Thursday, March 31, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

Christy Clark vows 'real-time' disclosure of political donations
Vancouver School Board in 'crisis situation' over massive budget gap
VSB budget cuts would eliminate 200 jobs, increase class sizes
Massey Tunnel replacement bridge supported by Richmond Chamber of Commerce
Lower speed in B.C. cities to save pedestrians and cyclists: report
Vancouver Schools could lose more than 200 jobs to balance budget
Parties criticize fundraising even as they do it
Transportation minister rejects health officer's call to revive photo radar
Keep political donations in public eye
Uber ups pressure on B.C. government

Ottawa Observations: Thursday, March 31, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from March 31, 2016.

Economy off to 'roaring start' as Canada sees biggest gain since 2013
Ottawa's human rights report on Saudi Arabia to be 'sanitized' for public
'Zero-fail' environment hard on force, RCMP Commissioner Paulson says
NDP President Rebecca Blaikie sets sights on party's future
Full review of Access to Information law won't come until 2018: Liberals
Trudeau plays down worries Trump, Sanders would reopen trade deal with Canada
NDP lost election because of weak pitch to voters, internal report says
Syrian refugee sponsors scramble to meet one-day application deadline
Fighting terrorism: When is a war not a war?
International student work program creating low-wage work force: report
Naiveté abounds in Canada's policy approach to China
The inevitable debt crisis Canada's not talking about
Liberals' gloomy budget punctured by rosy StatsCan report
Richard Fadden, Stephen Harper's top national security adviser, is retiring
McCallum promise to boost privately sponsored Syrian refugees spawns confusion
Shared Services Canada must provide RCMP with dependable tech support, Goodale says
ISIS seen as growing threat to Canadian peacekeepers in Sinai
NDP election post-mortem finds party's strategy 'out of sync' with Canadians
Independent oversight needed to monitor border agency, advocates say
Justin Trudeau touts economic goals ahead of D.C. nuclear summit
Liberals push Access to Information overhaul back to 2018
Syrian refugee sponsors left scrambling  to meet new 24 hour deadline
NDP unprepared for niqab debate fallout during campaign, party report says
Break a campaign promise? No problem, says Trudeau
Pikangikum should wake us up but it probably won't
MPs, Senators get pay hike as Canadians struggle with stagnant wages, rising unemployment
Absent from national debate in Canada, Mulcair resorts to bashing Donald Trump
Normally candid RCMP commissioner turns cagey over speeding incident
Kandahar memorial to fallen Canadian troops to be reconstructed at new DND headquarters
Is Quebec no longer the most corrupt province in Canada?

At Issue Panel: Buying Political Influence

An archive of the At Issue features from the CBC's Flagship News program the national.

March 31: Buying Political Influence

Voice of BC -- Media Panel

Journalists Mike Smyth and Rob Shaw join host Vaughn Palmer to review some of the news making items out of Victoria.

March 31

School District Calendar issue to continue on until April 12th meeting

It may be back to square one
for SD52 when it comes to
deciding on a School Calendar
for 2017
The process that SD 52 trustees are using when it comes to picking a School calendar for 2016-17 is apparently proving to be a bit more complicated than most residents of the region might think.

As we noted on the blog yesterday, SD52 trustees were to vote on the calendar issue at a Special Open Board meeting held last night, what was expected to be the final word on what the Spring Break of 2017 would look like.

However, in a media release from today, the School District has advised that with trustee Terri-Lynne Huddlestone giving notice that she will be asking the Board to reconsider its decision of March 15th, the process will now be deferred until the next meeting of the School Board, which takes place on April 12th.

At that time, the School District will reconsider the previously dismissed proposal of a two week break at the mid-month period of March of 2017.

Should the motion for reconsideration be passed by a 2/3 majority on April 12th, that proposal will be back on the table for a full debate, along with the two other options that the School District has been studying.

The surprising development marks the latest twist in what has become a lengthy attempt to settle on some kind of certainty for the year ahead.

Since we may soon be back at the starting line for the entire process, a review of the long running calendar debate can be found below:

March 30 -- Decision Day for SD52 on School Calendar issue
March 17 -- Community reaction builds as SD52 stays with one week break for Spring of 2017
March 15 -- School District to host public forum on 2017 School Calendar tonight

More background on developments with School District 52 can be found on our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

City looks to sell Cow Bay land to Prince Rupert Port Authority

Tucked away in the back pages of Wednesday's weekly newspaper is a notice from the City of Prince Rupert of its plan to sell two parcels of land in the Cow Bay area to the Prince Rupert Port Authority.

The land to be sold appears to make up the median that leads to the Prince Rupert Cruise Terminal and the Parking Lot across from the Atlin Terminal in Cow Bay, the proposed sale described as fee simple.

The two areas to be sold are noted as Area A and Area B on the map below:

The City of Prince Rupert has declared its notice of intention
to sell two parcels of land in the Cow Bay area to the
Prince Rupert Port Authority

The value of the property is estimated to be $933,223.00 and it's noted in the Public Notice of this week that the property is not available for public acquisition.

To this point there is no notice posted to the City of Prince Rupert website, leaving the Public Notice in the weekly paper as the only advisory on the Intent to Sell.

There has also been no public discussion in Council chambers this year related to the prospect of selling the city owned land.

It's not the first time that the topic of selling the Atlin area parking lot and the median in the area has come up for review.  Back in March of 2006 the City gave consideration to selling the land, with then Mayor Pond stating at the time that the city was hoping to see the property developed by local business owners for use on a year round basis.

Eventually the City would list the properties with Colliers International which described the properties as such:

Property Description (2006):

Colliers International on behalf of the City of Prince Rupert is pleased to present the exclusive sale offering of the Atlin Uplands Waterfront development sites. The Atlin Uplands represents 3 land parcels of prime waterfront development opportunity. 

Located along the harbourfront in the Cow Bay area of Prince Rupert, the lands provide for mixed-use development with spectacular views, easy access, and close proximity to local amenities. The Atlin Uplands are arguably the most strategically located development opportunities in the City. 

The City of Prince Rupert is seeking Proposals for a Purchase and Sale or Lease of the lands in an effort to promote year round activities on the lands. The lands are comprised of three distinct yet connected sites totaling approximately 70,000 sq.ft

As the city still owns the land in question, those efforts of ten years ago didn't provide for the kind of financial reward that the City had clearly been hoping for.

The City would subsequently pave the land over at the time, making use of the property as a seasonal pay parking lot in recent years.

One of two parcels of land (on the right) that the City has provided notice of its intent
to sell to the Prince Rupert Port Authority

Anyone who has any questions concerning the proposed disposition of land, is asked to submit written comments to Rory Mandryk, the City's  Corporate Administrator.

You can submit your comments by email to, by fax at 250-627-0999, or by mailing them, or dropping them off at City Hall, 424 3rd Avenue West V8J 1L7.

The deadline to submit comments related to the proposed sale is 4 PM Friday, April 8th, 2016.

For more items related to developments from the City of Prince Rupert see our Council Discussion page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

WCC LNG seeks extension of permit process for LNG exports

Exxon Mobil have applied for an
extension to their permit for LNG exports
to last up to 40 years.

For the moment, the majority of the North Coast focus on LNG of late has been related to the status of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, with the proposed development currently in the midst of a ninety day pause to their Environmental Assessment process, before the Federal cabinet will begin its review process.

However, there is news of note from one of the other proponents of LNG development in the region, with word that Exxon Mobil Canada has submitted an application to extend the permit of its North Coast project to 40 years, an increase of fifteen years from the original terms approved in 2014.

The proposed development has targeted Tuck Inlet as a potential option for terminal operations which would see 30 million tonnes of LNG shipped per year.

On Tuesday, the National Post outlined some of the background to that request for an extended timeline, noting that Exxon Mobil has entered into a number of confidentiality agreements with several pipeline companies to deliver the gas to an LNG terminal.

The Exxon Mobil moves were also reviewed by the Globe and Mail's Brent Jang, who has been following the path of all of the proposed North Coast LNG developments in recent years.

The proposed Tuck Inlet project is to be developed on land that the City of Prince Rupert brought inside the city limits as Lot 444 in 2014, since that time Exxon Mobil has provided a stream of revenue to the City through the city's Legacy Fund as it continues to investigate the site for its development plans.

The global energy company has included it's Tuck Inlet concept in its 2015 Annual Report which was recently released.  In a short passage related to the North Coast prospects the company noted:

Exxon/Mobil/Imperial Oil are in the early stages of project assessment and planning for a proposed LNG project in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Through our jointly owned affiliate WCC LNG Ltd. Exxon Mobil and Imperial Oil received an export license  in 2013 from the National Energy Board to export up to 30 million tonnes of LNG per year for 25 years. Engineering and environmental studies continued in 2015, support concept selection and regulatory activity for the project.

The full report can be reviewed from the Exxon Mobil website.
The Prince Rupert mention can be found on page 31.

For more items related to the WCC LNG proposal see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

B.C. NDP expected to table bill banning union and corporate donations
B.C. businesses call on Clark to lift carbon tax freeze
Party with the Premier? Not for any price
Christy Clark talks about school closures and her solution to enrolment problems
Carbon tax should be higher, say 130 B.C. businesses in letter to Christy Clark
Massey Tunnel replacement project brings out critics and protestors
First Nations-led environmental assessment needed for projects like Site C, says coalition
Nadleh Whut'en and Stellat'en hereditary leaders proclaim B.C.'s first aboriginal water laws
Liberals claim support for bridge tolls
Clark, Horgan and big bucks - two can play the fundraising game
Find a new way for teacher talks
B.C. government unmoved by Uber marketing campaign
CRD sewage treatment funding extension granted
Province backs CRD's request for extension on sewage plan
Another child support clawback ends
B.C. enjoys big piece of fed's budget pie

Ottawa Observations: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from March 30, 2016.

Trudeau to urge countries to allow inspection of nuclear facilities
Trudeau to discuss horror scenario during U. S. trip: terrorists using nuclear weapons
Investors, rating agencies see Liberal deficit plan as manageable
Wynne says supporting Trudeau was bid to improve federal-provincial relations
McCallum vows to expand program admitting refugees as students
Why this week's nuclear summit is an opportunity for Trudeau
Ottawa should make drug companies reveal payments to doctors
Federal budget a step toward Indigenous reconciliation
Small disappointments can trip a prime minister
Trudeau government tiptoes back into temporary foreign workers morass
McKay tops poll for Tory leadership
Tom Mulcair calls Donald Trump a 'fascist,' urges Trudeau to denounce him
Refugee sponsors frustrated by delays hold 'emergency meeting'
Nuclear terrorism threat will be focus of summit drawing Trudeau, world leaders to Washington
Budget sales job won't include paid ads, Bill Morneau says
Trudeau government signals thaw in relations with Russia
Joe Ceci calls on federal Liberals to reverse Edmonton EI exclusion
Mulcair's support down from pre-election high among NDP voters as he faces leadership vote
Ottawa seeks WTO ruling on U.S. duties on Canadian paper
A vapid feeling to Stéphane Dion's fence-sitting
Retired Canadian General aims blunt message at Liberal government ahead of defence review
We won't recover from oil shock for at least another two years, Bank of Canada warns
Canada boasts achievements in reducing domestic threat as Trudeau heads to nuclear summit
The Liberals and their ‘magic’ morality

Decision Day for SD52 on School Calendar issue

SD52 will return to
considering the School Calendar
for 2017 at a session tonight
School District 52 officials are scheduled to meet once again tonight in a special Session outside of the regular Board meetings, hoping to bring some resolution to the controversial issue of what next years School Calendar will look like.

The topic has been one of much discussion since the last SD52 Board meeting of mid March, with one of the three concepts to be considered, that of a two week break from March 13 to 24 defeated at that time in a tie vote.

The Option two model was discarded from further consideration, despite information provided to the Board that feedback from parents and stakeholders had stated a preference for the two week break earlier in the month.

That would appear to leave the School District with the two remaining options for review tonight, the first of a two week break from March 20th to 31st of 2017, or continuing with the current model of a One week Spring break from March 20-24 of 2017.

The background to the process can  be found from the notes of the most recent Board meeting which were recently posted to the SD52 website

A look at the three calendars can be reviewed here.

The decision to abandon Option Two and move forward to consider the other concepts, made for a decision that stirred up some social media commentary related to the decision, with a fair bit of anger at times directed towards the School Board membership for their stance at the time.

It all leaves SD officials with much to consider tonight as part of their discussion, focused on the review of the remaining options, as well as the background that public comment and stakeholder concerns offer to the process.

Also looming large for SD officials is how they can resolve the current split on the issue on the Board, a situation which has been exacerbated by having one position on the Board still unfilled after the November departure of trustee Judy Carlick-Pearson.

That has created the ongoing prospect of a tie vote at SD meetings, with only six member available to vote on many issues that the School Board considers.

No official notice of the meeting has been posted to the SD52 website, leaving residents with only a March 15th media release to provide guidance as to the nature of tonight's session.

You can review some of the past items of note from the discussion from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

NWCC to receive funding for new training equipment

Advanced Minister Andrew Wilkinson
in Terrace Tuesday for a funding
announcement for NWCC
Students in health care and trades training courses at Northwest Community College will soon have new equipment to make use of as part of their studies.

The province of British Columbia's Advanced Education Minister Andrew Wilkinson announced that the college will receive 269,850 dollars towards a range of items including an intravenous pump for health care students, an abrasive mitre saw for welding students and a snap-on vehicle scanner for heavy-duty mechanic students.

“This investment in equipment is a boost to our training programs. It means that NWCC students are getting first-hand experience with the most current industry technologies ... That builds confidence and instils flexibility as students enter or return to the workforce.” -- NWCC President and CEO Ken Burt on recent funding from the province for trades training.

The latest funding announcement adds to the more than three million dollars that has been delivered to NWCC since the province launched its BC's Skills for Jobs Blueprint program in 2014.

The Advanced Education Minister made the announcement as part of a tour of the Terrace facility on Tuesday, the new equipment would appear to be destined for the main campus in Terrace.

learn more the trades program at NWCC here, while information on the health care program can be found here.

For more on Tuesday's announcement see this background piece here.

Further notes on Northwest Community College can be found here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

Study confirms link between fracking, earthquakes in Western Canada
B. C. drops plans to turn Maple Ridge motel into homeless shelter
B.C. city still waiting for Syrian refugee family amid backlog in cases
B.C. considers paying donors for blood products despite Ontario, Quebec bans
New report shows an increase in homeless deaths in B.C.
Fracking triggers 90% of large quakes in B.C., Alberta oil and gas patch
B.C. Health care premiums loom as an election issue
B. C. government makes child care subsidy changes
B. C. relaxes child-care subsidy eligibility rules around support payments
B. C. Legislature scanners flagging weapons daily, officials say
LNG ferry refits to be done in Poland

Ottawa Observations: Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from March 29, 2016.

Jean Lapierre 1956-2016

Ex-federal cabinet minister Jean Lapierre killed in Quebec plane crash
Jean Lapierre made friends across broad ideological spectrum
Former federal cabinet minister Jean Lapierre among seven people killed in plane crash
Jean Lapierre loved 'big debates and big discussions'
Jean Lapierre among 7 killed i Îles-de-la-Madeleine plane
Jean Lapierre, Quebec political commentator, dead at 59
Former cabinet minister Jean Lapierre, wife and siblings among seven dead in tragic plane crash
Former MP Jean Lapierre and family among seven dead in plane crash on Îles-de-la-Madeleine

Drone warfare:  A cautionary tale for Canada
Ottawa to review new EI program amid criticism of unequal treatment
Cancelling Saudi arms deal would have no effect on human rights: Dion
Liberals try to forge new foreign policy path but end up in a familiar place
Key Trudeau promise to help jobless youth left out of federal budget
Liberal meetings with lobbyist and stakeholder groups hit record high
New Senators bring intellectual weight, independent mindset to new roles
Trudeau government signals thaw in relations with Russia
Syrian refugee sponsors upset with slowing pace of arrival
Constitutional challenge of retroactive Tory law on gun registry data in limbo
Canada should spend less fighting Aboriginal People in court: economic adviser
Dion digs at Tories with new foreign policy label: responsible conviction
Fraud: government credit card used for spas, restaurants
Tom Mulcair gains support from union leaders ahead of leadership vote
Canada needs the TPP - so when will the Liberal government finally make a case for it?
DND has lost track of private contractors doing repairs, maintenance: audit
Has the PS bilingual bonus had its day?

City's Housing Committee gets closer to delivering Report to Province

At the end of last week's Prince Rupert City Council session, Mayor Lee Brain provided the latest of reports for Council on the progress of on the work of the affordable housing Committee in town.

Mayor Brain noted that there are two streams in place at the moment, one to construct an actual physical new affordable housing development the type of which has still to be determined,  noting that the city has identified a few lots available to be donated for development, whether it be Seniors Housing or assisted living which still have to be discussed

Adding that he will be calling Council together for a workshop on that concept, in order to determine where to go from that point.

The Mayor observed that the second stream will focus on services around affordable housing and what supports that those that live in assisted living will require.

A Draft Report on those items compiled by the Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society and will soon be forwarded to the Provincial government, Council will review the Draft Report and then come up with a concept on affordable housing to bring the two streams together.

Mayor Brain also made note of the planned funding initiatives from the Federal Government and how the City may have an opportunity to access some of that capital that may be available.

You can review the Mayor's presentation to Council from the City's You Tube Council archive page, the housing discussion starts at the 55 minute mark.

While the Prince Rupert Committee gets closer to providing the Draft Report for the Province to move its housing initiatives forward,  progress is being found in a couple of other Northwest communities.

Both Kitimat and Terrace continue to work towards addressing their own affordable housing concerns. The two communities to the east seem to be making some strong progress in their plans, with zoning issues and project designs now in the formative stage.

In Kitimat, the Regional District noted that a local hotel complex in the community may soon be turned into affordable housing to address the needs there.

Kitimat considers rezoning for affordable housing project

While Terrace and two non-profit groups are working on plans for a Southside housing development.

Affordable housing project for Southside

More items related to last week's Council session can be found on our Council Timeline, while more background on City Council issues can be reviewed as part of our Council Archive.

For more items related to housing in the Northwest see our archive page here.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Monday, March 28, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

Pricey meetings with Premier helping fuel B. C. Liberal fundraising machine
Vancouver's skyline to rise amid office-tower building boom
Privacy commissioner has some serious parting gifts in mind
Embattled B. C. Liberal boss hires Ghomeshi's law firm
Metro Vancouver raises concern about B. C.'s climate leadership plan
Dam expansion done as BC Hydro demand slumps
$714 million dollar dam upgrades boost B. C.'s ability to produce power
Oil and gas land sales in B. C. recover slightly from record low

Ottawa Observations: Monday, March 28, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from March 28, 2016.

Asbestos: It's (finally) time for Ottawa to shut the industry down
Prison watchdog encouraged by Ottawa's aboriginal pledge
Former Prime Minister Paul Martin touts re-engagement with Africa
Alberta MP Jim Hillyer died of heart attack, constituency office says
The lessons federal Conservatives must learn
Why won't the Liberals act on Harper's overreach on appointments?
Time to name an Aboriginal justice to the Supreme Court
Cut consultants, ads and travel even more
Ottawa doesn't need and Office of Religious Freedom
$3.4 B will help, but big transit improvements are years away
Internal Liberal housing debate spills onto Commons floor
Making counter-radicalization work in Canada
How high-tax Canada is driving away billionaire entrepreneurs like Murray Edwards
Heated email exchange over harassment on the force landed RCMP head with bullying charge
Next on the Finance Minister’s to do list: Get provinces to support a Canada Pension Plan expansion
Liberals Move to Stop Billion-Dollar start ups from Fleeing south

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: March 26 & 27, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

$3.4B will help, but big transit improvements are years away 
Bike, pedestrian-friendly cities are worth the fight says former NYC transport planner
Richmond councillor asks province directly about George Massey bridge
Chinese investment could make Terrace a hub
Worker burnout has ICBC hiring more claims staff
B. C. Ferries gets break on tariffs
Balancing jobs and environment will be key

Ottawa Observations: March 26 and 27, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from March 26 & 27, 2016.

Dion adviser Jocelyn Coulon critical of Saudi arms deals
Justin Trudeau's Senate surrogate Peter Harder has few power levers
Canada's tech startup sector wants easier access to hire top foreign talent
The Liberals just shifted the centre further left
Death on the Hill reminds MPs of cross-party bonds
An honest carbon tax
Deficit not funding much infrastructure after all
Finance minister defends decision to give extra employment insurance to part of oil patch - but not others
RCMP dogged by second class action lawsuit alleging rampant sexual harassment
Canada's defence budget heads back to the future
Bill Morneau defends employment insurance plan that leaves out parts of Albert, Saskatchewan
Unbalanced budget: Does it show 'prudence' or a 'nightmare scenario?'
Home care money still to come, Health Minister Jane Philpott promises

Friday, March 25, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Friday, March 25, 2106

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

George Massey Tunnel project's road to "Yes" likely to be a bumpy ride
British Columbia is suddenly Canada's new economic powerhouse
What exactly is a 'nation-to-nation' relationship?
Richmond flood protection gets provincial boost
B.C. minimum wage increase expected to come this fall
Plan to build resort for non-natives on B. C. reserve draws ire of First Nation
B. C Ferries gets break on tariffs
B. C. minimum wage to get boost

Ottawa Observations: Friday, March 25, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from March 25, 2016.

The shadow of a new era of indefinite deficits has fallen over Canada
RCMP plans to make case for more officers and funding
Finance Minister Bill Morneau takes his talking points on whirlwind tour 
Liberals' progressive-minded budget delivers more bad news for Mulcair
Will Couillard's Liberals be punished for Charest years?
What exactly is a 'nation-to-nation' relationship?
Don't be smug, Canada is not insulated from the Donald Trump effect
Liberals must fix way Supreme Court justices are named
Don't grant Daesh a status it doesn't deserve
ISIS is at war with us
Canadians support budget, accept deficit, poll suggests
Tom Mulcair slams Liberal budget ahead of contentious NDP leadership review
Finance Minister Morneau says review of federal tax breaks coming
Liberal budget goes a long way to closing native education funding gap
Liberal's $30B deficit a debt of choice, not circumstance
War, declare yourself: How the technical definition of 'war' is getting muddied by current events
Elizabeth May spent nearly $230,000 to regain her seat in parliament - over $100k more than Harper, Mulcair
Dion questions appointment of Canadian as UN advisor after accusations of anti-Israeli bias
Trudeau's to be continued budget

Petronas to continue talks on Pacific NorthWest LNG as review continues

The Malaysian energy giant Petronas, which has ambitions for the development of an LNG Terminal facility at Lelu Island will continue to work with the federal government to investigate its options to move the project forward.

LNG World News, an online publication that watches developments in the energy sector has taken note of a Reuters report this week that highlights the latest in information notes on the topic from Petronas officials.

Reuters relayed a statement from a Petronas Vice President speaking to an industry conference last week,  which delivered an update of sorts as to the current status of the Canadian project.

"We will continue to work constructively with the Canadian government and regulators to see how we can move forward," Adnan Zainol Abidin, Petronas vice president of global LNG projects.

The Environmental Assessment process for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project was stopped just days short of the original timeline for completion, that after the CEAA requested a three month pause to seek out further information related to the proposed Lelu Island development.

That pause was granted by Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna last weekend, and will now see Pacific NorthWest officials offering up clarification on a number of concerns that the CEAA had following some late minute information from the company.

The CEAA identified four areas where more information from Pacific NorthWest LNG is required as part of the EA process, those include:

Effects of marine construction activities on fish and fish habitat and marine animals

Effects of marine structures on fish habitat including Flora Bank

Effects of construction noise and light on human health

Effects on current Aboriginal use of lands and resources for traditional purposes

While a final decision on the fate of the North Coast LNG project from the Federal Liberal Cabinet is now delayed until June at the earliest, Petronas continues to seek ways reduce its costs and generate revenues from its Kuala Lampur head office.

The latest round of cost reductions have identified three main ares of note, engineering and construction, drilling and completion, as well as operations and maintenance.

The company has also appointed a new advisor to the State owned oil company, the latest twist to some significant changes to the company's upper management levels in recent months.

That shift in corporate direction has made for much in the way of controversy of late in Malaysian political circles.

Some background on those developments can be found below:

Petronas expects to earn up to RM2b in 2016
Cost reduction saves billions for Petronas
Former Malaysian PM Abdullah named new Petronas adviser
In affront to Dr M, Badawi is named Petronas adviser
Former Malaysian PM Abdullah named new Petronas adviser
Tun Abdullah committed to take Petronas to higher level
Former Malaysian PM Abdullah Badawi replaces Mahathir as adviser to state oil giant Petronas

More items of note related to the Pacific NorthWest LNG project can be found on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Thursday, March 24, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene.

Real Estate board criticizes B. C.'s move to regulate "shadow flipping"
B. C. Liberals consider extra minimum wage increase
Federal budget's $2.3 B for non-profit housing welcomed by co-ops
Scientists want federal government to restore fisheries protection
Federal Budget promises better access to safe water on reserves
Ottawa to consider funds for George Massey Tunnel replacement
B. C. expects minimum wage hike will now be ahead of inflation rate
Vancouver real estate board objects to B.C. shadow flipping ban
Plan to build resort for non-natives on B.C. reserve draws ire of First Nations
B. C. to raise minimum wage
Polish shipyard awarded contract to upgrade two B.C. Ferries
Provincial task force to look at North Okanagan drinking water
Province to spend $16.6 million on flood mitigation in Richmond
Growing economy leave room for hike to minimum wage: jobs minister
Polish shipyard wins contract with B.C. Ferries
Derailed? A detailed look at the state of Vancouver Island rail service

Ottawa Observations: Thursday, March 24, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from March 24, 2016.

Morneau expects to raise $3-billion a year by cancelling more tax credits
Sponsors frustrated by slowing pace of resettling Syrian refugees
Trudeau betting most Canadians don't really care about deficits
Canada could play a major role in strengthening U.S.-China relations
How promises kept become future problems
Finance Minister Bill Morneau talks to the Globe and Mail
Justin Trudeau is taking the Senate into uncharted territory
Liberals roll the dice with ambitious budget
Harper's GST legacy leaves the fiscal ship at the mercy of the world economy
Bill Morneau's centre-left budget puts Tom Mulcair's NDP in a bind
ISIS doesn't care that we're kind
Morneau and Trudeau sell their budget on and off Parliament Hill
Shared Services Canada plan to outsource jobs spiked by Ottawa
Philpott won't appeal Allard ruling on right to grow medical marijuana
Bill Morneau rejects making employment insurance fund independent
5 ways the budget turns back the clock on the Harper era
Federal budget relies heavily on CRA Recouping tax-haven revenues
World watching as Canada casts aside austerity and gambles on a fiscal surge
Air Canada bill could free airline from maintenance centre restrictions 
The Liberals are clearly wrong in saying Canada isn’t at war with ISIL
What's $29.4 billion between friends? It's Justin Trudeau's world now - we're just living in it
Why are the Liberals suddenly sounding a lot like Donald Trump?
Spy agency watchdog 'in a difficult position' with huge budget cuts looming
Local governments to set infrastructure project priorities: minister
From one Trudeau budget to another
Trudeau's "To Be Continued" Budget

Voice of B.C. -- Privacy and F.O.I

British Columbia's Information and Privacy Commissioner Elizabeth Denham joins host Vaughn Palmer to discuss privacy concerns impacting British Columbians.

March 24

Prince Rupert traffic issues and Container truck bypass options discussed during Monday's Council session

Councillor Cunningham took noted of
a number of traffic related concerns
in the community.
Concerns over traffic in the city made for a number of themes during the course of Monday's City Council session, whether it be issues of speeding or distracted drivers in the city, or the travel of trucks through the city.

When it comes to the need to address the speeders and distracted drivers of the community, Councillor Barry Cunningham noted that the city should contact the local detachment of the RCMP to request a stepped up program of enforcement through the City.

He also raised the issue of container traffic travelling through the city, noting that with the province having advised the City that Second Avenue West will not be part of a paving improvement program this year, the condition of that road continues to suffer.

On that theme, Council may wish to provide an update for the public to advise as to the fate of that provincial road paving program and if indeed the province has firmly announced no plans to lay some asphalt this summer.

If so, Council may wish to have the region's MLA Jennifer Rice take up the issue at the Legislature on behalf of the riding.

The theme of container truck travel through the city also provided Mayor Lee Brain with an opportunity to update Council on some his recent discussions with Ministry of Transport officials on the prospect of a bypass road in the community.

The Mayor noted for Council that while discussions on the Wantage Road concept had taken place, there is also an alternative option that the Port is considering to route container traffic towards the Ridley Island area.

That's a concept that we noted on the blog last year as part of a review of a planned inter modal yard on RidleyIsland.

That proposal combined with the planning for the southbound expansion of the Container Terminal makes the prospect of a road from Fairview south to Ridley Island a more workable solution to the increased traffic issues in downtown Prince Rupert.

For his part, Mayor Brain observed that the next step when it comes to a bypass option, is to build some kind of a case for the province and to show the feasibility of any transportation plans, adding that whatever the solution is, it should be the right one for the entire region.

You can review the discussion on where the bypass road discussion may be heading from the City's Video Archive, it starts at the fifty nine minute mark.

For more items related to Monday's Council session see our Council Timeline here.

More background on City Council discussions can be found on our Council Discussion Archive page.

Port related notes, including their plans and concepts for moving containers through the region can be found from our Port Archive.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review