Sunday, February 21, 2010

Podunk Below the Masthead (Friday, February 19, 2010)

Potential changes for Ridley Terminals, NWCC sees a change at the Prince Rupert campus and some findings from a study into FASD youth and their interaction with the justice system, some of the items of note for Friday's news cycle.

Daily New, Front page, headline story
RIDLEY AND PRPA LAYING OUT OPTIONS OF POTENTIAL AMALGAMATION-- The much discussed prospect of Ridley Terminals being merged under the greater operating umbrella of the Port of Prince Rupert is apparently getting much thought these days, as the Daily News outlines in their front page story, that Ridley Terminals currently in what is called a "state of transition", with one of those points of transition a possible amalgamation with the Port.

Northwest Community College's Prince Rupert campus bids farewell to a long time fixture on the local scene both educational and beyond, as Deb Stava, moves over to the main campus in Terrace to take on the duties of directorship of instruction and research in addition to the registrar position based out of the main campus. The Daily News outlines her time at NWCC's Prince Rupert campus and her work with the local Chamber of Commerce.

Parking woes for some students of NWCC get the page two review, as students take their complaints to the paper, over non NWCC attendees taking too many of the college's parking spots, leaving them to run the risk of parking tickets off campus.

Pee Wee hockey and the ANBT take up the majority of the Friday sports pages.

(Archive for Daily News Articles for February 19, 2010 )

The Northern View
No new items were posted to the Northern View website, with the exception of the posting of results from the All Native Basketball Tournament (see results here)

CFTK TV 7 News
No new items were posted to the CFTK website for Thursday.

CBC British Columbia, Daybreak North
Fetal alcohol and Lady Justice -- A look at some research into FASD youth and their impact on the youth justice system (listen to interview here)

The full list of current Daybreak North interviews can be found here.

Daily News, front page, headline story
Ridley and PRPA laying out options for potential amalgamation
By George T. Baker
The Daily News
Friday, February 19, 2010

Amalgamation between Ridley Terminals Inc. and the Prince Rupert Port Authority may be a little closer to becoming reality.

RTI Chair Bud Smith paid a visit to the North Coast on Wednesday and outlined the possible opportunities for the local coal terminal.

Among them is amalgamation. Smith would not put a definitive timeframe on that, but a report on various options to bring both corporations together should be signed and sealed by Smith and ready for the federal government by March.

Ridley is a place in transition, but it remains important to Canada and a link for Canadian energy resource to the world,” Smith told a packed Prince Rupert Chamber of Commerce meeting.

“Prince Rupert has become an important link and we can no longer look at ourselves as a silo, but as part of the energy world.”

After a tumultuous beginning to 2009, which saw RTI’s shipping numbers plummet as the world market pricing for coal fell, coal shipments returned respectably with a final push to 4,159,679 tonnes.

Although this was down 14.2 per cent for the year compared to 2008, with overall metallurgical and thermal coal volumes declining 30.9 per cent due to weak global demand, local volumes were significantly offset by strong increases in coking coal (110.5 per cent), petroleum coke (46.4 per cent) and wood pellets (108.7 per cent).

During the first half of the year, former Chair Dan Veniez was caught in a war of words with the federal government over possible privatization of the terminal, which ultimately led to his dismissal from RTI. Veniez subsequently announced his candidacy for the Liberal Party in West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Howe Sound riding, whenever an election is next called.

That cloud hanging over RTI from 2009 seems to have blown over with the four-point plan to increase business on Ridley Island.

Smith said that RTI would be looking to capture greater value for current services, expand the sources they receive products from, add new products to export and examine potential opportunities for resources to import.

“Many of you have heard this before, and I know you will believe it when you see it,” said Smith.
However, Smith said, thermal coal sources from the east coast are opening up as well as increased volumes of wood pellets.

“Based on our own analysis, 2010 will deliver record numbers,” said Smith.

As for amalgamation, there are still many steps that need to be climbed before any actual movement towards bringing the two corporations together would occur.

Among them would be approval of the Transportation Ministry, the Treasury Board and then the Privy Council. Ultimately, the Prime Minister would have to okay the plan and then request an act of parliament to approve it.

That isn’t likely to happen in 2010. There are greater priorities resting before the federal government.
And if it does happen at all, said Smith, the management structures would not be likely to change.

“The most likely scenario is that RTI would remain a separate structure, but the foundation of examining amalgamation is - because this is very small enterprise - is there some way or other that it might be better to have this run locally?”

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