Rick Hansen (front right) at Pineridge Elementary to see the wheelchair accessible playground built with money from his charity as part of his visit to the community.

Rick Hansen (front right) at Pineridge Elementary to see the wheelchair accessible playground built with money from his charity as part of his visit to the community.

The year in review: March 2011

The Lax Kw’alaams Band filed court documents to be included in the court case involving Kitkatla and the City of Prince Rupert.

Lax Kw’alaams gets involved in Kitkatla’s case against the City

The Lax Kw’alaams Band filed court documents  to be included in the court case involving Kitkatla and the City of Prince Rupert related to the sale of Watson Island, and said Kitkatla should have included them from the start.

Aside from the question of Aboriginal title, Lax Kw’alaams said it wanted to be included given its interest in the future of the property as one of the groups looking to buy Watson Island, a group that also includes the Metlakatla Development Corporation and the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

Tsimshian sign deal with PRPA, government

The Federal Minister of Transport and Infrastructure, Chuck Strahl, came to Fairview Terminal in Prince Rupert on March 14 to announce a new agreement between the Federal Government, the Prince Rupert Port Authority and the Coast Tsimshian First Nations of Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams. The new agreement “guarantees participation” of the Tsimshian Nations in all aspects of port expansion at the Fairview terminal.

Port Edward goes to referendum on school

On March 21 residents of Port Edward presented Chief Administrative Officer Ron Bedard with a petition signed by enough people to initiate a referendum on the proposed borrowing of $2 million for the District to build a new school. The referendum was set for May 7, and was passed overwhelmingly.

Election triggered

The federal Conservative government fell on March 25 following a vote of non-confidence in the House of Commons, sparking an election set for May 2. Right out of the gate candidates for a number of parties were named, with incumbent NDP MP Nathan Cullen facing Terrace’s Clay Harmon of the Conservative Party, Smithers’ Roger Benham and Christian Heritage Party deputy leader Rod Taylor. The Liberal Party of Canada would later run Vancouver student Kyle Warwick and Canadian Action Party candidate Maggie Braun would join the others shortly.

Automated lighthouses halted

Plans by the Federal Government to remove the staff from lighthouses along the BC coast were put on hold in late March.

Federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea says the decision comes following the submission of a report by the Select Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans produced after hearings along the coast, which included a stop in Prince Rupert in November of 2010 that saw North Coast residents united in their opposition to automation.

Gathering Our Voices

Gathering Our Voices 2011 Aboriginal Youth Conference was held in Prince Rupert during the week of spring break. Over 1,000 Aboriginal youth from around BC and Canada attended the four-day conference.

The conference had many different events such as a dance, a talent show, an afternoon show display of traditional dancing and plenty of workshops.