Board delays OCP adoption
The North Coast Regional District (NCRD) gave second and third readings to Bylaw No. 608, a bylaw to adopt a land use plan for electoral areas A and C of the NCRD (Dodge Cove and Oona River), but stopped short at adoption due to concerns shared by the province’s Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and the Ministry of Natural Gas Development.
Although more than ample time was given for response to the land use bylaw (or the Official Community Plan or OCP) the board claims, having initiated inter-agency meetings since March 2016, the NCRD board decided to delay to further engage the province on what their concerns are.
A letter was sent to the NCRD from the province that stated that the proposed OCP creates “redundancies and conflicts with existing provincial and federal assessment and evaluation processes,” adding that some elements appear to restrict key parts of the proposed Aurora LNG facility on Digby Island to try and make the project unfeasible.
“I still think that conversation needs to evolve and we need to hear what their thoughts around this,” said NCRD chair Barry Pages.
Doug Chapman, chief administrative officer (CAO) for the NCRD, added that had the province acted sooner, the board wouldn’t be in this bind.
“When the referral got out, [the province] was reluctant to give us the information they had concerning the boundaries of the investigative area. So if they had been providing that a little bit sooner, rather than hanging onto it, we would have had more time for this discussion,” he said.
Representatives from Aurora LNG attended a public hearing on March 22 and asked for clarification on language around industrial proposals (which would need board approval to proceed in the OCP area) and some language that could produce contradictory outcomes with potential federal and provincial green lights. Aurora LNG also stated that the company submitted a number of comments and questions in December to which they had yet to hear back from the board.
‘Car Wash Rock’ a concern
The NCRD requested staff to help draft a resolution to submit to the TransCanada Yellowhead Highway Association (TCYHA) on the potential safety hazards that ‘Car Wash Rock’ presents.
A narrow and curved section of Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Terrace, ‘Car Wash Rock’ features overhanging rock that allows precipitation and falling water to fall on traffic travelling underneath the rock, hitting windshields.
The TCYHA requested resolutions from local governments on their concerns for any issues along Highways 16 and 5 in B.C.
The resolution will be brought to the floor at the TCYHA Annual General Meeting, with the deadline for resolutions the night of the NCRD’s meeting on March 24.
Two appointed to recycling committee
The NCRD appointed regional district director Des Nobels and environmental representative Jean Martin to the Regional Recycling Advisory Committee.
Staff were also directed to advertise for two remaining vacant positions to the community. Nobels and Martin join City of Prince Rupert representatives Tanya Ostrom and Hans Seidemann as well as the District of Port Edward’s Bob Payette on the committee.