Grant money may be coming available to upgrade Diana Lake.

Port Edward Council in brief

Port Edward discusses Halloween donations, loose dogs, UBCM highlights and joining the environmental monitoring table for an LNG project.

Donations for Halloween and Seafarers

The district made a motion to donate $200 to the Seafarer’s Mission, who requested the money to help pay for the replacement of their air/gas furnace for a high efficiency unit. The project should cost up to $4,800. The mission has logged 15,600 visits since opening.

Another $200 will go to Prince Rupert’s 29th Annual Community Hallowe’en Fest to be held at the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre on Oct. 31. Organizers stated in their letter that the event costs up to $15,000 with fireworks, games, prizes and treats.

Port Edward’s own Halloween event at the North Pacific Cannery received a $200 donation as well from the district. The family day will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 30 and will have games, treats and even a haunted house. The cannery is looking for volunteers. Contact Polly Pereira at ppereira@portedward.ca

Brown wants to join independent environment monitoring table

Coun. James Brown requested the district tries to get a seat on the independent environmental monitoring table for the Pacific NorthWest LNG’s project alongside with Metlakatla, Lax Kw’alaams, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency.

“I’m hearing they have a committee that Port Edward should be sitting on. This is right out in our front yard and we need to be a part of this,” Brown said.

“We’ll get the information first and then we’ll decide,” Mayor Dave MacDonald said in response asking his chief administrative officer, Bob Payette, to look into it.

Loose dogs in the district

In Coun. James Brown’s recent endeavours to get in shape he’s encountered dogs running up to him and barking. “It scares my son too. There is a problem with dogs running loose in Port Edward and I’d like to see more signs,” Brown said.

“The signs are there, they’re clear and people still do it. I don’t see signs as a solution,” Coun. Christine Mackenzie said.

UBCM highlights

The poor state of Diana Lake was addressed at the Union of B.C. Municipalities from Sept. 26-29. Coun. Grant Moore met with Minister of the Environment Mary Polak and said it seemed like there may be grant money to be announced soon to upgrade Diana Lake, “being the only beach around here that’s accessible now that CN’s blocked off the beach by the Rupert waterfront,” he said.

They also spoke to Polak about building some campgrounds. The district brought photos showing the unkempt state of the lake.

Coun. Dan Franzen said the minister actually laughed when she saw the photos. He said they’re not asking for a lot. They sent new picnic tables that weren’t needed last year. “We need a beach,” he said.

The mayor said they’ve been bringing up this issue for the past 10 years.

The district also discussed building a seniors’ centre in Port Edward. Since then, a government representative has visited the land the district has offered to be the location of a future centre. “We will wait and see what comes of that,” said the mayor. “We have offered up our land before.”

Coun. Moore and Brown were inspired after watching a private screening of “The Plastic Ocean” about all the plastics going into the ocean and what it’s doing to marine life. Since Moore got back he’s been doing more research and he said that some other municipalities, such as Victoria, Granville Island and Montreal, have introduced or are in the process of introducing bylaws to ban single use plastic bags.

“It’s a simple thing we can do to get the ball rolling on setting a bylaw in Port Ed, and maybe the entire North Coast,” Grant said.

The rest of the council were less enthusiastic. “How are you going to enforce it?” said the mayor who suggested they do this through a resolution at the next UBCM.

Bylaw amended for AltaGas request for temporary lodging

The fourth and final reading of bylaw no. 674 was passed by the district allowing a parcel of land owned by AltaGas to be rezoned for temporary lodging for a 12-year period. The company would use the lodging for a work camp if a liquefied natural gas project goes through.

A private land owner has also requested rezoning a parcel of property from single family residential to multiple family residential. Council gave bylaw No. 675 a second reading and a public hearing will be announced in the coming weeks.