Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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

B.C. regulator feels heat to curb real estate misconduct
B.C. climate plan promises to reduce emissions from LNG
Oversight of British Columbia's housing market is a sham
B.C. set to file injunction to shut down Victoria courthouse homeless camp
Education funding 'is good start' but lacks long term vision, says VSB
B.C. giving $25M back to school districts
B.C. health minister defends maligned iHealth record system
Politicians operate with social media firmly in mind
B.C. gives back $25 million previously cut from school budgets
Province should learn IT lessons
Ditching exams doesn't alter curriculum
B.C. government launches online map that shows daycare vacancies
Glen Clark's '96 Win, and Lessons for Today
At Main and Hastings, a Radical Rebuff to the Rich Takes Shape

Ottawa Observations: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

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

The resignation of Minister Hunter Tootoo

Ottawa imposes unequeal increases in benefits for injured veterans
Bombardier offered C Series stake for a 'song' Airbus executive says
China's foreign minister to meet with Trudeau in Ottawa
Assisted-dying bill unlikely to clear Senate before June 6 deadline
Canada must phase out supply management, Bernier says
The electoral reform fight has only just begun
Energy East pipeline benefits questioned in secret government memo
Wan Yi, China foreign minister, in Ottawa for talks Wednesday
Opposition drops inquiry to Justin Trudeau's 'elbowgate' incident
MPs send assisted dying bill to Senate as C-14 deadline looms
Heavy police presence will greet 1st wave of returning Fort McMurray residents
Canadian special forces under fire in Iraq battle, try to save life of wounded Kurdish general
Tory leadership candidate Maxime Bernier no longer a political 'lightweight'
House of Commons committee decides not to punish Trudeau for elbow incident after MP accepts apology
Ex-MP once suspended from Commons suggests all-party committee should 'move on' from Trudeau scuffle
It’s largely a dog’s breakfast on the Liberals’ plate — just what voters ordered
Conditions have been met to allow first wave of Fort McMurray evacuees to return home Wednesday: Notley
Nannies trip up Trudeau, in rare early stumble
MPs vote 186-137 to send assisted-dying bill to the Senate
Ottawa will force tobacco companies to use plain packaging, says Jane Philpott
Ottawa to hotly debate O Canada lyrics in wake of dying MP's bill
Liberals were control freaks long before Harper
Bernier would bust up farming cartels
Pot law chaos? That's on Trudeau
Shorter Campaigns Sweeter? NDP Bill Would Limit Lengths
Conservatives blast Liberals for office renovation expenses
Liberals must not be arrogant about changing the nation's elections
M├ętis compensation talks are a milestone long in the making
The old bossist approach to politics is finally going out of style

Federal Fisheries Minister steps down to address personal issues

Hunter Tootoo, the Federal Fisheries Minister
andMinister responsible for the
Canadian Coast stepped down Tuesday
A key minister in the Liberal cabinet has stepped aside to take care of personal issues,  a shift in personnel at the Federal level which will leave some important items for the North Coast up in the air for the short term.

Hunter Tootoo, the Minister of Fisheries and the Coast Guard announced his departure from the federal scene with a statement late Tuesday afternoon, citing his desire to address addictions issues and asking for privacy at this time.

In addition to his Ministerial responsibilities, Mr. Hunter represented the Nunavut riding as the MP for that community in the House of Commons.

The news out of Ottawa quickly spread from the national capital as the evening moved forward, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issuing a statement early Tuesday evening Ottawa time confirming the news of Minister Tootoo's departure.

For the North Coast the timing of his departure will leave a number of important files still to be addressed, including issues related to the CEAA process for the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG project, the Federal Governments plans for a Tanker Ban on the west coast, as well as some initiatives that have passed his way when it comes to concerns over the west coast salmon fishery.

You can review some of the items of note that have been forwarded to the Fisheries Minister from our archive pages below:

Fishing Industry
Pacific NorthWest LNG project
Oil Terminal Proposals for the Northwest

Dominic Leblac, the Federal Government's House Leader will take up Minister Toottoo's cabinet responsibilities.

Some background on today's announcement can be found below:

Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo resigns from cabinet to seek addiction treatment
Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo leaving caucus over 'addiction issues': PM
Hunter Tootoo resigns as fisheries minister, leaves federal caucus
Hunter Tootoo resigns from cabinet, leaves Liberal caucus
Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo leaving caucus over 'addiction issues'
Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo resigns
Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo resigns from Trudeau cabinet, cites 'addiction issues'
Canada's Fisheries Minister Tootoo Quits Post, to Seek Treatment
Justin Trudeau appoints Dominic LeBlanc as fisheries minister following resignation of Hunter Tootoo
Hunter Tootoo resigns as fisheries minister to seek alcohol treatment

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Glad tidings from Gladstone, Australia and a bit of advice for Prince Rupert

The Curtis Island LNG project in
Gladstone, Australia 

(image from the Bechtel project page)
Last week the Northern View offered up an overview of a recent Chamber of Commerce presentation by Melissa Case, a representative from the global industrial company Bechtel and a former resident of Gladstone, Australia now based in Prince Rupert working as the community relations manager for the global engineering company.

Bechtel was awarded the contract for the proposed Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal project back in 2013.

Ms. Case shared her review of how the LNG industry arrived in the Queensland State of Eastern Australia and the key areas that Prince Rupert may wish to address when it comes to any anticipated growth.

A theme from the Chamber meeting which the Northern View provided some background on.

Lessons from Down Under: Gladstone, Prince Rupert's sister city?

So taken by the presentation was the weekly paper, that in an editorial last week they noted with some alarm that Prince Rupert's City Council had not yet picked up the phone and urged Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain to get in touch with officials in the Australian community, suggesting it was time to call our sister.

In Our Opinion: Call your sister

As it turns out, our sister already has had offered up some counsel for our community, with a paper in Gladstone, Australia taking note of the interest in how development there had taken place with some background on the LNG story from Australia.

The Gladstone Observer provides their own observations on both the industry and the "strangely" named town of Prince Rupert" (an interesting note from a country with its own creative town names such as Banana, Chinchilla, Woolloomooloo and Kooloonooka and a range of others stretched across the South Pacific continent) as well as some thoughts on what the Bechtel boom as they call it, delivered in  that community.

And while the article from the Observer itself is a fairly good account of events, it's the comments and advice from Gladstone residents that provide for an interesting review of how that community handled the challenges of growth that LNG brought there.

The full article and growing list of comments is available for review here.

Among the contribution to the comments section was a correspondence from Ms. Case who shares her observations on LNG and her affection for Prince Rupert for the folks back home.

Gladstone is fortunate to have such a large industry base that provides stable employment for so many people, invests so much money into the community and largely supports all of the local businesses in town. We take it for granted, and don't appreciate what we have. When I see people desperate to work, struggling every day to feed their families, local businesses trying so hard to keep their doors open and so much homelessness and poverty I have realised what a charmed life we have in Gladstone. 

Prince Rupert is a beautiful community full of amazing, positive people. I have completely fallen in love with this place and its people and will do anything I can to help them out. I am excited for this community's future and feel fortunate to be here to share lessons learnt from my home town and help navigate the community on their journey. -- Ms. Melissa Case, the sustainability and community relations manger for Bechtel Corporation in Prince Rupert providing the view from Prince Rupert for the folks back home in Gladstone

Readers of the Observer newspaper in Gladstone Australia
have provided some comments on LNG development to consider
after an article on Prince Rupert's plans appeared 
Other reviews from those on the other side of the Pacific Ocean provide for what may become familiar themes for North Coast residents, particularly when it comes to issues of housing issue and the impressions of some on some of the changes that the industry delivered to Gladstone, a community of some thirty thousand residents North of Brisbane.

The comments also highlights that when it comes to the development of LNG resources and terminal projects, differing opinions and controversy is a common thing far beyond the North Coast of British Columbia.

A look at what the LNG industry looks like in Gladstone can be found from Bechtel Curtis Island LNG project page

The community is host to the Santos GLNG terminal, the Australia Pacific LNG project

Included in the Gladstone Observer article were a few other items that might be of interest to North Coast Residents.

Gladstone and 'LNG service centre' in Curtis Island new phase
Curtis Island LNG exports create 'winners and losers'
Curtis Island case against CFMEU reps 'a bloody disgrace'
Company chooses Santos for $6M after Curtis Island GLNC job

A review of the Chamber of Commerce presentation from mid May was also provided by CFTK TV, you can learn more about the topic here.

You can review the list of proposed LNG projects for the North Coast and Northwest BC from our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Letter from Scientists calls for Federal Government to reject Pacific NorthWest LNG project

The reading list on the theme of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project is getting longer and longer for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as well as the Ministers of Natural  Resources and Justice.

The latest contribution to the briefing notes, is a correspondence from Ninety scientists and academics who have put their name to a document calling into question the Greenhouse Gas emission projections from the proponents of the Lelu Island terminal project and calling on the Liberal government to reject the proposed development.

The collection of scientists and academics features a strong British Columbia contingent, along with other Canadians and Americans, as well some British and Australian participation makes up the global contingent in opposition to the proposed development.

The theme of their letter does approach one area of concern that the Liberals have expressed concern about in the past,  with the concern related to Green House Gas emissions a topic that the Federal cabinet ministers have been issued direction on.

Last fall upon taking office, a number of ministers were tasked to meet the Federal Government's Greenhouse Gas ambitions through their Ministry mandate letters of November of 2015.

It's on that topic where the concerns from the letter may best resonate with federal officials.

The letter that was delivered to the Federal Government on May 26th and takes issue with the research into the GHG levels that made up the Pacific NorthWest application. With the collection of scientists and academics stating that the project poses serious risks to climate change targets, that GHG emissions from the project are likely to be underestimated and that there is inadequate climate policy to reduce impacts for the project.

The scientists/academics also call into question the belief that the LNG delivered from the project will replace the use of coal in Asia.

A copy of the letter was also provided to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency which is currently reviewing the application from Pacific NorthWest LNG.

The full text of the letter can be reviewed below (click to expand):

You can review the full letter and the entire list of signatories from this link to the document.

The latest addition to the information flow on the proposed project has also resulted in a pair of rebuttals to the letter from the scientists/academics, with both industry and provincial government officials challenging some of the observations in the letter.

BC environmental minister Mary Polak called the letter a myopic view of the situation and observed that the Provincial government is planning to announce a number of GHG reduction measures later this month. She also outlined how the use of LNG would play an important transition fuel role for Asian countries as they look to replace coal.

For it's part Pacific Northwest officials outlined their concerns over the letter, reinforcing previous aspects of their presentation to the CEAA that the LNG terminal once in operation would supply the world's cleanest LNG to partners in Asia, who are eager to import the same natural gas that British Columbians use in their daily lives"

Pacific NorthWest LNG rejects climate experts' environmental concerns
B.C. environment minister says climate scientists' letter 'doesn't meet with reality'

An overview of some of the media coverage of the latest contribution to the debate over LNG in British Columbia can be found below:

Pacific NorthWest LNG project 'deeply concerns' climate change experts
Climate scientists from around the world ask Canadian government to stop B. C. LNG project
Climate scientists' plea: Reject B.C. LNG project
Scientists call on Feds to reject LNG project
More than 90 scientists dispute LNG project's emissions estimates
90 scientists and climate experts call on Trudeau to reject Pacific NorthWest LNG 
Scientists ask P.M. to reject proposed LNG plant
More than 90 climate experts, including Tim Flannery and James Hansen, call for rejection of Petronas LNG plant

The environmental review process for the Pacific NorthWest LNG project is currently in a pause mode while the CEAA reviews some requested information from the proponent, it's anticipated that the entire file will be turned over to the Federal cabinet in June, with a final cabinet decision to be delivered sometime this summer.

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

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Monday, May 30, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints, Monday, May 30, 2016

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

B.C.'s education minister looking at changes to standardized testing
B.C. national park faces opposition as debate continues over land protection
Pacific NorthWest LNG project 'deeply concerns' climate change experts
B.C. environment minister says climate scientists' letter 'doesn't meet with reality'
B.C. TransLink minister to Metro Vancouver mayors: 'Get on With the Job"
Mayors, province haggle over transit funding
B.C. Premier denies residential real estate sales were part of Asia trade mission
Biography sheds light on what makes Christy Clark tick
Premier Clark's real-estate road trip in Asia sparks uproar
Climate scientists' plea: Reject B.C. LNG project
Scientists call on Feds to reject LNG project
Lens on Poverty in BC: Pay Hydro or Go Hungry

Ottawa Observations, Monday, May 30, 2016

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

Conservatives in Convention May 26-28
Liberals in Convention May 26-28

Ottawa mulls over 'super' oversight body for security agencies
More than 90 scientists dispute LNG project's emissions estimates
Pacific NorthWest LNG rejects climate experts' environmental concerns
Tobacco companies prepare to fight Ottawa's plain-packaging plan
Far from Ottawa, this is what Canadians really care about
Amendments to assisted dying bill defeated,  C-14 passes report stage
Divorced parents need guidance on child benefits impact, Conservatives say
Liberals want to end jailing of child migrants, public safety minister says
Italy raises Muskrat Falls concerns with Trudeau at G7
Quebec milk producers heading to Ottawa by tractor
Pacific NorthWest LNG project 'deeply concerns' climate change experts
Doctor-assisted death bill could miss Supreme Court deadline, Feds concede
Extended EI benefits not being considered for more regions, Bill Morneau says
Feds tight-lipped about Sikh terrorist allegations in B.C.
Ministers have another chance to fix pension system
Liberal's pot policy is a big fog
Morneau's problem credibility, not deficits
Trudeau: Do as I say, not as I did
How the NDP became the villain
The Trudeau Liberals just prioritized one of Richard Nixon's favourite conservative policies: 'mincome'
Signs Liberals may be wavering on electoral reform
Why Canadians are better Republicans
Tory, Liberal Senate leaders call assisted suicide bill ‘unconstitutional’ as deadline nears
The Liberals have a  pretty big to-do list for the 19 days before Parliament's summer shutdown
Climate scientists from around the world ask Canadian government to stop B. C. LNG project

City set to adopt new Emergency Management Program tonight

Prince Rupert Fire/Rescue Chief
Dave McKenzie will be named
Emergency Management Coordinator
at tonight's City Council session
The blue print for how the City of Prince Rupert will deal with any emergency situations is now ready for review, with Council members set to receive the final draft of the proposed plan tonight.

Prince Rupert City Council will look over the final details of the major overhaul of the City's Emergency Management Plan, with Council members then asked to vote to put the procedures in place as part of this evening's council session.

The new Management plan provides for a substantial improvement over the previous edition, creating a program which will oversee the maintenance and execution of the plan that will be put to use in the event of a major emergency in the City of Prince Rupert.

The Emergency Management Plan outlines the responsibilities of the City Council when it comes to any emergency situation, as well as to provide some background to the process involved with the Emergency Management Program Committee.

Once City Council reviews the document tonight, it will move to appoint The City's Fire Chief, Dave McKenzie as the City of Prince Rupert's Emergency Management Coordinator.

You can review the full document related to the new Emergency Plan from the Agenda for tonight's City Council session, it can be found from pages 15 to 20.

A preview of some of the other items related to this evening's Council session can be found on our Council Preview item here.

Further background to Council issues and discussions can be found on our Council archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

City Council Preview, Monday, May 30, 2016

Council members return to their public duties after a three week absence from the scheduled meetings, with the end of May session the first public gathering for the city's elected officials since May 9th.

Tonight's session for the most part is a light one, with a single public presentation and a number of Bylaw items making up the bulk of the work schedule.

Opening up the evening's proceedings will be a Committee of the Whole Session, which offers residents of the community to raise issues of concern to the Council.

The Agenda for the Committee of the Whole portion of the evening can be found here.

The Regular Council session features a presentation from a pair of Terrace based Conservation Officers with some background on the issue of wolves in Prince Rupert the topic of the discussion.

Four blyaws will make up the bulk of the evenings work for Council as they look at issues related to the a review of a Policy to require Development Approval Information, a report on the Official Community Plan, Emergency Management Program and a road closure bylaw item for a stretch of road access near the Besner Block.

The full review of the evening ahead can be found from the Agenda for the Regular Council Session for Monday, May 30, 2016.

Council will also host a session at 5 PM closed to the public, to address items related to:

personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality;  

negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.

Below we'll highlight the different elements of this evenings work from the Regular session Agenda, for further background on each item, the page number from the Agenda is listed in red.

The Regular  Council session starts off with the adoption of agendas and minutes.

Petitions and Delegations --  Terrace based Conservation Officers Mr. Tracy Walbauer and Mr. Ryan Gordon will make a presentation on the topic of Wolves within the City of Prince Rupert.

Any Unfinished Business is then up next on the Agenda.

Followed by Reports and Recommendations and any Correspondence For Action

Resolutions from Closed Meetings

Bylaws mark the next item of the Agenda on the night and makes for a short list of items to be addressed.

Report from the City Planner -- Background on the Bylaw to Establish Policies and Procedures to Require Development Approval Information (see page 7 of the Agenda)

Report from the City Planner -- Details of the Quality of Life - Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 3394, 2016 - A Bylaw to Permit Impact Assessment (see page 11 of the Agenda)

Report from the Fire Chief -- Background on the Emergency Management Program Bylaw No. 3392, 2016 ( see page 15 of the Agenda )

Report from the Director of Operations -- Background on the Road Closure and Removal of Road Dedication Bylaw No. 3391. 2016 for a portion of 3rd Avenue West at the Besner Block ( see page 21 of the Agenda)

The evening then moves on to Additional Items from Council members, as well as Reports, Questions and Inquiries from Members of Council.

Council will also hear an update from the Mayor on the Housing Committee.

The Live broadcast of the City Council session can be found here, a video archive of past sessions is available here.

Our archive of items related to the May 30th session can be found here.

While our archive of all sessions of 2016  for council  is available here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Saturday/Sunday, May 28 - 29, 2016

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

B.C. Legislature's Green MLA should focus on what message he's delivering
B.C. wildfires, some suspected arson, burn firefighting budget fast
B.C. real estate companies join Christy Clark on trade mission to Asia
Haisla Nation in tough waiting game as LNG delayed
No plan, no cooperation, no clue with B.C.'s unrapid transit
Unhappy campers roast reservation system, not marshmallows
Campaign-cash reforms barely worth it
In making mines safe, B.C. deserves an F
Real estate companies join B.C. government on Asian Trade Mission
BC Housing to propose extending lease on temporary Maple Ridge homeless shelter

Ottawa Observations: Saturday, Sunday, May 28-29, 2016

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene from Saturday/Sunday, May 28-29, 2016.

Conservatives in Convention May 26-28
Liberals in Convention May 26-28

Competition Bureau warns of bid-rigging as Ottawa set to spend on infrastructure
Canada Pension Plan reform meeting set for Vancouver
TSB flags rail-safety concerns amid surge in runaway trains
Canada Revenue Agency rapped for failing to shred mountain of hard copies
Kevin Vickers is a hero, but he was out of line in Dublin
Liberals' assisted dying bill still flawed
Even politicians deserve family time
Thanks, Mike, the cheque's in the mail!
Canadian special forces on the front lines with Kurds aiming to retake Iraqi city from ISIL, U.S. says
Quebec urgently needs to separate from Canada, says PQ leadership candidate Martine Ouellet
Federal ‘unmuzzling’ has gone beyond government scientists with scrapping of Harper-era system
Conservative whip says Canadians think differently of Trudeau after elbow incident by time to move on
Too many apologies
A lesson for Trudeau from Queen's Park
'Rushed' assisted-dying legislation to face strong opposition in the Senate

Friday, May 27, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Friday, May 27, 2016

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

B.C. heads back to court with homeless camp
BC Liberal Randy Rinaldo stepping down as candidate for 2017 election
Cable Ferry breaks down between Buckley Bay and Denman Island
'Insane Damage': Activist accuses Logger of Breaking Disclosure Law
B.C. real estate companies join Christy Clark on trade mission to Asia
Randy Rinaldo withdraws B.C. election candidacy after controversial tweets surface
Victoria homeless camp injunction sought after fire hazard inspection
'About time' to get rid of provincial exams, says expert
New Denman Island cable ferry stranded by hydraulic failure
Mayors and Province roll out separate Metro Vancouver funding proposals
B.C. Liberal candidate steps aside due to 'insensitive tweets'
Government to seek eviction of tent city residents over fire risk
Cameraman attacked near tent city, second incident in less than 24 hours
Crowded tent city poses risk of disease 
Buckley Bay cable ferry back in service after stranding 25 passengers
Get big money out of politics
Man arrested at Victoria's Tent City following attack on TV cameraman
Province seeks second injunction to remove tent city campers
Controversial B.C. Liberal prospect Randy Rinaldo withdraws candidacy

Ottawa Observations: Friday, May 27, 2016

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

Conservatives in Convention May 26-28
Liberals in Convention May 26-28

G7 Meetings

Justin Trudeau sees mixed results on G7 trip

New senators want to see amendments to assisted-dying bill
Federal Court gives NDP hopeful sign in satellite-office dispute
Transport Canada mulls regulations for drone deliveries
'Rushed' assisted-dying legislation to face strong opposition in the Senate
Brian Murphy, Irish protestor tackled by Kevin Vickers, says he holds no grudge
Kevin Vicker's bravery less valued in discreet world of diplomacy
MMIW inquiry should be headed by Indigenous women, report says
Canada Post warns biggest customers to prepare for service disruption
Ottawa posts deficit for fiscal year at income tax revenue falls in March
The link between culture and health is vital for First Nations
Taking from the rich doesn't work
NDP sees hopeful sign in fight over repaying $2.7M in parlimentary funds for satellite offices
The Liberals spent $9B in a single month, just so they could say there was a deficit
Faith in Big Trade Deals keeps crumbling
Morneau to face extended questioning over deficit
Security oversight committee coming soon: Leblanc
Potential billion-dollar deal for Metis as fed address historic land dispute
Ottawa posts deficit for fiscal year as income tax revenue falls in March

AltaGas plans gain national attention with BNN interview

Media attention to the pace of economic development on the North Coast has increased in recent weeks, thanks in part to the efforts of Alberta based AltaGas which has made some significant progress in its plans to ship propane out of the North Coast.

As we noted on the blog on Tuesday, the Canadian energy company announced some background of a shipment agreement with Astomos, a major Japanese energy firm, with Asian buyer set to receive at least fifty percent of all of AltaGas's proposed annual shipment levels for liquid propane out of a proposed terminal location on Ridley Island.

The Memorandum of Agreement which would see some 1.2 million tonnes of propane shipped out of Prince Rupert and marks a giant step in the plans of AtlaGas to diversify their export market plans and should provide confirmation for local residents of the progress to come for the development project at Ridley.

The project which is still in its early stages of the environmental assessment process and awaitin a Final Investment Decision would, if approved, send its first shipment out of the proposed Terminal in 2018.

This week's announcement has been of some interest to the National media over the last few days, featuring a number of items related to the agreement between AltaGas and Astomos.

On Wednesday, the Business News Network took an interest in the story, featuring some background on the agreement, the state of the propane industry and the proposed development in Prince Rupert, featuring the North Coast plans as part of an extensive interview with Alta Gas CEO David Harris on the cable business channel.

You can review the full interview with AltaGas chairman below:

More items of interest related to the proposed development for Ridley Island can be found on our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Change coming to BC education exam process next year

The exam load and pressures of exam time will be reduced for
secondary school students starting in September
This year will mark the final year for the expanded final exam process in British Columbia's secondary schools, with the Ministry of Education set to introduce a new program next year which will see significantly fewer final exams and more in class assessments.

Education Minister Mike Bernier announced the changes on Thursday noting that the new curriculum designed by teachers across the province will focus on the basics of reading , writing and arithmetic that allows for collaboration, communication and critical thinking skills.

“We owe it to parents and to the next generation to make sure we are setting up a clear path for kids to follow their dreams and succeed. Whether they want to design computer programs, build skyscrapers, or start a business, our new curriculum and our incredible teachers will help students build the foundation they need to make that happen.”

As for the reduced exam regimen the previous five exam program will be replaced by assessments of the core math an literacy skills taught as foundations for all subjects. During their graduation years, students will write provincial exams in both math skills and literacy.

Student programs in subjects such as science, social studies and language arts will be assessed in the classroom.

The days of the Report Card appear numbered as well, with the new program having the school consulting with parents on what they want to know about their child's progress and how they want to get that information.

And starting in the 2017-18 school year, students will take a Career Education course as part of the curriculum in order to graduate, that program is to provide them with a link between the classroom and their opportunities in life.

The Information release from the Ministry of Education, along with links to other background information on the new curriculum can be found here.

As we noted on the blog earlier this month, Students and Parents/Guardians can learn more about the new curriculum plans for British Columbia when School District 52 hosts two sessions on Monday May 30th to outline the launch of the new program.

Some notes from the media on yesterday's announcement can be found below:

Provincial exams replaced with 'core math and literacy skill assessments'
Provincial exams scaled back, more emphasis on class results in B.C.
B.C. students to write fewer provincial exams
New curriculum has fewer high school provincial exams
Province reduces number of exams required for graduation
Fewer provincial exams, more in-class assessments in B.C. next year

More background on education on the North Coast can be found on our archive page.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Victoria Viewpoints: Thursday, May 26, 2016

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

Emergency measures stave off wildfire damage to B.C. oil and gas patch
Provincial exams scaled back, more emphasis on class results in B.C.
Greenhouse gas emission rule to add millions to Trans Mountain cost: Kinder Morgan
B.C. students to write fewer provincial exams
Kinder Morgan confident it can meet NEB recommendations
Province inspects Victoria homeless camp for fire hazards
Liberals ignore NDP call to rein in government advertising
Province reduces number of exams required for graduation
New curriculum has fewer high school provincial exams 
Province said to be ‘controlling agenda’ on sewage 
Province reviewing tent-city fire inspection report, statement expected Friday
Fewer provincial exams, more in-class assessment in B.C. next year
Provincial and local governments once again squabble over transportation funding
Provincial exams replaced with 'core math and literacy skill assessments'

Ottawa Observations: Thursday, May 26, 2016

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

Conservatives in Convention May 26-28
Liberals in Convention May 26-28

G7 Meetings

Justin Trudeau in Japan: What he's been up to
Justin Trudeau touts trade to G7 leaders, warns of protectionism
Canada expects 'strong' G7 statement against paying hostage ransoms
G7's intent to send 'signal' on maritime claims rankles China
Trudeau stresses to G7 leaders the need to reject paying ransom
Trudeau has mixed success as his first G7 summit wraps up in Japan
Minister supports openness about shipbuilding program, but dodges questions
G7 final statement a mixed bag for Canada
Trudeau sifts for positives through G7 leaders' final statement
G7 leaders pledge action on stimulating growth, migration crisis

CRA workers' union sues former treasurer for allegedly stealing money
How Canada should rethink international assistance
Companies owe Ottawa $100-million for over-payments: report
Canada needs new fighter jets 'now,' defence minister says
Canadians won't see price tag for navy frigate replacement until 2019
Liberals pass on debating motion to amend medically assisted dying bill
Canada's rent bill for empty building in Moscow to hit $25 million
Ambassador Kevin Vickers, former House Sergeant-at-arms, tackles protestor in Dublin
Ambassador Kevin Vicker's tussle with protestor in Dublin garners mixed reaction
Warship designers, federal government huddle in Halifax on frigate replacement
The assisted dying elephant in the happy Liberal room
Ottawa must undo its reset with Putin
Debate over assisted-dying law shouldn’t be bound by ‘arbitrary timelines’: Paul Martin
Minister supports openness about shipbuilding program, but dodges questions
Former TRC chair calls for creation of national council for indigenous people
Minister supports openness about shipbuilding program, but dodges questions
Liberals to repeal controversial Tory legislation on public sector bargaining that blunted right to strike

At Issue Panel: Stephen Harper's Goodbye

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

 May 26: Steven Harper's Goodbye

Voice of B. C. -- The Media Panel

Keith Baldrey and Justine Hunter join host Vaughn Palmer to review the spring session of the Legislature.

May 26 

Conservatives at Convention: May 2016

It's a weekend of duelling conventions for two of Canada's political parties with both the Liberals and Conservatives gathering to review the past and look to the future.

This is a pivotal weekend for the Conservative Party of Canada, as the party bids adieu to former leader Stephen Harper who has indicated that he will be leaving politics before the fall session of Parliament resumes.

While background to tonight's Opening session of the Convention, the Party has many other issues and items of interest to discuss, with the sting of the fall election defeat still smarting, Conservatives will be looking to formulate a path ahead to rebuild their base and recapture some of the middle ground that was lost to Justin Trudeau and the Liberals in the October election.

The Convention Opens tonight with opening ceremonies from the Vancouver Convention Centre starting at 7 PM Pacific Time, with the highlight of the evening the keynote address from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Policy issues and discussion forums make up the bulk of the Friday agenda, with a review of the 2015 Election Campaign among some of the key elements for Day Number Two.

Plenary sessions and the results of the National Council Election will be the focus for the final day, with the Convention coming to a close at 5:30 on Saturday.

The three days will also signal the official start of sorts for the campaigns to replace Stephen Harper as party leader, with a number of declared candidates already working their campaigns already, the Vancouver convention provides the opportunity to build up support and gain some valuable alliances and funding for the long road ahead.

As the weekend events move forward we'll keep an eye out for any major shifts in direction or hints of controversy, as well as for the normal items of note that come from a three day gathering of political types of any persuasion.

Some notes on the Conservative Convention can be found here from party website.

CPAC is offering up a live stream of the Conservative Convention events, you can access that video stream here.

We launch the archive of the Conservatives at Convention with some items that take note of where the Conservative party is at heading into the weekend conclave, with updates to follow as the event moves forward.

May 30, 2016

The openness of the Tories at their convention is the story of the weekend
What you missed from the weekend's conventions
The new Conservatives: fun, fashion and fiscal responsibility
How should we describe the Conservatives now?
Conservatives seem liberated after their election defeat

May 29, 2016

The mood is upbeat but the future of the Conservative Party is uncertain
Conservative Party looks for its voice again post-Harper
Conservatives vote to end official opposition to gay marriage
Conservative Party leadership may be on Kevin O'Leary's bucket list
NDP, Conservative conventions take far different twists on similar plot
Tory Convention beat out Liberals
Trudeau can laugh at Conservatives all he wants, but Liberals better watch their backs
Kevin O'Leary sees 'no advantage' in declaring leadership run early

May 28, 2016

Conservative Party officials get scathing review of 2015 election campaign
Jason Kenney to decide on Conservative leadership bid by summer's end
Tories lacking leadership in wake of Stephen Harper
Tory 'bagman' boasts about party's bank account
Tories to upgrade policy handbook on gay marriage, assisted dying
How grassroots Tories took on their party's definition of marriage
Conservatives set to vote on dropping same sex marriage from policy
What Conservatives are considering at convention
'Freedom and respect': Conservatives strike marriage definition from party policy
Confident Tories emerge from convention united, ready to take on Trudeau
‘Government does not have a place in your bedroom’: Conservatives vote to accept same-sex marriages
Glad-handing and schmoozing: Conservative leadership hopefuls use convention to weigh bids
How grassroots Tories changed their party's definition of marriage

May 27, 2016

Conservatives take steps to end official opposition to gay marriage
On same-sex marriage, social conservatives' time has long gone
Tories unfairly targeted Muslims during election, supporter tells convention
Stephen Harper, Canada's true father of federation
Being cold and aloof may have worked in Harper's favour
Tories need a new take on climate change
'A fabulous moment': Conservative delegates shift to more neutral position on same-sex marriage
Conservative leadership: 1 year out, declared and undeclared candidates make their pitch
Tories vote against rule change allowing Rona Ambrose to run for permanent leadership
Stephen Harper joining Conservative Fund as director
Tory convention hears calls for greater inclusiveness
Canada needs Air Conservative
Harper, Trudeau, a study in contrasts
Inside the Tories’ ‘warring tribes’: Hard-drinkers, pro-lifers and the Ayn Randians who want to kill them
Conservative convention delegates vent over party’s ‘disaster’ of election campaign
Yes to same-sex marriage, no to Rona Ambrose: Tories begin heated debate on party policies
Harper's shadow over Today's Conservatives
Conservatives nix making Rona Ambrose leader, vote to drop same-sex marriage ban
Conservatives get blasted by member for driving away Muslims
Sophie snub? Rona Ambrose praises Laureen Harper's quiet style
Kevin O'Leary joins Conservative party, takes centre stage at convention
Brad Wall not interested in becoming next federal Conservative leader
Conservative Party leadership race lacks B.C. candidates
Trudeau's 'disaster' budget will pave way to Conservative win: Kevin O'Leary
Critics hijack #ThankYouStephenHarper tribute
Ambrose emphasizes women, youth, immigrants in speech to Conservative convention
Tories must fight for the little guy

May 26 2016

Harper breaks long public silence in speech at Conservative convention
The Conservative challenge, post Harper
'The past is no place to linger': Stephen Harper farewell opens Conservative convention
Conservatives gather in Vancouver to 'refresh, not reinvent' defeated party
Harper projects optimism for Conservative party in brief speech
In farewell, Harper calls for party unity, cites Tory strength
Harper was never the conservative extremist we were led to expect
Stephen Harper at Conservative convention: 'Now is the time to look forward'
Jason Kenney to make decision on Conservative leadership bid by summer’s end
Group of Conservatives trying to amend constitution to allow Rona Ambrose to run for leadership
Haprer breaks silence at Conservative convention, says party remains united
For the Record: Stephen Harper's lasting legacy
FYI, the CPC contenders - official and unofficial
Stephen Harper: 'Our party's journey is only beginning'
The Conservative Party's Kevin O'Leary factor
Where do the Conservatives go from here?
Harper urges Conservatives to stay united in first major speech since election

Pre Convention Notes:

Stephen Harper: After so many words, he exits in silence
Harper for hire: Former Prime Minister is on the hunt for a new job
Tories pitch greener message at party convention
Leadership Race rules could exacerbate Conservative Party divisions
Harper to break his silence at party convention
The non-candidacy of Rona Ambrose
Tory convention opens with salute to the Harper years
Harper, in good spirits, looks to career in foreign relations
Harper didn’t want to rule from beyond the political grave — and now he can cement his legacy
Old divisions set to re-emerge at key Conservative national convention this week
Ethics regime set up under Harper's tenure may follow former PM into his post-public life 
Stephen Harper to resign as MP to pursue business interests — and possibly a foreign policy institute
In search of a manifesto for the Conservative Party of Canada
Stephen Harper Inc.: Former PM sets up company
Stephen Harper the consultant: Former PM creates new company
Show Harper some love, Conservatives
Tories get rare window to voice dissent at party convention
Tomorrow is the right time for Harper to retire