Prince Rupert City Hall.

Prince Rupert City Hall.

Council in Brief: Prince Rupert and the District of Port Edward

What happened in council for Prince Rupert and Port Edward on April 25-26.

Port Ed relatively quiet: RCMP

PORT EDWARD – Sgt. Dave Uppal returned, as promised, for the three month update on police activity in the District of Port Edward.

In January there were 15 files, five of which were related to Lelu Island, but Uppal said there was nothing out of the ordinary.

February had 15 files as well, with a couple files related to the trailer court. There were 11 files in March with one file related to activities on Lelu Island.

Uppal introduced the new acting officer in charge, Sgt. Brian Donaldson, who came from Mackenzie. Donaldson said they submitted a document two weeks ago asking for more resources.

“It would allow us to have extra resources dedicated to dealing with patrols and some enforcement both on the water and at boat launches,” Donaldson said.

Hospital taxes on the way up

PORT EDWARD – Tax rates were increased under bylaw no. 671  for hospital purposes, the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional Hospital District and the North West Regional Hospital District. The minimum amount of tax for a parcel of real property will be $1.

There was no real change with the other two bylaws: the sewer parcel tax bylaw no. 672 and the water frontage tax bylaw no. 673. They were passed simply to keep them active.

Spacing out liquor stores

PRINCE RUPERT  – Prince Rupert city council passed a motion implementing a one-kilometre distance rule to not allow future wine and liquor stores to be open within that distance between each other, or the relocation of liquor stores under the same distance.

The current seven private liquor stores and one controlled outlet will be grandfathered into the bylaw as they are currently operating. Two grocery stores that are eligible to apply for retail sales of liquor include Save-on Foods and Safeway. Both have yet to do so.

The motion passed with all in favour except Coun. Blair Mirau, who thought that the matter should be left to the province with no interference in the market by the city.

The matter will further be forwarded to the upcoming updates of the Official Community Plan, to be revisited next year.

311 service for Rupert?

PRINCE RUPERT – Prince Rupert City Council approved the city’s application to the CRTC to enable implementation of the 311 phone service in Prince Rupert. The 311 service diverts routine inquiries and non-urgent community concerns from the 911 number, which is reserved for emergency service, and streamlines all City of Prince Rupert non-emergency calls into one number for non-emergency municipal services.

The number is commonly used in many communities across Canada and the U.S. and the City of Prince Rupert will integrate the 311 service into its automated system that routes calls to various departments.

The service will start Jan. 1, 2017.

–  By Shannon Lough and Kevin Campbell