Prince Rupert mayor seeking bylaw rather than referendum on emergency service building

As he neared the end of the regular routine of his mayor’s report at Monday evening’s city council meeting, Mayor Jack Mussallem made a surprise move, and asked council members to consider taking the bylaw route, rather than a referendum, for a new emergency services building in Prince Rupert.

  • Jun. 7, 2011 4:00 p.m.

As he neared the end of the regular routine of his mayor’s report at Monday evening’s city council meeting, Mayor Jack Mussallem made a surprise move, and asked council members to consider taking the bylaw route, rather than a referendum, for a new emergency services building in Prince Rupert.

“The need for a new building is quite evident and the cost of repairs to the fire hall and the police detachment overhaul are extensive, especially when the police detachment require a new cell block along with everything else,” Mussallem said.

Requesting the council think about considering a new emergency services building by use of a bylaw, Mussallem said if the public wishes to express concern, they can do that by use of a counter petition against the bylaw.

Last fall it was confirmed by City Manager Gordon Howie the City is considering going to referendum over a new facility to house the Prince Rupert Fire and Rescue and the R.C.M.P. At that time he said the referendum would possibly coincide with the municipal election in November.

Since Howie’s comments there had not been any further discussion until the mayor broached the subject Monday evening.

According to the mayor, his reasons for posing the bylaw option are twofold. The first is to save six months, which would result in saving the taxpayers money on construction costs as contractors get busy going into the future. The second reason is that emergency services are something the City will always have to provide for.

“If a referendum were to take place and the residents said no, the City would have to use the bylaw process with a counter petition and proceed as these are emergency services that must be provided for,” he added.

He cited the overall time frame and the cost of the project as concerns and said he wasn’t asking for any immediate decisions.

“I know that members of council will certainly have their own opinions on this. I’m not asking for any discussion tonight, but I would ask you to consider what I’ve stated and you will get a copy of this. There a couple of ways of looking at this,  but I think it would be best if it’s done in the most efficient and least expensive way going forward.”

Afterwards local citizen Larry Golden, the only person in attendance at the meeting, said he wondered if the City could afford to borrow money for a new facility. He also said he thought it was better for the City to wait until a new council is in place in November before any decisions around a new facility are made.

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

Just Posted

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

A Prince Rupert port expansion project received a $25 million investment from the provincial government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Jan. 14. Seen here is Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal export terminal in Prince Rupert (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)
$25 million government investment in Prince Rupert port expansion project

Prince Rupert port expansion project expected to create more than 2,200 jobs

For the second time in less than a year, Air Canada announced on Jan. 13 it has suspended flights on the Prince Rupert-Vancouver route as of Jan 17. (Photo by: Jerold Leblanc)
Cessation of flights to YPR will affect the municipal economy and global trade, P.R. Mayor said

Chamber of Commerce said it will aggressively pursue the resumption of flights to Prince Rupert

Air Canada has suspended flights to Prince Rupert Regional Airport due to COVID-19 mitigation, the airline announced on Jan. 13. (Photo:THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
YPR is not immune to plummeted air travel demands – 25 jobs lost

Prince Rupert Regional Airport flight cancellation will levee significant hardship - Rick Leach

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Black Press media file
Port McNeill driver tells police he thought the pandemic meant no breathalyzers

Suspect facing criminal charges after breathalyzer readings in excess of 3.5 times the legal limit

Forestry companies in B.C. agree to abide by the cedar protocols based on traditional laws of the First Nation members of the Nanwakolas Council. (Photo courtesy, Nanwakolas Council)
Landmark deal sees B.C. forest firms treat big cedars like a First Nation would

Western Forest Products, Interfor among companies to adapt declaration drafted by Nanwakolas Council

Most Read