Christmas in July on the North Coast

Transportation Minister Todd Stone made his rounds throughout the Northwest last week - perhaps this is the meaning of Christmas in July.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone made his rounds throughout the Northwest last week, and perhaps this is the meaning of Christmas in July.

Like Jolly Ol’ Saint Nicholas, Stone made his way from community to community and pulled a major funding announcement (in conjunction with the federal government) out of his bag to leave below the proverbial tree.

For the City of Prince Rupert, it was $4.4 million for desperately needed improvements to the aging water system.

For Port Edward it was $2 million for Wampler Way, a bypass road that forms a critical component of that community’s plans for growth and the catalyst for millions of dollars more in development.

For Lax Kw’alaams, $400,000 per year for additional sailings to Prince Rupert, a commitment for engineering to pave Tuck Road and an indeterminate cheque for the refurbishment of the Spirit of Lax Kw’alaams. Those three combined will do a lot to better connect the people and economy of Prince Rupert with that of Lax Kw’alaams.

And for the Average Joe resident, the two governments committed $37 million to eliminate the level rail crossing on Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Port Edward. Granted that work won’t start for another two years (as outlined on Page 18), but that is something that has been wanted in the Northwest for a long time.

While there is certainly a saying about looking a gift horse in the mouth, one would have to be blind not to realize the announcements come the same week as Prime Minister Stephen Harper was rumoured to be looking at an election and fresh on the heels of the passing of a project development agreement that would bring billions of dollars in investment to the region and, oh yeah, was opposed by the NDP.

Coincidence? I think not.

Regardless of the backdrop and not-so-subtle political statement of the funding, one cannot argue that these investments are going to go a long way to preparing the region for a potential LNG boom.

Just Posted

Broken axle caused New Hazelton train derailment: TSB

It could happen again without a different way to inspect trains

Cullen remains uncertain about political future

Says he’ll make decision in early March

Crews begin Highway 16 upgrades

The province promised updated lighting and signalling late last year

Terrace resident’s bill banning single-use plastics introduced in Ottawa

MP Nathan Cullen’s presented Ben Korving’s private member’s bill Wednesday

Ice skating on the North Coast, a rare treat

Seawolves hockey players bring their gear to Oliver Lake this week to play on the outdoor rink

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

BC SPCA investigates Okanagan woman with prior animal abuse convictions

BC SPCA is investigating a property near Vernon

Most Read