Monday, December 9, 2019

Victoria Viewpoints: Monday, December 9, 2019

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Provincial scene for   Monday, December 9, 2019

Globe and Mail 

Experts say proposed property tax increases could be devastating for Vancouver's local businesses
Former Vancouver mayoral candidate Ken Sim alarmed at NPA swing to the right
Vancouver councillor proposes vacancy control for SRO hotels in case of sale


Officers 'not negligent' in overdose death of BC teen that went viral, police watchdog says
Indigenous student faces racist backlash for petition saying Secwepemc students should park free at university
First Nations Leadership Council calls for immediate state of emergency over Big Bar landslide
Kelowna MLA Steve Thomson plans to leave politics after a decade in the legilsature

Vancouver Sun

Talks go late into the night as SkyTrain shutdown looms
BC announces second hospital for fast-growing Surrey but construction years away
Billion dollar boom: UNDRIP opens the door to First Nations partnerships

Vancouver Province


Victoria Times Colonist

Development aims to bring new heart to Esquimalt's core

Victoria News

Colowood tops Grumpy Taxpayer$ 2019 Candy Cane Awards
Byelection to replace Victoria councillor set to cost more than $140,000

Global BC

Owner of notorious illegal North Vancouver hostel ordered to sell
Should Vancouver emulate San Diego's response to the crisis of homelessness?
Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver says leader from Lower Mainland would 'benefit' party
New hospital on the way for Surrey but shovels won't be in the ground until 2021 at the earliest
'It's not like television': Why you should know exactly where you are when calling 911
Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes to drop in 2020: BC Assessment

Georgia Straight

CUPE 7000 and BC Rapid Transit Company continue SkyTrain labour negotiations into the evening
After threat prompts lockdown at Surrey high school, RCMP arrest two 15 years olds
Mothers and fathers gather for photographs, begging for government action on overdose deaths
NPA director accuses me of 'institutional racism' and 'white privilege'
Law Society to require BC lawyers learn a competency in Indigenous issues
Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix expected to announce new acute-care hospital in Surrey
Kelowna- Mission MLA Steve Thomson to pass the torch, won't run for re-election

Vancouver Courier

Metro Vancouver transit riders warned to explore options as SkyTrain shutdown looms
DNV rejects subdivision of $115 million waterfront property
Richmond council denies fee reduction after meth lab cleanup
New BC overdose response leader is an addictions expert
Cavernous, 106 year old Burnaby reservoir exposed during demolition
No increased bus service during this week's SkyTrain shutdown

Ottawa Observations: Monday, December 9, 2019

Our compilation of some of the stories of note from the day, reviewing the political developments from the Federal scene for  Monday, December 9, 2019 

Canadians held in China / China tensions

365 days of detention in China: What life is like for Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig
China's indoctrination detainees have 'graduated' Xinjiang official says
Canada can pursue diplomacy and the rule of law at the same time
Ottawa urged to sanction Chinese and Hong Kong officials implicated in human-right abuses
Conservatives push Liberals to make a decision on Huawei
Freeing the Michaels by hitting China where it hurts 
Huawei - a dragon in sheep's clothing
China's notorious document 9 is a must read for Canadians
Conservatives ramp up calls for Huawei ban amid security questions
Why Brad West, Mayor of Port Coquitlam, is taking on China

Globe and Mail

Alberta's relations with Canada will never be the same
Canadian Pacific Railway train carrying crude oil derails in Saskatchewan
Liberal government moves to start phasing in promised tax cuts in January, 2020
Maxime Bernier hires former ombudsman to prepare legal action against Warren Kinsella over racism claims
Jason Kenney 'disappointed,' urges Ottawa to reconsider stance on LNG exports
Review of Afghanistan mission 'overdue': former deputy minister David Mulroney
Protests in Iraq demonstrate need for NATO training mission, says new Canadian commander


Freeland heads to Mexico to finalize NAFTA changes
Morneau says he's not worried about a recession despite job numbers
'It's about time Ottawa started working for Alberta,' Kenney says touting a 5 point plan
Liberals move to deliver tax cut they say will help 20 million Canadians
Trudeau says UN vote not a shift in Canada's 'steadfast' support of Israel
CRTC calls on Canadian telecoms to do more to fight scammers
Francois Legault's high-stakes game with the courts and Quebec's secularism law
Kenney, Alberta cabinet ministers in Ottawa to meet federal counterparts

Toronto Star

Trudeau vague on scope of national pharmacare plan
NDP press Liberals to limit tax break and invest in dental care
Kenney urges Trudeau government to take 'meaningful action' to address separatist sentiments in Alberta
Here's why Canada and Alberta need each other
Court challenge to federal ban on needles for drug-using prisoners postponed

Toronto Sun

Kenney descends on Ottawa, fully armed but desperate
Liberals right to bring in new tax relief

National Post

Liberal's move forward on promised income tax cut, with first phase to start in January
Bill Morneau prepared to talk to provincial finance ministers about 'equalization rebate'
Trudeau government comes closer to ratifying new NAFTA potentially ending long political deadlock
After years of mixed messages, Trudeau signals he's treating the Crown more seriously


The Future of "Saskaberta'
The stubborn state of Federalism in Canada
Canada must stop normalizing inequality for Indigenous people


Recent UN vote no a shift in Canada's 'steadfast' support for Israel: Trudeau
Deputy Prime Minister Freeland en route to Mexico to discuss CUSMA: source
Aid proponents worry low profile of multi-billion dollar federal program could expose it to cuts
Western alienation: weathering the storm in southern Alberta
Feds will give update on state of the economy before Christmas: Morneau
Western frustration fuels Wexit separatist movement
Buffalo Project seeks 'bold new vision,' better deal for Western Canada


Capital Works and Spending plans up for review at Council tonight

With just a few weeks to go until we flip the calendar to 2020, the City's Financial Officer has some plans to share when it comes to the Capital Spending ahead for the next year.

With CFO Corrine Bomben set to outline the path ahead for Council at tonight's final council session for 2019.

Among the projects that Council members will hear about, the work that is ahead for the second phase of the City's Water project which is the replacement of the Woodworth Lake Dam, with a grant in hand from 2016 and preliminary work underway in the latter stages of this year, the project is to move forward in the New Year.

The report for Council notes that Funding is planned to come from a combination of the grant, a dividend from Legacy Inc and debt. Towards that third element, Council will be asked to consider a borrowing bylaw for 2020 to fund the remainder of the project.

Also coming for 2020, some upgrades for sensors and switches to upgrade the current liquid waste infrastructure, as well as study and mapping of the extensive pipe network that is connected to Outfall 1.

The completion of the West Berm expansion at the Ridley Island Landfill Site is also expected to be completed in 2020. A new cell for the landfill will be funded through debt and repaid through annual solid waste fees. Council will be asked to consider a borrowing bylaw in 2020 to fund the new landfill cell project.

The Civic Centre is in store form new boilers, a project that was deferred from 2018, with work expected to begin on the replacement project in 2020.

The City will also be taking delivery of a new multi-purpose garbage truck in 2020, the vehicle will have the capability to deliver a curbside recycling program, should City staff develop a program for the community. The purchase was facilitated through an equipment loan, which will be repaid through equipment reserve funds.

And the city's roads may see some extra attention 2020, with the capital roads budget recommendation for  the year ahead set to be listed at 850,000 dollars an increase from the current budget level of $500,000 dollars.

Earlier this year, the city had put in place a paving budget of one million dollars for 2019, though as of yet city administration has not provided a report card on how successful their paving plan from this past year was.

You can review the full report that will be presented to Council from the Agenda for tonight's council session. The report can be found on page 17

For a preview of what's ahead on the night see our preview page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

redesign rupert labour market study highlights accelerated growth and demand for jobs anticipated for Prince Rupert and the North Coast

Jobs and lots of them, is the over riding theme for the future from a labour market analysis released today by redesign rupert.

With growth of the local economy through port related expansion providing for the engine that will create employment and require a fairly enthusiastic recruitment campaign.

That in order to answer the demand for jobs that is going to change the population dynamic and create a number of challenges for Prince Rupert and area.

The report which was prepared by Roslyn Kunin and Associates and Human Capital Strategies was commissioned by the Port of Prince Rupert, City of Prince Rrt,  Community Futures of the Pacific Northwest and Hecate Strait Development Society.

At 186 pages it covers a fairly lengthy check list of elements exploring the region's current economic base, potential capital projects in the future and the projected labour demand that could come should all of that development that is proposed come to pass.

The project looked to answer seven questions in its scope, researching the answers from a range of stakeholders in the community.

The scope of the ambitious review of labour market needs
(click to enlarge)

The key findings from the report outlined an expectation that new job openings will be increased by an average of 3.3 per cent per year between now and 2028.

That would make for a rate that is three times higher than the estimated rate of openings to be found across the province of British Columbia in the same period of time.

It is  estimated 1,910 new full time jobs created in Prince Rupert up to 2030. 

Should all the capital projects move forward additional employment opportunities will be generated for construction, transportation, warehousing and other industries.

Key findings of the labour market research
(click to enlarge)

Much of the new employment that is anticipated will be driven by Port development, with a number of major projects either underway, or in the planning stage for the next few years.

A look at some of the capital projects proposed for Prince Rupert
(click to enlarge)

It is also expected that as the LNG Canada project ramps up in Kitimat and other similar scale projects are developed in the Terrace/Kitimat region that the pull on labour will be felt on the North Coast.

The prospect of additional jobs on the horizon comes as the community is already facing its challenges at the moment in keeping positions filled, particularly in the retail health and service sectors.

Where the greatest need for workers can be found moving forward
(click to enlarge)

“As the port industry continues to grow in Prince Rupert, the multiple businesses and organizations that drive it are going to need more qualified and diverse talent. The Labour Market Study has been essential to inform a strategy that improves our ability to train and develop our existing workforce and help us understand how to successfully recruit new residents, ultimately improving our collective ability to meet the labour force challenge and realize the vision of a thriving port city.” - Ken Veldman, Vice-President of Public Affairs & Sustainability, Prince Rupert Port Authority 

More from the four major stakeholders on the document from the information release that introduces the document to the community, which you can read here.

The entire 186 pages of the Labour Market Research report can be found from the redesign rupert website here.

The release of the report this week, serves as a preview of Thursday's redesign rupert presentation at the Lester Centre, when the Prince Rupert 2030 plan will be introduced to the public.

Last week, Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain offered up a preview of the Thursday event with some notes for his social media stream.

That event which starts at 7 PM will also be streamed live through CityWest Community Television and made available for review on their Facebook page.

For more notes on the work of redesign rupert see our archive page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

City Council to hear report on Policing from Detachment Inspector tonight

Inspector Blake Ward will be back at City Council tonight for the first time
in a fair bit of time, providing for an update on policing in Prince Rupert

The much sought after update from the city's RCMP detachment will finally be delivered at the final Regular Council session for 2019 tonight, with Inspector Blake Ward scheduled on the Agenda to provide a report for Council members.

The opportunity to receive a presentation from the Inspector is one that had been a topic of discussion for a pair of Council members over the last few months. With both Councillor Nick Adey and Councillor Barry Cunningham having asked for Council to invite the Inspector a number of times over the last few months, with Mr. Cunningham having made it a priority for council for over a year.

The appearance for the Inspector was confirmed in early November, though it was deferred from its original date of November 25th and rescheduled for tonight.

And it has been a while since Council has received an update, the last full presentation on policing from the Inspector came back in August of 2017.

That period of time between appearances does leave a pretty lengthy gap in time for Council to get caught up on and ask questions about, that is if they have any to ask of the Inspector.

Prince Rupert seems to have a much more relaxed approach to receiving public updates from the local RCMP.

With the schedule of appearances somewhat of a scattered thing, something that is not the case in other communities, with towns and cities such as Smithers, Terrace and Kitimat featuring regular reports on policing.

Something that allows for council members to also raise concerns that they have heard from the public with their respective detachment chiefs.

We observed as to how some of the other communities approach engagement with their police forces back in October.

Of note from our archives, is how Kitimat handles the need for updates from their Police and Fire Departments which we took note of back in November of 2017.

In addition to receiving the report on the range of items of note from the detachment, Council members could look to hear some feedback on some high profile issues of concern that have been raised in the community of late.

As well as to inquire about the local detachment's view of the recent Maclean's Survey which placed Prince Rupert in 11th spot as a dangerous community in Canada.

Other areas the Council members may wish to make note of for the public could be the status of a new detachment building for the community, the challenges that providing the requested security service for the Alaska Ferry terminal provided for the local members and what resources, if any that the city could provide to the RCMP to help towards their work in keeping the community safe.

For a look at some of the case files of Emergency Responders in the Northwest see our archive page here.

An overview of tonight's City Council session can be explored here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

City of Prince Rupert to pay tribute to the work and civic commitment of photographer Phuong Nguyen tonight

He's one of the most familiar faces at community events of late, clicking away with an array of cameras, capturing the best of the North Coast with a sharp eye and talent with a lens, and tonight Phuong Nguyen will be be celebrated by Prince Rupert City Council.

Part of tonight's agenda makes note of a special award for the local photographer who uses his photography as way to give back to the community, posting much of his work on a Facebook page that could at times be the unofficial record of everything that happens in Prince Rupert.

Shanon Lough, the former editor of the weekly paper turned the tables on Mr, Nguyen making him the subject of a profile of his story and his work back in 2016.

Her feature makes for a nice introduction and a fascinating look at the man with the camera that has chronicled the city's life for a number of years now.

You can review his vast archive of community photos and videos from his Facebook page here.

It won't be the first time that Prince Rupert photographer has been hailed for his work, last month North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice paid tribute to his work, with some words in the Legislature to share the community spirit that Mr. Nguyen has with the Members in the Chamber in Victoria.

Tonight's presentation makes for a bit of catching up for City Council, his Civic Appreciation Award was to be presented to him at the annual Canada Day celebrations on July 1st, however he wasn't available at that time.

Tonight, the City Council members will put him into the centre of the frame for a photo and an award well deserved.

For more items of note on this evening's City Council session see our Preview page here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.

City Council Preview: Monday, December 9, 2019

Prince Rupert City Council brings down the curtain on their regularly scheduled Council sessions for the year tonight, with the final Regular meeting for 2019 set to tackle a fairly light agenda to ease the Council members into the holiday season.

The evening starts off with some honours for a local resident Phuong Nguyen the local photographer who brings the camera lens to community events and showcases the city at its best, he is to presented the Civic Appreciation Award at the start of the council session.

The second item up is the much anticipated review of policing in the community, with a presentation to Council from Inspector Blake Ward, the Inspector in Charge of the Prince Rupert RCMP who in addition to sharing some notes on policing in the community, will also be available to take questions from Council members should they have any to ask.

As for the regular Agenda, it's fairly light, with a review of a Business Facade grant program opportunity with Northern Development Initiative Trust among the notes.

Council will also receive a pair of reports from the Chief Financial officer who will deliver the October variance report and review the 2020 Financial Plan for Capital Works and Purchases

The Council members will also review and outline if they will approve some changes to cemetery fees, civic administration fees and RCMP Administrative fees.

You can review the Full Agenda Packages for the Regular Council Session from the City Website here.

Tonight also brings a return of the latest of Closed Council Meetings, with tonight's 5PM session closed to public with the City citing one sections of the Community Charter as to why they will Close the doors tonight.

90.1 (e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality.

The Closed session marks the 18th time on the Council schedule, that Council members have chosen to discuss their work without the presence of the public in the Chamber.

You can review the Notice of Closed Session here.



Adoption of Agenda and Past minutes -- Mayor Brain will review the agenda for the evening and Council will adopt the minutes of past meetings.

Petitions and Delegations

Presentation of Civic Appreciation Award to Phuong Nguyen

Presentation to council from Blake Ward, Inspector in Charge of Prince Rupert RCMP Detachment

Unfinished Business

Reports and Recommendations

Report from the  Manager of Transportation and Economic Development --. Mr. Paul Venditelli will outline the nature of an application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust, seeking a grant for up to 20,000 dollars for the 2020 Business Facade improvement program (see page 10 of the Agenda)

Report from the Chief Financial Officer on the October Financial Variance Report   -- Council will hear a report from Ms. Corinne Bomben that outlines the details of the October 2019 Financial Variance Report (see page 12 of the Agenda)

Report from the Chief Financial Officer regarding the 2020 Financial Plan Capital Works and Purchases   -- Council will hear a report from Ms. Corinne Bomben that outlines the details of the City's plans for capital works and purchases for the year ahead. (see page 17 of the Agenda)

Correspondences for Action 

Resolutions from Closed Meetings


Report from the Chief Financial Officer, on Cemetery Fees and Charges -- Ms. Bomben will outline the proposed changes to the fees charged to the public for Cemetery use. (see page 21 of the Agenda)

Report from the Corporate Administrator, related to Finance Administrative Fees and Charges and RCMP Administrative Fees and Charges -- Ms. Miller will outline the proposed changes to the fees charged to the public for Administrative fees for civic services as well as those proposed for access to RCMP services. (see page 25 of the Agenda)

The evening will come to an end with any Additional Items as well as Reports, Questions and Inquiries from Members of Council.

Council members can  take advantage of the period to offer up any items or concerns that they have for consideration on the night.

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

Our items of note related to the December 7th session can be viewed here.

While our archive of all sessions for 2019 for Council is available here.

Cross posted from the North Coast Review.