Five-year financial bylaw adopted
There was no discussion from council as they adopted the 2018 five-year financial bylaw during the April 23 council meeting. They also adopted the property tax bylaw, which recommends a tax freeze for the year.
“No tax increase whatsoever,” Mayor Lee Brain said.
“Unless somebody’s property has gone up above the median,” Councillor Joy Thorkelson said over the phone.
Brain added that he will go into more detail about the city’s financial opportunities during his Hays 2.0 presentation on April 25.
NWCC cancelling ESL classes
The North Coast Immigration and Multicultural Services Society asked city council to write to the Northwest Community College, who are discontinuing the English as a Second Language course in Prince Rupert.
Councillor Gurvinder Randhawa said, “Everybody feels like we can have no new immigrants to Prince Rupert because they won’t get help with their English.”
He moved to draft a letter requesting NWCC reconsider the decision to end the program. Councillor Barry Cunningham added that a letter should also be sent to the MLA and minister of education.
“This is ridiculous. It’s hard enough for someone first coming to our country that’s coming to a new town and culture, new everything else and having trouble with communication,” Cunningham said.
“Without a chance to learn the language, what chance do they have to get a job, contribute to the community or anything else?…Even though it might not have large numbers, it has a large impact on the community if it’s not there.”
Thorkelson said that while Rupert may not have as many immigrants now as it did in the ‘80s and ‘90s, “we should look forward to getting large numbers when we start increasing in the port activity.” She suggested at least part-time instruction.
Parking on Crestview Drive
During reports from council, Cunningham raised several concerns. One of them was for the street parking on Crestview Drive. After being approached by community members, Cunningham drove around that street to take a look for himself. Parking is a problem that isn’t unique to Crestview, but throughout Rupert.
Boats and trailers parked on the street limit room for cars and trucks. Cunningham asked if the road could be rezoned as a one-way street to increase available parking.