Aurora LNG signs government deal
The future of the Grassy Point LNG development became clearer on Nov. 12 as the province signed an exclusivity agreement with Aurora LNG. The agreement calls for Aurora LNG to pay $12 million to the province now and $12 million one year from now for exclusive rights to develop on 614.9 hectares of land on the northern part of Grassy Point and 158.7 hectares of foreshore. The company, a partnership between Nexen Energy, INPEX Corporation and JGC Corporation, wasted little time in moving the project forward and had applied for its export licence by month’s end.
Cunningham elected to council
When the final ballots were counted, Barry Cunningham was the winner of the Nov. 15 byelection. Cunningham received 943 votes, almost 200 more than runner-up Gurvinder Randhawa. Wade Niesh finished with 417votes, James Kirk received 109 votes, Larry Golden got 88 votes and Len Lovering received 69 votes. Cunningham was sworn into office during the Dec. 9 meeting of council.
BC Ferries pitches service cuts
On Nov. 20, BC Ferries and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced plans for sweeping cuts to ferry service on the North Coast. The Inside Passage sailings were to be reduced by 39 sailings per year, a cut of 32 per cent, while one sailing to Haida Gwaii per week was to be eliminated, equating to a 27.2 per cent reduction. The cuts were uniformly opposed by municipal and business leaders in the community, but BC Ferries said these type of cuts were needed in the face of declining ridership and a need to save $18.9 million in the next two years.
Three die crossing Skeena River
Three people lost their lives during the Remembrance Day long weekend. Two men and one woman, residents of Terrace, set out to cross the river in the Frizzell Hot Springs area, but did not return by the expected time. Following a two-day search and rescue effort, all three bodies were recovered from the river.
Port pays city
As discussions around payment-in-lieu-of-taxes continued, the City of Prince Rupert announced on Nov. 21 it had received a $2.1 million payment from the Prince Rupert Port Authority. The city noted this was a partial payment of what was owed, with $1.4 million still owing, while the port authority said the payment was a sign of “good faith” for a future resolution to the long-standing discussion between the two.
Sexual assault investigated
RCMP were seeking witness to an alleged sexual assault on the weekend of Nov. 23. According to RCMP reports, a man was taken from the downtown core by four First Nations individuals driving a silver pickup, taken to the woods near the cemetery and sexually assaulted before being dropped of at the gaming centre. As of the end of the year, no arrests had been made.
First ship calls on Westview
The first load of pellets from Westview Terminal left the Prince Rupert Harbour on Nov. 29 following a visit from the Star Manx. A total of 1,107 tonnes of pellets left Prince Rupert destined for the Port of Tyne in the United Kingdom.