Friday, April 29, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Friday, April 29, 2016

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

Accounting for the Vacnouver School budget crisis defies understanding
Infrastructure Minister's office working with provinces to stimulate economy
Education Minister disappointed with Vancouver School Board budget vote
Ministry of Children, Plecas review slammed by Turpel-Lafond
Conflict commissioner passes the test
B.C. children's watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond offers damning review of report
Vancouver School Board refuses to Balance Budget
Christy Clark isn't worried - and she doesn't think you are, either

Ottawa Observations: Friday, April 29, 2016

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

The full report card: Six months in, how well are the Liberals doing at keeping their promises
Presenting: The all-Purpose Justin Trudeau Speech
Good times and bad, the winds always blow money in Bombardier's direction
Conservative MPs launch a 'Draft Rona' campaign to allow Ambrose to seek permanent leadership
Give the Liberals an "A" for effort
The challenge for the Conservatives is staying united in an era of Trudeau
New Democratic Party faces challenge to stay relevant six months after trouncing
The best of Ottawa's new MPs
Justin Trudeau hauls water jugs, talks to school kids on trip to isolated reserve with Vice documentary team
'Not ruling it out': Jason Kenney weighing Conservative leadership bid but 'not close' to a decision yet
Rona Ambrose would be Tory leadership favourite if allowed to run, poll of party supporters finds
The 'corrosive truth' behind discrimination of gay public servants
CRA has yet to pay any rewards under tax-cheat tip line
Tories press Ontario Liberals to name firms given billions in grants, loans
Morneau softens deficit predictions as Ottawa runs surplus in February
Most popular replacement for Harper is one candidate who can't run: poll
Why carbon tax is better than cap-and-trade
Canada Revenue recoups dodgy dollars to close tax gap
Liberals should beware 'deliverology' guru
Canada Revenue Agency's tax compliance crackdown reaps more money than expected
Philippine military hopeful raids may spur hostage release
Canadian-supported medical clinic in Syria destroyed
Liberals won over Muslims by huge margin in 2015: poll suggests
Ottawa posts $7.5B surplus for 11 months of previous fiscal year
Bombardier bailout likely still needed despite Delta deal
Harper stalwarts missing in Tory leadership poll, and that says something
Saudi Arms Deal Signals Mideast Betrayal

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Thursday, April 28, 2016

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

Christy Clark received $277,000 since 2011 from B.C. Liberals
B.C.'s New Democrats call for ban on political stipends to elected officials
B.C. Liberals should end unethical payments to Premier Clark
Everything stinks about Christy Clark’s mysterious salary ‘top-ups’
Legislature seethes over premier's salary supplement
VSB cites 'chronic' underfunding in rejecting budget cuts by 5-4 vote
Is Christy Clark's extra pay a conflict of interest?
B.C. tables law forbidding profit from crimes
VSB votes against proposed budget
Christy Clark not backing down in face of top-up scrutiny
No conflict in Christy Clark Liberal party payment says former party strategist

Ottawa Observations: Thursday, April 28, 2016

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

Tax-cheat crackdown nets $1-billion more than expected, CRA data show
Canada, in change of heart, decided to keep historic official residence in Rome
Court to decide on making residential school compensation process public
Four more regions close to receiving expanded EI benefits, Ottawa says
U.S. secretary warns of Arctic 'climate refugees' in meeting with McKenna
National Defence paralyzed by 'risk intolerance,' retired admiral says
Three lessons to draw from the Saudi arms deal controversy
Why Trudeau must approve one of these pipelines
Whether we pay ransoms or not, terrorists won't be deterred
Chronic pain sufferers could be refused opioids as Liberals ditch anti-tampering plan, doctors warn
Trudeau right to say Canada doesn't pay ransoms, but should have said it sooner: former Liberal MP
Daesh is doomed, Canada's top general says during dramatic visit to Iraq
Cap-and-trade best way for Canada to reduce emissions
With First Nations snub, Trudeau shows contempt for media
Unpaid public servants told to ask for emergency cheques
Mike Duffy's expenses: 'The matter is closed," senior senators say
Liberal MP Doug Eyofson breaks ranks with party on Air Canada bill
CBC Board Member Resigns to seek Conservative Presidency

At Issue Panel: Governments and Ransoms

An archive of the At Issue features from the CBC's flagship News program The National.

 April 28: Governments and Ransoms

Voice of B.C. -- Law and Order

Attorney General and Justice Minister, Suzanne Anton and Solicitor General and Public Safety Minister Mike Morris join host Vaughn Palmer to discuss violence concerns in Surrey and other legal issues

April 28

Voice of BC - Law & Order from Voice of BC on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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

Christy Clark received $277,000 since 2011 from B.C. Liberals
Christy Clark's private 'allowance' from B.C. Liberals is no joke
Canadian Defence minister urges B.C. youth to choose military over gangs
Premier Christy Clark defends her Liberal party stipend
Partisan politics stall transgender rights bill
BC Hydro going to court to evict Site C dam protesters from outside head office
Guess who got an 11-per-cent raise last year?
Premier's Annual Stipends from Liberal Party Total $300,000
BC Ferries 'Very Safe,' Minister Responds to Union Claims
Pipeline projects seen as B.C. NDP election gold
Clark draws fire for taking B.C. Liberal Party stipend above her salary 
As probe of B.C. Liberal election strategy continues, costs rise
NDP protests Premier Christy Clark's party pay
Paramedics make house calls in rural program
BC Hydro files to move Site C protest camp in downtown Vancouver
NDP MLA proposes transgender rights bill for a 4th time
Christy Clark's salary top-up challenged by NDP in conflict complaint
Harjit Sajjan says guns and gangs nut just a Surrey problem
Sexual  misconduct on B.C. campuses subject of proposed new law

Ottawa Observations: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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

Duffy should be repaid lost wages, Senate ally argues
Aboriginal youth press Trudeau for action on 'Third World conditions'
Human rights groups ask Trudeau to end 'immoral' arms deal with Saudi Arabia
Trudeau's popularity has not dipped since the election: poll
Not just a 'pretty face': Trudeau's quantum-computing video goes viral
Climate change: A constitutional puzzle
The fruitless pipeline romance between Justin Trudeau and Rachel Notley
Justin Trudeau finds his resolve on terrorism
Will Trudeau stand on guard for Canada?
Will Trudeau keep Northern Gateway promise?
No pipelines? No prosperity
Justin Trudeau now a Kardashian-like spinoff
A Trump Presidency could add pressure on Canada's defence spending
Ottawa won't say how much it paid to protect government from Lac-Megantic lawsuits
RCMP launches investigation to bring John Ridsdel killers to Canadian justice
A hostage's death in the Philippines tests a new government
Justin Trudeau takes pointed questions from Indigenous youth
Ottawa earmarks $10.9M to upgrade 400 rail crossings this year
English-only RCMP officers on Parliament Hill spark complaints
Rona Ambrose calls on PM to stop 'waffling' on pipelines, as Energy Easy consultations near
Bombardier bailout would be 'slap in the face' for Toronto because of streetcar delays: TTC chair
Why Canadian white people have so much trouble understanding why somebody wouldn’t want to leave Attawapiskat
Canada does not pay ransom to terrorists except when we do
Trudeau shouldn’t rule out purchasing Lockheed’s F-35 just because he said he would
What good is a Liberal government if public servants can’t expect special treatment?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Tuesday, April 26, 2017

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

B.C. health ministry firings caused delay in Accutane-pregnancy study
Surrey Mayor calls on province to address chronic school overcrowding
Trudeau says  rainforest no place for pipelines,  as Enbridge eyes alternative endpoints for Gateway
Dogwood initiative fundraising letter raises prospect of Trudeau betrayal
David Eby stands out in rookie term
Minister frustrated by tent-city growth
BC Ferries projects now eligible for federal funds
Union's 'Serious' Ferry Concerns Merit Response, NDP Critic says
Privacy breach in B.C. health ministry led to freeze on medical research data

Ottawa Observations: Tuesday, April 26, 2016

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

Churches escape residential-school settlement obligations in wake of Catholic deal
Alberta's carbon tax brining Canada closer to new pipeline, Notley says
Trudeau rules out ransom for hostages as rescue mission explored
Time to get First Nations beyond a chronic sate of emergency
Why it's tough for the Tories to hold Trudeau to account
Polls show that NDP is suffering on both the party brand and leadership fronts
Human rights tribunal orders Ottawa to ensure services for aboriginal kids
Liberals petitioned to hold inquiry into Afghan torture allegations
Liberals adding tourism, recreational works to infrastructure program
The frustrations of being Governor-General
Canadian hostage's murder tests Trudeau's mettle
Does assisted dying law pass the constitutional test?
A much-changed Senate chamber awaits Mike Duffy's return
Duffy may have gotten off, but not the Senate
Trudeau is no Kennedy
Bombardier in line for another bailout in name of ‘national unity’
Canada 'does not and will not' pay ransom to terrorists, Justin Trudeau says
Trudeau says rainforest no place for pipelines, as Enbridge eyes alternative endpoints for Gateway
David Del Mastro trial on charge of illegal campaign financing down to evidence vs. common sense ‘An unequivocal act of integrity’: Harper’s lawyer defends former-PM’s role in Duffy affair
Dogwood initiative fundraising letter raises prospect of Trudeau betrayal
DND bureaucrats 'torpedoed' former Tory government's attempts to buy warships
John Ridsdel's execution renews debate over whether to pay ransoms
Trudeau says Canada 'does not and will not pay ransom to terrorists'
Tribunal orders federal government to ensure services for Aboriginal kids
'This is history in the making': Sask. First nations leaders meet with Justin Trudeau
RCMP's Mike Duffy investigation praised in memo from senior Mountie
Problems continue to plague public service pay system

Monday, April 25, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Monday, April 25, 2016

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

Union's 'Serious' Ferry Concerns Merit Response, NDP Critics Say
Enbridge eyes alternate B. C. ports for Northern Gateway as Notley discusses possibility with Trudeau
Alberta gains Ottawa's ear with plea for pipelines
Trans Mountain pipeline project to require B.C. environmental test
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway may be resuscitated as Trudeau wavers on tanker moratorium
B.C. Liberals redefine 'on time, on budget'
A calendar of chaos at Victoria's tent city
B.C. begins its own oil pipeline review
B.C. could go back to court over Victoria camp

Ottawa Observations, Monday, April 25, 2016

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

Canadian killed by terrorist group in Philippine, another held hostage
Kidnapping of Canadians is Trudeau's first time confronting a terror crisis
Elizabeth May wins strong endorsement in leadership review
What Trudeau needs to learn from Harper and the Duffy trial
Liberals hopeful pipeline approval process will be sped up
Senators should know: actions don't have to be illegal to be wrong
Family devastated after John Ridsdel killed by captors in Phillipines
Justin Trudeau condemns killing of Canadian hostage John Ridsdel
Martin, Chrétien portraits to hang side by side, with a pillar in between
Marijuana activist Jodie Emery seeks spot of federal task force on pot
Rachel Notley brings revamped pipeline pitch to federal cabinet retreat
Legalizing pot won't snuff out organized crime, report warns
Liberal infrastructure changes mean funding for ferries, small roads
Can Canada strike proper balance on rights and security?
Radical reboot of Canada's Foreign policy
PM should lead charge to wipe out killer terrorists
Don't negotiate with terrorists
John Ridsdel was an adventurer, but he was no cowboy
Second Canadian still held hostage by al-Qaida-linked terrorists in Philippines
Canadian government was ‘very directly involved’ helping John Ridsdel’s family: Bob Rae
Funding government projects through public pension plans is a terrible idea
Enbridge eyes alternate B.C. ports for Northern Gateway as Notley discusses possibility with Trudeau
Enbridge’s Northern Gateway resuscitated as Trudeau wavers on tanker moratorium
'I’ve seen real progress’: Pricey British governance guru coaches up the Trudeau cabinet
Federal government resists calls to end Ukraine visa requirements

Thursday, April 21, 2016

At Issue Panel: Mike Duffy acquitted

An archive of the At Issue features from the CBC's flagship News program The National.

 April 21: Mike Duffy Acquitted

Voice of B.C. -- Pundit Panel

Bill Tieleman and Martyn Brown join host Vaughn Palmer to discuss a range of political issues.

April 21

Voice of BC - Pundit Panel from Voice of BC on Vimeo.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

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

Alberta, B.C. discuss deal to swap pipeline for electricity
Promises, Promises - they can cost an election
Make war, not love — B.C. NDP goes negative at Vaisakhi
New oil-spill rules could help pipelines
CRD gets clarity from feds on need for sewage treatment
New tidal energy technology could power remote BC Communities

Ottawa Observations: Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from April 20, 2016.

Ottawa killed appeal of residential-school settlement ruling
Duffy awaits verdict in Senate expense trial
Liberals block NDP motion to create arms exports oversight body
Liberals to unveil marijuana legislation next year
Church had moral duty to residential-school survivors, but walked away
Liberals may be wise to run out the clock on electoral reform
Mike Duffy verdict will carry 'weight and influence'
Saudi-Iranian oil feud gives Justin Trudeau climate-change leeway
Judge set to rule on Mike Duffy fraud, bribery and breach of trust charges
Federal marijuana legislation to be introduced in spring 2017, Philpott says
Justin Trudeau defends doctor-assisted death legislation as a 'responsible first step'
Senate ethics watchdog looks into new allegations against Colin Kenny
Stéphane Dion urged to protect Honduran villagers from Canadian mining company
Former Supreme Court justice's Senate report could signal trouble for Mike Duffy
Play hardball with Bombardier
These are the "good old days' for Trudeau Liberals
4/20 demonstration on Parliament Hill: The bells ring out for pot protestors
Trudeau knows climate deal's a fraud
Expect Duffy to beat some - but not all - 31 charges
Cullen early favourite in NDP leadership race
A Liberal government styled by Dorian Gray
Health Canada looks at forcing tobacco companies to make cigarettes less addictive
Pallister's an unlikely standard-bearer for the Conservative brand, but he'll have to do
Conservative, Liberal MPs trade blame in Commons for failed military equipment purchases
$3.7 billion in spending delayed: Helicopters, Arctic patrol ships targeted by defence budget freeze
‘Independent businesses built this industry’: With legal weed near, free market wants in on green rush
National weed day gives Liberal backbencher chance to rock own government's boat
Avi Lewis, Jagmeet Singh and Nathan Cullen are favourites to take party helm

School District 52 welcomes new Director of Human Resources

School District 52 has brought to an end its search for a new Director of Human Resources, with Mr. Jonathan Wittig set to take over from the soon to retire Kathy Gomez.

Chair of the Board of Education Tina Last and Superintendent Sandra Jones made the announcement with a media release on Tuesday, providing some background on the new hire who will assume the duties of Director of Human Resources and Corporate Counsel.

Mr. Wittig arrives on the North Coast with an extensive resume in labour and employment law, having worked in both Ontario and British Columbia in a number of positions where he honed his skills in negotiation, contract administration and policy development.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo and a Law Degree from the University of Windsor. He was called to the British Columbia Bar in 2009.

Since his arrival in the region he has become an active member of the community, most recently having signed on with the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue group in the city.

Ms. Gomez is set to finish her time with School District 52 at the end of the current school year in June.

You can review the full announcement from the School District here.

For more items related to Education on the North Coast see our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Lelu Island delegation take concerns to Prime Minister's Office

A delegation of First Nations leaders
was in Ottawa on Tuesday to speak
out against Lelu Island LNG development

(Photo from FWS website)
A delegation of First Nations leaders from the Northwest was in Ottawa on Tuesday, taking their concerns over the proposed LNG terminal for Lelu Island to the capital and calling on the federal government to reject the project.

Highlighting what they described as deeply entrenched and broad indigenous opposition to the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project, the group called attention to the federal government's own goals when it comes to environmental protection and climate change issues.

One of the key elements of the discussion from the group was to note that the proposed project by the international energy company Petronas is undermining the government's own environmental ambitions.

The group that travelled to Ottawa included Hereditary Chiefs from Lax Kw'alaams and other communities in the Northwest, as well as Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B. C. Indian Chiefs.

“We have travelled to Ottawa to set the record straight with the Canadian government. As the proper title holders and decision-makers for Lelu Island and Flora Bank, we have not been properly consulted. Without our agreement, this project cannot and will not proceed,” -- Simoyget Yahaan, hereditary chief of the Gitwilgyoots Tribe of the Lax Kw’alaams people.

Former Lax Kw'alaams Mayor Gary Reece was also part of the delegation and he took issue with the recent shift in direction by current Mayor John Helin.

In a correspondence as part of the CEAA process related to the project, the newly elected Mayor offered up the support of Lax Kw'alaams should the CEAA provide for a positive decision on the project, though with conditions.

On that letter former Mayor Reece had the following to say: “The B.C. government has been saying that we’ve changed our minds and support the project,” “That’s simply not true, and Jon Helin had no business sending a letter to that effect without consulting his elected council, hereditary chiefs and our community. That letter does not represent the position of the Nine Allied Tribes of Lax Kw’alaams.”

Grand Chief  Stewart Phillip
addressing the media as part
of a delegation to Ottawa
Photo from FWS website)
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip observed that the Federal government cannot ignore the concerns of those in opposition to the LNG project proposed for Lelu Island.

“Contrary to the mythical claims of First Nations support being spread by B.C. government officials and Petronas lobbyists in Ottawa, there is a deeply entrenched, extensive and broad Indigenous opposition to the proposed PNW LNG project. Prime Minister Trudeau and his cabinet ministers can no longer pretend that this is not a significant factor in deciding if the project goes ahead.”

The group also called attention to what they called rogue elected band officials acting without authority and how they will continue to fight the project both in the courts and on the land if needed.

The website for Friends of Wild Salmon hosted a media release from Tuesday outlining further background to the Ottawa stop for the delegation, you can review it here.

As part of the media release, the recent letter from Prince Rupert Port Authority to those currently encamped on Lelu Island made for a prominent part of their concerns to the federal government, with the delegation asking if the correspondence was how the Federal government intends to conduct its new relationship with First Nations.

The stop in Ottawa has received some attention from a number of media groups, with the coverage of the travels of the delegation providing for an interesting range of focus and tone, with one article noting that any approval of the project would be akin to declaring war.

Former Mayor of Lax Kw'alaams upset by band's support for LNG Terminal
LNG fans, foes in B.C. clash over First Nations support
BC Chiefs say approving Petronas gas project akin to declaring war
Delegation of NorthWest Hereditary Chiefs in Ottawa (video)
Indigenous leaders head to Ottawa to oppose LNG project

More background on the proposed LNG terminal development for Lelu island can be found on our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Manitoba Election 2016

An archive of items related to Tuesday evening's Manitoba election which saw the Progressive Conservative Party claim power with 40 seats in the 57 seat Legislature.

Conservatives win majority in Manitoba, ousting NDP after nearly 17 years
Manitoba's next premier has a personal image problem
Brian Pallister's PCs win majority government in Manitoba
Brian Pallister feels 'awesome, humbled' by election win
Greg Sellinger resigns as NDP leader after big loss to PCs
Future of provincial NDP unclear after 'heart-breaking' loss to PCs
Progressive Conservatives celebrate majority status in Manitoba
Manitoba Liberals win 3 seats in provincial election
Manitoba Liberal Leader Rana Bokhari loses bid for seat to NDP's Wab Kinew
Defeat of Manitoba NDP has a sharp lesson for Rachel Notley
Conservatives romp to majority in Manitoba election as NDP’s orange wave continues to recede
PCs win historic majority
At least 11 NDP cabinet ministers turfed
What to expect from Brian Pallister now
Liberals triple seat count
Welcome to Fort Rouge, Wab Kinew
Greens come close in Wolseley
Time for Tories to do heavy lifting
PCs make history, oust NDP after nearly 17 years in power
More than enough blame for NDPs crushing defeat
Sellinger resigns as NDP leader
A few hugs, no concession speech for Bokhari
Tory wins turn the City Blue
Rural Manitoba rejects NDP strongholds

Victoria Viewpoints: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

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

B.C. government office proposes more oversight of mortgage brokers
British Columbia's wildfire season off to busiest start in a decade
B.C. wildfire season starts early, raising concerns about the summer to come
Northern B.C. kids' health outcomes 'alarming' says Northern Health
'Freeriding' B.C. newspapers costing recycling program millions
Alberta would benefit from B.C. hydroelectric power
Metro Vancouver explores idea of affordable housing on school sites
LNG fans, foes in B. C. clash over First Nations Support
Former Mayor of Lax Kw'alaams upset by band's support for LNG terminal
BC Chiefs say approving Petronas gas project akin to declaring war
School districts squeezed throughout B. C.
Tent City is a symptom of a deeper malaise
The NDP's great leap backward
Province steps in to manage tent city

Ottawa Observations: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from April 19, 2016.

Manitoba election results here

Ottawa to press church groups to fulfill residential-school settlement
Trade minister 'comfortable' with decision to approve Saudi arms deal
Liberals reaffirm pledge to slash wait times at EI call centres
Ottawa wants to send 'market signal' on Canada's low-carbon future
Canadians won't accept Leap because it breaks these two rules
Liberals face powder keg with gay apology
John McCallum promises probe into immigration consultants' fees for Syrian refugees
RCMP union bill C-7 could be amended to drop health benefits changes
Jane Philpott, Bill Blair to attend UN talks on war on drugs
Catherine McKenna says cutting emissions will take time as report shows rise
Justin Trudeau says parliamentarians have role in ending sexism
Senators still owe $554K in ineligible expenses as repayments trickle in
Some Liberal backbenchers call for changes to restrictive assisted dying bill
Senator Colin Kenny faces new questions about staff tending to personal affairs
Liberals called on to declassify EMP threat info
Morneau says budget watchdog is wrong, Harper left a deficit
Brian Mulroney blasts Justin Trudeau’s handling of pipelines
Three MPs haven’t yet said a word in the House of Commons. One of them is Stephen Harper
Liberals are inflating by billions of dollars the projected size of their deficits in coming years, PBO finds
Canada defenceless against missile attack, but no ‘specific’ threats known: NORAD general
NDP should forget Leaping and Protests, Just Win Elections

School District Facilities Report outlines state of North Coast Education infrastructure

A comprehensive review of the facilities of School District 52 provides North Coast residents with a snapshot of the state of repair of area schools is now available on the School District 52 website, as SD52 officials prepare to make their case for capital spending for schools on the North Coast.

The report is part of the District Facilities Plan that the School District will submit to the Ministry of Education. It is required by the Ministry to support the School District's annual capital plans and will replace the previous plan which dates back to April of 2009.

Prepared for the School District by Stantec Consulting, the review examines and identifies future facility space requirements as they relate to enrolment, capacity and building condition.

Of the eight SD52 facilities in Prince Rupert/Port Edward reviewed by Stantec all but one were considered to be in Good condition, with two listed as Poor and three others listed as Very Poor.

Two of the facilities that the School District operates in are leased and not part of the facilities review, while Hartley Bay owns the school complex in that community.

The three schools in the most need of immediate attention are Prince Rupert Middle School, Conrad Street and Pineridge, which all rank poorly on the Facility Rating Index. Noted under those guidelines as nearing the end of their life cycle.

The School District at the moment is also in possession of three Inactive Schools, with all three rated as in Very poor condition according to the Facility Rating Index.

When it comes to seismic risk for SD52 schools Prince Rupert Middle School is rated as having a High Risk, while Conrad Street School is listed at a Medium Risk.  The remaining schools of the SD52 system are rated at Low, with no rating or part of a leased building.

At their April 12th Board meeting the School District noted that the plan forecasts for an increase enrolment coming from port related development in the community.

Much like the City of Prince Rupert, the School District is looking with optimism towards the prospect of LNG development and other major industrial activity to boost its numbers, while noting that such development will provide for challenges when it comes to facilities.

The four main areas of potential economic development for the region
The impact of that development on SD52 enrolment levels
The impact on area schools of any enrolment increases 

The population projections have the School District making note of the need for Replacement and Expansion  of its existing facilities, noting that many would reach capacity with an influx of students to the North Coast.

The Prince Rupert Middle School which has been flagged by the School District as the facility most in need of replacement was noted in the Summary and Recommendations portion of the report.

The recommendation from the report noting that "closing the Prince Rupert Middle School and redistributing the students across the existing elementary schools would require major expansion of the remaining elementary schools. Prince Rupert Middle School is a facility that requires major renovations and upgrading to continue as a long-term asset"

Two other elementary schools, Conrad and Pineridge were also noted as requiring major investments to remain viable in the long-term.

The report also notes that Charles Hays Secondary should remain as the only secondary school in the community, adding that any increase in population would require expansion of the existing facility would be required.

The school capacities overview is found on pages 26-33 of the report

The topic of the various closed schools and other land options is reviewed on pages 55 and 56, with one observation of a potential concept of a land swap between the City and School District involving the current site of the Prince Rupert Middle School, with that idea noted as part of any new school construction for the Middle School.

The Kanata School land sale is noted in the report, as is the closed status of Seal Cove which cannot be sold and would have to return to the Crown if not used as a school. The Westview School building is also included in the review, with the note that any plans to redevelop it for other than education use would require rezoning and Provincial legislation. The School District has in the past suggested that the Westview School building could be re-purposed towards administrative requirements.

You can review the full School District Facilities Plan here.

For more items related to School District 52 see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

Prince Rupert Port Authoirty invests in twin projects for Kitkatla

The ribbon cutting ceremony at the
Kitkatla greenhouse
(Photo courtesy PRPA)
A 244,000 dollar investment from the Prince Rupert Port Authority Community Investment Fund will be put to work preserving traditional food production and providing nutritional education with the Gitxaala Nation.

Representatives from the Port travelled to Kitkatla earlier this month to take part in a blessing ceremony and commissioning of two new community spaces, a garden and green house project which will grow local produce and a kitchen and eating space for food preparation and training.

“We are very thankful to the Port of Prince Rupert’s partnership and financial contributions, for the Green House and Community Kitchen. These new facilities will go a long way to fostering the greater independence and sustainability of our nation, providing meaningful educational opportunities while strengthening the social fabric of our community.” -- Clifford White, Chief Councillor of the Gitxaała Nation

The garden program was created a number of years ago, but costs related to the need for topsoil and transportation requirements reduced its effectiveness, the construction of the 20 by 40  heated greenhouse will provide the community the opportunity to make better use of the facility and become increasingly self-sufficient, while promoting physical activity.

A renovated community kitchen
at Kitkatla funded in part through
the Prince Rupert Port Authority
Community Investment Fund

(Photo courtesy PRPA)
The kitchen project is located in a renovated building and features a two story deck that allows patrons to sit outdoors and enjoy the oceanfront view, the kitchen also allows residents of Gitxaala to explore partnerships and training opportunities with Northwest Community College and its culinary program.

The kitchen will also provide opportunity to provide food for the Lach Klan School and prenatal packages for residents of the community.

The majority of the funding for the Gitxaala Community Garden and Kitchen project came from the Port's contribution, with other funding partners including the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Coast Industrial Construction and the Hearth and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon.

Port President and CEO Don Krusel noted how the Gitxaala projects are examples of the kind of initiatives that the Community Investment Fund was created for.

“The community kitchen and garden are physical embodiments of the spirit of our Community Investment Fund, which was established to enable significant quality of life improvements to a broad demographic of community members. Experiencing these facilities, surrounded by members of the Gitxaala Nation, it was evident how useful these community assets already are, and will be for years to come.”

A media release from the Prince Rupert Port Authority (see here) provides more background on the initiative

The near quarter of a million dollar investment is just the latest of community investments that the Prince Rupert Port Authority has made around the North Coast.

You can review the list of contributions from that program so far in 2016 from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review