The class of 2012 pose at the waterfront before prom.

The class of 2012 pose at the waterfront before prom.

Prince Rupert Year in Review – April to June

Part two of the Prince Rupert Northern View's Year in Review looks at the months of April, May and June.

April

 

Architect tells council renovations aren’t an option

Representatives from the RCMP and Prince Rupert Fire Department sat before council with architect Witmar Abele, who told councillors doing renovations to the current emergency services buildings isn’t an option. Abele told council both lots which the current emergency service buildings sit on are too small to accommodate expanding the buildings to bring them to current standards.

Study shows impacts of port operations

A study released by the Prince Rupert Port Authority showed benefits derived from port activity increased in 2011. The study showed that ongoing port operations created 2,200 direct jobs, up from 1,500 shown in a 2009 study. The value of wages attributed to the direct jobs jumped from $80 million an annual wages in 2009 to $130 million in 2011. Because of this $200 million was put into the economy.

RCMP seize large amount of marijuana

The Prince Rupert RCMP General Investigation Section and the Prince Rupert North District Drug Section executed a search warrant on Rainbow Lake Crescent and located 3,354 marijuana plants, along with a large quantity of growing equipment. A 59-year old male resident of Vancouver was taken into custody and was charged with one count of production of a controlled substance and one count of possession for the purpose of trafficking.

MP said review panel has no credibility

Skeena-Bulkey MP Nathan Cullen said the Conservative Party’s plan to give themselves final say on the fate of the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline confirmed pipeline opponents fears that the joint review process is a sham.

This came after the Conservatives proposed to change the rules stating only if a panel approved a project did that project have to be

submitted to the federal cabinet for final approval.

 

Ocean Fish Plant announces it will close down

Staff at the Ocean Fish plant were notified the operation would be closing in late April, although at the time what that meant for workers was unclear. Rob Morley, VP of Canfisco, said he wasn’t sure what the closure would mean for the building either, however it wasn’t likely to be kept.

Teachers’ union withdraws from volunteer work

Members of the BC Teachers’ Federation voted to withdraw from volunteer work in opposition to Bill 22, the Education Improvement Act, affecting school sports teams and graduation activities. Lynn Hauptman, superintendent of School District 52, said the withdrawal from services would impact both administration staff and parents who would have to step up to fill the teachers’ positions.

RCMP under investigation

Prince Rupert RCMP were under investigation by the Delta Police Department after a 15-year-old girl had her arm broken by an officer during a domestic disturbance call. The RCMP have said that the girl was suicidal, but her mother denied this

Taxes rise

Facing fish plant layoffs and vocal opposition to major tax hikes, Prince Rupert city council voted at its last meeting of April to raise taxes for the coming year by 1.5 per cent.

May

Coast Guard responds to oil slick near Hartley Bay

The Canadian Coast Guard sent divers down to investigate the wreck of the WWII-era US artillery ship Brigadier-General M.G. Zalinski to discover the source of a fuel leak spotted near Hartley Bay. Though originally thought to be quite large, equipment determined that actual amount of the spill was minimal.

Vision for Cow Bay area outlined

On May 15 the Prince Rupert Port Authority outlined its vision for the Cow Bay area during an open house. Development plans call for the construction of a three-storey mixed use building where the current parking lot is, a new building in the space above Northland Terminal, a new marina and wharf system in front of Atlin Terminal and a new building and covered area beside Atlin Terminal.

Results from the BC Annual Dance Competition

Tristan Ghostkeeper from Prince George was named the 2012 senior Performer of the Year, with Zoe Garlinski-Gonsky from Campbell River’s Precision being named the junior Performer of the Year at the 2012 BC Annual Dance Competition.

Comment period questioned

Following significant feedback from the public, Prince Rupert city council asked that the public comment period on the Pinnacle Renewable Energy pellet export terminal be extended. Council, at its May 14 meeting, asked for the Prince Rupert Port Authority to work with the City on a waterfront plan to guide future development.

Most opt out of Enbridge hearings

While originally scheduled to run much longer, the Enbridge Joint Review Panel’s visit to Prince Rupert was shorter than expected as many who signed up opted out of providing feedback to the panel. Many said since the federal cabinet was making the decision, the panel was ineffective.

June

Relay for Life raises over $70,000

The 15th annual Prince Rupert Relay for Life saw 125 participants raise over $70,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. The top fundraiser, Jamie Malthus, raised $12,000 alone. The relay is held each year to celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, to remember those who lost their lives to cancer and to fight back by raising funds.

Phase II expansion expected before 2015

Don Krusel, Prince Rupert Port Authority president and CEO, said he expects Phase II expansion to bring additional capacity to Fairview Terminal before 2015 at the BC Chamber of Commerce Transportation Summit. At the gathering, Krusel also talked about the Gateway Development Plan, which Krusel said will give the port “the tools we need to line up the right infrastructure terminals and partners required to find the best solution for Canadian industry seeking access to Asian and world markets”.

Rupert tops in vacancy

The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation released the vacancy rates for spring 2012, and Prince Rupert had the highest in the province among communities over 10,000 people. The vacancy rate for apartments in Prince Rupert in April was 13.5 per cent, the highest in the province and one of only three communities with double-digit vacancy. The provincial average for communities over 10,000 population is 3.4 per cent

Two bodies pulled from the harbour

The Prince Rupert RCMP recovered the bodies of two Metlakatla men from the city’s harbour in the early hours of June 23. At about 5:30 a.m. the RCMP and Coast Guard responded to a sighting of a body floating out in the Prince Rupert harbour. When they arrived the located the body and about five hours later, while the police were investigating the area where the body was found, they found the body of a second man in the water near the dock. The identities of the men were not released, but the two are brothers from Metlakatla.

Inspirational swim

Hundreds of people lined the shore of the Prince Rupert waterfront as Dayna McKay completed her 52 kilometre swim from Port Simpson to Prince Rupert on June 21 after swimming for about 19 hours straight. The swim, “Into the Sea Cancer Free” was the culmination of her fundraising efforts to help fight cancer.

Emergency locations revealed

During the June 18 council meeting, four possible locations for a new emergency services building were outlined. They included Moose Tot Park and the tennis courts, behind the current Northern Savings Credit Union building, the lot by Five Corners, and beside the Highliner Inn.

Petronas joins LNG export hunt

In late June Malaysian-owned Petronas announced it had begun conducting a feasibility study to locate an LNG export terminal in Prince Rupert, joining the BG Group as one of two companies looking to locate LNG export facilities in Prince Rupert. In this case, the LNG terminal would be located on Lelu Island.