The Minister of Transport rejected the SQCRD's request to approve a representative on the Prince Rupert Port Authority's board.

Minister says no to North Coast Regional District board appointment

Standing committee explored as an alternative to port authority board appointment rejection

The North Coast Regional District (NCRD) received a notice from Minister of Transport Marc Garneau in August regarding its request to allow the appointment of a board member to the Port of Prince Rupert’s board of directors. Minister Garneau stated that amendments to the make-up of the board’s directors are not being considered at this time, but that the regional district and port authority continue to work constructively together.

“As you may be aware, the government has recently introduced a new approach to appointments that promotes the principles of openness and diversity, including gender balance and merit. In nominating new members to boards of directors, either as a federal nominee or as a user representative, I will seek to assure myself that these principles have been considered,” said Garneau in the letter.

NCRD Chair Barry Pages outlined the district’s desire to increase communications with the port on economic development issues and regional district emergency preparedness plans that are in the process of being developed in his original letter.

In September, Port of Prince Rupert president and CEO Don Krusel wrote to the regional district, stating that the port authority would be open to forming a “Standing Committee of North Coast Municipalities”, originally proposed by the District of Port Edward in July 2014.

“We feel that the concept is worth revisiting,” wrote Krusel.

The committee would improve working relationships between the port and local governments, and would “promote collaboration, understanding and even dispute resolution between the port and nearby municipalities” and in its letter, Port Edward representatives wrote it “does not envision this committee as replacing bilateral meetings, discussions or negotiations between its member municipalities and [the port] … Instead, it would provide a more timely and more engaged context for those discussions to occur in.”

Once interested parties have shown interest, Krusel offered to coordinate an initial meeting to define Terms of Reference for the committee in the future.