Rupertites brainstorm policy ideas to improve local economy

Only online.

Only online.

The MLA’s for the North Coast, Skeena and Stikine ridings held a public meeting in Prince Rupert last Wednesday to brainstorm new policy ideas for the provincial government. The meeting was called non-partisan, although all three MLA’s, Gary Coons, Robin Austin and Doug Donaldson, are all NDP members.


“I see it as two-pronged. This was non-partisan; this was about bringing people together. We’re looking at the issues, concerns and ideas that we need to push forward with the current government and with the future government, whoever that may be,” says Gary Coons.


Prince Rupert was one of a few meeting held in communities across Northern B.C. It was also one of the most attended; attracting a small crowd of over 30 people, compared to the four people that attended in Terrace.


Participants were split up into small groups to come up with policy ideas that would address three different goals: encouraging investment in local economies, supporting community-based enterprises, and creating economic activity that will improve quality of life and ecological conditions.


All the ideas had to be more than just abstract goals; they had to be practical policy ideas that fell into the jurisdiction of the provincial government. Which basically meant that ideas could not involve the ocean.


After each group came up with ideas for each of the categories, new groups were formed to pick out the best ones in each. After two hours of discussions, Prince Rupert residents came up with five policy ideas to help improve the city.


To encourage investment in local economies, residents suggested that the provincial government give out grants to start-up businesses and tax incentives to companies and organizations that helped start-ups get off the ground. Another suggestion was that the government should have a list of places suitable for new value-added manufacturing projects; this would help broaden the horizons of corporations beyond the lower mainland. The last suggestion was that northern residents and businesses should get an allowance for ferry travel.


To help support community based enterprises, it was suggested that there should be tax incentives or a subsidy for people who pay to have their recycling picked up. It was also suggested that B.C. Hydro should encourage, and buy electricity from, small community-run green energy projects.


To improve quality of life in the city, residents said the province should build a local rehab centre with services going beyond drug and alcohol addiction; this would make such services more accessible to those who need them. Residents also said that the local recycling program should be expanded to include the recycling of building materials from torn down buildings, instead of simply trucking it off to the dump. The last suggestion was to create more youth counseling programs to help local young people deal with the many problems that can be found in the community.






Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Staff at Acropolis Manor, a Prince Rupert long-term health care facility in April 2020 where no cases of COVID-19 were reported until an outbreak on Jan. 19, 2021. As of Jan. 25th, 32 people associated with the residence have tested positive for the virus. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Staff at Acropolis Manor a Prince Rupert long term health care facility, take pride in their work place that no COVID-19 cases have been reported in the facility during the pandemic.This photo taken, April 20, from outside, looking through a window shows staff adhering to strict protocols and best practices to keep residents happy and healthy. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
COVID-19 numbers increase at Acropolis Manor – 32 infected

Prince Rupert man concerned about temp. staff from out of region working at long-term care facility

Ken Veldman vice president, public affairs and sustainability, at Prince Port Port Authority on Jan. 21 addressed local employers in an online presentation about a new community recruitment program to attract employees to Prince Rupert. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
New recruitment campaign to be launched in Prince Rupert

Web platform will use community collaboration to attract new employees to Prince Rupert

People skate on a lake in a city park in Montreal, Sunday, January 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
The end of hugs: How COVID-19 has changed daily life a year after Canada’s 1st case

Today marks the one year anniversary of COVID-19 landing in Canada

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Employers might be able to require COVID-19 vaccination from employees: B.C. lawyer

‘An employer must make the case’ using expert science, explains lawyer David Mardiros

Dr. Penny Ballem, a former deputy health minister, discusses her role in leading B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccination program, at the B.C. legislature, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. holds steady with 407 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday

14 deaths, no new outbreaks in the health care system

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens during a postelection news conference in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
30% of B.C. recovery benefit applications held up in manual review

The province says 150 staff have been reassigned to help with manually reviewing applications

Adam Dergazarian, bottom center, pays his respect for Kobe Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, in front of a mural painted by artist Louie Sloe Palsino, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Kobe Bryant’s presence remains strong a year after his death

Tuesday marks the grim anniversary of the crash that took their lives

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
The Brucejack mine is 65 km north of Stewart in northwestern B.C. (Pretivm Photo)
B.C. mine executives see bright gleam in post-COVID future

Low carbon drives demand for copper, steelmaking coal

In this Dec. 18, 2020 photo, pipes to be used for the Keystone XL pipeline are stored in a field near Dorchester, Neb.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Chris Machian /Omaha World-Herald via AP
Canadians divided over Keystone pipeline, despite U.S. president’s permit pullback

Two-thirds of Canadians think Biden’s decision was a “bad thing” for Alberta

A woman wearing a protective face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 walks past a mural in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
5 big lessons experts say Canada should learn from COVID-19

‘What should be done to reduce the harms the next time a virus arises?’ Disease control experts answer

A Vancouver Police Department patch is seen on an officer’s uniform as she makes a phone call. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver man calls 911 to report his own stabbing, leading to arrest: police

Officers located the suspect a few blocks away. He was holding a bloody knife.

Vernon has agreed to a goose cull to control the over-populated invasive species making a muck of area parks and beaches. (Morning Star file photo)
Okanagan city pulls the trigger on goose cull

City asking neighbours to also help control over-population of geese

Most Read