Regional news: In Brief

A brief look at some of the news stories in Prince Rupert.

  • Sep. 16, 2016 1:00 p.m.

SD52 releases water quality test results

After high levels of lead were found in some schools in the region in March, School District 52 released its most recent findings from a follow up test on Aug. 31. Eleven school buildings and facilities were tested.

Three locations had higher than the allowable concentration of lead in the water, including a sink faucet at Prince Rupert Middle School, one at the Pacific Coast School and at the School Board office.

In response to the findings, SD52 stated in its report that the affected room at the middle school will be designated as a non-potable tap water source. The Pacific Coast School will get lead education filters and the faucet at the School Board office will be deemed a non-potable water source.

The district points out that all three buildings have safe drinking water supply for students and staff.

In partnership with Northern Health, the school district has spent more than $300,000 to ensure safe drinking water and lead mitigation. Half of that investment came from the Ministry of Education’s school enhancement program.

New laws for e-cigarettes

Starting this month, only adults aged 19-years and older can purchase e-cigarettes.

The Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Act was introduced in 2015 to stem the use of e-cigarettes by youths in the province. The province bases this on the statistic that one in five youths in Canada have tried an e-cigarette.

Retailers can only use advertisement for e-cigarettes if only a small number of customers will see it in an adult-only store.

The act also forbids e-cigarettes from being sold in public buildings, and are banned on public and private school grounds, indoor public spaces and workplaces, as well as vehicles if a child 16 or under is present.

NWCC sees increase in student numbers

Registration numbers for the fall 2016 term at the Northwest Community College (NWCC) are the highest they’ve been since 2011.

The NWCC has 12 per cent more students on campus this term. University transfer courses in programs such as nursing, social work and business have grown from 969 registrants this time last year to 1,139 this year. Students who have registered for college and career preparation courses have risen from 269 to 317. Students in continuing education programs have gone from 66 to 331 registration.

“Everyone at the college has worked extremely hard during this past year to help make this turnaround possible,” said Ken Burt, NWCC President and CEO. “This is a big step for our college and with continued hard work, I am confident we will continue to grow to meet the needs of more students.”