Friday, June 30, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Friday, June 30, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene:

Mr Horgan takes the helm

For John Horgan, suspense then euphoria -  and now the serious business of running a province
With NDP set to form government, the fight for B.C. has only just begun
Lieutenant-Governor's decision carried the weight of constitutional convention
The BC Liberals: A legacy of transformation and division
B.C. Liberal legacy
B.C. Liberals have checkered legacy following 16 years of power
Premier-designate John Horgan looks forward to 'new kind of leadership'
John Horgan will be B.C.'s new premier. What comes next?
Showdown at Government House: the meeting that ended 16 years of B.C. Liberal rule
Horgan beamed up to boss by toppling Liberal 'Klingons'
John Horgan talks with Trudeau, plans Ottawa summer visit
B.C. NDP won't wait for legislature to start moving on promises
A look at NDP-Green's calendar for next few months
Drug-crisis advocated believes change in B.C. gov't may help slow agony
NDP asked to form government after Liberal defeat
Five B.C. New Democrats with cabinet potential
Transition to government will keep BC NDP busy for summer
Christy Clark missed mark on losing gracefully
John Horgan, next B.C. Premier, walks into a bar
Five things about B.C. Premier-designate John Horgan
Premier-designate John Horgan has his work cut out for him
NDP to form minority government in B.C.: What happens next?
Taking down the government, how a confidence vote works in Canada
Justin Trudeau praises John Horgan but avoids disagreement over pipeline
A government falls and a new one is set to rise in British Columbia
Christy Clark explains why she asked Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon to dissolve the house
Christy Clark fights for Site C dam to the bitter end - despite the economics
Christy Clark and the Lieutenant Governor: What Really Happened

Other News of the Day

3 things B.C.'s Superior Courts could do to enhance transparency
Private Schools' role in B.C. offshore School Inspections raise conflict questions
Record number of visitors expected to swarm Canada Place over July long weekend
More than 4 people a day die in B.C. from illicit drugs, coroner says
Ocean currents may have spread norovirus to B.C. oysters
Victoria police board bill tops $600,000 in case of former chief Frank Elsner
Victoria bid to host 2022 Commonwealth Games goes in today

Ottawa Observations: Friday, June 30, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for Friday, June 30, 2017.

A changing of the guard in Victoria as NDP set to take power
(see our BC Politics archive for a full review of the day's events)

Upbeat BoC report boosts chance of rate hike
Protestors fight for Indigenous rights as country gears up for Canada 150 celebrations
Tracking the federal government's finances since Confederation
Trudeau visits with Indigenous group at Parliament Hill tepee
Canada to allow Russian asylum seekers to contest deportation
Federal health-care deal 'dangerous, reckless and risky': Brian Pallister
Higher interest rates will increase Ottawa's budget deficits, report warns
Trudeau, Notley welcome B.C.'s Horgan despite Trans Mountain pipeline rift
Celebrating 150 years of Canada's extraordinary vision
Good times are back (and they're going to get a lot better)
Michele Moreau resigns from inquiry into missing, murdered Indigenous women
Justin Trudeau visits 'reoccupation' teepee on Parliament Hill
Gender-neutral O Canada not law yet, but sing it anyway, Ottawa MP says
Retired soldier takes to life on the farm, with help from Prince Charles
Liberals downplay military role in Canada 150 celebrations, some historians say
More than 70% of Canada 150 swag made outside the country
Officials go through final preparations for Canada Day event in Ottawa
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson wrestled with thorny issues of harassment, mental health
Prince Charles, Catherine O'Hara, Christine Sinclair among 99 recipients of Order of Canada
'In its rightful place': Teepee moved from far corner of Hill nearer to Peace Tower
Prince Charles, Camilla honour Canadian soldier who died in Afghanistan
Family of slain Quebec soldier condemns 'incompetence' of mental health workers who saw killer before attack
Andrew Scheer renews call for gas pump flags of origin
Steven Fletcher expelled from Manitoba PC Caucus
Executive director of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls inquiry resigns
Hundreds of royal-watchers line the streets of Ontario to meet Prince Charles, Camilla
Lawyers across Canada on stand-by to monitor Trump's travel ban
Trudeau visits Indigenous activists in teepee on Parliament Hill
Want to see how far we have come? Compare Canada 150 to Expo 67 
What can you say about Canada? Sometimes not much
Facing the truth makes for a worthy celebration
A nation defined by vast lands and seas
Don Cherry snubbed for Order of Canada - again
Charles, Camilla honour soldiers who died in Afghanistan
It's a great privilege to be Canadian
Canada at 150, proud, strong, free
Indigenous candidates likely to be overlooked in choice of next governor-general
On Canada Day let us remind ourselves we have done well, even as we strive to do better
Michele Moreau resigns as executive director of missing and murdered indigenous women inquiry
Canadians feel for aboriginals, but our patience for insults has limits
The idea of 'Canada' is in even bigger trouble now than in 1967
Welcome to Canada, a country obsessed with always being 'fair'
How the rise of Canada is in some ways greater than even America's
Prince Charles and the Duchess, in their element in the countryside
Celebrating 'diversity' will only divide us, but celebrating Canada's unity keeps us strong
Canada's top soldier talks about the Canadian Forces challenges in the years to come
'We ruffled the feathers' says indigenous activist after PM's visit to Parliament Hill teepee
Celebrate Canada? Not Yet?
How things feel around that teepee on Parliament Hill
How Indigenous stories are taking centre stage in Ottawa
Police stop activists from erecting 2nd teepee amid Trudeau's calls for respect
Security tight at Parliament Hill gears up for Canada 150
Justin Trudeau praises John Horgan but avoids disappointment over pipeline
Justin Trudeau 'jealous' of immigrants and families who chose Canada

Prince Rupert's COP COOP chickens come home to roost

The need for a new RCMP detachment
for the city is back on the front burner it
would seem, following Monday's Council
Discussions on the theme
By putting off the much needed delivery of a new RCMP detachment for Prince Rupert, the current Prince Rupert Council is learning as we've noted in the past, that kicking a can down the road comes with a cost.

In this case the need for an additional 100,000 dollars for a study, that would examine the cost of just bringing the current jail cells up to current standards, prior to developing any plans for the construction of a new detachment.

The theme of the city's ongoing approach to the now long overdue requirement of a new facility came into public view once again on Monday, as council reviewed their options when it comes to the detachment jail cells concerns.

A discussion that was required with the RCMP in effect serving notice on the City that the current cells are no longer considered to meet national standards, leaving Council to consider a number of different scenarios for a short term fix.

As the City's Chief Financial Officer Corinne Bomben outlined the city's options, don't really offer up much in the way of any financial relief, should they not move to renovate the current facility to address the immediate request:

The first is to do nothing, in which case the RCMP would condemn the structure and then require the transport of prisoners to other communities at City expense and with a loss of Prince Rupert detachment personnel to be available for local duties.

Construct a temporary facility away from the current detachment location.

Hire more guards for the current location, with other noted modifications to the infrastructure as required.

After analyzing all the options, Staff has offered guidance to Council to proceed with further evaluations of upgrades to the existing cell block, the first phase of which will require a study from a consultant to determine the construction cost for any renovations.

For the most part Ms. Bomben stayed the course with her published report for Council that was available for review prior to the Monday Council session, (see our Preview item from Monday for the full document)

The CFO  did deliver some news related to the city's ongoing relationship with the RCMP, noting that since the City put aside any plans for a new detachment, the City was now in receipt of two more letters from the national police service advising as to the insufficient nature of the local detachment and the need for replacement, with the RCMP now in the position of being able to build one on their own and send the city the bill if they so desire.

That proved to be an underlying theme for Council members who reviewed the request for a study into the jail cell situation, as Council members weighed the option of spending 100,000 dollars on a study for a building that may not be in service much longer, compared to the cost of doing nothing and having to house prisoners in other communities with Prince Rupert paying the bill to a tune that could be over 1 million dollars annually, until the local detachment issues were addressed.

At the end of the near twenty minute discussion, Council voted to seek out the consultants report at the $100,000 cost, though not without some concerns raised by Councillor Thorkelson regarding past studies related to the development of a new detachment, past efforts that now it would seem are destined to gather dust somewhere.

The purpose of Ms. Bomben's report to Council was to seek guidance from Council as to what direction they wished staff to proceed, with staff proposing funding the entire project through short term financing of a loan, which would require an increase of one per cent to the civic mill rate on taxation for the life of the proposed short term loan, though it was noted that would not take place this year.

Ms. Bomben also observed there are no grant opportunities available related to renovation for jail cell infrastructure, as well she noted that staff was advising that making use of Prince Rupert Legacy Corporation funds for the project was not a wise allocation for those resources.

Likewise, she outlined that using accumulated surplus for such a short term requirement, was not a wise course of action to follow.

Once the $100,000 study on the cell block renovation plan is complete, staff will return to Council with a larger overview of the cost for those renovations and to seek further direction on their intentions moving forward.

The full overview of the jail cell concerns can be reviewed from our City Council Timeline feature.

The renovation of the  jail cells however, will only be a short term measure to address but one small element of the much larger issue, which remains the need for movement by Council on the replacement detachment issue.

"After touring the building, and seeing what the problems are, the building definitely needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, we're in the position of not being able to afford to do any of this. But, if we don't do something, at least a short term fix, we're going to end up putting ourselves in a position where eventually they can just build an RCMP station and send us the bill"  -- Councillor Wade Niesh

"I know that we're in kind of a financial state, but, I agree with Councillor Niesh here and sooner or later we're going to need to bite the bullet and build a new station, and how much time is this (study/uprgade) going to buy us. In every year that we wait to build a new station, the construction costs are getting higher and higher, and it's something that I think we have to take a serious look at. If we keep putting band aids on it, pretty soon the band aids come off too ... I really think that we should concentrate on a new police station as soon as possible and any other frills we've got, cut them and get this done. Because whether we go to a referendum or not, it doesn't mattter, they're just going to build it and here's the bill, it's just that simple" -- Councillor Barry Cunningham

"I was on that tour too, I agree with both Councillors Cunningham and Niesh, this facility needs some improvements urgently, my only concern is if we can save some money on the consultation that would be nice, other than that we need to upgrade that facility" -- Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa

"Well, I think this is a prime example of  something that we're all familiar with, of the can being kicked a little too far down the road, which we've experienced before"-- Councillor Blair Mirau

"I'm concerned that we're spending 100,000 dollars and what I would suggest is that we say to a maximum of 100,000 dollars. It just seems to me that it's a lot of money to spend  and come out of it with nothing but another study. I was on the council in 2011, where we studied it and came up with nothing but an expensive study, that's all we did, and to do that again, just seems to me to be a waste of taxpayers money  -- Councillor Joy Thorkelson

As Council members observed, the time apparently has come to get the issue resolved and there may even be activity happening in the background towards that day when the local officers have a new place to hang their hats and lock up their prisoners.

Last October, we took note of a notice to the public printed in the weekly newspaper that had identified a parcel of land behind the Lester Centre, more or less, across from the foot of 11th Avenue East as the subject land that could be put to use for a new detachment for the RCMP.

The public notice of last October noted that the proposed road closure in the area surrounding the Lester Centre, would created a lot approximately 2.6 hectares to facilitate the construction of an RCMP facility in the City of Prince Rupert, something that suggests that the some form of planning is in motion for the construction of a new home for the city's police force.

How long the wait may be and whether the City of Prince Rupert will be a design participant, or reduced to the status of just paying the construction bills, is something that will be determined by the actions ahead by the current City Council members.

Hopefully, Mayor Brain and the Council six prove to be a little better at keeping the city's residents informed on how the issue is evolving this time around, than has been the practice since the current group took office in 2014.

A journey back into the time machine traces some of the key moments in the city's detachment procrastination process can be reviewed below:

March 2015 -- City looks to pick up RCMP detachment issue where they left off in 2012
February 2015 -- RCMP deliver final letter related to new detachment requirements
March 2013 -- City Council clicks their heels and hopes for the best
March 2013 -- Emergency Services Building Review set for Monday night
December 2012 -- City council kicks the emergency services building debate down the road until March
March 2012 -- The residents are rumbling ...
March 2012 -- Discussion begins on emergency services replacement building

The full discussion from Monday's Council session is available from the City's Video archive, it starts at the 34 minute mark.

More notes related to Monday's City Council session can be found here, While a larger overview o City council discussions can be found on our Council Discussion archive page.

Case files from emergency responders across the Northwest can be found here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

Jennifer Rice hails John Horgan's rise to Power in Victoria

You can call him Mr. Premier now, Thursday night the
Lieutenant Governor of BC, Judith Guichon invited John Horgan
and the NDP to form the next government.

(photo from BC NDP website page)

The digital bytes had barely been transmitted through their twitter stream before reaction came from across British Columbia to the news that BC NDP Leader John Horgan, had been invited to form a government by British Columbia's Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon.

And while the Lieutenant Governor herself has so far not issued any formal notification of her request of the NDP leader, the Premier designate and his party were quick to spread the word Thursday night.

Mr. Horgan himself broke the news through the social media news delivery platform, with a short tweet that sets the NDP course ahead towards the government side of the Legislature.

North Coast NDP MLA Jennifer Rice, also wasted no time to take to her Facebook page, ready to share her enthusiasm for the events of the day in Victoria, with two notes for her followers to review in the hours following Mr. Horgan's chat with the Lieutenant-Governor.

Voters from the North Coast Riding will be watching over the next few days to see if Ms. Rice's workload ahead will increase through a cabinet position, or if she'll be tasked with other duties as a member of the Government back bench.

For the immediate focus, the BC NDP issued a statement on Thursday night, that was one part Political Update and one part campaign style slogan making, as Mr. Horgan noted that there was a lot of work ahead for he and his now government side of the Legislature.

One interesting note from the first statement from the Premier-designate, was the lack of any mention of the Green party members who have made the NDP rise to power possible through the arrangement reached between Mr. Horgan and Mr. Weaver in the weeks just passed.

That oversight, intentional or not, may give some of those pundits who suggest that the NDP/Green arrangement may not last very long, cause to say don't go away, the Victoria drama-a-rama may not be over just yet.

And just in case the summer romance for the NDP and Greens goes all wrong, Elections BC is reportedly already on the job to be prepared, just in case the first NDP government in 16 years is not a long lasting fixture on B.C.'s political scene.

For now however, Mr. Horgan has claimed the title, and he now sets to work to build a cabinet. A task that will no doubt see him reward the MLA's that defeated the Liberal Cabinet power players in the Lower Mainland and elsewhere, as well as to check off the boxes on the NDP cabinet making template.

Some of the longer serving NDP MLA's may find that some disappointment comes their way in the days to come as Mr. Horgan looks to strike the right balance for his shot at governance. 

When it is all over and the new ministers have been sworn in and the Lieutenant Governor returns to the Legislature for an encore Throne Speech, some areas of the province may wonder if having a Government back bench MLA is any more of a reward, than the days of having one from the opposition.

In politics, careers ebb and flow as the situation dictates, the next few weeks will chart the political course for many in the NDP, where the North Coast may find itself will make for an interesting aside to the ongoing political theatre to come through the summer.

While we all wait to see what the next twist in British Columbia's political scene has to show us, here's an opportunity to meet your new Premier, courtesy of the BC NDP profile page.

A review of one of the most fascinating days from the Legislature in a long, long time can be found through our Political portal D'Arcy McGee, where we tracked the flow of events from the non-confidence vote of the afternoon to the call to the Premier designate to come on over to see the Lieutenant Governor. 

To keep up with notes from the North Coast MLA's work in Victoria see our Legislature Archive here.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Victoria Viewpoints: Thursday, June 29, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene:

Mr. Horgan gets a phone call

Horgan becoming premier, Clark to resign
A cliffhanger ending to B.C.'s political soap opera
Horgan's next challenge begins now
NDP asked to form next B.C. government after Liberal defeat
Labour group delighted by transfer of power in B.C.; business group looks for stability
'There is an enormous amount of work to do:' B.C. NDP forming government after Liberal defeat
B.C. NDP to form government, ending 16 years of Liberal rule
NDP waited 16 years for this. Now comes the hard part
Judith Guichon, the Lieutenant-Governor who decided B.C.'s political fate
John Horgan set to become B.C. Premier
B.C. NDP to form government after confidence vote
B.C. Government to be led by NDP for the first time in 16 years
B.C. will have its first NDP government in 16 years. But is it inherently unstable?
NDP Leader John Horgan to be next premier of British Columbia
John Horgan to be B.C.'s Next Premier, NDP to form Government with Green support
Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon invites NDP Leader John Horgan to form a government

Ms. Clark takes a walk

Christy Clark's B.C. Liberals fall after non-confidence vote
Christy Clark resigns as B.C.'s 35th premier, having fought to the end
B.C. Liberal government loses confidence vote 44-42, sparking either NDP government or election
Premier Christy Clark leaves Government House; B.C. waits for Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon's decision
Clark's BC Liberal Government loses Confidence vote
Christy Clark's B.C. Liberal government voted down in a non-confidence motion
Steve Thomson resigns as speaker of the B. C. Legislature

Prelude to a final Act

Premier Clark faces confidence vote today
Tame the wild west of Political cash
Lot's of cash, but who will spend it?
Clark to tell lieutenant governor the NDP-Green alliance cannot offer stable government
Two different polls, two different results on B.C. Liberal popularity
B.C. voters must return to the polls to prevent a deadlocked government
New Brunswick holds lesson for B.C. on Speaker traditions
Following throne speech, BC Liberals enjoy boost in popularity: poll
Decision Day for B.C., confidence vote expected in Victoria
Judgment Day: B.C. Liberal tactics set up difficult decision for lieutenant-governor
Who is B.C. Lt.-Gov. Judith Guichon?
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown: how a royal representative could shape B.C.'s political landscape
The B.C. Election that took 52 days
NDP and Greens 'Just Aren't Interested in Collaborating,' Says Premier
'Words Aren't Enough': Green MLA Who fought Soil Dump reflects on Liberals' Behaviour
Lt.-Gov. Judith Cuichon's unelected power should raise questions about dumping the monarchy
Is Christy Clark B.C.'s worst-ever premier?

And There Was Other News today

We don't need another royal commission on education
Site C passes all legal loopholes but project still threatened
First Nations in B.C. lose latest bid to stop Site C project
Supreme court of Canada refuses to hear B.C. First Nations' Site C dam appeal
Top Court Won't hear two First Nations' Challenges to Site C
City of Vancouver permits toilets in homeless camp

Ottawa Observations: Thursday, June 29, 2017

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for Thursday, June 29, 2017.

A changing of the guard in Victoria as NDP set to take power
(see our BC Politics archive for a full review of the day's events)

Respect Indigenous people who don't want to celebrate Canada 150: Trudeau
Sajjan stays silent on Canadian combat in Iraq
Improving Canadian's income mobility is the next big policy challenge
RCMP's Bob Paulson sounds alarm on organized crime in exit interview
Quebec Superior Court blocks extension to fix discrimination in Indian Act
Canada is not about 'bricks and mortar,' Trudeau tells critics of Canada 150 choices
Canada to extend anti-ISIS mission by 2 years
'A state of crisis': Indigenous group calls for change as Canada nears
Summer dives set for Franklin ship as future ownership in limbo
'A broken relationship': PM speaks about Indigenous issues while on P.E.I.
NATO increasing troops in Afghanistan again, but Trudeau says Canadians won't be among them
Charge of threatening Sophie Grégoire Trudeau withdrawn against Lethbridge woman
CMHC to pay $4B special dividend to federal government
Manitoba government wants legal opinion on federal carbon plan
Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall land in Iqaluit offer greetings in Inuktitut
Teepee erected in ceremony on Parliament Hill after opposition from police
Teepee erected on Parliament Hill highlights pain of Canada 150, activists say
'What is the price of not fighting this war?" U.S., NATO allies dispute over troop levels in Afghanistan
Canadian military contractor targeted by hacker
Sex assault training for judges must be enshrined
Ottawa should leave daycare to provinces
You know who should be our next governor general? Justin Trudeau
Let's celebrate how Canadians now take pride in not being racist
Up goes a teepee on Parliament Hill, and on go the kid gloves
Trudeau calls for understanding as tempers flare during indigenous 'reoccupation' of Parliament Hill
Canadian Rangers patrolling reserve with knives - in case they have to cut down a child hanging from a tree
The Royals are here: Prince Charles and Camilla kick off Canadian tour in Iqaluit
Status registration could halt next week as judge refuses to grant government more time to fix Indian Act
Respect Indigenous Peoples who don't want to celebrate Canada 150, Trudeau urges
Beavers bicker a little less in revised edition of Senate's Wise Owls children's book
Western Canada's immigration appeal system in crisis lawyers say
NAFTA lawsuits target Canada most while U.S, hasn't lost yet
Inside Ken Dryden's hockey rink citizenship ceremony
The case for keeping 'Langevin Block'
Canada back on top of world's most reputable countries list
Ottawa to turn into fortress ahead of massive Canada 150 party
Justin Trudeau tells Canada 150 critics we are not about 'bricks and mortar'
Justin Trudeau to meet with Queen Elizabeth and Irish Taoiseach ahead of G20 summit
Indigenous women call reporter 'white lady,' demand she leave press conference
Conservative MP says constituency office computers were hacked
Forum on Trade with China, or Propaganda Campaign?
Lt. Gov. Judith Guichon's unelected power should raise questions about dumping the monarchy

Council praises Metlakatla Development Corporation's Elders/Seniors Housing initiative as a template for other developers

It's all systems Go as far as Prince Rupert city Council is concerned, with
Council giving its approval for an Elders/Seniors residential complex
on the site of the Old King Edward School

Prince Rupert City Council had only strong words of support and praise for a proposed Elders/Seniors Village planned for the old King Edward School site on the city's east side, with Council passing a motion to move forward with the project that will add to the number of available units in the community for those over the age of 65.

With a Public Hearing receiving no commentary in opposition to the project and what few concerns that Council members may have had cleared up early in the council session, the only real issue coming from Councillor Randhawa who had wondered why the age limit for the Metlakatla proposal had been raised to 65, when a previous one, the Hill Top Lodge in the Yellowhead Centre area had an age limit of 55 and above.

Mr. Krekic noted that the proponent had outlined its plans to address the need of Seniors ages 65 and over and that Council should not be seeking a covenant to change that aspect of the project, noting that the option was in the hands of the proponent to decide how they wish to attract tenants.

As well as the notes on the age for those that might wish to live there, Council also had some comments related to a requested height variance, with the roofing plans of interest and some discussion but eventually receiving smooth passage on Monday

Along with the vote of confidence for the project, Council members also saluted the work of the proponents as something that other developers could take note of.

Councillors Niesh and Kinney both spoke in favour of the project, with Mr. Kinney noting that it was a much needed housing option for the community and could see a number of Seniors choose to stay in Prince Rupert rather than leave the community.

Councillor Thorkelson in particular had high praise for how the Metlakatla proposal was put together and the community had been consulted.

She observed that the one letter of opposition, which commented at to how "low cost housing usually deteriorates and doesn't match in with the neighbourhood" was not a sentiment that she believed was a valid concern related to the proposal

The Councillor further noted how it was the kind of development that the city should strive to attract to the community, comparing the efforts put in by the Metlakatla group to some of the other proposals which did not address many of the city's concerns over community engagement and amenities that they would like to see included in housing proposals.

She also offered up the observation that the Green Street project is one that other developers should look towards in the future as to how they should approach housing initiatives in the community.

"I think that this is going to be a real addition to the neighbourhood and I'm really pleased that Metlakatla has decided to take this spot and use it for the advantage of the whole community" -- Councillor Joy Thorkelson offering her support for the Metlakatla Elders/Seniors housing proposal

Likewise, Councillor Cunningham who called the concept a great project and one that would enhance the neighbourhood, reviewed some of the lengthy community engagement that the Metlkatla Development Corporation had taken on as part of the process and noted that they had listened very carefully to the range of commentary that they had received through their Open Houses and consultation events.

A larger overview of the discussion from Monday can be found on our Council Timeline.

The conversation can also be reviewed through the City's Video Archive feature, the Public Hearing segment starts at the very beginning of the evening, while the Council Discussion related to the Metlakatla Development proposal starts at the 54 minute point.

You can review some of the background to the proposed development here.

More notes on Housing issues in the Northwest can be examined here.

For more items related to Monday's City Council session see our archive page here, while more detailed review of Council Discussion topics can be found here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Council to have staff review Aurora LNG air shed concerns raised at Monday's council presentation

Luanne Roth providing the findings from a report she has worked on
reviewing some of the air shed concerns that the report has noted from
the proposed Aurora LNG project.

The proposed Aurora LNG terminal project was the subject of a presentation from a local environmental activist on Monday evening, as Luanne Roth, representing the T. Buck Suzuki Foundation, The Prince Rupert Environmental Society, as well as the local Fish workers union Unifor-UFAWU, provided some background information from their findings on the theme of air shed concerns related to the large scale development proposed for Digby Island.

Appearing as part of the Presentations to Council portion of Monday's Council session, Ms. Roth noted that she is assisting the Dodge Cove Improvement District in reviewing air quality issues as part of a working group with residents who live on Digby Island.

The bulk of her presentation involved her concerns over air quality should the Aurora facility be built as proposed, the findings of her review which she observed would see particulate levels exceed allowable objectives to protect human health for the urban area of the west side of the city.

To get the attention of those at Council and viewing at home, she highlighted the impact that she believes the project might have on the Graham Avenue Daycare facility, as well as to make note of the potential impact for residents of the Graham/Atlin areas of the west side.

In addition to the comments on the residential areas, she observed that workers at the Fairview Container Terminal would also fall into the area which her organization has raised their concerns over.

To bring her presentation to a close, Ms. Roth asked that the City look over the data that her group had assembled and then make comment to the assessment process for the Aurora LNG project. As well she also asked that City Council advocate that more time be provided for that assessment process, so more information can be collected and presented.

Ms. Luanne Roth outlined some of the concerns that the T Buck Suzuki Foundation
has highlighted when it comes to the proposed Aurora LNG terminal.
Ms. Roth reviewed her report for Prince Rupert Council on Monday evening.

Following the twenty minute overview, Council members offered up some observations on the themes presented from her report.

Councillor Thorkelson, who also serves as the head of the fish workers union in Prince Rupert that was among those commissioning the study led off the discussion, inquiring if Ms. Roth had shared her work with Hans Seidemann, the city City's Manager of Community Development who has been tasked to address environmental issues for the city related to the Aurora LNG application.

Ms. Roth noted that beyond some early correspondences, she had not been in recent contact with Mr. Seidemann regarding her review of the air shed concerns.

Councillor Cunningham then asked that Ms. Roth provide her report to Mr. Seidemann to review as part of his advice for council related to the Aurora LNG assessment process.

A larger overview of the discussion from Monday can be found on our Council Timeline.

You can review the full report for Council as part of the Agenda for the Monday Committee of the Whole session, it is found starting on Page 2.

The full presentation is also available from the City's Video Archive, starting at eight minute point.

More background on the Aurora LNG proposal can be found on our archive page here.

For more notes on Monday's City Council session, see our Council archive here, discussion points from past Council sessions can be found on our Council Discussion page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Nisga'a Nation postpones Nass River Sale Fisheries until further notice

The summer of woe for the salmon fishing season continues to unfold, with the Nisga'a Lisims government posting a notice to their website today advising that the current outlook for Sockeye salmon returns for the Nass River for this year are looking grim.

In the Public notice, the Nisga'a Fisheries and Wildlife Department notes that original estimates of 454,000 Sockeye for this year have now been reduced to less than 250,000.

Adding that the return of Chinook to date has been poor as well, while it is too early to estimate run sizes for Pink, Chum and Coho.

The estimates were compiled after 15 percent of the Sockeye run had passed by the fish wheels at Gitwinksihlkw and Grease Harbour, allowing Nisga'a Fishery biologists to review the information related to their season run estimates.

The current forecast mirrors the conditions that are being found along the Skeena system which is now in reach of historic low returns, while it's also observed in today's notice that the Fraser System may also be finding similar returns in place as the summer progresses.

As a result of their findings from yesterday, the Nisga'a Fisheries and Wildlife Department has announced that they have had to postpone any Nass River Sale fisheries until further notice, in support of reaching escapement and domestic fishery goals.

You can review more information on the Salmon concerns on the Nass from the Nisga'a Lisims website.

More notes on the evolving  concerns related to this summers salmon fishery on the North Coast fishery can be reviewed from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

City Council votes Sky Lantern Ban into Bylaw

Can't fly here ... Prince Rupert City
Council has approved a ban 

on the launching of 
Sky Lanterns within city limits
(photo from website)
Following the advice of and request from Fire Chief Dave McKenzie, Prince Rupert City Council has voted to include the launching of Sky Lanterns as part of the prohibited portion of their fireworks bylaw process.

The lanterns which have become popular at weddings, anniversary parties and other social events have raised concerns from emergency service personnel across North America for the fire danger that they pose for communities.

The final reading of the proposed ban came at Monday evening's City council session, with Councillor Barry Cunningham also reversing his previous position on the colourful, but in some cases dangerous flaming floating lanterns.

As we noted on the blog earlier this month, Council reviewed the Fire Chief's report and request for the ban at the June 12th Council session, at which time Councillor Cunningham had suggested that considering a permit process related to them might be the better approach to manage the issue.

You can review our notes and the Fire Chief's report from the June 12th Council session here.

However, as he noted at Monday night's Council session, he had done some further research on the Sky Lanterns and the concerns about them that have been raised in other communities and now was fully on board with a local ban.

Council then voted to pass the motion, moving forward the ability to add them to the current fireworks prohibitions.

One group that is happy with City Council's decision is the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 64, which outlined their concerns related to Sky Lanterns in a Facebook post following Monday's Council session, noting that often the floating lanterns have been mistaken for emergency flares.

The short discussion related to Council's decision can be viewed from the City's Video archive starting at the 53:30 minute mark.

For more items related to Monday's Council session see our Council Timeline here.

Further background on Council issues can be examined on our Council Discussion page.

For some of the files of Northwest Emergency Responders see our monthly archive here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Councillor Thorkelson promotes prospect of Sm'algyax to be included in future naming projects for the city

The process of naming local streets
and landmarks after Charles Hays
and other white males may soon be under
review by a City Committee
Councillor Joy Thorkelson introduced a notice of motion of sorts at Monday's City Council session, setting the path ahead for council members to review their plans when it comes to a Naming committee that is to be tasked to address such areas as naming of new street names and public buildings in the community.

The thrust of Ms. Thorkelson thoughts on the topic for Monday was her desire to see the City better reflect the First Nations of the region, and one of the first areas that she believes can assist to that goal is to incorporate Sm'algyax into future naming opportunities in Prince Rupert.

As part of her presentation to Council members, she explained how she was seeking a discussion to develop a policy for the Community Naming committee that would give recognition that Prince Rupert is situated on the traditional territory of the Tsimshian First Nations and how a large majority of place and street names already established within the city do not reflect Tsimshian culture or heritage.

Adding that she would like to see at least 75 per cent of the new names that may come in the future to reflect Tsimshian culture or heritage and written in Sm'algyax and English.

Council will be looking at a proposal
from Councillor Thorkelson to begin
to introduce Sm'algyax and Tsimshian
place names to future street sign replacements
As to how she would like to see the Committee operate moving forward, the Councillor offered up the concept that would see a list of  proposed names submitted to  the First Nations of Metlakatla, Lax Kw'alaams, Kitkatla, Gitga'at and Kitsumkalum to ensure that there no objections, or historical inaccuracies or divisive names.

She also suggested that the city may wish to have those communities become active in the naming process and suggest the names that could be used in the future.

As for the addition of Sm'algyax to the street signs, she noted that when any present street signs are in need of replacement and if a street name in English is translatable, the Sm'algyax name should also be added to the sign.

The main thrust of her presentation to Council was to create a policy to address what she described as the prominence of white upper class male names that currently make for the street names across the city.

"It's a policy, not just having a naming committee deciding on what kind of, what I would consider white upper class male names we could add to the streets of Prince Rupert, or how many more Charles Hays' that we could have. I would suggest that we need a policy and I think that in recognition that almost fifty percent of our community is First Nations and that we are on the unceded traditional territory of the Tsimshian, that I would suggest that we develop some kind of a policy to refelct that"

Councillor Mirau offered up the suggestion that her comments should be treated as a notice of motion and that she should work out some of the details for her proposal and then inform the Corporate Administrator when it the topic would be ready for further discussion by Council.

More on her presentation can be reviewed fro our Council Timeline Feature.

You can review some of her talking points on the theme from the City's Video Archive page starting at the one hour, thirteen minute mark.

To get a look at what some of the translations from English to Sm'algyax might look like for the future, a helpful learning tool is available through the SD52 website and the Sm'algayax Living Legacy Talking Dictionary.

The resource was created to assist students who were taking language courses with UNBC.

More notes related to Monday's City council session can be found on our archive page here.

A wider overview of some of the key discussion topics from Council sessions can be reviewed on our Council Discussion Page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review