Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Praise for Council members and Staff, call to stay with the 2030 Vision plan as Lee Brain bids farewell to the Mayor's office

Mayor Lee Brain offered up his final thoughts on eight years in the Mayor's
Chair as part of the finale to the Current council term on Monday night 

Monday night provided for the final chapter of the eight years of municipal governance for Mayor Lee Brain, the two term holder of the top elected office in the city, recounting a range of themes at the end of the final Council session for the Class of 2018.

His opening theme was to reflect on how much the community has gone through during his two terms of office.

Mr. Brain also spoke to a range of themes for his farewell, noting of the last eight years and what the community has gone through, recounting the days of LNG, Watson Island and the prospect that the city may have gone bankrupt fast at that period of time, had council not dug the community out of the hole.

"When Councillor Mirau talks about the first days, yeah we came into six LNG facilities being proposed, plus Watson Island, plus essentially the town was going bankrupt fast. 

And we had no choice but to dig the town out of the hole and that's what I would say we have done.

You know could we done more, yeah if I stay ten or twenty years, we could probably accomplish the rest of it. But at the end of the day, there will be Mayors for time immemorial and there have been mayors before and there have been councils. And you do what you can while you're there and you do the job well. And I think that's something that I feel very proud of"

He too used the example of a foundation, digging the town out of a hole, with and to his redesign process and Rupert 2030 the community was on a new trajectory and had clearly wanted change. 

"It's pretty much unanimous in terms that the community wanting a new change. You know I think one thing, when you're in a community that has hit rock bottom there's only one way up and that's up right and so people want a change  and I think we're delivering that and this next council is going to continue that process"

Mr. Brain observed how the returning councillors had helped build the plan and that they know what needs to be done and how  had confidence that they would continue with the vision, also paying tribute to the entire City staff in every department for their work.

"Every department here works so hard, and unfortunately I think sometimes  the town doesn't realize that these people are taxpayers too and also have equal say around what's happening around here in this community. So you know at the end of the day we have always I think stood by the staff and have made sure that you guys are supported because you guys work hard for this community"

Mr. Brain also noted how the city remains short staffed and those that are there continue to do the work that is required.

The mayor spoke to the water infrastructure projects from the Dam, to the water treatment and the water lines under streets, noting of the need for Federal and Provincial help to achieve their infrastructure goals.

"The infrastructure challenges that this community is facing is beyond what I think people fully understand and we will need Federal and Provincial help to get it taken care of. 

Because if we don't we could be facing a crisis long term"

He spoke of some of the challenges towards infrastructure and how there is more appreciation now of what the city is up against, as well as to observe of of how the community has viewed the work of council and how they have shared information on their work. 

"The support of the community I think has been massive, I think people are following along the program. In the time that I've been here we've done three major community presentations: The Hays 2.0 blueprint , the Rupert 2030 unveiling and then the State of the City.

I don't remember any other community that does anything like that and I think that's the way to keep people informed and to keep people engaged. 

And so now here we are at the end of our term, which is really just the beginning for this community's next stages"

As to that future Mr. Brain noted of the Gateway Project as Key, incubating development as well as redevelopment for the Mid Town region, Waterfront area and CowBay as well as some of the other elements such as Trail development underway.

Mr. Brain The Mayor also noted of the need for housing and how there is a need for a community wide program to get it done, pointing to the Rupert 2030 vision plan as their blueprint.

"We need a mass mobilized effort. And this is going to require the Port Authority and all the Port industries, and the Federal Government, the Provincial Government, First Nations Communities the City and everybody coming together full steam ahead in a very laser like focus to get it done.

Now the good thing about the Rupert 2030 plan is that it lays out the timeline of infrastructure, it lays out a plan on investment and it lays out a process to getting there, because its not all going to happen at once.

And as long as the spirit of that is adhered to, I think the community is going to get the results it needs"

He spoke of the support of Council, recounting his travels and those he met along the way, observing now this council has been united in their focus and direction.

"I just want to than Council for al your support. The truth is I couldn't have been a good mayor, without your guy's support. 

You have been one hundred percent behind me. You have trusted me to do what needs to be done, in many ways I really feel that we have built a family here on Council. 

I have met thousands of people now in this business. In America, the Governors, Premiers, Prime Minister and  I think we are a very high functioning group. 

I've met lots of other Mayors and Council's who basically just argue with each other, can't get anything done they are always pulling at each other. 

And at the end of the day when a Council fails a community fails and we have not been like that"

To wrap up his farewell, the Mayor again turned to the work of staff, with some final praise for their efforts on behalf of the community.

"You guys are absolutely an amazing crew of people, you literally are holding this place together, I don't care what anybody says, you guys absolutely deserve every piece of wage you get, in fact more you deserve it.  

Like you guys are massively holding this whole place together and nobody can fully see that and I can see exactly what you're doing for this community. And I will defend you to the ends of the earth to make sure that people understand just how much work you guys do to make sure that this community succeeds.

On a small team, with a very limited budget with 600-900 million dollars worth of problems on your shoulder. You know, good on you for sticking it out in these careers, because you could be off doing other things that are less challenging,  for more pay.

And you know I commend you for sticking around and being champions for Prince Rupert and I hope that this next Council continues to support you and in fact I know they will. 

And I think there's going to be good smooth transition here and it's been a very wonderful time, so thank you very much for making the experience a little bit more bearable when you're in public service by operating like a team so Council thank you so much"

Mayor Brain's review of his two terms as the top elected civic official can be viewed through the Council Video archive page, starting at the 30 minute mark.


 More notes on Monday's Council Session can be reviewed from our Council Timeline Feature.

A deeper dive into the course of this council over the last eight years  can be found from our Council Discussion archive page.


  1. The last eight years have been a time of immense achievement the full scope and details of which will be revealed to the public in the fullness of time if and when circumstances permit.

  2. I look at the condition of the city and wonder what it would look like if it was not a "time of immense achievement"
    I guess it is all open to interpretation". I think some definitions of achievement are set low.

    1. With so little information and so much having been kept under wraps it's hard to say what has been achieved or to put it into perspective.