Monday, January 23, 2023

Prince Rupert Port Authority adds its name to calls for Federal infrastructure assistance for Prince Rupert

The Prince Rupert Port Authority has joined the growing list of those from the political side of the tracks that have called on the Federal Government to join the province and City towards finding solutions for the growing infrastructure challenges in the community.

In a letter listed on the Regular Council Agenda for review of Council tonight,  the Port has addressed a correspondence to Dominic LeBlanc, the Federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, cc'd to a range of Federal and provincial officials.

The Port's letter, authored by Ken Veldman, Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability was forwarded to the Minister in late December. 

That correspondence delivered to Ottawa in the period of time immediately following the State of Local Emergency that had been declared by the City of Prince Rupert.

The tone of the letter is much similar to more recent correspondences to the Federal government from the Province and MP Taylor Bachrach.

A key passage from the Port's letter for Minister Leblanc  notes:

The municipal infrastructure deficit will remain a concern for PRPA and we will continue to support the City's ongoing advocacy for federal and provincial government support. 

The inability to rely on the City to provide adequate service levels impacts local business and industry, the port's labour force and other residents in the community, and the long-term reputation of the Port and community generally. 

The need to declare a State of Emergency because of seasonal environmental and weather factors, and their ability to increase the potential risk of water main breaks, is an unsustainable and untenable situation.

The full overview of the observes of the PRPA concerns towards the situation facing the community, it also notes of the key role that the Port plays for Canada and how investment in the infrastructure is an important element for the success for the National Gateway.

The full document can be reviewed below: 

click above to enlarge 

It will be worth watching to see what if anything City Council members may have to say about the Port's contribution to the call for more infrastructure assistance.

At the Janaury 9th council session, the Port was the subject of much in the way of heated rhetoric from some of the Council members, that following a report from the Chief Financial Officer related to the issue of Payments In Lieu of Taxes, as well as a snapshot of some of the compensation that is provided to Port officials.

As we noted, the Ports correspondence from late December is one of a number of letters calling on the Federal Government to take note of the concerning situation in Prince Rupert.

Others for review on the topic include

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice began the letter writing campaign as the State of Local Emergency was underway in mid December.

That State of Local Emergency came to an end just before Christmas, the City has yet to provide an update on the situation since.

Some background on the city's infrastructure issues can be reviewed from our archive page here.

More notes on tonight's Council Session can be examined from our Preview.

1 comment:

  1. Very curious.

    Has the PRPA ever requested grant funds for City infrastructure before this state of emergency?

    Like when they got $40 million from Ottawa to convert Fairview for containers?

    Or the $15 million they got from the province for the rusty rail loop on Ridley? Or the extra $50 million they got to expand it thanks to the feds?

    Or the $19.8 million from the province for export logistics?

    Or the $60.6 million for the Zenardi bridge expansion through City-owned Watson Island?

    Those projects alone were almost $200 million to subsidize port industry without a single cent allocated for our community to handle the growth