting how the Federal and Provincial governments were enthused about the plans.

Mr. Cunningham returned the immediate area of the Omenica neighbourhood and the impact  there. 

Mr. Pucci explained how the wastewater process would work, highlighting how it would look like long grassed plots, with a small fence surrounding the area of the installation.

Council them voted to approve the motion for city staff to seek out additional grant funding. 

(see page 11 of the Agenda package)

 (16:00 -- 18:00 )Report from Planning - Development Variance Permit for a property on 6th Avenue East     -- Council received a report from the planning department related to the request for the variance. The variance was approved with only one question, that from Councillor Cunningham who noting that this work was near finished already, asked if the city does site visits for the permit requests. 

He was advised by staff that site visits are part of the process. 

The Mayor observed that in the past the city has had applicants tear down their work if not approved.

The process now moves forward to public notification.  (see page 13  of the Agenda package)

 ( 18:00 -- 18:30 ) Report from Planning - Development Variance Permit for a property on 3rd Avenue West     -- Council received  a report from  the planning department related to the request for the variance. 

The variance request moved forward without any questions from Council. (see page  21 of the Agenda package)

 (18:30 -- 19:30 ) Report from Planning - Development Variance Permit for a property on Tatlow Street   -- Council  received a report from the planning department related to the request for the variance. 

The variance request moved forward without any questions from Council. It now moves to public notification. (see page 27  of the Agenda package)

 ( 19:30 -- 21:00 ) Report from Planning - Development Variance Permit for a property on 9th Avenue East     -- Council received a report from the planning department related to the request for the variance. 

The variance request moved forward without any questions from Council. It now moves to public notification  (see page  33 of the Agenda package)

 ( 21:00 --  22:30 ) Report from Planning - Development Variance Permit for a property on Hays Cove Circle   -- Council received a report from the planning department related to the request for the variance.  The variance request moved forward without any questions from Council.  (see page 41  of the Agenda package)

 ( 22:30 -- 23:00 ) Resolution Ratification from the Committee of the Whole -- Annual Report
Council members moved to accept the Annual Report.

 ( 23:00 -- 24:00 ) Resolution from Closed Meeting -- Civic Awards-- Council will announce the names of those in the community to be awarded civic Recognition Awards.

This year the city will award Civic Merit Awards to Teresa Mackereth, Ella Ferland and Rob Gruber 

The Mayor observed that the Awards will be presented to the honourees at the Canada Day celebration on Friday.

 ( 24:00 -- 27:30 ) Request for Letter of support from Port Edward Harbour Authority -- 
The City's corporate administrator outlined the nature of the request related to a call for feedback from the community by the Port Edward Harbour Authority. The call for comment part of the Harbour Authority interest in the proposed expansion of the Container Port and how it could impact on the fishing industry. 

The Harbour Authority is currently in negotiations with the proponents of the expansion as advocates for the Fairview dock users.

Councillor Cunningham led off the conversation on the topic, calling for a strongly worded letter in support of the Harbour Authority efforts, the councillor noting of the importance of the dock for the fishing industry in the community, Adding that the port is acting as a bit of a bully, noting that their plans are for an administration building and a parking lot that could be put anywhere.

He also recounted some of the challenges facing the industry in the community and how the fleet is being decimated and pushed out.

Councillor Adey put the focus on the value of the fishing industry to Prince Rupert and that the city should do whatever it can to maintain it as a viable enterprise, or at least to mitigate against things that make it harder for them.

He observed how harbours on the west coast and around the world some of them are impressively busy places and that a letter should be to get to that place where it's working for everybody.

Council then voted to approve the writing of the letter for the Port Edward Harbour Authority.


 ( 27:30 -- 28:00 City of Prince Rupert Elections Voting Procedure and Automated Vote Counting system authorization Bylaw  -- Council  provided fourth and Final reading to the bylaw, Council voted to approve of the Bylaw  (see page 47 of the Agenda package)

 ( 28:00 --31:30 ) City of Prince Rupert Five Year Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw  -- Council received a report related to the amendment to the Financial Plan from the Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben.  

The CFO outlined  the two elements that require the amendment, that related to required repairs for the Airport Ferry Dock Ramp on Digby Island and the ongoing work required for waterline repairs on McBride Street. The total amount of the Amended financial themes for the two items is 1 million dollars for the McBride project and 175,000  dollars for the Dock Ramp. 

The repayment of the debt to cone through dividends from Prince Rupert Legacy Inc. Ms Bomben observed no comments had been received by the city in the period just ended for community input.  

Councillor Adey observed of his appreciation of the flexibility through mechanisms like the reserve fund and the unique example of the Legacy mechanism, he then wondered aloud if unforeseen events were to come where those two options were strained to the point where they could not be draw upon.

The CFO noted that the loan repayment  amount would be built into water rates in that instance which would be difficult she also outlined how there was not much surplus in the water fund owing to the frequent nature of the water line issues in the community.

Most of the capital funding has been used for such emergency repairs, she also highlighted how the capital reserve fund in the recent Budget had 400,000 dollars allocated to capital  reserves and that had made up part of the component for the recent tax increase approved by Council.

She spoke to how the City was fortunate to have been able to turn Watson Island into bit more of a revenue generating opportunity to be able to offset many of the capital costs whether planned or unplanned as is the case in this instance.

Council  then provide First, Second and third reading to the amended bylaw.  (see page 57  of the Agenda package for the specifics to the amendment )


 ( 31:30 -- 1:12:00 ) City of Prince Rupert Zoning Amendment Bylaw  -- Council having hosted a Public Hearing on the topic earlier in the evening was then asked to provide Third Reading of the Zoning Amendment Bylaw -- 

The Discussion was extensive on the topic, that after concerns were raised both in the Public Hearing and by council members in the Regular Council session over the Shipping Container element of the Bylaw.

The full bylaw covers a range of municipal zoning themes including changes towards creating additional rental stock in the community, and with it added density in some neighbourhoods. 

And while some council members had some hesitations over a few of those elements, that portion of the bylaw review moved forward on the night.

Councillor Mirau took the lead to answer some of the comments and concerns raised in the Public Hearing, observing as to how he understood some of the issues raised during the hearing, but remained unconvinced from those arguments that were made.  

Stating that the new bylaw amendments more than fits the bill of the city's hopes for increased housing opportunity.

The discussion became somewhat mired in process over the shipping container themes and without City Manager Rob Buchan available on the night to offer guidance, the Council members seemed somewhat confused as to how to move the full bylaw towards forward momentum.

After a few false starts, a couple of steps back, the engagement of staff on hand for the night and more dialogue to the theme, the council members acted on a motion from Councillor Blair Mirau to put aside the revised elements of the Shipping container portion of the bylaw as had been suggested by Councillor Nick Adey.

To resolve the stalled nature of the process, Council then tabled that element pertaining to shipping containers in the Bylaw, for a future meeting. 

Council will readdress the proposed solution following a report from staff on any additional impacts of adding the registration process required towards the sixty day timeline of the temporary permit process. 

The Remainder  of the Zoning Amendment Bylaw then went forward to its third reading.

The more extensive review of the thirty minutes of discussion towards the bylaw can be found from our accompanying item here(see page  74 of the Agenda package for a look at the full provisions of the Amended bylaw)

( 1:12:00 -- 1:13:00 ) City of Prince Rupert Police Detachment  Loan Authorization  -- Council was asked to provide fourth and Final reading towards the Police Detachment Loan Authorization Bylaw. The City's corporate administrator Rosa Miller observed that the recent Alternate Approval Process used towards the Loan approval had generated zero comments to the negative towards the initiative.

The final approval  process moved forward without any further comment from Council  members. (see page  72 of the Agenda package)

Questions, Comments, Reports or Inquiries from Council

1:13:00  -- 1:17:00 )  Councillor Randhawa led off the comment period, asking of the Director of Operations for an update on the McBride Street waterline project.

In reply, Richard Pucci observed that the current status at this point was that where the city was still assessing the situation, with everything exposed.  He suggested it would probably be about three weeks to a month before it was all back together and the road remaining closed with only light traffic until paving. 

Councillor Randhawa followed up with a question about the annual road paving program, asking towards when that project would get underway.

The Operations Director observed that the contract had been awarded to Adventure Paving and that with the award they said that they would start within a month.

Councillor Cunningham raised the topic of line painting on the roads noting of the recent work that had been done, then asking for a timeline towards more work on the city's line marking program.

Mr. Pucci observed how there is only one localized contractor  that does the work, he noted that they are not here right now and its anticipated that they will be returning to the community in the next few weeks. 

Councillor Cunningham followed that inquiry up with a question as to the plans for the new Civic Yard at the old GM dealership on Portage Avenue.

The Operations Director outlined that drawings have just been completed and a Compliant RFP is soon to be issued towards the  work required on the structure, though no timeline or cost is in place yet when it comes to that work. He added that they are hopeful to get that out to contractors shortly to get that project going and make it there new home.

Councillor Adey spoke to the issue of derelict vehicles, relaying the comments he had received from a resident about the volume of derelict vehicles seen in driveways in the community. He recounted the previous incentive program, which he believes has expired, that the city once had towards disposal of those vehicles.

To that theme, the City's Chief Financial Officer stated that they could add the suggestion to their work  plan for  next year.

With no other comments from the council membership the June 27th  Council Session came to an end.

You can access our Council Archive for the June 27th session here,  where a number of items regarding the Council Session, including links to 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 their website for further review.

Official minutes of the Regular Council Session from June 27, 2022 (not available yet)

Council members now move into the more relaxed portion of the Council calendar with only one regular council session scheduled each month through to October. 

The Next Session for Prince Rupert City Council is set for Monday, July 25, 2022.


  1. Did Mr. Pucchi comment on the fact there is a WCB stop work order on the McBride Street water replacement or does he just not want to inform the council and taxpayers?

    1. See our follow up story to that item from the Timeline NCR