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Prince Rupert Year in Review - October to December
Waterfront access closed
Barriers and signs were erected on the dirt road just past Rotary Waterfront Park in early October, blocking off public access along Prince Rupert’s waterfront. Property owners CN Rail closed off access to the road due to safety concerns with the public on the railway’s property.
Council votes to keep Wantage Road open
The City decided against putting a gate on Wantage Road after weighing their options. The idea came in June as a way to prevent residents from dumping garbage in the area, however the idea was too expensive to implement. Council decided to erect signs to try to deter people from dumping in the area.
Walmart grand opening
Over 100 people lined up in the rain waiting for Prince Rupert’s new Walmart to open on Oct. 19. The store is located in the former Zellers location in the Rupert Square Mall and includes a grocery section, a photo lab, a pharmacy and a variety of other departments.
7.7 magnitude earthquake hits Haida Gwaii
A 7.7 magnitude earthquake rattled the North Coast just after 8 p.m. on Oct. 27, with countless aftershocks following. Tsunami warnings were issued for Haida Gwaii and the North Coast, however they were downgraded to a tsunami advisory a few hours later. Luckily no injuries or substantial damage was done.
Chemical spill clock ticking at Watson Island
The Watson Island Development Corporation (WatCo), the company hoping to convert Watson Island from a run-down pulp mill to an export terminal, said work on the site needs to be done sooner than later. WatCo chief operating officer Tanner Elton said the mill needs to be remediated within the next 12 to 18 months or there will be a spill of some kind that will make remediating the site unrealistic.
Green light for Canpotex
The proposed Canpotex potash export terminal in Prince Rupert was given the go ahead from Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent in early November. The minister announced the proposed potash export terminal and road and rail utility corridor planned for Ridley Island “is not likely to cause significant adverse environment effects” based on the mitigation measures outlined in the Comprehensive Study Report.
City manager tenders resignation
Gord Howie, Prince Rupert’s long-serving city manager, agreed to take on a new leadership role on Vancouver Island, giving his notice effective Jan. 31, 2013. Howie said the main reason for the decision was to be closer to family.
Mussallem slams port over Phase 2
Prince Rupert Mayor Jack Mussallem accused CN and the Prince Rupert Port Authority of failing to live up to their obligations to the community in a letter. The letter said council is concerned a number of issues may negatively impact residents who live near terminal locations and there is little recourse for members of the public when commitments are not met.
Councillor and union head seeking to replace outgoing MLA Coons
Prince Rupert and District Teacher’s Union head Joanna Larson and Prince Rupert City Councillor Jennifer Rice announced their intentions to run for the New Democrat Party nomination in the North Coast riding to replace current MLA Gary Coons, who is not seeking re-election in 2013.
Groups ask council to fund trap, neuter and release program
After the City denied the SPCA’s request to match funds for a trap, neuter and release program, Alice Kruta of the Cannery Row Animal Shelter was joined by Kim St. Pierre in asking council to reconsider. At the next City Council meeting the decision was tabled, and was denied at the following meeting.
My Mountain Co-op will purchase Shames
My Recreational Mountain Co-op announced they would go ahead and purchase the Shames Mountain Ski facility from the Shames Mountain Ski Corporation after they and the Provincial Government worked out a debt forgiveness and loan payment plan worth close to $700,000.
Outrageous spending angers Prince Rupert teachers
Documents obtained by the Prince Rupert Northern View showed that the Prince Rupert School District have been paying consultant Dave Stigant $800 per day for work done over the past several years, as well as paying $500 per month for Stigant’s rent while he was in Prince Rupert. The document showed that more than $125,000 was spent for services over the course of 14 months.
RCMP shoot family dog after mistaking it for wolf
Two gun shots rang out in the Sherbrooke Avenue area after an RCMP member mistakenly shot a dog. The RCMP had received a call about a wolf siting, and upon arrival in the 500 block of Sherbrooke Ave. officers saw what they believed to be a wolf. It wasn’t until the animal was put down that officers realized it was a dog-wolf hybrid.
Federal Government putting Ridley Terminal up for sale
Ted Menzies, the Minister of State for Finance, and Steven Fletcher, Minister of State for Transport, were in Prince Rupert to announce the government’s intention to sell Ridley Terminals to a private sector in mid-December. The announcement came as a surprise to North Coast MLA Gary Coons and MP Nathan Cullen, who questioned the government’s decision considering RTI made $34 million last year.
Two wolves shot in Prince Rupert
A wolf was put down in the Park Avenue area following more than 70 calls regarding wolf sitings in Prince Rupert. A conservation officer came to Prince Rupert to locate and shot the wolf, which the officer believe was responsible for many of the complaints. Under a week later RCMP officers located a wolf in the Frederick Street area and had to shoot it a few times before it died.
Judge rules on Watson Island
The Supreme Court of B.C. ordered that the Certificates of Pending Litigation (CPL) on Watson Island be lifted, opening the door for the City of Prince Rupert to sell the property to the Watson Island Development Corporation (WatCo).