McMillan announces closure
On July 5 JS McMillan Fisheries announced plans for the closure of its processing facility effective October 31. According to McMillan, the decision was one that came as a result of current market conditions and historical performance of the fishery.
“In the fishing industry you have up years and down years, but we have had an awful lot of down year, both in volume and in pricing. We’ve suffered pretty bad setbacks on salmon and herring….Those are the two most volatile products, but the groundfish that has always been our anchor is heavily dependent on the US market and the exchange rate has really squeezed us hard,” said JS McMillan General Manager Colin McMillan.
The reduction plant would remain operational while McMillan and other processors worked out an agreement to keep it running in Prince Rupert. A deal was not reached by the end of 2011.
Port Edward, school board reach lease agreement
A new school in Port Edward took one step closer to becoming reality in early July as Port Edward council and the Prince Rupert School District reached an agreement on a long-term lease for the new Port Edward Community School. Details on the long-term lease agreement, including the length of time and the amount, were not released as the discussions took place during an in-camera meeting of Port Edward council.
Realty numbers fall in first half of 2011
After a successful 2010, numbers from the Northern Real Estate Board showed the market slowing down in the first half of 2011. There were 56 properties worth $10.35 million sold in the first half of 2011 compared to 71 properties worth $13.2 million in the first half of 2010 – 15 fewer properties sold for $2.85 million
less. 50 of those properties were single family homes, down from 59 in the first half of 2010 with the average selling price being $193,534, down from $202,324 in 2010
City registers as Enbridge intervenor
After hearing from Marty Bowles on behalf of the Prince Rupert Environmental Society, Prince Rupert City Council agreed to apply to register as an intervenor for the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project’s Joint Review Panel process.
With its registration for the status, the council agreed to state that a clean marine environment is important to the City’s economy.
RCMP say detachment violates agreement
With the idea of a referendum to borrow for a new emergency services building still in the background, the City of Prince Rupert received notice that the RCMP building on McBride Street is no longer adequate. That notice was in the form of a copy of a letter from the commanding officer of the division, informing the province’s Attorney General that Prince Rupert’s 33-year-old RCMP building is in violation of the policing agreement the municipality has with the Provincial Government.
Foster Husoy passes away
In the words of fellow fisherman Paddy Greene, the passing of Foster Husoy on July 19, 2011 was the passing of a generation.
Husoy, 88, was a fisherman, city councillor and briefly the interim mayor. He volunteered on the boards of the Fishermen’s Co-operative Association, the Deep Sea Fisherman’s Guild, the Pacific Trollers Association, the Vessel Owners Association, and was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion who served in the Navy for three years.
He also worked as a relief pilot on the pilot boats and the Digby Island Ferry.
Federal US body asked to investigate Fairview
American concerns about container shipments through Fairview Terminal reached a new height in late July, as Federal Maritime Commission Chair Richard Lidinsky confirmed that congressmen from the west coast had asked him to investigate Prince Rupert to determine if it puts US ports at an unfair disadvantage.
At the heart of the concerns were the drop in traffic through the US and a per TEU Harbour Maintenance Tax ships importing through the US have to pay that isn’t in place in Canada.
Access to Ridley shut down
On July 29 the Prince Rupert Port Authority announced that public access to Ridley Island would be restricted starting Tuesday, August 2, as crews and heavy machinery begin preparations for the planned expansion of Ridley Terminals.