Oil by rail to Rupert
It was reported early in February that Calgary-based Nexen was planning to ship oil-by-rail to a site on Ridley Island. The company had been in discussions with the Prince Rupert Port Authority since 2011, but the news was met with staunch opposition from environmental groups in the region.
Enbridge hearings get underway
Prince Rupert became the focal point for national media as the Enbridge Northern Gateway Joint Review Panel setup at the North Coast Convention Centre for a series of 10 public hearing sessions over the course of four months. Representatives from the company and their legal counsel faced questions from elected officials, First Nations and environmental groups from across the Northwest as rallies against the project were held outside of the venue.
Sexually suggestive play criticized
Debate around what is and isn’t acceptable for high school students came to the forefront when the Prince Rupert School District was hit with a complaint that December’s performance of Legally Blonde: The Musical was sexually suggestive. The complaint came from parent Catharine Hague and was met with mixed reaction; some defended the play while others, including trustee Louisa Sanchez who said she was shocked by some of what she saw, agreed.
All Native Tournament wrap-up
The Skidegate Saints made it back-to-back Senior Division championships after coming through the back door to defeat the Kitkatla Warriors 69-63 in a back-and-forth game. The Haisla Braves captured the Intermediate title with a 70-67 win that literally came down to last few seconds. The ladies of Nanaimo defended their Women’s championship against the Metlakatla Crest with an exciting 63-61 victory. Old Massett took home the community’s first Masters title of the All Native Basketball Tournament, handily defeating Bella Bella 65-52. Those entering the Hall of Fame in 2013 included Billy Robinson of Prince Rupert, Rod Bolton and Bill Wilson of Kitamaat and the late Andy Peers Sr. of the Heiltsuk Nation.
Port responds to oil leak
An act of vandalism on a decommissioned electrical transformer on Prince Rupert Port Authority property on Feb. 22 triggered a joint effort to minimize damage from an oil leak into the harbour. The Port said less than 1,500 litres of mineral oil escaped, and no PCBs were leaked as a result.
Chamber hands out hardware
The Prince Rupert and District Chamber of Commerce handed out the Annual Business Excellence Awards on Feb. 23. This year’s Rookie Business of the Year award went to the Fresh Onion Cafe, the Child Friendly Business of the Year went to Cowpuccinos, the Metlakatla Wilderness Trail won this year’s Green Award, the Aboriginal Business of the Year Award went to PAC 10 Tutoring, Stuck On Designs were voted as the Small Business of the Year in Industry, Manufacturing and Transportation, Small Business of the Year in Hospitality, Tourism and Service was Cow Bay Cafe, Small Business of the Year in Retail was Eddie’s News, The Crest Hotel was named the winners of the Excellence in Customer Service Award, the Rupert Square Mall was named the Newsmaker of the Year, the Community Involvement Award was given to the Prince Rupert Rampage, chamber President Jason Scherr was named Chamber Member of the Year, the Prince Rupert Special Events Society was given the Volunteer Organization of the Year Award and Ridley Terminals Inc. was given the biggest award of the evening, the Business of the Year Award.