Crime severity drops
Stats Canada announced on Aug. 7 that Prince Rupert’s Crime Severity Index, which examines both the amount of crime and the relative seriousness of the crime, had reached a five-year low. As well as the overall Crime Severity Index, the violent crime severity index and non-violent crime severity index were the lowest they had been in five years. At the same time, the weighted clearance rate, which looks at the number of cases cleared by RCMP, were at a five year low.
Rice tops expenses
The first month of sitting for newly-elected North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice proved to be costly for the taxpayers. Rice topped the list of the 34 sitting New Democrats when it came to expenses for July, racking up $9,283.74 for the month of July. Rice attributed the expenses not only to travel, but to having to find a place to live in the provincial capital.
Container traffic tax proposed
The U.S. took another step in its fight to prevent shippers from delivering freight destined for the lower 48 through Canadian ports. Two Washington State senators announced plans for, and subsequently introduced, a bill that would levy a $100 per container tax on all traffic crossing the border and further enhancing the competitiveness of U.S. ports by eliminating the Harbour Maintenance Tax.
Pole raised in Gwaii Haanas
The Haida Nation celebrated a milestone on Aug. 15 with the raising of the first totem pole to be raised in Gwaii Haanas in more than a century. The 42-foot Gwaii Haanas Legacy Pole was raised at Windy Bay on Lyell Island in front of not only a large crowd gathered on the beach, but more than 950 people watching the ceremony streaming live on the Internet.
City agrees to lend airport $7 million
On Aug. 19, Prince Rupert city council voted in favour of a $7 million loan for the Prince Rupert Airport Authority. The loan includes approximately $5 million to completely renovate and refurbish the terminal building and money to repair the runway and access road from the ferry dock. In speaking to council about the loan, Prince Rupert Airport manager Rick Reed said if the work wasn’t done the airport would likely be closed, as the heating and sewage systems were failing and the roof was continually leaking. The loan was put to the taxpayers through an alternate approval process, where only three people opposed the idea.
Traffic light approved
After lobbying from both the City of Prince Rupert and the Prince Rupert School District, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation announced its intention to install a pedestrian controlled traffic light at the intersection of 9th Ave. and McBride. Work on the light was delayed until mid-December.
City and SunWave settle
On Aug. 29, the City of Prince Rupert announced it had reached a settlement to end legal action involving Sun Wave Forest Products and Watson Island. Under the terms of the settlement the City was given clear title to the former pulp mill site and did not have to pay Sun Wave any money. The City agreed to work to decommission the mill over the next 24 to 30 months as it worked on selling the property to WatCo.