Grocery stores in Prince Rupert were sold out of bottled water by noon on Sunday, Dec. 16. Safeway put in an emergency order in for more water after Prince Rupert was issued a boil water advisory. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

Grocery stores in Prince Rupert were sold out of bottled water by noon on Sunday, Dec. 16. Safeway put in an emergency order in for more water after Prince Rupert was issued a boil water advisory. (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)

In Our Opinion: An island in need of water

Prince Rupert residents have been without water for nearly a month, where is the federal government?

What are your best qualities? Asks the interviewee.

Uncomfortable, the subject doesn’t know how to respond. How does one toot their own horn gracefully?

When a new reporter starts at the Northern View, we often ask them to write a column about themselves, and usually the response is: I don’t like writing about myself.

Which makes us all squirm when we think of how our municipal government is feeling right now.

A: There’s a boil water notice, and everyone is pissed off about it.

B: The city has very little money to pay for infrastructure projects, and the dam replacement project is expected to cost a whopping 2.5 times more than anticipated.

C: Elected municipal officials — mayor and city councillors — have to figure out how they’re going to pay themselves with taxpayer dollars.

As of 2019, the federal government stripped a long-standing tax exemption from locally elected officials, note school trustees are included in this.

READ MORE: Tax change triggers tricky debate on politicians’ pay

Mayor Lee Brain has suggested to have a standing committee made up of community members to look at how to make up for the difference but it admittedly looks awkward while the city is under fire due to aging and failing infrastructure, and the boil water notice.

It feels like we’re literally on an island, and while it’s easy to assign blame, let’s not point fingers at each other when the simple fact is we need help.

One of Justin Trudeau’s platform promises was to provide low-cost financing for new infrastructure projects making it more affordable for municipalities. The 2017 federal budget included $2 billion over the next decade specifically to rural and northern communities to “help grow local economies, build stronger, more inclusive communities, and help safeguard the environment and health of Canadians.”

It’s not that we’re invisible. Every single federal official who has visited this island has stressed the importance Prince Rupert as a vital gateway of Canadian trade.

Where are they now?

READ MORE: Impacts on businesses under ongoing boil water notice



Send Newsroom email.
Like the The Northern View on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

In Our Opinion

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

Just Posted

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

A Prince Rupert port expansion project received a $25 million investment from the provincial government, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced on Jan. 14. Seen here is Ridley Terminals Inc., a coal export terminal in Prince Rupert (Shannon Lough / The Northern View)
$25 million government investment in Prince Rupert port expansion project

Prince Rupert port expansion project expected to create more than 2,200 jobs

For the second time in less than a year, Air Canada announced on Jan. 13 it has suspended flights on the Prince Rupert-Vancouver route as of Jan 17. (Photo by: Jerold Leblanc)
Cessation of flights to YPR will affect the municipal economy and global trade, P.R. Mayor said

Chamber of Commerce said it will aggressively pursue the resumption of flights to Prince Rupert

Air Canada has suspended flights to Prince Rupert Regional Airport due to COVID-19 mitigation, the airline announced on Jan. 13. (Photo:THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
YPR is not immune to plummeted air travel demands – 25 jobs lost

Prince Rupert Regional Airport flight cancellation will levee significant hardship - Rick Leach

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada’s top doctor says to avoid non-essential travel as B.C. explores legal options

Premier John Horgan says he is seeking legal advice on whether it can limit interprovincial travel

Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the crowd during the march on Washington, D.C., in August of 1963. Courtesy photo
Government reinforces importance of anti-racism act on Black Shirt Day

B.C. Ministers say education “a powerful tool” in the fight for equity and equality

Most Read