CUPE resolves budget dilemma
The issue of a budget shortfall facing the City of Prince Rupert was resolved following an in-camera meeting with members of council and the Canadian Union of Public Employees. The union brought forward ideas to save the city $150,000 in operation expenses, though what those are remained unknown. Those savings were coupled with a 1.5 per cent tax increase and drawing down the surplus by approximately $523,000. The meeting with the union came just days after a public forum to address the shortfall this year and the expected shortfall in the years ahead.
Quadding accident claims life
A 30-year old Prince Rupert man lost his life as a result of a quadding accident on the forest service road at Exstew. The man was camping with friends when his quad flipped while trying to cross a washed out portion of the road. Due to the suction created by a submerged culvert, the man was swept over Exstew falls after being freed.
Rice heads to Victoria
Jennifer Rice was the winner of the May 15 provincial election on the North Coast, handily defeating challengers Judy Fraser of the BC Liberals and Hondo Arendt of the BC Green Party. Rice captured 4,341 votes, which was good enough for 55 per cent of the popular vote. Judy Fraser’s 2,540 votes was good for 33.12 per cent of the popular vote and Hondo Arendt finished with just over 10 per cent of the popular vote and 787 votes total.
While many had expected the NDP to form government following the election, the BC Liberals were elected to another majority. The Liberals won 49 seats, the NDP won 34 seats, there was one independent MLA elected and the first-ever Green Party MLA was elected.
Fishermen raise red flag over regulations
Fishermen on the North Coast were calling foul on the Department of Fisheries and Oceans after new regulations were put into place that would required fishermen to purchase a $300 log book and pay for an on-board monitor during the fishery. Joy Thorkelson of the United Fishermen and Allied Worker’s Union expected the new rules to cost fishermen 13 per cent of their pre-tax income.
RTI accused of dumping coal
Allegations of coal dumping by Ridley Terminals came to light in mid-May, as on-site witnesses told of coal being pushed off the dock into the harbour, machinery dumping excess coal into the harbour, coal falling off the belts into the harbour and a lack of drainage ditches allowing coal-laden water to enter the harbour. RTI denied the allegations, outlining steps the company takes to protect the environment. Both Environment Canada and the Prince Rupert Port Authority launched an investigation of the allegations.