Thursday, September 30, 2010

It's the economy , Thursday, September 30, 2010

EI program to add to deficit, An Olympian default and Ireland's banking troubles, some of the financial items for Thursday.

Globe and Mail-- Carney sharpens warning on household debt levels
Globe and Mail-- EI move adds nearly $5-billion to deficit
National Post-- Competition watchdog, realtors reach a deal
National Post-- Scotiabank in M&A mode
Vancouver Sun-- Vancouver Olympic Village developer defaults on loan payment
New York Times-- TARP Bailout to Cost Less Than Once Anticipated
Guardian UK online-- Ireland nationalises second-biggest bank Allied Irish
Telegraph UK-- Hedge funds hold Ireland to ransom over Anglo Irish Bank bail-out
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Telstra to cut jobs as CEO David Thodey pledges to improve service
China Daily-- China to continue moderately easy monetary policy
Times of India-- India invites foreign investment in aviation sector

Nathan Cullen to host forum on Asbestos concerns

A national organization is teaming up with Nathan Cullen, the NDP MP for Bulkely Valley Skeena on Friday night to deliver information and answer concerns over asbestos related health issues.

The public forum which also features the participation of the CMAW Local 1735, is set for Friday at the Old Islander Hall on 6th Avenue west,  representatives from The Canadian Society of Asbestos Victims (CanSav) will share the stage with Mr. Cullen to explain the ongoing issue and offer guidelines on what compensation options are available to victims and their impacted families.

The NDP MP currently has a private members bill before Parliament to ban the export of asbestos  (Bill C-399). A full review of the problem can be found in the union trades publication Tradetalk, which features an article on the situation starting on page 12.

The issue of mesothelioma fatalities has been highlighted over the last few years in part due to a number of high profile lawsuits in the United States, in Canada CanSav has launched a string of town meetings across the nation to draw awareness to the illness and to advise on the changes made by Worker Compensation Boards across the nation towards access to compensation for Asbestos related diseases.

Some of those compensation options and some history of the issue can be found on the organizations website here.

Friday's public meeting takes place from 7 to 8:30 pm,  with the doors to the session opening at 6:30 pm.

UBCM brings term extension to the convention floor

The debate was vigorous and the voting too close to call, so the issue of extending municipal council terms from three years to four will have another day in the Whistler sun.

Delegates attending this years convention of municipal governance in Whistler we split by a margin of 24 votes when it came to offering up their thoughts on the issue, the 24 votes the margin against the extension.

The Wednesday session on council terms seems to have been a rather raucous affair with arguments breaking out and concerns over procedure made time and time again.

Apparently that margin is so close that a challenge was offered and the politicians will be off to the voting lines one more time on Thursday. The initiative to change the electoral time frame came from New Westminster where Lori Williams, is hopeful that after a night of lobbying the politicians will follow the lead of New Westminster and provide a resolution in favour of the motion to be forwarded to the provincial government.

The prospect of municipal politicians extending their own employment term isn't resonating with everyone in the affirmative as can be seen by the close nature of yesterday's vote, though no roll call was provided for those not attending the congress to see how their particular representatives voted on the issue.

Perhaps this burden of decision should fall to  the province's electors, rather than have the province's municipal leaders push forward the project, maybe it should take the form of an election year referendum issue when we next go to the municipal polling booth.

Leaving the decision to extend the terms of our municipally elected officials up to those that send them there (and pay the tab for in the process) in the first place.

The Tyee-- UBCM term limit extension headed for revote
Vancouver Sun-- Four-year term proposal stirs controversy
Vancouver Province-- Municipal politicians ad odds over length of term

Through the week we have been providing updated reviews of the  discussion in Whistler, you can access the wide range of issues in debate from this link.

Update: UBCM delegates rejected the concept of a four year term for the province's city and town councils, some of the review of that decision can be found below. -- B.C. municipalities reject four-year terms
Comox Valley Record-- Valley mayors OK with defeated UBCM motion
Opinion 250-- UBCM Delegates Say No to Longer Terms of Office 
Vancouver Sun-- Politicians vote to stay with three-year elections
Surrey Now-- Vote keeps council terms at three years 

Government increases funding to school Parent Advisory Councils

The BC Liberal government has reversed its decision of last year and increased grant funding to province wide Parent Advisory Councils, bringing the funding levels back to their levels of 2008 and before.

In a press release issued on September 29th, the Provincial Government announced that the grants will  double from 11 to 20 dollars per student.

 The funding was cut last year as a form of deficit reduction by the government, an unpopular move at the time  which provided many challenges for the provinces schools and their after school programs. The money is designed for use in extra curricular activities, outside of the normal scope of the educational curriculum.

The government is also increasing the funding for district parent advisory councils which will receive $2,500 dollars this year an increase from last years grant of $1,250.

The increased funding will be taken from grants culled from the provinces gaming industry, which will see the provinces PAC's share in some 11 million dollars in funding.

The moves to return funding come as the Campbell government faces a backlash over its introduction of the Harmonized Sales Tax, this move perhaps is indicative of a changing direction for the government

Over the last year there have been a number of issues that became politically hot, the largest of course being the HST,  most of that backlash came mainly due to the government's mishandling of these types of initiatives, issues that have the most public face with the provinces residents and taxpayers.

By returning the Parent Advisory Council funding to its traditional levels, the government may be hoping to take this particular one off the top of the pile and buy a little peace on that front for the foreseeable future.

One wonders if it will signal the start of improved interest in and funding  towards the province's educational system, which has been weighed down by changing strategies and funding limitations over the last number of years.

A strategy which perhaps by now tapping gambling revenues further  could turn the government's HST problems into a more positive light (or at least more acceptable one).

By increasing funding to education through the gambling funds, the government may be hoping for a spin off benefit of deflecting some of the anger away from the unpopular sales tax, by showing an increased commitment towards those items that have an impact on parents, students and school district's province wide.

Vancouver Sun-- Parent advisory council gaming funds restored to $20 per student

Podunk Below the Masthead, Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The RCMP make arrests in a drug related case, Gary Coons wants more done for the Central coast in the wake of last weeks storms and Haida Gwaii residents are heading towards a by-election, some of Wednesday's news items of note.

The Northern View
Cocaine among drugs found in home on 8th Avenue West -- Various components of the RCMP conducted an investigation earlier this month which resulted in arrests and seizure of a variety of drugs from a residence in 100 block of 8th Avenue West (see article here)

Coons critical of ferry service to Bella Coola-- The NDP MLA for the North coast expresses his disappointment in the efforts of the government in providing assistance to the residents of the Central coast still recovering from last weeks storm (see article here)

Terrace Standard
Can you identify this suspect?-- Terrace RCMP release a photo of an allege suspect in a Terrace area gas station break in (see article here)

QCI Observer
By-election to be held to fill MIMC seats-- Haida Gwaii residents will head to the polls to fill three seats on the Moresby Island Management Committee (see article here)

QCI Observer
New company harvest its first logs -- A Haida Nation owned company began production last week as Taan Forest began its harvest of logs (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC Daybreak North
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The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Strike or lockout a possibility as CN talks come to a standstill

CN which provides Rail service to and from Ridley Island and the Fairview Container Terminal could soon be facing a labour disruption, as negotiations between the railroad and the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference headed into the final hours of a deadline of midnight Wednesday Ontario time.

The Teamsters Conference represents 2700 CN employees, from conductors, traffic coordinators and yardmen and entered the final hours of negotiations with a 90 per cent strike mandate. While union representatives continued to express the hope that they could avoid an interruption of service, the focus of many media reports on Wednesday was of the possibility of a work stoppage after 72 hours notice is served.

The union outlined its concerns over the current state of negotiations with a press release issued today which offered up their interpretation of the sticking points in this negotiating session.

CN was seeking flexibility and give and take from the talks, but was also preparing a contingency plane to continue its operations across the nation should any labour disruption come past the negotiating deadline.

The prospect of any interruption of service has user groups and economic officials across Northern BC concerned about the impact that a work stoppage might have on northern economies.

Initiatives Prince George weighed in with a press release today outlining their desire to see a negotiated settlement and the continuation of rail service across the Pacific Gateway corridor.

National Post-- CN, union at standstill

It's the economy, Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Locking in on the yuan, protesters in the streets of Europe and is it a replay of the 30's, some of the items of note from Wednesday's financial news.

Globe and Mail-- Congress flexes muscle over yuan
Globe and Mail-- Wall worries about China buyer of Potash
National Post-- Time commodities got some respect
National Post-- What keeps Canadian millionaires awake at night
Vancouver Sun-- B.C. consumer confidence levels drop despite auto sales gains
New York Times-- House Votes to Impose Tariffs on Chinese Goods
Guardian UK online-- Europe hit by wave of anti-austerity protests
Telegraph UK-- Are we heading for a replay of 1930s?
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- National Broadband Network expensive, warns Carlos Slim Helu
China Daily-- China's yuan reaches new high against US dollar Wednesday
Times of India-- Realty prices soar as CWG development makes sites attractive

West Coast ports face slowing pace of negotiations with the potential for mediation and an inquiry

With negotiations on a number of issues at a standstill on matters relating to British Columbia's ports, mediators have called for the two sides to extend their current agreement for a period of two years, giving both sides to try and find some common ground.

While that contract extension would be in effect, the mediators would like to see an Industrial Inquiry commission be put  in place to try and make some forward progress on the contract proposals in dispute as well as other key issues on the waterfront including the longstanding concerns over discrimination against female workers.

The mediators completed their report in July and offered up their recommendation that the current contract be extended to 2012 but with some changes to the wages in place at the moment.

As for the suggestion of an Industrial Inquiry Commission it seems to be a non starter for the employers the BCMEA which found much to be concerned about on that topic, particularly the non binding aspect of any recommendations that might be provided. They would prefer that the process now move towards binding arbitration.

On the other side of the bargaining table the ILWU offered up support for the concept of the Inquiry and feels that it is an idea worthy of consideration.

There are concerns that the constant possibility of labour disruption and the glacial pace of negotiations could drive traffic to other ports in the United States, a prospect that would have an impact on the success of Canada's west coast ports over the last number of years.

The Globe and Mail has a thorough examination of the current situation which outlines some of the background on the state of negotiations and the impact those discussions have on the image of Canada's West coast port industry.

Podunk Below the Masthead, Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Prince Rupert's EI numbers hold steady, a resignation at Regional District and the RCMP make an arrest in a child pornography case in Glen Vowell, some of the items of note from Tuesday's news files.

The Northern View
Lester Centre of the Arts gets support for renovations-- Renovation time for the city's home for the Arts as the Lester Centre is in line for a new roof (see article here)

The Northern View
EI numbers steady in latest Stats Canada update-- Prince Rupert's Employment statistics hold steady in the latest release from Statistics Canada (see article here)

The Northern View
Cruise passengers weigh in on Rupert as season ends-- With the cruise season at its end for another year, the Northern View takes a look back at some of the reviews from those that have visited the city. As we've outlined on our blog through the year, some of the comments on cruise critic point towards a bit of work for the local industry in the off season (see article here)

The Northern View
SQCRD administrator resigns-- It was a short term of employment for John Farrell as the Deputy Administrator at the SQCRD tendered his resignation from regional government (see article here)

The Northern View
 Schools pilot project for fibber optics-- CityWest installs a new network for School District 52 taking advantage of the fibre network around the city to deliver faster internet connections (see article here)

The Northern View
Prince Rupert man sentenced for grow-op in Salmon Arm-- It's one year in jail for a Prince Rupert man after his conviction in a Salmon Arm grow op investigation (see article here)

The Northern View
Council talks fish-- Port Ed Mayor Dave MacDonald led the discussion in the District's council chambers, as council members talked over the recent Cohen Commission stopover in Prince Rupert (see article here)

The Northern View
CN to start whistling near cannery-- CN will soon blow their whistles upon approach to the North Pacific Cannery in Port Edward, as part of a move towards safer access to the historical site (see article here)

Gitanmaax Man Gets Life Sentence For 2nd Degree Murder -- Life in prison is the sentence for at Gitanmaax man convicted of second degree murder from a July 2008 incident in the community (see article here)

Child Pornography Warrant Executed in Glen Vowell-- Some background on a child pornography case in the Hazelton's region (see article here)

Terrace RCMP seek help in break and enter -- An early morning break in at a Terrace gas station back in August has the Terrace RCMP seeking assistance from the public (see article here)

Terrace Standard
Woman arrested for allegedly distributing child porn -- The combined efforts of a number of  RCMP detachments resulted in the arrest of Glen Vowell woman earlier this month to face charges on allegedly distributing child pornography (see article here)

Terrace Standard
Food bank braces for record demand -- As Terrace's Churches Food Bank volunteers prepare to open their doors for the fall and winter season, there is anticipation that there may be a record demand of their services (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC Daybreak North
Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. 

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

CN supply chain changes to improve performance and service at Ridley

'RTI and CN are advancing measures for more effective elaboration within our part of the logistics chain"-- RTI Chairman Bud Smith, offering up his thoughts on a new direction for tracking coal by CN.

Canadian National Railway has changed its approach to supply chain delivery and with those changes the railroad believes there will be increases in volume of their shipments to Asian markets.

Described in the Edmonton Journal as a more transparent system, CN collects data on a weekly basis in report form that provides a more detailed tracing of coal from the mines to the trains and on to the shipping points on the west coast.

So far the returns from the new system seem positive, deliveries to terminals in Vancouver and to Prince Rupert's Ridley Terminals were up 91 percent in August and the railroad believes with its new system in place will allow coal producers to maximize their sales opportunities and increase volume through the pacific ports.

The review of the new tracking system is provided in this article from the Edmonton Journal.

It's the economy, Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Google is top of the list for  job seekers, Red tape is costly for BC's housing industry and BP shifts its focus to Russia, some of the items of interest for our Tuesday financial review.

 Globe and Mail-- Nexen strikes oil in Gulf

Terrace relinquishes its Hockeyville title tonight

All good things come to an end and for residents of Terrace, tonight marks the end of their reign as the owners of the Kraft Hockeyville title.

The last two days has seen the community of Dundas, Ontario taking to the centre of the hockey world as they celebrate their status as Kraft Hockeyville 2010.

The southern Ontario community near Hamilton had a full schedule of events on Sunday and Monday, with Tuesday bringing the highlight of the weekend's activities, that of the pre season match between the Ottawa Senators and Buffalo Sabres taking to the ice tonight at the 980 seat JL Grightmire Arena.

Dundas takes over the title of Hockeyville from Terrace BC, last years winner of the annual competition, representatives from the Terrace committee are in Dundas to hand over the Hockeyville Cup and provided this retrospective from their year as title holder. also took a look back, reviewing all of the participants in the national obsession since the Kraft Hockeyville competitions first began in 2006. Since then the quest for the title has become the focus of communities large and small across the nation, featuring fund raising events, parades and a variety of other community led ideas to put their community over the top in the national voting.

The Dundas effort took on many forms, like many communities that seek the title much of their work was highlighted on You Tube, the Dundas submissions on that portal can be found here.

The CBC has been hosting a Kraft Hockeyville blog this week as well and you can catch up on all of the Kraft Hockeyville events here.

The arrival of the two NHL teams tonight will bring to an end the official celebrations as Dundas takes on the Kraft Hockeyville 2010, reviews of the preparations for and events of this three day party can be found below.

Sept 28-- Hamilton Spectator-- 50 Hockeyville tickets up for grabs
Sept 28-- Hamilton Spectator-- Lights, Camera, action
Sept 28-- Terrace Standard-- Terrace hands off Hockeyville Cup to Dundas
Sept 27-- Terrace Standard-- They're in Hockeyville 2010
Sept 27-- Hamilton Spectator-- Dundas Hockeyville hoopla underway
Sept 27-- Alumni giving back at Hockeyville
Sept 24-- Hamilton Spectator-- Hockeyville Schedule
Sept 24-- Hamilton Spectator-- Dundas gears up for big league fun
Sept 21-- Terrace Standard-- Carol Fielding, Hockeyville title passed on

Podunk Below the Masthead, Monday, September 27, 2010

Details of a loss of life on the west side of the city, the region's recycling program may be changing its hours back to what they were earlier this year and Terrace remembers its Hockeyville days as they pass the torch on to Ontario, some of the items of interest for Monday's news files.

The Northern View
Prince Rupert RCMP provide details on weekend fatality-- The Northern View offers up details of an incident on Graham Avenue which resulted in a loss of life (see article here)

The Northern View
Cuts to recycling program could be reinstated in next budget-- What the region has taken away, the region may give back to its residents, and update on the recycling program at SQCRD (see article here)

Ceremonial Groundbreaking Held for First-of-its-Kind Plant in Terrace -- CFTK provides its report on the groundbreaking for the Global Bio-Coal Energy plant in Terrace (see article here) (see video report here)

Dundas Hockeyville-- With the Hockeyville torch getting passed from Terrace to Dundas, Ontario, CFTK follows the progress of the Terrace group as they pass the Hockeyville Cup to the organizers in Dundas (see article here)

Terrace Standard
They're in Hockeyville 2010 -- The Terrace organizers of Hockeyville 2009 are in Dundas, Ontario this week to help that community celebrate it's term as Hockeyville 2010 (see article here)

Terrace Standard
Airport Traffic holding steady-- The Terrace airport is on track to hosting 100,000 air movements for 2010, that statistic and other details on operations at the Terrace airport is part of a Terrace Standard story (see article here)

QCI Observer
Creek Floods-- A storm in early September  provided Haida Gwaii officials an opportunity to practice their emergency preparedness procedures at Queen Charlotte City (see article here)

KRBD Ketchikan
Crowded assembly candidate field-- Ketchikan's Gateway Borough Assembly has seven candidates seeking office, KRBD offers up details of the city's Chamber of Commerce forum of last Wednesday (listen to report here)

CBC News Northern BC Daybreak North
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Monday, September 27, 2010

It's the economy, Monday, September 27, 2010

With a bit of reflection on what does and doesn't work on the blog and some spurring on from the audience, we bring back our once daily feature on economic items of note, scaled down to a degree but still featuring a snapshot of the days financial headlines.

RIM moves in on the iPad, on the front lines of the currency war and excuses, excuses, some of the items of interest from the financial files.

Globe and Mail-- RIM unveils PlayBook tablet
Globe and Mail-- Early victory for Potash in BHP suit
National Post-- World is in a “currency war,” Brazil says
National Post-- RIM’s Balsillie sees PlayBook as 'game changer'
Vancouver Sun-- RBC waves red flag over Vancouver housing market 
New York Times- Structure of Excuses
Guardian UK online- George Osborne says upbeat IMF backs his cuts
Telegraph UK-- Savers told to stop moaning and start spending
Sydney Morning Herald- World's CEOs gather in Sydney
China Daily- China imposes anti-dumping duty on US chicken
Times of India-- Bolstered by good monsoon, FM says inflation to ease soon

And by their tattoos they shall be known

Police have learned that the GTS level and structure can be identified by their GTS tattoos. The lowest level member of the GTS can be identified by a Cross with no other writing. Mid level members of the GTS will have a Cross, GTS and PG insignia (Prince George). The highest level members of the GTS are the “Original Gangsters” who have a Cross, GTS, and OG insignia ( Original Gangster) FIKE's tattoo is a Cross, GTS, and OG. -- A portion of an RCMP press release from the Prince George detachment providing some background on the gang situation in that city. Prince George RCMP made a significant arrest this week in their ongoing efforts to combat the growing gang presence in that city.

On Friday in a wooded area near the Lower Mud River bridge in Prince George, the combined efforts of that city's GIS Drug Section, Crime Reduction Team and North District Drug Section  resulted in the arrest of a male and female on a number of drug and firearm offences.

When the processing was done, Prince George RCMP relayed details regarding the arrest and outlined some of the 25 charges facing one of the alleged leaders of the Game Tight Soldiers, one of the more notorious in Prince George's current gang structure.

An RCMP press release issued this weekend identified 30 year old Eric James Fike, as the alleged leader of the Original Gangsters, while the press release also provided some insight into the scope of the investigation and the worrisome amount of firepower that seems to be part of the gang culture in that city at the moment.

Friday's arrest is just the latest in a number of police investigations over the last few weeks into the gang situation in the city, Vancouver Sun Crime reporter Kim Bolan recently outlined the results of those investigations with this article in the Sun, he followed up that report with this article on the recent arrests

Taking into custody a high profile suspect in this case has once again highlighted the gang situation in Prince George, which has seen a spike in violence over the last few months and has provided for a rather bright spotlight to fall on the city from a variety of the province's media outlets.

The events in Prince George over the last week have provided for a number of articles about that gang and its migration from the downtown east side of Vancouver to Prince George  in recent times, some of those articles can be found below.

Opinion 250-- Guns and Drugs, and Two Arrests
Prince George Free Press-- GTS 'Original Gangster' arrested
Vancouver Sun-- Gangster arrested in Prince George, RCMP seize cocaine, heroin and guns
Vancouver Province-- Prince George gangster facing several gun-related charges 
Vancouver Sun-- Violent Prince George Gangs Have Their Origins in Vancouver
News 1130-- Prince George Mounties make drug and gun bust Cops in Prince George bust reputed high-profile gangster

(Photo above from RCMP press release)

Dispatches from the floor of the UBCM

As British Columbia's municipal and provincial leaders as well as bureaucrats from both levels of government gather in conclave in Whistler, we offer up our listing of the developments from this years UBCM.

Our preview of this annual gathering appeared on the blog on Friday, from today on through the week we will update the meetings with items culled from the various media outlets covering this years sessions.

Our permanent link can be found on the right hand side of the blog under Prince Rupert Items of Note section.

Oct 2-- Vancouver Province-- Campbell admits HST performance a flop in address to UBCM convention
Oct 2-- Vancouver Sun-- Premier promises transport projects, says Liberals 'fell flat' on HST 
Oct 2-- Victoria TC-- Premier on thin ice with jokey speech
Oct 1-- Opinion 250-- Mayor Pleased with UBCM
Oct 1-- CFTK TV-- Nyce Applauds Ferry Fare Reduction
Oct 1-- National Post-- B.C. municipalities oppose Enbridge pipeline
Oct 1-- CTVBC-- Municipalities vote to oppose oil pipeline, tankers
Oct 1-- The Northern View-- MLA, Enbridge, Queen Charlotte mayor comment on UBCM anti-pipeline resolution
Oct 1-- CFTK TV-- UBCM Delegates Vote NO on Northern Gateway
Oct 1-- Terrace Standard-- Enbridge pipeline takes a hit
Oct 1-- Vancouver Sun-- Politicians vote to stay with three-year elections
Oct 1-- The Tyee-- Premier's UBCM speech recalls Olympic glory
Oct 1-- Vancouver Sun-- Gordon Campbell announces push on major transportation projects
Oct 1-- Opinion 250-- Municipalities Deal Blow to Enbridge Proposal
Oct 1-- CBC-- B.C. oil pipeline, tankers opposed by UBCM
Sept 30-- Vancouver Province-- Raise minimum wage and hold HST referendum soon: Carole James
Sept 30-- CBC-- B.C. municipalities reject four-year terms
Sept 30-- Comox Record-- Valley mayors OK with defeated UBCM motion
Sept 30-- Opinion 250-- UBCM Delegates Say No to Longer Terms of Office
Sept 30--  The Tyee-- UBCM recommends keeping three-year terms
Sept 30-- Victoria T C-- Campbell will face tough UBCM crowd
Sept 30-- The Province-- Close call on council terms
Sept 30-- The Tyee-- Campbell should recall Leg, James tells UBCM
Sept 30-- Vancouver Sun-- Four-year term proposal stirs controversy
Sept 30-- Terrace Standard-- Mayor in race for provincial seat
Sept 29-- The Tyee-- UBCM term limit extension headed for revote
Sept 29-- Pique Newsmagazine-- Election terms vote gets crazy
Sept 29-- Vancouver Province-- Municipal politicians at odds over length of term
Sept 29-- Vancouver Sun-- High costs of RCMP contracts irk civic politicians
Sept 29-- The Tyee-- North Coast town council asks BC municipalities to stand against oil tankers
Sept 29-- The Tyee-- UBCM opposes provincial push to harmonize environmental reviews
Sept 29-- A Channel News-- UBCM Island Derelict Boats
Sept 29-- Vancouver Sun-- What should government do about BC house prices?
Sept 29-- Pique Newsmagazine-- Local governments get some attention
Sept 29-- Vancouver Sun-- Why the rest of B. C. should matter to Metro Vancouver
Sept 28-- Abbotsford Times-- Abbotsford leads charge for police funding
Sept 28-- Vancouver Sun-- B.C. shelves planned tax relief for towns that depend heavily on industry
Sept 28-- The Tyee-- Province considering financial help to solve corporate tax revolt
Sept 28-- Vancouver Sun-- Red tape in B.C. boosts prices of some homes by $100,000, municipal politicians told
Sept 28-- Vancouver Province-- Geese, cellphones & oil tankers trouble mayors
Sept 28-- Nanaimo Daily News-- Stanhope tackles transit at UBCM
Sept 28-- Penticton News-- City takes proposal to UBCM
Sept 28-- The Tyee-- Province considering financial help to solve corporate tax revolt
Sept 27-- Georgia Straight-- UBCM resolution seeks moratorium on new private health-care clinics
Sept 27-- Opinion 250--  UBCM Annual Convention starts today
Sept 26-- Globe and Mail-- HST the ‘elephant in the room’ at mayors’ convention
Sept 26-- Vancouver Sun-- Will Premier Gordon Campbell survive the No HST fight? Watch next week.
Sept 25-- Whistler Question-- More than 1,500 expected to attend UBCM
Sept 24-- Williams Lake Tribune-- Councillors to vote on four-year terms
Sept 24--The Tyee-- UBCM convention to discuss policing costs

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead, Friday, September 24, 2010

A familiar name is destined for a judgeship,  the Rampage are ready for the upcoming season and Terrace gains a new industry, some of the items from Friday's news developments.

The Northern View
Prince Rupert lawyer appointed to the bench-- A new name is called to the bench, as Attorney General Michael de Jong appoints Steve Merrick to the BC Provincial Court's Coast District (see article here)

Rampage 2010-11-- TV 7 reviews the latest developments from the Prince Rupert Rampage training camp as the local CIHL team prepares for this weekends exhibition season tournament (see video report here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Power Outage Planned For Residents in the Bulkley Valley on Sunday-- The power will be turned off for a portion of the Bulkley Valley this Sunday, TV 7 had the details from BC Hydro (see article here)

Terrace Standard
Terrace welcomes bio-fuel plant-- Global Bio Coal and Coast Tsimshian Resources hosted an information session to outline their plans for a new industry for Terrace (see article here)

QCI Observer
Fin whale washes up at Miller Creek-- Local residents provided some valuable assistance to visiting scientists last week but with repercussions for their wardrobe (see article here)

CBC News Northern BC
Daybreak North Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. 

The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here

The storm that shifted south

Considering what was supposed to arrive and what we've actually had for weather for the last 48 hours, Prince Rupert it seems has dodged a bit of a weather bullet.

For most of Friday and today, we were supposed to be receiving some rather nasty weather, wind gusts were projected to be over the 100k mark during the storm and torrential rains were supposed to fall for the bulk of the weekend.

And while the wind was gusty at times and we've had a few periods of heavy rain through the last forty eight hours, besides a bit of damage to the local court house trees we've fared much better compared to residents on Haida Gwaii and further south on Vancouver Island .

A stretch of Highway 16 on Haida Gwaii was closed as the storm made its way across the islands before moving southwards, where the bulk of the damage occurred.

Port Hardy has declared a state of emergency after a fast moving weather system brought heavy winds and torrential rain, washing out roads, isolating First Nation's communities and causing a landslide which has also isolated the Port Alice pulp mill from the main highway.

The RCMP issued to separate notices on Saturday outlining some of the troubles at hand on the North Island one for Port Hardy and one for Port Alice.

The weather system working its way south also played havoc with BC Ferries service both to Haida Gwaii and Port Hardy, BC ferries has posted service notices advising that things won't be fully back on track until  Monday.

Below find some links to a number of items about the storm that passed us by.

CBC-- Vancouver Island pummelled by storm
CBC-- First fall storm wallops West Coast 
Globe and Mail-- Floods provoke state of emergency in Port Hardy, B.C. 
Vancouver Province-- North Vancouver Island hit by heavy rain, winds, major mudslide 
Vancouver Sun-- State of emergency declared as Vancouver Island hit by heavy rains, two mud slides Mud slide, flooding rock Vancouver Island communities

 Update Sept 26-- State of emergency lifted after north Vancouver Island hit with slides, flooding

Friday, September 24, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead, Thursday, September 23, 2010

The gun registry debate heats up in Ottawa, Watson Island progress is examined by CFTK and Enbridge takes its pipeline show to Terrace, some of the items of note from Thursday's news files.

The Northern View
MP vows to continue fight to abolish long-gun registry -- As the debate continues in Ottawa over the long gun registry, the NDP MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley vows to continue on with his efforts to see the registry abolished, or remove some of the more offensive parts of the registry (see article here)

Cullen Vows to Try to Fix Gun Registry-- The MP for the region also shared his thoughts on the gun registry with CFTK News (see article here) John Crawford had this report for the evening newscast (see video here)

Interest over Watson Island progressing-- CFTK outlines some background on the recent announcement from the City of Prince Rupert regarding the Watson Island file. (see article here) Tyler Noble provided this video report on the topic for the evening newscast (see video here)

Terrace Standard
Meeting answers some concerns over pipeline-- Enbridge brought their pipeline technical sessions to Terrace this week and the Terrace Standard outlined some of the talking points of Tuesday nights session. (see article here)

Terrace Standard
Commissioner hears legal aid concerns here-- Terrace residents took advantage of a public session  yesterday to offer their thoughts on the current status of the legal aid system in the province, part of an 11 community tour to examine the issue (see article here)

KRBD Ketchikan
Council candidates outline positions-- It's election time to the North and Ketchikan residents had the first opportunity to learn more about the candidates for public office in that community (hear radio interview here) KRBD offers up other items of note on the current election campaigns you can find them on their homepage.

CBC News Northern BC
Daybreak North Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now.

The most recently posted items can be found on the archive page for Daybreak North click here

Whistle stops in Whistler

Summer may be over, but city and town council members across British Columbia have one last road trip to get in before fall gets fully underway.

The annual UBCM gathering is set for next week, like a summer camp for politicians and bureaucrats this falls sessions in Whistler promise much to keep councillors, Mayors, bureaucrats and provincial politicians busy, busy, busy.  Some 1500 plus, all of their efforts in the five days to come will be geared towards meeting the theme of their yearly meet and greet, that of Forging old Medal Standards.

The week long festival of political exchange, the 107th annual edition of these congregations, starts off Monday with a number of study sessions and tours available for participants, among some of the road trips to hop on a bus for are the Agricultural study Tour, and the 2010 Legacies Tour.

For those inclined to stay close to the Whistler Conference Centre there are a number of Pre conference workshops planned for Monday. Among the options is a gathering in making Home ownership more affordable, a session on the Tools, Resources and Funding available for Local Government and an opportunity to learn more about how to Pursue Excellence in Developing Agreements with First Nations.

The real work however gets underway on Tuesday, when participants knuckle down and get to work with the first of the day long programs, a smorgasbord of events which include forums, networking events, as well as opportunities to button hole provincial cabinet ministers and bureaucrats for conversations.

However it's not all work for convention delegates, there's plenty of opportunity to break away from the gruelling pace of government discussion, Wednesday for instance features a full program of get away prospects. A lively itinerary of events, from the Tour of Frivolous Fun, the Camera Photo Hike and a chance to Zoom along a zipline. Thursday offers up a Guided Valley Bike tour and a float down the Cheakamus River.

Back in the Convention Centre the official opening session starts off Tuesday at 8:30 with the opening speeches,  the singing of O Canada and some remarks from the host community.  Panel discussions, Question and Answer sessions, policy sessions and such take up the bulk of the day, with a pair of receptions planned for the evening with the Province and BC Hydro taking on the hosting duties for the two less formal wrap up sessions of the day.

Thursday brings more to the agenda with a number of clinics, some election details both for the Table Officers and for the Executive, and being politicians there will be no shortage of speeches to be made in the quest for those titles.

Beyond those housekeeping speeches Thursday also brings up the first of the big hitters of the week long sessions, with a keynote address from11:20 to Noon. Participants are left to their own devices for lunch at Noon, with free time until 2:30 when the Election of remaining Positions will take place, if those elections are required.

Policy workshops take up the rest of the afternoon, with the first of the night's social events to come at 6:30 when the UBCM hosts its reception. The Annual Banquet is set for 7:30 when the Presentation of Long Service Awards and Memberships takes place.

The final day of the convention kicks off at 7 am with the final of the continental breakfasts, yet more elections of Executive positions and the first of the day's major speeches.  The Federal Address grabs the 8-8:30 slot, while the Green Party leader won't have much time to relay her message, as she has been allocated the spot from 8:30 to 8:35, making way for a two hour session on Resolutions  and the installation of the President.

The final event on the agenda will be the annual address of the Premier, which will see Premier Campbell provided with one hour to deliver his state of the province address and offer up some insight into governing in our current times.

The 2010 UBCM wraps up at Noon, and participants begin the process of evacuating Whistler for their hometown destinations.

City of Prince Rupert participants don't plan on arriving empty handed, a number of city initiatives were outlined in the Northern View this week, issues that our elected officials and accompanying bureaucrats hope to bring to the table in Whistler. Among those items are such topics as the HST and local government issues, the sale of school properties, fishery issues and concerns over EI procedures for communities in the province.

Missing this year for participants however is the always popular annual Trade show and Exhibition, the one stop shopping session where municipal politicians and city managers can wander the aisles seeking the latest in equipment and products. Like a stage version of the Wish Book for politicians, the trade show brings to life the many items that could be on display in BC communities if only the civic budgets would allow it. Participants will have to hold onto the civic purchase orders for another year, the Trade show and Exhibition component is held every second year and returns in 2011 when the UBCM returns to Vancouver.

The airlift begins over the weekend as participants make the trek to Whistler, through the week to come a variety of media outlets will offer up the latest talking points and developments from the UBCM, below you can find a number of links to various segments of the convention week festivities, follow along to see what may be of interest to  our representatives as they wander the convention floor.

We'll keep our eyes on the latest dispatches and offer up a review of proceedings as the week moves along.  Starting Monday, you can find our permanent link to this years UBCM gathering on our right hand column, under the Prince Rupert items of note section.

UBCM website
UBCM 2010 Convention website
UBCM 2010 Pocket calendar
UBCM Convention brochure