Port reveals 2020 Land Use Plan
On June 1 the Prince Rupert Port Authority released its draft 2020 Land Use Management Plan, and it is a document that outlines some significant opportunities for growth in the waters around Prince Rupert.
Among the ideas discussed in the 43-page draft document is the expansion of the Ridley Industrial Site and the possibility of expanding beyond the current Ridley Island area to outlying islands. Other plans for Ridley Island include “large bulk commodity terminals to the central and wester area” and “more intensive and smaller industrial enterprises” at the eastern edge. Among the considerations, in addition to a rail loop and storage line around the island, are marinas, a logistic park on the edge of Kaien Island, automobile transfer and storage, additional bulk terminals, pipe yards and short sea shipping. Closer to Prince Rupert, the Port Authority is looking at options to redevelop old facilities, like a bulk facility at the old Westview dock, increasing the number of anchorages for waiting freighters to eight, and long term potential for marina and ship facilities at the Lightering Dock.
Queen Charlotte Hospital causes concern
The dilapidated condition of the hospital in the Village of Queen Charlotte became the subject of debate in the provincial Legislature after local MLA Gary Coons and NDP health critic Mike Farnsworth brought up facility’s problems during question period in early June. At the hospital cancer-fighting drugs used in chemotherapy are being mixed in a retrofitted smokehouse because the hospital’s pharmacy doesn’t have proper ventilation. The morgue had to be condemned because of its floor, and now families have to view their dead in make-shift morgue inside an Atco trailer. The mental health and addiction facility is located five blocks away.
Paint Prince Rupert takes off
A program aimed at beautifying Prince Rupert proved to be a resounding success as volunteers came out during the summer to paint Prince Rupert. The idea of Cow Bay Gift Galley owner Glen Saunders, the program saw residents come out to paint buildings around town – the paint was provided and all that the business owner needed to do was to agree to have the building painted.
Among the buildings painted were Tinker Realty, the Moose Lodge, Fairview Restaurant, MacLean and Rudderham’s and many more.
Coal cloud causes concern in Port Edward
At their June 14 meeting the District of Port Edward took Ridley Terminals to task over a massive coal-dust cloud on June 6 that obscured the clear sky and dirtied people’s patio furniture and decks.
“I had three residents call me and another 22 talked to me about it. It really concerns me…Ridley Terminals has a responsibility to control the dust on their site just as residents have the right to clean air and the enjoyment of their property. This has to stop,” said councillor Knut Bjorndal.
In response to concerns about what the expansion to double capacity would mean for coal clouds, Ridley Terminals later responded that the new technology going into the terminal, coupled with increased sprayers, would help eliminate the problem.
Postal workers, unions rally to protest legislation
Postal service returned to Prince Rupert in late June after the Harper government tables and passed back to work legislation. That news was met with fierce opposition on the North Coast, with a rally being held in Prince Rupert on June 24 that included North Coast MLA Gary Coons and representatives from various unions.
At the rally there was plenty of anxiety over what kind of precedent the Federal Government was setting by using legislation so soon after the work stoppage began. Some at the rally predicted that the Federal Gover-nment is trying to create a chilling effect on pay increases for other public employees.
Early fishery closure a real blow to Masset
The commercial troll Chinook fishery off the Coast of Haida Gwaii was closed on June 22 after it was found that 661 of the 66,000 Chinook were from the West Coast Vancouver Island stock, above the three per cent limit.
“It’s been pretty severe because we’ve only had a week and a half of work,” CB Island Fisheries General Manager Alan Frick said.