News in Brief: Feb. 17, 2016

Alleged abduction unfounded, Delayed by-election now begins, Small business committee moves forward, Skating club asks for help

Alleged abduction unfounded

Prince Rupert RCMP have deemed an alleged Jan. 22 abduction on Sixth Street and Third Ave. West as unfounded.

Despite social media reports to the contrary, RCMP said, following their investigation, a 16-year-old girl was not grabbed from behind by a man, who reportedly had tried to drag her into his vehicle.

“After a thorough investigation, police have determined that the man did not exit his vehicle and did not grab the female, although a minor verbal interaction did take place,” Cpl. D.J. Tyreman said in a release.

Delayed byelection now begins

The start of replacing ex-SD52 school board trustee Judy Carlick-Pearson’s seat began last week when city council approved the hiring of Prince Rupert Library chief librarian Joe Zelwietro as chief election officer for the upcoming by-election. Robin Beattie, city administration assistant, was appointed deputy chief election officer.

Mayor Lee Brain explained that it was because of busy schedules for City staff that the process couldn’t be picked up sooner after Carlick-Pearson’s resignation in November.

“Running an election requires somebody who has the experience to run an election and our only real two staff [members] we had to be able to run them were just over capacity, which is why we put a contract out to do the election … We’ve moved as fast as we possibly can on this issue and now we are appointing someone here today,” said Brain.

Small business advisory committee moves forward

Terms of Reference, as outlined by drafter Coun. Blair Mirau, were passed for a proposed Small Business Advisory Committee last Tuesday, Feb. 9. The committee is to be made up of members of the community who are involved with small business and may provide council with “boots-on-the-ground” advice with policy recommendations, feedback and insight.

Coun. Joy Thorkelson was worried that the committee may provide members an inside track to council and policy, with labour interests being shut out of the conversation, to which Mirau responded that those activities are not the intention of the committee, and by no means will council be answerable to the committee on policy.

The committee will review and comment to the mayor and council on small business economic development plans, initiatives and studies, as well as local and regional land use issues.

The committee will also review and provide feedback on municipal business bylaws, policies and projects.

Skating club asks for help

The Prince Rupert Skating Club will receive financial help from the City of Prince Rupert after asking for contributions to help pay for ice time for their end-of-season gala on March 12.

Fewer skaters in the club and higher than expected fees were reasons cited in the request.

Mayor Lee Brain made the motion and was seconded by Coun. Nelson Kinney outlining that the City would respond by helping to pay for the ice time, after talking with the club to find out how much they are looking for.