Friday, October 31, 2014

LNG seminar set to chart course to Prince Rupert in November

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While the time lines for development may be flexible and the proponents looking to be prudent, the province is still pushing forward with its plans to prepare the province for an LNG future.

Towards that theme, the BC government is hosting seven interactive community seminars across the province, with the Northwest set to host two of them in November.

On November 9 and 10, the caravan will pull into Terrace, with Prince Rupert the destination for November 18 and 19.

The Terrace sessions will take pace at the Best Western Terrace Inn and when the project travels the extra  ninety minutes down highway 16, it will set up shop at the North Coast Convention Centre, part of the Chances complex on 1st Avenue West.

Those that attend the two day event, will have an opportunity to learn some basic facts about natural gas development and take part in a range of activities.

Representatives from Science World are participating in the tour, offering seminars and presentations on the fundamentals of energy science.

Young adults in attendance will be able to explore more on LNG with the government and industry representatives on hand, as well as to take part in an interactive event called Find Your Fit.

That portion of the two day event will allow students from Grade 6 to 10 to get hands on experience with the skills required for the types of jobs that could be available across the province, should the LNG ambitions take off.

Some reviews of the first stop on the seven city tour, which just wrapped in Prince George can be found below:

Prince George Citizen-- LNG showcased at Civic Centre
Prince George Free Press-- Hands-on experience with LNG
Prince George 250-- PG hosts LNG seminar
CKPG TV-- LNG Tour visits Prince George (video)

You can learn more about what's in store for the Prince Rupert and Terrace stops from this item on the BC Government website. Information specific to the Energy Seminars can be accessed here.

For a review of other General LNG items see our overview page here, for projects proposed for the North Coast see our listings of proposed projects here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Gurvinder Randhawa highlights jobs and training as part of his Council campaign

Hey came within 200 votes of claiming a seat in last years Council by-election and this year, Gurvinder Randhawa is no doubt hoping to push those vote levels just a bit higher as he seeks a spot on the Council of Six at City Hall.

Mr. Randhawa finished second to Barry Cunningham in that by-election, collecting close to 32 percent of the vote one year ago, with some lessons taken from that effort, he once again is on the campaign trail and delivering many of the same messages that he had to share in 2013.

His campaign is stressing a number of themes, including the need to ensure that the population of the North Coast is prepared for any jobs that new industry will bring and that training opportunities are available locally.

He also outlines the need for the building of mutually beneficial relationships with both the  First Nations of the region, as well as other neighbouring communities.

Infrastructure concerns and the need for repair to them also features high on his list of things to accomplish at City Council, as does the need to provide for new policies that will attract new opportunities and encourage existing business to grow and prosper.

One year ago, he impressed a good portion of those that took the time to vote, his next opportunity to firm up that support and build up more comes on Tuesday at the All Candidates Forum taking place at the Lester Centre.

Then, in two weeks, Gurvinder Randhawa will see if his latest bid for municipal office has resonated with the voters and if their response takes him to City Hall.

For more items on this years Municipal Election campaign see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Now here's a method to help get out the vote!

At last week's Prince Rupert City Council session, Councillor Anna Ashley closed off the meeting with a few observations on the upcoming election and how there is a need to help get the vote out in the community.

It's a theme she has brought to Council before, particularly in the recent weeks as the municipal campaign moved into a more active phase.

The Councillor was quite correct to highlight the nature of past elections, where the turnout has not been in large numbers, something surprising considering that of all the levels of government, the municipal scene provides for the closest interaction between voters/residents and those that they elect.

The 2011 Municipal election had but a 35 per cent participation rate, with only 3,184 of the 9,024 elgible voters making the trip down to the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre.

Last year's by-election to fill the seat of former Councillor Jennifer Rice had a participation rate of only 26.4 per cent, as only 2,376 voters cast a ballot of the 9,015 on the election roll.

Considering the growing number of issues that Prince Rupert has faced in just the last decade, one would have thought that residents would have delivered a far more engaged participation rate.

Like those elections of recent years, this one as well makes for an important point for how the City will be governed for the next four years, (the additional term of office was added this year).

As we outlined yesterday, the City has offered up a number of advance polling opportunities for residents to take advantage of, something that those who know they won't be in town on election day should take advantage of.

Other communities in the Northwest are taking some interesting initiatives to try and help to get out the vote.

In Kitimat, the District has announced that the entire Kitimat Transit system will be Free on November 15th.

While in Terrace, officials there have outlined that they will be providing a shuttle bus between between the Skeena Mall and the voting location at the Terrace Sportsplex.

Now perhaps, those plans won't result in huge increases to the usual levels, but they do show how those communities are making efforts to engage their populations with the process, in this case trying to find a way to at least get voters to the door of the voting station.

The transit options being used in Terrace and Kitimat, might just be one that Prince Rupert might wish to "borrow" from their neighbours for the 15th of November.

For more items related to the 2014 Municipal election see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Pacific NorthWest LNG to use monitoring equipment to learn more on marine and weather on the North Coast

While the larger issues of LNG development on the North Coast will play out in discussions between the Provincial Government and the parent company Petronas  in mid November (see our item of yesterday).

On the local front, Pacific NorthWest LNG continues on with its preliminary work on the project.

The most recent addition to their technical look at the Lelu Island site comes with word of the installation of an enhancement to their monitoring equipment positioned in Prince Rupert Harbour.

On Tuesday Pacific NorthWest LNG outlined the scope of the monitoring program which is designed to collect a wide range of weather data, such things as wind speed and direction, air temperature and air pressure and such.

Captain Davie Kyle, Pacific NorthWest's Head of Marine Services reviewed the project through this media release, providing some background as to what use the company will have for the data collected.

“This data is helping Pacific NorthWest LNG learn more about the complex marine and weather environment on the north coast. We are making use of the information to assist in the design of our marine terminal and to determine operating procedures for LNG carriers that would be calling on the facility. It only makes sense to share this information with the wider marine community”

Pacific NorthWest is sharing its data with all mariners in the region, as well as the Prince Rupert Port Authority as part of an ongoing project to help enhance marine safety.

You can review more of our items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Pamphlets will be the path to the voters door for Ray Pedersen

A relative newcomer to the city and the political scene in Prince Rupert has been handling the introductions with a pamphlet campaign over the last few weeks, with Ray Pedersen providing some background on himself and his positions for this years City Council race.

The pamphlet offering, which closely mirrors much of what is available on the candidates website provides a Biography section, a review of his platform and a wide ranging essay of sorts on what his impression is of the city and how he would like to be a part of the transformation in the region.

Through his household mailer, he touches on the need for leadership and vision with an eye towards developing Prince Rupert as the "next great Port City"

Among some of his platform offerings are concepts related to development of the port related economy, and the need to seek ways to increase the number of men and women in the community to get access to high paying jobs.

As well, he would like the City to embrace what he calls the "triple bottom line" those being social, economic and environmental stewardship, a process which he suggests will lead to balanced development a high level of civic service and affordable housing.

Like many of the other candidates for Council, Pedersen as well is calling for better cooperation among all members of the community, along with the area's First Nations and New Canadians who have chose to make the region their home.

One item that may generate a bit of interest among the public are his thoughts on renewable energy, Pedersen has offered up the creation of a Renewable Energy fund to address the need of a green economy. Towards that goal he offers up the prospect of a fossil due tax to create the Green Energy Venture Fund, which would be invested into green energy innovation and projects on the north coast.

That final note might take a bit of selling to the residents of the region, the next opportunity to share that vision with Prince Rupert will come up on Tuesday night at the all candidates forum at the Lester Centre.

More on Mr. Pedersen's campaign can be found from his website offerings, for those that haven't seen the pamphlet in their mail box yet, click on the items below and you can get a quick glance at some of his talking points for the campaign.

Ray Pedersen pamphlet 1
Ray Pedersen pamphlet 2

For more information on the 2014 Municipal Election campaign see our Archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Nisga'a reach agreement on gas pipeline and keep their own LNG ambitions on track

An agreement between the Nisga'a Lisims Government and Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Limited, will provide a route of transit for gas from Hudson Hope in Northeastern BC, to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG Terminal project at Lelu Island.

The two groups announced the terms of their arrangement on Wednesday, with the provincial government hailing the moment as another step for the Nisga'a Lisims government and people to become more involved in the province's developing LNG industry.

A full review of that arrangement can be found from the Nisga'a Lisims Government website .

Further information related to Wednesday's agreement can also be reviewed from the Government of British Columbia website.

As part of the agreement, the executive of the Nisga'a Lisims Government passed a resolution on the rights of way for a portion of the project through Nisga'a Lands,  as well as an endorsement of a amendment to the Lava Bed Park boundary that would allow the pipeline to travel along a 12 kilometre corridor through the Park generally adjacent to the Nisga'a Highway corridor.  In total, the pipeline will transit 85 kilometres of land in Nisga'a territory.

Map of the proposed pipeline through Nisga'a land
(photo from Nisga'a Lisims website)

An overview of the progress of the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission Project can be found here.

While the arrangement will in the short term provide for a path to Prince Rupert for the pipeline company and Pacific NorthWest LNG, for the Nisga'a it also sets in place infrastructure for any future LNG development on Nisga'a land.

A key portion of the agreement specifies how the Nisga'a Nation has the option to secure PRGT expansion capacity, for use by an LNG developer who would locate an LNG facility at a site on or near Nisga'a lands.

As we outlined earlier this year, the Nisga'a have also been showing interest in entering the process of LNG terminal development, having outlined some of the available locations on Nisga'a land through their website.

You can review some of those plans from our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mayor Mussallem warns of inexperience of rivals as campaign heads into November

Mayor Jack Mussallem once again took to the pages of the weekly newspaper on Wednesday, continuing on with his theme of experience and the risks of changing the city's leadership when election day arrives on November 15th.

Mr. Mussallem reminded those browsing through the ads of the paper, that no other Mayoralty Candidate has held the Mayor's office and stressed, though not by name, that one candidate in particular has "never been elected to council".

And while it seems obvious that one target of the ad was relative newcomer to local politics Lee Brain, the sideswipe at the delay in the learning curve seems to be focused on both Sheila Gordon-Payne and Tony Briglio.

Regardless, we imagine that when Tuesday's City Council Forum at the Lester Centre comes around, all three will be quick to address that particular theme of the Mayor's approach to the campaign. Most likely to perhaps review their own resumes and to remind him that they haven't exactly just fallen off the pumpkin truck.

On the theme of not having experience at the top job of local elected office, the Mayor asked the voters to consider one thing, "Can our City at this time withstand the delay while one of them learns?"

Another point that Mayor Mussallem stressed in his ad was the need to "Protect our City With Good Government and Proven Leadership." In addition, he highlights his knowledge, experience and solid performance as Mayor as his major push for the voters.

The latest in a series of ads for
Mayor Jack Mussallem

For those looking for the Cole's Notes on that experience, Mr. Muassallem has served as Mayor of Prince Rupert from 1996-1999 and again from 2009-13, and features a resume of work in local government for close to three decades.

A helpful review of his work and that of the current council can be found on our City Council archive page.

The Mayor wrapped up his print presentation with a call for the voters to re-elect him advising as to how "he has the knowledge and experience which makes him the most capable candidate".

With three challengers currently staking out their positions on a variety to topics so far, it would seem that the Mayors positioning points may be put to the test as we head into the final few weeks of the campaign.

You can review some of his previous discussion points as delivered through his advertising campaign from our item of September 4th.

For more items on the 2014 Municipal Election campaign see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Councillors Cunningham and Thorkelson to host Open House on November 1st

Two of the incumbent candidates for the November 15th City Council election will be hosting an Open House this weekend at Fisherman's Hall, the long time meeting place for the labour movement in the community.

The Hall, located on Fraser Street across from Overwaitea, is a logical place for Councillor Joy Thorkelson and Councillor Barry Cunningham to hold their public gathering, as they are perhaps  the two who most represent the views of  labour on the current City Council.

Saturday both councillors will be in attendance at the Hall, welcoming supporters and interested Rupertites from 2 until 4 for their meet and greet.

Councillor Barry Cunnigham at
a recent Council session
The afternoon will provide an opportunity for voters to learn more about some of their positions from this most recent Council session, as well as to learn more about what direction they would like to see the city move towards in the future.

While Councillor Cunningham will only have one year of time on Council to draw on, Councillor Thorkelson has been a fixture on City Council for a number of years now.

She is currently seeking her fourth term of office, her previous three terms no doubt having provided her with a range of topics to share with the curious this Saturday.

Councillor Joy Thorkelson at
a recent City Council session
In this last year of council work, both Councillors have been in sync on a number of discussion points, the majority of them related to issues related to the Port, Pinnacle Pellet and waterfront concerns, as well as Housing and Social concerns to name a few.

For their Saturday Open House they are looking to hear from the voters, seeking feedback on their work at City Hall in this term, as well as to receive ideas as to what local residents are looking from their Council for the years ahead.

For more background on their work during this current City Council session see our archive page here.

We have more items related to this year's City Council session available on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

November 11th set as date for Petronas and Provincial Government to meet on Pacific NorthWest LNG

With yesterday's announcement of delays into the next decade for the BG Group's Prince Rupert LNG project, all of those watching developments on the LNG files of the Northwest now turn their attention to the Pacific Northwest LNG proposal and a November 11th meeting in Malaysia.

That is the date that has been set up for the next set of discussions between officials from the British Columbia Government and Petronas executives, with the Rakyat Post, a Malaysian newspaper speculating as to whether that date is a deadline for the project.

Yesterday's developments regarding BG would seem to have caught the attention of the Malaysian press, which provided a review of the decision from the British energy giant to slow down its development plans.

Malaysians have been following the progress of the Petronas plans through their media, most recently to make note of the ongoing Environmental process of the project, highlighting the focus of how the Lelu Island Terminal proposal may be derailed over protection of wild salmon.

For it's part the Province continues to express confidence on their LNG plans, observing that they believe the November 11th meeting is a positive step.

Minister Rich Coleman at the
Opening of the PacificNorthwest
LNG offices in  December 2013
Speaking yesterday, as part of his reaction to the BG Gas decision, Rich Coleman the province's Minister of Natural Gas Development touched on the Pacific NorthWest LNG proposal.

Going so far a to suggest "that we wouldn't be asked to go to Malaysia to sit down with the board and the CEO on a one-to-one basis if we weren't getting somewhere in our project development agreements, which we are."

The November 11th meeting would appear to be an extension of the previous deadline of October 31st which was issued by Petronas on October 6th.

In late September the Malaysian energy company put a cloud over the UBCM gathering in Whistler when it expressed concerns over issues related to taxation and environmental timelines for the project.  Suggesting at the time that there was a possibility that they could delay their project for up to fifteen years.

The BC Government will get the update on that dire warning next month, and there will be no greater interested observers awaiting the news than those living on the North Coast, whether they are pro-LNG development or against LNG development.

You can review our past items related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

When "prudent" becomes "pause": BG announces pause for Prince Rupert project

The rumblings of a shift in time lines for LNG development of Tuesday became the thing of possible delays of up to ten years by Wednesday, as the BG Group delivered a bit of a setback for the region's LNG aspirations.

As we outlined in our item of yesterday,  the BG Group released its third quarter report on Tuesday, with some significant financial declines to report and with it a cautionary outlook for it's Canadian plans.

By Wednesday morning, a wide collection of Financial news services were reporting that the British based energy giant was look to put it's Prince Rupert LNG project on pause, while they assess how the conditions in the LNG market evolve towards 2020.

A transcript of a conference call regarding BG's third quarter results and prospects world wide outlined the current view on Prince Rupert, with Interim Chairman of BG Andrew Gould advising that the company isn't abandoning Prince Rupert, but at this point pausing on Prince Rupert.

On Price Rupert, as I’m sure you’ve seen that estimated volumes of LNG from the US have been calculated closer to 90 million tonnes per annum as opposed to the 60 million that was previously forecast. So as a result of this, coupled with weakness in gas pricing generally, there is a risk that the market be very well supplied post 2020. 

And all we’re doing at this point in time is pausing on Prince Rupert, we’re not abandoning Prince Rupert, we’re pausing on Prince Rupert to see how the market evolves particularly in function of total supply that will come out of the US. We will continue to work on the project but not at the same rhythm as perhaps we were working in 2014. -- Interim BG Chairman Andrew Gould on the company overview of Prince Rupert LNG and their plans to pause development.

You can review the full transcript of that conference call here, it provides a fair bit of insight as to the nature of the business decisions that BG make and what factors they take into account as they review their world wide LNG ambitions.

The Prince Rupert LNG project is one of eight LNG terminal developments proposed for the immediate Prince Rupert area, you can review our items on all of those here.

As well, you can access our past items related to the BG project for Prince Rupert here.

As for the news of the Prince Rupert decision, reviews of the news of the pause of the LNG plans for British Columbia is making for a growing archive of articles.

Most of which suggest that a delay into the next decade may be in the LNG cards for the BG Project. You can review those articles below, we'll update the list as further items become available.

Sheila Gordon-Payne to focus on LNG opportunities as part of her campaign

Photo from Sheila Gordon-Payne website
While the news cycle of late hasn't been delivering any great movements forward on the LNG file, one Council candidate is looking to make it a high profile topic as we move into the final few weeks of the Municipal Election campaign.

Yesterday, Sheila Gordon-Payne's campaign provided some of that new focus through her website, with LNG becoming a key part of her message for November 15th.

Listed as one of her Primary Platform reviews:

Sheila’s objective as Mayor of Prince Rupert is to take advantage of the opportunity that LNG and other new industries present, to rebuild our economy, and improve the quality of life in our community. 

 The establishment of the Fairview Container Terminal and Pinnacle Pellet added hundreds of permanent jobs. These terminals and the businesses that support them signify growth; however, this growth has not kept pace with the loss of jobs in our fishing and forestry sectors. It has not replaced the lost revenue to the city from the closed fish plants and pulp mill. 

Our retail and service sector have not returned to the levels of fifteen years ago. Taxes for small business and residents have risen with no improvement in services or quality of life. We can no longer afford to be complacent. We need be seen as interested in rebuilding the industrial sector of our economy. 

We must make the LNG opportunity work for us starting now. For the city, even one LNG facility will provide hundreds of permanent well-paying jobs for our families, bring new tax dollars for improved services, attract people to the community, and create opportunities for small business growth.

You can review further background on the candidates position from the platform page of her website.

Her statement towards the proposed LNG opportunities for the region, came on the same day as the BG Group outlined how it was looking towards a prudent approach for its Prince Rupert LNG project.

Today, a number of Financial news services have reported that the Prince Rupert LNG project may be delayed by at least a decade.

For Ms. Gordon-Payne and the other challengers to Mayor Jack Mussallem, that cautionary note and the recent developments for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project offer up a real time lesson in the pace and shifting sand which makes up the LNG development path.

It also poses a pretty important question for those seeking a seat, whether in the Mayoralty or on Council as to what kind of Plan B they might have in mind in the LNG aspirations continue to shift on the North Coast.

While there is not much that a local council can do about larger international issues related to the prospects of the proposed plants, how the local issues are introduced and examined in the campaign could give us a glimpse into what the candidates may think when it comes to the ongoing dialogue required between the City and industry proponents.

You can review more items related to the 2014 Prince Rupert Civic Election from our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

BG Group to approach Prince Rupert LNG project on a prudent basis

Depending on how one parses the word prudent, an announcement from today by the BG Group could offer up a variety of outcomes for the Prince Rupert LNG project, proposed for Ridley Island,

As part of their third quarter financial statement for the end of October, BG outlined the state of its world wide reach on Tuesday, highlighting the future for their Canadian plans with this short observation.

Canada BG Group continues to investigate the best way to advance the Prince Rupert LNG project. However, given current uncertainty about the size and number of North American projects, BG Group is taking a prudent approach to development in Canada by moderating future expenditure.

The words of caution, come after reports in the financial press of a significant decline in profits for the British company.

As stated in their media release (full version can be found here) , there is a fair bit of uncertainty on the number of North American projects and in recent weeks, much has been made about the nature of the financial returns, as markets decline and the energy giants seek more concessions and tax relief from the different levels of government.

The British Columbia in particular has been feeling some of those pressures, as highlighted by the Provincial Liberal's recent tax regime announcement which set the taxation level significantly lower than previously anticipated.

And still, even with those concessions, one of the leading prospects for LNG development on the North Coast is now taking a prudent approach to development in Canada. A term that might suggest that BG will be slowing down it's plans and taking stock of the prospects moving forward.

No word of the plan for the future has been outlined on the local Prince Rupert LNG website as of yet.

The first alert for British Columbians on the announcement came through the twitter feed of the Globe and Mail's Brent Jang, who reviewed the news out London.

Today's announcement from the BG Group provides a glimpse for locals as to how developments in far off locations can change very quickly and have an immediate impact on industrial plans for the North Coast.

For more items related to the BG Group project see our archive page here.

Update:  Various Financial News Services across Canada have started to reveal more of what may lay ahead for the Prince Rupert LNG project, some of their items can be found below:

Globe and Mail-- BG Group to delay LNG terminal on B. C. coast
Wall Street Journal-- BG Group to delay LNG Terminal on Canada's Pacific Coast
Financial Post-- BG Group to delay LNG terminal on Canada's Pacific coast: report
CBC-- BG Group to delay planned B. C. LNG Terminal
News 1130-- LNG export terminal proposed for northwestern BC delayed

For the latest items related to the Prince Rupert LNG project see our updated item of October 29 here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Triton LNG takes another step forward with export licence approval

Of the many proposed LNG projects for the region, not much had been heard of late regarding the Triton LNG, however on Friday, their plans for a terminal development for the North Coast showed some signs of stirring, with the approval of the National Energy Board for an export licence.

The document from the NEB dated October 24th outlines the scope of their approval which allows for shipment of Liquefied Natural Gas for a period of ten years, effective the date of approval of October 8th.

The notice advices that the approval is for a liquefaction terminal to be located in the vicinity of either Kitimat or Prince Rupert. Not much has been revealed in recent months regarding the Triton proposal as far as for any plans for Prince Rupert.

The most recent developments the plans of Alta Gas and Idemitsu of Japan the parent corporations for Triton, were outlined by the Calgary Herald last week.  That review outlines the plans  of Alta Gas, to buy the barge based Douglas Channel LNG project out of insolvency procedures.

While we await further information when it comes to their Prince Rupert plans, you can review our archive items regarding Triton here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

City Manager points towards City's Legacy Corporation for Dr. Faggetter hiring

The City of Prince Rupert offered up the mechanics of its Legacy Corporation on Monday as a partial answer as to the process, which has seen Oceanographer Barb Faggetter hired to conduct research work on the Tuck Inlet area, conducting her work on behalf of the Legacy Corporation.

That at least from a "clarification" for the weekly newspaper on Monday, from City Manager Robert Long who outlined that the Legacy Corporation, a wholly owned corporation of the City of Prince Rupert, and one created by City Council, technically made the hire of Dr. Faggetter to conduct work related to Lot 444, a portion of which has been earmarked for LNG developed..

As we outlined on the blog last week, word of Dr. Faggetter's hiring wasn't so much announced, as  it was mentioned more as an aside.  With Councillor Joy Thorkelson referencing the hiring, as she spoke to Council at the end of last Monday's Council session, making mention of Dr. Faggetter's ongoing efforts for the City.

No public notice from either the City, or the Legacy Corporation has been delivered previous to outline the scope the the work on this particular issue, nor it would appear to even  provide an announcement regarding the hiring of Doctor Faggetter, particularly on what would appear to be an in house Enviornmental Assessment.

Mr. Long's very brief overview of the situation, didn't really clear up much in the way of questions that should be raised about the process involved in hiring Dr. Faggetter, nor does it offer up any glimpse as to how the members of Council and the Mayor seem to have formulated the Legacy Corporation and its terms of operation.

You can review some of Council's past work on the Legacy Corporation process from this item of June.   As well, some background on the discussion at the Council session where the Corporation was announced can be found from our Council Timeline for May 26th.

As Mr. Long explained during a session of Council on June 23rd, the use of the Legacy Corporation for the purposes of LNG discussions regarding Lot 444,  could be be compared to the arrangement that the City has with CityWest.  

You can review the discussion of the time from the City's Video Archive, the discussions on Lot 444 and the Legacy Corporation arrive at the one hour eight minute mark until one hour sixteen minutes.

The comparison of the Legacy Corporation to CityWest does offer up an interesting dynamic.

As the relationship between CityWest and the City has in the past made for a very lively part of  Municipal Election campaigns, with more than a few Councillors in recent times vowing to seek out more transparency and accountability on the relationship between CityWest and the City.

Though it's fair to say, that CityWest is perhaps the one major topic in Prince Rupert that doesn't actually need an election cycle to quickly jump back into the political mix.

Any number of questions come to mind when you consider what little we know about the Legacy Corporation process and what role City Council has regarding it ( a quest using the City's search engine on their website provides no results).

For starters, how the Corporation is supposed to work as far as terms of reference, how appointments are made to it (and who may be appointed to the corporation at this time) and who the Legacy Corporation is ultimately accountable to at the end of the day.

Readers can probably add quite a number more to the list, all aspects of the City mechanism which should be reviewed in the public setting of the Council forum.

Some of our past items along the Lot 444 path which led to the Legacy Company formation can be found below:

May 17-- City receives approval of Province for Boundary Expansion
June 2-- A share of the LNG rush? City's newly expanded boundary to include LNG site
June 26-- Lot 444 becomes a talking point at Council
July 10-- Imperial Oil delivers an introduction to Tuck Inlet LNG proposal for City Council
July 11-- Bylaws, Buffers and differences of opinion for Lot 444
July 18-- Imperial Oil sets July 24th for Public Presentation on Tuck Inlet LNG proposal
September 1-- Council sends Lot 44 amendments back to staff for revision

At the time that the City introduced us to the Legacy Corporation back in May, it was as part of the delivery of items released from one of Council's many closed sessions this year.

The full review at that time of introduction was rather limited, with the added note of advisement during that review, that some aspects of the Corporation would have to remain undisclosed at the time. And for the most part, many aspects of the Corporation  appear to have remained that way into the fall.

So far, the only Mayoralty candidate to even mention Lot 444 has been Lee Brain, who in September addressed the need for more transparency on the theme.

To the midway point of the election campaign, neither Mayoralty Challengers, Tony Briglio, nor Sheila Gordon-Payne have offered up any comments related to the Lot 444 process.

Considering the limited overview of the Legacy Corporation and the Lot 444 process, it might just be this election's CityWest type of issue. Perhaps one which might just attract inquiries beyond those from Mr. Brain.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

MLA's Week, October 20-23, 2014

The Second week of the fall session of the British Columbia Legislature found North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice bringing up three items to Chamber, all of them as part of Tuesday's proceedings.

With concerns about Medical Transportation Costs on Haida Gwaii,  the clean up requirements of the Heiltsuk Nation regarding the Namu cannery site and a short answer to the issues of LNG from the Speech to the Throne.

From the six sessions of the Legislature in the House, or Committee work listed for the week of October 6-9, MLA Rice  appeared in the Index three times during the week.

On Tuesday, Ms. Rice spoke in the Morning session regarding the cost of Medical Transportation for Residents of Haida Gwaii.

She also spoke that morning, on the issue of remediation of the Namu Cannery site, which the Heiltsuk Nation is seeking the assistance of the government on. Ms. Rice asked for the Government's help in forcing the responsible parties to clean up the mess and situation that currently exists at Namu.

Her final commentary in the Legislature for the week came as part of the Response to the Speech from the Throne portion of the proceedings in the afternoon session.

In the course of her ten minutes at the end of the day's session, MLA Rice highlighted the work of her staff both at her constituency offices and at the Legislature. She then offered up a number of observations on LNG development and read from an article in the Victoria Times-Colonist regarding some of the issues that Prince Rupert faces from LNG.

Her week in Victoria was short however, as on Wednesday Ms. Rice was in Prince Rupert for the CBC's LNG forum.

As for committee work, MLA Rice is a member of the Standing Committee on Children and Youth, that Committee met on Tuesday morning. Her contribution to that committee can be reviewed from the Committee webpage, she offers up commentary at 8:45 AM of the audio file provided.

Some of our items from MLA Rice's week at the Legislature can be found below.

MLA Rice raises Medical Transportation costs on Haida Gwaii during Legislature session
Namu Cannery Clean Up requirements raised in Legislature last week
MLA seeks more than promises on theme of LNG in Legislature

You can examine our reviews of past weeks of the Legislature sessions of 2014 from our Archive page.

We have more background on the North Coast MLA available from our General Archive on the Legislature as well.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

MLA seeks more than promises on theme of LNG in Legislature

As part of last weeks response to the Speech from the Throne, North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice challenged a few of the Provincial Liberal's themes on LNG, in particular when it comes to the recently announced Tax Regime.

On that topic Ms. Rice offered up that the government announcement provide for a failure for the government's bargaining position. With the windfall that was promised now a thing of the past. Suggesting that the Tax Regime was written by industry for industry.

Today we find out that British Columbians are getting half of what she promised. I find it hard to take the Premier at her word when it comes to LNG. She knew what to say when she promised a fair share from LNG, then turned around and did the opposite. Shamefully, the LNG tax regime was written by industry for industry.

The Premier eliminated B.C.'s bargaining position with her outlandish promises. Now we see the result of that failure. The Premier and the B.C. Liberals are selling out B.C. They knew what to say at election time, but their grand promises of a "Debt-free B.C.," eliminating the PST and creating those thousands of jobs have fallen away. Now they're talking about LNG to just pay for the basics, like health care. What happened to the windfall we were promised? The throne speech is now switching gears.

An LNG industry in B.C. needs to protect our land, our air and our water. That means honouring our climate change commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation covering environmental regulations won't achieve that. It fails to address upstream emissions from natural gas production and gives liquefication facilities enough loopholes to ensure they won't meet our emission targets.

Ms. Rice also stressed the desire of the NDP to seek guarantees of jobs, and training opportunities for British Columbians, as well as a fair return for the provinces resources.  She also called on the province to make sure that LNG explicitly benefits First Nations and protects air, land, water and climate change commitments.

She also reviewed for the Legislature of the concerns for some residents of the North Coast when it comes to development of LNG terminal options near the Flora Bank

I'd also like to mention that the First Nations in my community around Prince Rupert are really concerned about LNG and the Skeena River, and they're concerned about the estuary. They're not necessarily concerned about the gas evaporating. 

They're concerned about the industrialization of the Skeena estuary, and they're concerned particularly about Flora Bank, which is the largest remaining intact eelgrass bed in British Columbia. Now, eelgrass is not something you smoke. It's actually very important fish habitat. It's important fish habitat for British Columbia's second-largest salmon run. 

We support the development of LNG if it comes with express commitments for the well-paying jobs and skill development opportunities British Columbians need. The government is trying to meet this standard as they continue to fail on skills training and rely on temporary foreign workers and ignore other sectors of the economy.

As she closed her ten minute review, which wrapped up the Tuesday afternoon session of the Legislature, Ms. Rice read a from the Victoria Times Colonist article of October 18th which highlighted some of the issues and concerns that Prince Rupert is facing as the LNG prospects continue to form up.

You can review the full transcript of her comments to the Legislature here, her presentation starts at the  1815 mark.  You can view it from the Legislature Video files by clicking on House Video for Tuesday Afternoon, Ms. Rice speaks at the

For more items of note regarding the work of MLA Rice at the Legislature see our archive pages, the Archive for the week of October 20-13 can be found here.

While the larger overview of events at the Legislature related to the North Coast and Haida Gwaii can be found here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

MLA Rice raises Medical Transportation costs on Haida Gwaii during Legislature session

The cost of Medical Transportation and the need for the Government to provide for more options for travel to residents of Haida Gwaii was offered up for discussion at the Legislature last week.

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice brought the issue to the attention of Health Minister Terry Lake, with a short question to the Minister in the Tuesday morning session.

Ms. Rice outlined the current nature of the coverage of the Medical Transportation program which covers 100 percent of Ferry Transportation, but only 30 percent of air travel on certain airlines.

She advised the Minister that it actually costs less to fly, than it does to take the ferry and that only one airline on Haida Gwaii is currently covered by the program.

She asked if the Minister would move to cover more of the cost to families that fly out of remote communities and receive the medical treatment that they need.

Minister Lake provided a short review of government policy for the MLA, advising that the Ministry is always reviewing the travel assistance program.

You can review the video of the session, from the BC NDP Caucus You Tube page.

The transcript of her exchange with the Minister can be found in the pages of Hansard, at the 10:32 mark of the Tuesday morning session.

For more items of note regarding the work of MLA Rice at the Legislature see our archive pages, the Archive for the week of October 20-13 can be found here.

While the larger overview of events at the Legislature related to the North Coast and Haida Gwaii can be found here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Oil refinery proposals and concerns once again simmer on the North Coast stove

The prospect of oil refinery development on the North Coast has had a fairly low profile of late, taking a bit of a back seat to the engagement over LNG terminals, pipelines and such.

But, it's still there, part of a distant economic blue print of the region for some, the object of the marshaling of forces against it for others.

In the last month, the oil refinery topic started to work its way back into the Northwest discussion, first with Nathan Cullen's recent tour of the area to outline his Take Back Our Coast tour, a private members bill that would ban oil tankers off of the North Coast, while at the same time seemingly advocating for the development of oil refineries to ship refined products to world markets.

It for many appears to be a project at cross purposes, but the NDP MP for BulkleyValley-Skeena is clearly focused on his twin strategies as a path forward for the region. And while Mr. Cullen makes the tour of the region to outline his proposals, two different groups are still working on their plans to develop oil refinery capacity somewhere on the North Coast.

This month, the two proponents of oil refinery and shipment terminals for the North Coast both had some time with influential journalist Vaughn Palmer, through his Voice of BC Program.

David Black, the owner of the Black Press newspaper chain and proponent of Kitimat Clean shared an hour with Jeffrey Copenance the spokesperson for Pacific Future Energy Corporation, The latter organization has suggested that it would like to build an oil refinery and shipment terminal in Northwest British Columbia, with the possibility of it being placed somewhere on the North Coast, near Prince Rupert or Lax Kw'alaams.

Both gentlemen made their case for why their proposal offered the best opportunity and best benefits to the region should they move forward with development.

You can review those interviews below.


And while the two proposals continue to develop, plans to stop them in their tracks are also moving ahead, as a number of groups express their concern over any talk of  oil refinery development in the region.

One path that local opponents are taking is through the October/November edition of the publication the Gitga'at Guardian, which features a  page five article from Luanne Roth, retracing much of her previous work on the prospect of oil terminals and a concern that there may be plans in place to develop one on Ridley Island.

Gitga'at Guardian
Cover Page Oct/Nov
Item on Ridley Island from
Gitga'at Guardian pg 5

It's an observation that has been expressed before, through the website of Save our Skeena Salmon, an organization which appears to be taking the lead on many of the environmental issues related to oil refineries and LNG development in the area. The Prince Rupert Port Authority has in the past responded that at the moment, no facility of this kind is proposed for Ridley Island.

Still the awareness campaign  continues on, with local environmental groups hosting their own Film night on the topic, this Wednesday at Northwest Community College, with a 7 PM start time.

Wednesday Friends of the Skeena Salmon and the Prince Rupert Environmental Society will be reviewing the documentary Pretty Slick,  followed by discussions to come later on the theme of the potential dangers of oil refinery development and environmental concern.

The trailer for the Wednesday evening presentation can be found below:
All of which has made October Oil refinery month on the North Coast, with reviews and opinion for all shades of the debate.

For more on the plans of the Oil refinery developers and the issues surrounding the topic see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Monday, October 27, 2014

Vancouver Sun articles on LNG in the Northwest highlight buzz, boom and even bust...

The Vancouver Sun's Gordon Hoekstra offered up a fairly comprehensive review this weekend of the current anticipation when it comes to the development of the LNG industry in the Northwest.

Focusing on Kitimat, Port Edward and Prince Rupert, Hoekstra examined a number of themes related to the proposed developments and the impact that just the proposal phase is having on the three communities.

Included in his overviews, are the impressions of residents of the region regarding the impact that the proposed terminals may have on the Northwest, whether it be of economic potential, or by way of social, housing and infrastructure concerns.

The Sun also focuses on some of the disappointments already found with the industry, as the various proposal jockey for position towards development and some fall to the side.

The expanded look at both Prince Rupert and Port Edward reviews the current state of the local economy, making mention of the empty store fronts of Third Avenue, with some of those spots coming to life as offices for some of the LNG proponents, even if only on a temporary basis.

The overview of the LNG story for the North Coast examines the potential of jobs and makes note of the many false starts from other industrial proposals, whether it be from the pulp mill or Canpotex to name a few.

A list of industrial ghosts which tends to shade any conversation when it comes to the LNG prospects.

With Port Edward the current focus of potential development with the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, a fair amount of the content of the articles is dedicated towards that community.

In particular, Hoekstra examines some of Port Edward's hopes  regarding the potential of the industry for the region as well as a thumbnail sketch of some of the  planning that the District is making for LNG development.

You can review the two articles below:

October 26-- Northwest B. C.'s LNG boom is already a bust for some
October 25-- The promise of LNG has B. C.'s Northwest buzzing

We have more on the LNG files of the Northwest available on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

City Council hopefuls to face questions Tuesday evening

It's a chance for those seeking a position on Prince Rupert City Council to introduce themselves and deliver just a bit more information about what they have in mind for the city if elected to a four year term on November 15th.

A Council Candidates Only Question and Answer Session has been organized for Tuesday evening, providing Prince Rupert residents with the opportunity to focus on what the nine candidates seeking the city's Six Council seats may have to offer.

The session was put together by the candidates themselves, settling on Tuesday evening at the Prince Rupert Library Multi Purpose room for the session. It is scheduled to start at 6:30, with doors opening at 6 PM.

Ms. Crystal Lorette will be handling the moderator's duties, asking two questions of each candidate of her own and then relaying questions submitted by those in the audience.

A strong turn out of the hopeful candidates is anticipated for Tuesday night's session.

Council candidate Blair Mirau was the first to give the heads up regarding the Question and Answer forum, you can learn more about what is planned for the evening from his website.

For a review of items related to this years Municipal election, see our archive page here.

To find out more about the candidates running for office, we have links available here to highlight those candidates which have Internet options available.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Changes in provincial liquor licensing still a concern for some on Council

BC Liquor store with Safeway
in the background 
The recent changes in the British Columbia Liquor Policy Review, which will soon see the sale of beer, spirits and wine in some grocery stores is still an ongoing concern for some on Prince Rupert Council.

The topic received a short review last week at the City Council session, raised by Councillor Joy Thorkelson who was concerned about the possibility of the two main grocery stores in the city one day stocking their shelves with alcohol product.

Councillor Cunningham offered up his interpretation of the changes, suggesting that for the moment the regulations would seem to indicate that as there are currently stores selling alcoholic products within a set zone in close proximity to the stores, the likelihood of the local grocery stores taking advantage of the new rules would not seem to be possible.

More background on those provisions can be found from this media release from the Provincial Government, which outlines the key terms of reference for the new framework, included in that review:

In order to be eligible, grocery stores will need to have approximately 75% of their sales coming from food products and must be a minimum of 10,000 square feet. 

Grocery stores will have the opportunity to co-brand with liquor stores - regardless of whether the liquor store is physically in the grocery store - and there will be no minimum size requirement for liquor retail stores set up within grocery stores.

Excluding general merchandise and convenience stores from the grocery definition - while maintaining the current moratorium on the number of private liquor stores and the one kilometre rule

Councillor Cunningham did suggest that it was something that the City should keep an eye on, as he doesn't want to see any changes that would impact on the local Beer, Wine and Spirit Stores.

Councillor Thorkelson seemed less than convinced of Councillor Cunningham's overview, and observed that even if it is the case, there is still a concern over the portability of licences.

That is a process which in recent years has delivered new outlets to areas of the City not previously served by Beer, Wine and Spirit stores.

Towards that theme, this fact sheet from the BC government, suggests that there is a possible scenario where at grocery store could purchase a Licensee Retail Store and relocate it as part of the larger Grocery store building.

For the most part the issue at Council was mainly a discussion between Councillors Thorkelson and Cunningham,  with occasional observation from the Mayor.  The other four members on Council offered no opinions on the topic.

The full exchange of thoughts on the liquor sale question can be examined from the City's Video Archive, starting at the 1 hour, forty nine minute mark and continuing on to the 1 hour, fifty three minute mark .

For more information on the range of discussion at Prince Rupert City Council see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review