North Coast MLA, Jennifer Rice issued a letter to the public on July 17, to notify residents on provincial government updates and progress. July 19, 2020, saw the third anniversary of Rice’s appointment to Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. (Photo supplied by J. Rice)

North Coast MLA issues public update on provincial progress

Travel restrictions, funding and recent new legislation were topics addressed by Jennifer Rice, MLA

Jennifer Rice, Member of Legislative Assembly for the B.C. North Coast addressed Prince Rupert and North Coast community residents in a summer progress statement on July 17, just two days before the third anniversary of her appointment as Parliamentary Secretary of Emergency Preparedness.

“It’s been a roller coaster of managing events such as floods and fires and now a global pandemic but I love the wild ride of being in service to my constituents and all British Columbians,” Rice said in social media post on July 19.

“When we formed government we stepped into an unprecedented and B.C.’s worst wildfire season. Sixty-five thousand people were displaced from their homes and 1.2 hectares burned. We were under a provincial state of emergency for a period of 10 weeks which was the longest state of emergency in our history.”

Even though the province announced Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan on June 24 and is allowing travel, some communities are not allowing travellers, Rice said in the statement to residents on July 17.

“At this time, Haida Gwaii and parts of the Central Coast are requesting that travelers not visit their communities. I recognize that these local travel restrictions are causing some community tensions between those who want to reopen and those who want to remain closed.”

“Finding a solution that works for everyone is not easy, but it’s important that we not let these difficult times divide our communities. Please follow the advice of Dr. Bonnie Henry and be kind to each other,” Rice said.

Rice said she is currently working with various ministries and local communities to come up with an arrangement that respects the desires of communities, while also being able to support struggling local businesses from closures.

Rice said over the past couple of months, the provincial government has made some important funding announcements for the North Coast riding. Grants in the amount of $540,000, to communities in the North Coast to invest in recreational and economic development projects were promised. These include funding of $99,900 for the Redesign Prince Rupert plan, the amount of $49,512 for the Lax Kw’alaams Laku Creek trail loop, $380,000 for the Hartley Bay Destination rail project and $10,000 for the Hartley Bay Harbourfront Development Plan.

Also announced is funding to open 24 new childcare spaces in Hartley Bay in partnership with the Gitga’at First Nation and an upgrade of $4.6 million to the Baron Lake hydroelectric power facility in Klemtu, which will assist in reducing dependence on the diesel plant, reduce carbon emissions and which will create jobs, Rice said.

Massett’s water treatment plant, in partnership with the federal government, will receive $1.24 million to upgrade and Haida Gwaii communities will receive$500,000 to better prepare for flooding emergencies.

“Over the past three weeks, the BCNDP caucus has also been busy passing legislation that will improve life in our communities,” Rice said.

An all-party Special Committee on Reforming the Police Act has been initiated to engage with communities which includes experts to recommend how our Police Act could be modernized. This will address systemic racism and better meet today’s needs with respect to mental health and harm reduction, Rice said.

“Everyone deserves to be treated fairly in our province, but for many Black, Indigenous, and other people of colour, this hasn’t always been the case,” Rice said.

Also noted in Rice’s statement was the 20 per cent reduction in auto insurance costs which has just been passed, as well as new legislation to better provide support to injured workers and their families through WorkSafeBC.

The proposed changes will also enhance the agency’s ability to investigate workplace incidents and give workers a voice by including victim impact statements in trials for serious incidents.

K-J Millar | Journalist
Send K-J email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A water quality advisory has been issued for the City of Rupert on Oct. 31. (File photo)
Water Quality Advisory issued for City of Prince Rupert

Heavy rainfall contributes to high turbidity levels

Prince Rupert Regional Airport Manager Rick Leach said on Oct. 29 that small community airports, like YPR, need a government cash infusion to survive COVID-19. (Northern View file photo)
Failure of Government and airlines leave regional and community airports on the brink of financial collapse

Govt. cash infusion is needed for smaller airports, like Prince Rupert, to survive COVID-19 - RCAC

Confirmed COVID-19 cases have affected the Prince Rupert community the week of Oct. 29 with a Shoppers Drug Mart employee and an S.D. 52 staff or student being infected with the virus. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID-19 infects Prince Rupert school district individual

S.D. 52 is prepared for COVID-19 and is working under Northern Health protocols - Sandy Pond

Masks are now compulsory at all Prince Rupert public facilities and the City reminds people to discard used masks in waste bins, a media release on Oct. 29 said. (Photo by K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Mandatory mask-wearing effective immediately at city public facilities

City of Prince Rupert makes masks compulsory to protect community health and safety

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Most Read