Thursday, August 31, 2023

Low Water Pressure advisory issued for residents of Crestview area

The ongoing construction work on the city's water infrastructure at Crestview and Applewaite Drive continues to make for challenges for both the city work crews and the residents of the east side neighbourhood.

The latest item of a note, an advisory from the City of Prince Rupert on Thursday evening of reduced water pressure for the area, with crews described as working diligently to alleviate the situation.

The alert for residents went out just before 5 PM through the city's App program, social media stream and  the civic website.

Updates are likely to follow through the City's Social Media stream.

The work on Crestview, which began with the State of Local Emergency in December, remains the longest running infrastructure project currently underway at the moment.

You can trace back some of the past items of note from that work through our archive page here.

City Council announces Award Winners from Call for Artwork for RCMP detachment build

Prince Rupert City Council congratulated the successful competitors from a recent call for Art Work for the new RCMP detachment currently under construction at Third Avenue East and McBride.

From a closed session hosted earlier in the day Monday by the Councillors, it was announced that were the three successful artists to honour; with their work catching the eye of the selection committee that had been put in place towards the project.

The three award winners announced Monday  included:

Nicholas John,  Chris Fraser and Kristen McKay*, noted as the first, second and third place prize winners  from the call for Artists.

The amount of the cash awards had previously been set at $10,000, $6,500 and $3,500. 

The call for submissions was issued by the City in May, the criteria for the competition as follows:

In a short comment on Monday, Mayor Herb Pond noted of the structure of the competition and award process

"That was based on unanimous recommendation from the committee that had been appointed to review those submission"

Council did not note how many submissions were received as part of the competition,  nor did they share any samples as to what the successful submissions looked like.

The work on the RCMP detachment has recently seen the foundation put in place and some iron work on the upper floor now installed.

Public art pieces will be incorporated into the design of the
new RCMP detachment currently under construction

No firm opening date has been announced as of yet by the City towards the new detachment.

You can follow the progress for the build from the our Major Civic Infrastructure archive page.

More notes from the Monday Council session can be reviewed here.

Correction: We have corrected the spelling to one of the names (*) above

City launches quest for Payroll Specialist at City Hall

A key post in the City of Prince Rupert Financial office is now available for applicants, with the City Posting a career opportunity for the position of Payroll Specialist 

The position which is union exempt, has a starting rate of pay between $37.27 to $43.99 based on qualification and experience, the hours of work are to be either part time or full time depending on the applicant's availability.

The Full Job Posting with expectations and required qualifications can be reviewed here.

The Position is available until filled

It's the second Job Posting of the summer for the city's finance section, in May the City had put forward a job posting for Payroll coordinator with hours of work set at 20-25 hours per week.

More notes on City of Prince Rupert employment and labour themes is available here

42nd Annual Toy Run planning underway in Prince Rupert

(The 2022 Prince Rupert Harley Riders run was a huge success for the Salvation Army Christmas program last year)

The popular September Toy Run put on by the Prince Rupert Harley Riders and their friends has a date, Saturday September 23rd with organizers busy putting the final touches to what should be busy day for participants.

The event which will see the riders head off from the Salvation Army on Grenville Court at 1PM offers up  a Poker Run, Lunch at the Port Edward Fire Hall, 50/50 Draw and a Dance at the Prince Rupert Curling Club to put the wrap on things.

Organizers, no doubt are hoping for the same weather pattern next month as the one that sent off the 2022 run into some spectacular sunshine.

Donations of toys and cash go towards the Salvation Army Christmas programs in the Prince Rupert area. The recent years for the event have delivered some remarkable contributions from the popular annual run, with Riders reaching some strong community support.

You can follow the Prince Rupert Harley Riders social media stream for updates on the Toy Run as they get closer to the Run.

More notes on community events can be explored here.

Council receives new Permissive Tax Exemption policy update with no discussion

A review of how the City of Prince Rupert grants its Permissive Tax Exemptions has delivered an updated policy which was approved as part of Monday's City Council Session. 

The report from the City's Chief Financial Officer Corrine Bomben was received by the Council membership without any comment, or observations towards their priorities related to the document.

As is noted in the report, the document, which is included as part of the Agenda from Monday is an update to the existing policy that was reviewed rigorously in 2019, the revised notes include the opportunity for Seniors Housing that has already been approved through bylaw.

Some key elements to the policy are noted below:

click to enlarge

You can review the full document from the City CouncilAgenda from Monday evening, starting on page 58 of the Agenda.

The Permissive Tax Exemptions have in the past made for some extensive discussion for council, but through the years they have continued to find value in the program in place in Prince Rupert.  

So following the lead of Smithers and abolishing the Tax Exemption policy, as was done recently does not seem likely.

As we outlined at mid month, The Town of Smithers recently held their own discussions towards how they approach the Permissive Tax Exemption program in the Bulkley Valley. 

Smithers Council members recently voted to eliminate the program, noting of the lost revenues that were realized as a result of it over the years.  Smithers does have plans to introduce an expanded grant and financial aid program to those organizations that will be impacted by the end of the program.

That's an approach towards the Permissive Tax Exemption program, that the Council members in Prince Rupert haven't shared much enthusiasm towards over the years.

The current Permissive Tax Exemption application period for Prince Rupert ended in Mid July.

Prince Rupert Council will begin its process towards the upcoming round of Permissive Tax Exemptions in September, the list will be adopted by October 31st.

More notes related to Monday's Council Session can be reviewed here.

Further background on civic financial themes is available here.

Pace of a busy August keeps up for September for Prince Rupert Golf Club


The enjoyable summer weather has helped make 2023 the summer of golf in Prince Rupert, with  a pictorial review from the PRGC Social Media stream providing some snapshots of a successful summer for the city owned course on Ninth Street.

From tournaments, to learn to golf opportunities and even some course renovations it has been a busy few months for the Course and Rupertites and visitors to town hit the links.

As they close out the summer season, there are still a few events to come before the October and November rains arrive, with Labour Day featuring two events of note for golfers.

The first the option of a road trip to Smithers, while members of the ILWU 514 have their own tourney set for this weekend as well.

In one week's time the Prince Rupert Golf Course will set the stage for bragging rights for the off season, as they host the 2023 Club Championship Weekend on September 9 and 10.

Find out more about upcoming notes from the Prince Rupert Club here.

A wider overview of golding themes is available from our archive page.

UBCM registrations on a record pace as September Convention nears


The Prince Rupert delegation to the 2023 UBCM Convention may want to pack some additional business cards for introductions, with the pace of registration for the annual gathering of municipal officials moving ahead at a record pace.

An update on the planning for the 2023 conventions noted that close to 1,800 delegates have now registered for the event in Vancouver which is set for September 18th to 22nd.

That number is destined to increase with the deadline for early registration still over a week away.

This years convention features a number of key topics for delegates to discuss with an agenda that includes: 

Housing attainability and related issues, the 2023 wildfire season that has threatened communities in the province, issues of decriminalization and public safety as well as the implementation of UNDRIP at the municipal level, to name just a few items of note.

The Full Agenda for delegates can be reviewed here.

Prince Rupert City Council has one more regular session before Convention time, a September 11th get together  (their only regular session for the month) that may provide residents with some idea as to the size of the Prince Rupert delegation and what local officials hope to bring back to the community from their week at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Related notes towards  The UBCM convention and its theme of a Balancing Act can be reviewed here.

As we get closer to the September event, you can find some of the latest notes from Prince Rupert, the Northwest and across BC from our archive page here.

Shipbreaking plans for Prince Rupert Industrial Park revived for another year

A renewal towards the use of land in the Industrial Park
for Shipbreaking work as considered on Monday night by Council

A proposal that led to some extensive discussion a year ago at Prince Rupert City Council was back for a renewal on Monday night, generating a fair bit less in the way of review and conversation for Council members.

Monday night saw Council make quick work of a recommendation to proceed to statutory notification towards a temporary use for a property on Metlakatla Road in the Industrial Park.

The proposal in effect is a renewal of the arrangement last year that allows for ship breaking to take place on the land in question.

The report for council compiled by the City's newest member of the planning staff Rudy Paras provided a short synopsis of the plans for the site in the Industrial Park, along with the provision of a 5,000 dollar cash bond towards the temporary use for the land.

click to enlarge

It was one year ago that Council first heard of plans for a temporary use permit request towards the use of the land for ship breaking, which made for some extensive commentary at the time. 

That request was approved, but with Council seeking some guarantees at the time.

At the time, the push towards the use of the site for ship breaking seemed tied into plans for the abandoned vessel FV Fairwind which was at Port Edward Harbour awaiting its fate.  In the end that vessel was instead taken to Campbell River for its final act.

At Monday's Council Session, Councillor Barry Cunningham noted of his concerns related to oversight of the materials that many be removed from any vessels that may be sent to the Industrial Park for demolition, a theme he first raised one year ago.

"Who is going to be monitoring the dispospable and hazardous waste before any ships are brought on shore, is it MOE, Environment Canada, Transport Canada cause I know it's not going to be the city.

So, this is something that is a concern with most shipbreaking operations, that there's a lot of pollution involved and things like that.

Breaking up a ship can be somewhat complex and that and I just wonder who is going to be monitoring that all the hazardous material such as asbestos and everything else are removed before they re brought onshore"

In reply, the Director of Planning, Myfannwy Pope provided council with some notes to the topic:

"I believe it may be a combined jurisdiction, I can return in the next meeting to confirm that. But given that it's close to a waterway it is likely DFO; as well as given the nature of the work, it's likely also the Ministry of Environment.  

So I believe that it falls under both jurisidcition but I can confirm that. ...  for next meeting.

Towards a follow up question from the Councillor related to required permits and  the application for the Temporary Use Permit, Ms. Pope outlined: 

That the permits were already in place for the initial application, but added that should the proponents move forward with any ship breaking those permits would have to be in place.

The process towards the request now moves to Public Notification to allow for comment from those that may be impacted.

The full discussion to the topic can be reviewed from the City's Video archive at the thirty minute mark.

More notes related to Monday's City Council session can be explored from our archive for the session.

Coast Mountain College closes Northwest campuses for the day as part of Galts'ap Day events


The multi-purpose room at Coast Mountain College

Incoming students at Coast Mountain College in Prince Rupert and other campus locations won't find anyone on campus today should they have any inquiries to make on college themes.

The Prince Rupert Campus like others is closed for the day, that as part of the annual Gatls'ap Day gathering, the event one which brings all of the college staff, instructors and administrators together in celebration of their college community.

The campus locations reopen their doors on Friday, with the Prince Rupert campus set to host it's New Student Orientation Day. 

That event starts at 10 AM in the multipurpose room of the campus, the event concludes at 2 PM

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

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Province Reimposes Fire Ban in Northwest BC

A Northwest campfire ban goes back into effect as of Noon tomorrow

As the long weekend approaches and much of the Northwest remains tinder dry, the Province of BC has once again placed a Fire Ban across the region, including the North Coast portion of the province.

The City of Prince Rupert relayed the Provincial orders this afternoon, outlining the scope of the campfire ban through its website and the city's mobile app program.

The precautionary measure is in place as of Noon tomorrow until October 16th or it is rescinded.

Restrictions from the measures include:

The following open fires are prohibited in the Northwest Fire Centre as defined in Wildfire Regulation:

Category 1 campfires
Category 2 open fire
Category 3 open fire

In addition to open fires being prohibited, the following activities and equipment are also restricted: 

Fireworks, including firecrackers
Sky lanterns
Burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
Binary exploding targets
Air curtain burners Tiki and similar kind of torches Chimineas

Further information can be accessed through the BC Wildfire Service website.

Notes on the current Northwest Wildfire situation can be reviewed through our archive page.

As Summer comes to a close, so too does the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre, with annual maintenance period ahead

For members of the Prince Rupert Rapids Swim Club, September will be a month for dry land training, for the rest of the community that uses the Earl Mah Aquatic Centre, September will just be dry ...

The Annual Maintenance period for the Aquatic Centre has shifted to September this year, with the Closure for both the pool and the fitness centre set to take place from September 4th to October 1st.

When the Recreation Centre reopens the pool in October, they will launch their fall program, while the Rapids begin their work towards their competitive swimming program this fall and winter.

You can review the City's Aquatic programs from the Recreation Guide available on line here.

The Rapids program for 2023-24 can be reviewed here.

The Civic Centre and Arena complex also will see some changes to their hours starting in September with the Prince Rupert Recreation Department making note of this this week.

As with the Aquatic Centre, their fall programming can be explored from the Recreation Guide

Next week brings the city's annual registration night at the Civic Centre, residents can learn more about and register for civic led programs, as well as those fall programs offered by a range of community sports and other groups in the community.

The Registration Night takes place on September 6th from 6 to 7:30 PM in the Auditorium at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

Follow the City's Recreation Department Social media stream for any updates on programs or notes relate to the facilities.

More community note themes can be reviewed here

With September return to School, Prince Rupert's PAC10 tutoring prepares for fall sessions

The Pac10 tutoring program in the Long House on First Avenue West
is almost ready for the launch of the fall session

As Prince Rupert's youngsters prepare for their return to School next week, another group of educators is also making some preparations, with the city's popular PAC10 Tutoring service making ready for their fall programs.

The highly regarded group of tutors at Pac10 are celebrating their fifteenth anniversary this year, their project one that has proven to be of great value to students and parents, providing as it does for just a bit more personal attention towards the main areas of study.

The tutoring program is run out offices in the Museum of Northern BC on First Avenue West and through the years, the testimonials towards their work have made for some positive reviews of their contribution to the community.

The Organization recently outlined their gratitude to the reception that they have received since they launched their service fifteen years ago.

As for the fall and plans for 2024, they have noted that pre registration is now under way for the 2023-24 School year.

You can find out more about their programs here, and keep up with any updates to their plans through the fall and winter through their social media stream.

More notes on Education can be explored through our archive page.

Council gains overview of Prince Rupert Gymnastics Society's work in community and plans for fall and winter season

Prince Rupert Gymnastics Society Executive Director
Nicole Beauregard delivered a presentation to City Council on Monday

With the Fall Registration Season just ahead for youth and adult activities in the Community, the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Society booked a primo spot to deliver an update to their local activities in Price Rupert.

As part of the City Council Committee of the Whole portion of Monday night's Council Session, Nicole Beauregard, the Executive Director of the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Society provided Council members with an extensive overview of the Society's work and plans for the fall and beyond.

Ms. Beauregard provided some background both toward her recent arrival in Prince Rupert and her work with the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Society as its Executive Director. 

As part of her introduction, she also noted of her past work with the City of Kamloops as well as in sport and physical literacy development.

"I'm the brand new Executive Director with Prince Rupert Gymnastics and I'm coming from the City of Kamloops, I was working with the municipal government for the last thirteen years in Sport and Physical literacy department ... 

Really what attracted me to Prince Rupert was a few kind of key formulas. 

A head coach that had national level three certification, an incredible working board and the vision of a City Council that supports non profits. And we are in a facility that the City of Prince Rupert owns. 

So that was sort of a piece and a formula for me to come here and work within the community and work with Prince Rupert Gymnastics"

Prince Rupert Gymnastics leases space from the City of Prince Rupert
as part of the city's Rushbrook Warehouse facility program

The presentation provided some background towards the theme of physical literacy and how it has additional benefits towards community itself.

Of note towards the work of the local Not for Profit Society, she provided a quick overview of their programs and recruitment work to bring instructors. 

As well, the presentation explored some of their many activities over the last five months and what they have planned for the fall period ahead.

"We have approximately 240 participants that work with us and really it's again about inclusion. So in terms of physical activity only 20 percent of children actually meet the physical literacy guidelines and physical activity guidelines in Canada and so that's of course even more profound in the North in terms of physical activity.

Children and youth, especially girls 1 in 3 drop out of sports compared to 1 in 10 boys. So Gymnastics is a sport primarily designate in traditional format to girls, women or how participants identity. 

But we have had an opportunity to change some of that this past year with a new head male coach, which has been incredible for our program. 

We've also been working in a pilot with the schools through May and June, just with that pilot reaching out to them since I arrived we reached 178 students in two months.  So that was pretty incredible and it was really just a test of the partnerships around Prince Rupert to see what we have to offer"

Ms. Beauregard expanded on some of the partnerships that the sport and the local Society continues to build in the community as well as to share an increased awareness of what the Rushbrook Warehouse based society has to offer through its facility.

Upon the conclusion of her remarks, the Council members had an enthusiastic response to her presentation and offered up a welcome to the community.

First off was Mayor Pond who noted of the range of programs available  

"I noticed on your summer programming you had stuff for people like me and I was very tempted, but my schedule wouldn't allow it, but there's still hope yet"

Councillor Forster asked for a larger overview of the All Abilities program and what it may offer the community.

Councillor Neish noted of the ongoing evolution for the Society in the city.

"Welcome to Prince Rupert and you know I've been a strong supporter of this group since it started and it's good to see they're taking the step to hiring someone to do these things on a daily Basies. 

Because you know obviously the group started out as bunch of volunteer parents and you know, you only have so much time during the day to do these things.

And it's good to see that they've evolved to hiring somebody to kind of take care of these and try and  make a stronger group, so Good Luck.

Councillor Cunningham picks up on themes related to their growth and the prospect of a potential seniors program.

"One thing I've noticed with your group is it's really reaching out to a lot of diversity in the community, so on that I commend you. And on the Senior's Centre I think I'll be giving you a call about that"

Mr. Cunningham also asked for some background on their work towards assistance for lower income residents in the community.

Ms. Beauregard outlined the approach that the Society is taking towards those themes

"We do work with KidSport here as well as community JumpStart, so they support participants that need a little bit of help ... those organizations allow that opportunity to be enrolled in a seasonal piece.

We also this summer offered free programming, we offered physical literacy and Gymnastics at the park"

She also outlined their fall program that allows for a test period for participants to explore the programs available. 

Councillor Cunningham also asked if the Society was planning to take part in the upcoming Community Registration, he was advised that Prince Rupert Gymnastics had plans to do.

A look at the Community Registration Session set for September 6th can be reviewed here.

You can review the full presentation from the City's Video Archive, Ms. Beauregard's presentation opens the Council session on the night.

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

To learn more about the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Society see their website, or follow their Social Media Stream.

A look at the work of Prince Rupert Gymnastics can be found from our archive page.

Two key roadways reopened to public following lengthy closure

New pavement leads the way up and down Fulton Street as the 
City of Prince Rupert reopens the main artery into the downtown core

Some good news for motorists who have had to find some work arounds of late for their travels with two lengthy projects finally reaching the road reopening stage of their progress.

For those who use Fulton Street to access the downtown core, that major approach to the core is now reopened, with the final bit of paving taking place yesterday following extensive BC Hydro work through July and August.

Closed since December owing to water infrastructure work, First
Avenue East is now reopened from Mariner's park to Third East

Also now back in service for travellers is First Avenue East from Third East to Mariner's Park, that are which had been closed to traffic since December's Local State of Emergency saw it's final bit of paving take place earlier this week.

There is however, still some work to be done on the stretch between Broadwater and Seaport, which has been identified in a report by the City as a spot for angle parking and a staircase to connect the Cow Bay lot below with the new parking on the bluff above.

Some new Parking concepts being considered by the City of Prince Rupert

Council members did not discuss the new Cow Bay Parking plans at their Monday session, you can however review some of the new options being considered from the report here.

More notes on Operations Department themes can be explored here.