Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Council Timeline: Monday, January 22, 2024

The second Council session for 2024 featured a few long distance participants, as he has done since October 2023, Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven continued to participate in the meetings from out of town. 

Joining him on the Zoom list for the January 22nd session,  was Councillor Teri Forster who was also out of town as this week's meeting arrived.

Two city staffers, Operations Director Richard Pucci and Director of Development Services Myfannwy Pope were also noted up on the Big Screen as ready to participate from outside of the City Hall chambers.

Towards the work on the night, events made for a two part affair, with a Committee of the Whole featuring two presentations and a report from City Manager Rob Buchan. serving as the opening act. 

As for the Regular session, Council made quick work of the Consent agenda and its listings, as well as the bulk of the Agenda listings on the night.

The Agenda for Regular session can be reviewed here.

Council  members had also participated in a Closed Session earlier in the evening, the details towards why it was closed to the public 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, January 22 , 2024

Mayor Herb Pond -- Present 
Councillor Nick Adey -- Present 
Councillor Barry Cunningham -- Present
Councillor Teri Forster --  Participated by Zoom
Councillor Reid Skelton-Morven -- Participated by Zoom 
Councillor Wade Niesh -- Present
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa -- Present

Video Archive  for  Monday, January 22, 2024 



Call to Order

Adoption of the Agenda -- The audio to the opening was not engaged, though it did appear that the Mayor reviewed the Agenda of the January 22nd session and sought approval of Council  towards it. 

Petitions and Delegations

( 0:30 -- 29:30) Audio issues resolved, the First Presentation on the night came from Jennifer Massig the President of Magna Engineering Services Incorporated, she brought a team from Magna with her to update council on the process of the pilot project planned for their innovative wastewater project and some changes that will be put in place.

The largest change, that of a shift of the pilot project from its original proposed location at Omenica and other locations studied; with the new destination for the project at the recently removed tank infrastructure location along the Moresby Park area, the area of development noted from where the tanks had been located and the space towards Park Avenue.

The wastewater plans would be to explore the use of gravity infrastructure for the project, once in operation it would treat wastewater to the same quality as a traditional mechanical plant but doing it with passive subsurface wetland.

Ms. Massig observed how the technology, which is in place in an Alberta and other locations world wide is designed to be unique technology specific to the community they are installing it in. The purpose of the pilot project is to set the parameters for any future applications that they may do in the city.

The choice of the Moresby Park area was explained as due to its an environmentally friendly area and how the completed project resemble a mini forest with a horizontal component to reflect similar features as found in the park now.

Ms. Massig also highlighted the educational aspect that it would provide towards explaining the project to the community, with the opportunity to place signs to explain the work.

She also spoke to the schedule ahead and how some of the challenges and uncertainties her team discovered during their time in Prince Rupert and how moving the pilot project to the Moresby area reduces many of those uncertainties.

The proposed timeline would see the Design phase in place by May of this year, the tender process would follow from June to July, with construction  to take place from August to December.

The Pilot project would be up and running by early 2025.

Council members had a range of questions and observations, with Councillor Cunningham leading off for his main focus that of the volume of precipitation that Prince Rupert gets.

The answer noted that the rain in Prince Rupert was on far side of their scale, though she noted how the new location would make use of civic infrastructure.

Mr Cunningham also asked about non biodegradable solids, to that Magna would be screening off those aspects of the wastewater, which would use a screw press to reduce that footprint which then would go to the landfill.

Councillor Randhawa asked if the water could the be returned for household civic reuse, he was advised that the pilot system was designed to return the water to the  ocean, noting how the quality would be acceptable towards a return to home use, though there are policy issues towards that.

Councillor Adey expressed his enthusiasm for the project, noting it has been part of the council discussion process for a number of years now. 

He also highlighted the economic aspects of the project, the environmentaly friendly nature of the plans as well as to express interest in the educational aspect of the new site location at Moresby and how it would be more accessible to inform the public more about the issues of wastewater management.

Adey did have a question towards the long term science of the initiative, asking for a projection for the location fifty years from now.

In reply, Ms. Massig noted that even if they've been left alone with little attention the platform still works as designed, though they have slowed owing to little maintenance.

With an active maintenance and removal process over periods of time the expectations would assist in the cost benefit of the system.

The Councillor also asked about assurances that any breakdowns or problems would impact on the park area.

Towards that a few risk scenarios were explored and how the design componnents from the project would attend to those issues. As well it was noted that fencing would be used to separate park users from the active area of the wastewater program.

Councillor Niesh returned to the issue of the volume of rain in Prince Rupert and what measures they have taken towards that situation, Ms. Massig noted that at the moment they are over compensating in the pilot project towards that rainfall volume, though the hope is to return to a more normal approach found in other communities.

Councillor Cunningham asked how Magna determines the volume of flow from homes on the system, to that the standard of the worst possible day was the benchmark for design, as well as to follow up on the pilot project they' would monitor the community to create a better data base for future additions to the program.

Towards a question from Councillor Niesh towards items that foul systems, Ms. Massign noted of the screening system that would be in place,.

For some final thoughts, the Mayor turned to Operations Director Richard Pucci who noted how with the infrastructure work ahead the city would be separating the lines currently in place which would be better for the initiative to be put in place.

He also stressed on the area of savings and how the pilot project is fully funded through grants.

29:30 -- 39:00 )  The Next presentation came  from Loni Wishart and Dave Cook from Prince Rupert CrimeStoppers.

They provided a thumbnail sketch of the work of the program, first noting how the Community Enhancement Grant they receive from the City is put to use.

Among their themes was to share awareness of Crimestoppers month in the province through January, as well as to note that the Prince Rupert group is the last one in operation between the coast and Prince George, with many offices closing during COVID.

With that they observed how they are currently looking for volunteers, with Mr. Cook outlining some of the events and activities that they have participated with the RCMP, noting of how they have been quite supportive of their work.

Ms. Wisahrt outlined how its not a time consuming activity for members, and how they have received good feedback from their past works in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii.

Councillor Adey picked up on the challenges of volunteer recruitment and then asked for how they view how Crimestoppers is of service to community.

Ms. Wishart  shared  observations  on how the program offers a way to make the community safer, with the anonymous aspect of reporting concerns a valuable part of their community footprint.

She also noted that Crimestoppers is looking for Prince Rupert to expand it's imprint on the program and move it across the Northwest and for that they will need more volunteers; she also outlined of their work on restoring an old 1948 Police car as part of their ongoing initiatives.


 39:00 -- 46:00  )   Council received  a report from City Manager Rob Buchan related to the Council Policy Review from 2023. The Mayor opened the commentary by praising  the work of staff in delivering on the report and then observed that the next step towards it should be turned over to a Council subcommittee for a fuller review.

Mr. Buchan concurred with some of those thoughts noting how if more detailed discussion is required, a sub committee would be the way to go.

After a short discussion with Council members and with there being no time urgency towards the policies up for review, the Mayor moved to form the sub committee.

Towards that, the first members of Council to take on the work will be Councillors Cunningham, Forster and Niesh along with Mayor Pond.

Questions and inquiries from members of Council

46:00 -- 47:00 Councillor Randhawa made an inquiry as to whether the City had received any more information on local ICBC issues that he had raised late in 2023..

In reply, Corporate Administrator Rosa Miller detailed her extensive work towards finding some answers.

The senior city staffer noting that through the help of local insurance offices she now has a contact person and will be speaking with them this week to try to learn more about fixing the situation.

Councillor Randhawa also asked if the city was prepared for the upcoming All Native Tournament, he was advised that the city was ready for the event.

Adjournment to Regular Council session



 47:00 -- 49:00 Approval of Agenda  -- The Mayor reviewed the Agenda of the January 22nd session, noting of one addition to the Agenda related to a grant opportunity with the Japanese Legacies Foundation program. 

He also recommended that a request from Councillor Cunningham to discuss Noise Bylaw issues be taken up during the Council Discussion period.

 With that, he asked for and received the approval of Council  towards the Agenda's approval.

 49:00 -49:30 Public Comments regarding Agenda items -- No members of the public came forward with comments or observations.

 49:30 -- 1:00:00 Consent Agenda

Council review of Regular minutes from December 11, 2023 Session
Council review of minutes from Special Regular Meeting of December 13, 2023


Development Activity Report for December 2023  (see pages 6-8 of Agenda)
Monthly Fire Rescue Report for December 2023   (see pages 9-10 of Agenda)
Council Resolution Stauts updates to January 9, 2023  (
see page 11 of Agenda)
2023 Council Calendar amendment  (see page 12 of Agenda)
Report from the Director of Operations Re: Council request - MOTI Letter on Line Painting (see pages 13-14 of Agenda) 
Request for Letter of Support from the Prince Rupert Golf Club (see page 15 of Agenda)
Request for Letter of Support from the Prince Rupert Racquet Society  
(see page 16-33 of Agenda)

Of the items  from the Consent Agenda, only one generated any conversation. 

Council members discussed the request for a letter of support from the Prince Rupert Racquet Society with Councillor Adey seeking more background towards the request related to renovation plans for the city owned building and whether the city should have more say in the planned work proposed for the facility. 

Corporate Administrator Miller provided a review of the process that would be involved towards the scope of the changes in mind for the facility. She compared the situation to how the city approaches requests from the Lester Centre.

Councillor Niesh asked if there was a difference in the approach by the city if the facilities are run by Societies. 

Ms. Miller noted that the situation with the Golf Course is somewhat different, noting of some complicating themes such as insurance and such.

Dr. Buchan observed that at the moment a proper procedure had not been followed, along with the need for a business plan. 

He offered up the recommendation that staff explore the proposal further before moving ahead with the requested Letter of Support towards the proposed grant funding that the Racquet Centre is seeking from the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The Mayor then put the topic aside for discussion outside of the consent agenda.

Another item of note from the Consent Agenda was a letter provided by the Operations Director related to line painting around the community, with the Mayor praising the work of Mr. Pucci when it comes to the concerns that the Council has towards the issue.

Council the approved the remainder of the Consent Agreement be approved as requested. 

Returning to the Racquest Centre request  and after further discussion with the City Manager, it was decided to provide support in principle towards the request, pending further review by city staff.


Staff Reports

 1:00:00 -- 1:09:00  ) -- Report from the Chief Financial Officer: Re Resolution to Amend the 2024 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw No. 3526, 2023 

After some extensive discussion Council approved an increase to the Lester Centre Roof Replacement project scope and postponed plans for the replacement of the 3rd Avenue West and Fulton Traffic light until 2025. 

All of the council members noted of the value of the Lester Centre to the community, with Councillor Niesh opening the discussion observing of the current challenges that the city faces and how they have to take from one account to fund another.

Towards the Lester repairs, the Councillor noted he was willing to live with a flashing red light if it comes to that, to protect a legacy facility in the community.

Councillor Adey also offered his endorsement of the need for the repairs to the Lester Centre roof noting how the decision was an easy one. 

However he did raise a few questions as to how the city was shifting the funding around to accomplish that.

He observed how other needs in the community had been identified, but money was not available towards those, adding that some in the community may be wondering how this money was delivered for this purpose.

Dr. Buchan asked for some clarification on the question and with a further explanation from the Councillor,  he then turned the inquiry over to the Chief Financial Officer.

Ms. Bomben noted that there is no new money, that the city was actually applying for a grant with the Prince Rupert Port Authority for half the cost or the project, and with that would postpone the Third and Fulton light,  moving that funding allocation to make up the city's half of the cost for the cost of the million dollar and a bit repairs.

Mr. Adey offered up his hope that the request for the loan would come through.

Ms. Bomben observed that it was an aspirational hope, noting how it was hopes and dreams to keep a vital community asset going.

Councillor Forster also noted how the nature of the recent budget was that of must haves and she wondered if there were other items from that budget that may not be as bad as once thought and could be delayed with that funding shifted to the roof project or other projects in the community.

Dr. Buchan outlined how the decision on the Lester Centre roof was a case of two must halves and how the items from the budget were all considered important to the community.

Councillor Cunningham noted how it was a case of cause and effect and how the Lester Centre had to be protected and his concerns as to what happens if the roof fails.

Council then approved the motion towards the amendment to the Financial plan.

 (see pages 35-35 of Agenda)

 1:09:00 -- 1:12:39  )  Report from Planning: Development Variance Permit #23-18 --  -- Council approved the process towards Statutory Notification  for a property on 2nd Avenue East. Councillor Niesh noted of changes by the province towards the issue of accommodations. City Planner Rodolfo Paras outlined some additional background to those notes and how it was viewed for this proposal.

Councillor Niesh then outlined his concerns over the issue of parking in the area.

Councillor Cunningham also expressed concerns over the variance request related to parking, noting how it was the second such request the council has approved this year. 

He noted of the facilities nearby that take up some parking space and expressed a concern that at some point the issuing of issuing variances was going to bite them on the butt  (see pages 36-45 of Agenda)

1:12:39 -- 1:13:30)  Report from the Director of Development Services Re: DVP 23-26 --   Council approved the request to  proceed to Statutory Notification for the Development process for a property on 6th Avenue West, There were no comments or questions related to that file. (see pages  46-51 of Agenda)

1:13:30 -- 1:14:30 )   Late Agenda Item related to Japanese Legacy Society funding opportunity  --   Mayor Pond outlined the details towards a potential  heritage project in the community, with the Japanese Legacy Society offering Prince Rupert opportunity to apply for grant funding towards a historical project in the community. It would be focused on the contribution of Japanese Canadians in the community  or themes related to Japanese internment in Canada.

Council approved the motion to explore the opportunity.


1:13:30 -- 1:15:00 ) City of Prince Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3505, 2022  -- Council provided  Fourth and Final reading to the Zoning Amendment Bylaw 3505, 2022.  There were no comments or questions towards the bylaw which is related to the temporary use of Shipping containers in the community.  Mayor Pond observed that it was somewhat unfinished business, as it had been a bylaw that was awaiting Ministry of Transportation input (see pages 51-52  of the Agenda )

Business Arising

1:15:00 -- 1:19:53 ) Council Round Table and Public Question Period -- Council  had an opportunity to raise items of interest or concern for consideration.

To open the conversation, Councillor Cunningham returned to concerns related to enforcing the noise bylaw, noting that as he views it at the moment, if concerns go to court the city would lose in the courts. 

Mayor Pond observed how the topic in this instance has become one generated by one particular resident of the downtown core and observed that the bylaw could be tightened; but urged caution that there is always going to be a certain amount of downtown noise.

City Manager Robert Buchan joined the discussion to note of the challenges to determine how much noise is too much noise and observed as to how a review of the bylaw could be taken on by staff to look for an easy fix.

The Mayor expressed a concern over putting too much of a work load on the staff and reminded the City Manager to remind Council when that load was too much.

Mr. Buchan did note they would look to see how much work would be required to address the noise bylaw.

Mayor Pond relayed to Council that he had attended the recent Natural Resources Forum in Prince George and that the Premier had mentioned the Resource Benefits Alliance in his comments to the gathering.

Mr. Pond also observed that during his travels he provided a service for the local group looking to relocate animals, the Mayor sharing some thoughts on his journey with seven kittens to Prince George and his return travel to Prince Rupert with two cats.

And with that, the Mayor called for an Adjournment of  the session  

You can access our Council Archives for January 22nd here.  

From that page a number of items regarding the Council Session 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.

The next City Council Session is scheduled for Monday, February 12, 2024.

That session starts at 7 PM.

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