Council tables bylaw altering fire response
A bylaw that could have a dramatic impact on fire response in Prince Rupert was tabled to a workshop on Feb. 11 at the city’s regular council meeting.
At that meeting, council received a recommendation that it give first, second and third reading to the Fire Control and Protection Amendment Bylaw No. 3434, 2019.
If enacted, this amendment would change the level of service currently provided by the Prince Rupert Fire Department to exterior service operations only, allowing a firefighter to only extinguish a burning building from the outside and not enter.
Councillor Barry Cunningham suggested that the issue be tabled to a workshop where it could be discussed and understood properly before council made any final decisions.
“I’ve done a little bit of research on it, and I’m not 100 per cent happy with the answers I’ve gotten so far,” he said. “I’d like a bit more information on it before I make a decision.”
Council voted unanimously to table the recommendation.
Approximately 13 firefighters were in attendance at the council meeting.
Council approves cannabis business
The City of Prince Rupert gave final approval to an application for a cannabis retail licence on Feb. 11 and will forward it to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB).
The High Culture Shop Inc. has been in the process of obtaining a licence for the past several months. The LCRB cannot grant a cannabis retail licence without the positive recommendation from the municipality where the business wants to open.
This process included applying for a municipal business licence, making sure the proposed store location falls within the designated retail cannabis zone in Prince Rupert and serving notice to affected residents through the Northern View newspaper.
Hans Seidemann, the city’s manager of community development, made a report to council stating that the owners of High Culture Shop Inc. had met all of the requirements and paid the appropriate fees laid out by the city to obtain a business licence.
The store’s proposed location is in the Five Corners intersection at 1100 Park Avenue.
City council held a public hearing on the proposed store at a meeting on Dec. 10, and administration has since gathered correspondence from the community on the topic.
There have been two public objections to the application and ten letters of support, according to the agenda for this evening’s meeting.
Council voted unanimously to approve the application and will forward a positive recommendation to the LCRB for final approval of a cannabis licence for High Culture Shop Inc.
The LCRB will conduct and complete its own process before the licence is given.
Possible rate changes to BC Transit
Council voted to maintain its transfer structure for individuals travelling to Prince Rupert from Port Edward by bus.
The issue came to council after the District of Port Edward voted to increase its rates for passengers travelling on Route #60 between Port Edward and Prince Rupert at its Jan. 23 council meeting.
Bob Payette, the district administrator, said the purpose of the rate increase is to “recover a bit more revenue for the overall cost of the bus.”
To date, passengers travelling from Port Edward to Prince Rupert have been able to transfer their tickets or passes between the two municipalities at no extra cost.
With the Port Edward increase, Prince Rupert had the option of either maintaining that transfer system, or eliminating it and charging passengers an additional fare when they cross over into Prince Rupert.
After being presented with their options, council ultimately decided that charging passengers extra when entering Prince Rupert would cause more complication for bus passengers without a substantial increase to the city’s revenue.
Council voted unanimously to maintain the current transfer system, but will track how much revenue is being generated by the route.
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Matthew Allen | Reporter
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