Wednesday, March 31, 2010

North Coast policing, fire and courts information

From the files of the Constabulary to the listings of the court house, we highlight the items from our archives that reflect some of the criminal activity in the community.

Tracking those items of our past Podunkian postings reflecting the cases of the local detachment of the RCMP fire calls of Prince Rupert Fire Rescue and the case load of the Justice system and the associated issues surrounding policing and the judiciary


April 7-- Charges laid in investigation into Lax Kw'alaams Academy book keeping 
March 29-- Local sherriff receives recognition for honourable long-time service
March 19-- RCMP seeking suspect in suspicious occurrence in Sloan Avenue area
March 16-- Crown to lay charges in the sinking of the Queen of the North
March 16-- First Nation Street gangs are spreading to rural areas targeting at risk youths
February 20-- Big dreams of the Big House in Terrace
February 17-- Calls continue for inquiry into the cases of the missing women of Highway 16 
January 23-- Sometimes a house party is just a house party, not a pivotal moment for social justice 
January 22-- Police Chase Leads to Suspect Nab
January 22-- Hugs or Handcuffs? The downtown vandalism debate continues on. 
January 19-- Going away celebration gets out of hand on Fifth Avenue
January 18-- 21 year old male arrested, charged and released in wake of Saturday night violence 
January 17-- East side house party turns ugly, leads to police vehicle damages and standoff
January 13-- RCMP Discount Rumours of "Youth Suicide Pact"


December 28-- Troubling concerns over safety for health care workers on Haida Gwaii
December 23-- Local Mountie to co-ordinate Northern security contingent for 2010 Olympic Games
December 15-- Prince Rupert prominent in Vancouver Sun series on the vanished women of Highway 16
December 13-- Vancouver Sun begins review of Highway of Tears files
December 9-- To take the streets back with Mayor Jack 
December 8-- City has a message for community parents
November 9-- RCMP make Terrace arrest of suspect in Kitimat stabbing death
November 6-- RCMP to meet with Highway of Tears families this weekend 
November 5-- Taking one's vote out against the Long Gun Registry 
November 2-- Nathan Cullen introduces RCMP civillian oversight bill to Parliament
October 19-- Court rules against psychological harm cases for some of the Queen of the North survivors
October 13-- Crime continues to be a concern in Prince Rupert with new stats released 
October 8-- Prince Rupert Woman could face murder charges 
September 29-- Terrace traffic stop results in major drug bust 
September 27-- RCMP involved in shooting north of Hazelton
September 3-- Missing person case now considered a case of foul play 
August 31-- Punnett sworn in as new local circuit judge
August 29-- Does a property just off the Highway of Tears hold answers for waiting families? 
August 21-- It's been gone a long time 
August 21-- Two charges have been laid, son has confessed 
August 10-- One man dead another seriously injured after dispute 
July 23-- Lead feet of the off duty law, gets Prince George officers in hot water...
July 21-- Saturday rafting accident claims life in Terrace 
July 13-- RCMP seek whereabouts of Houston man 
July 13-- Musical Ride leaves memories for the North coast as it moves on 
July 3-- Robin Gomez found Not Guilty in Victoria Hockey trial 
July 1-- Local Cops raise ten grand en route to Seattle 
June 25-- RCMP auxiliary force acknowledged and installed 
June 19-- Double the trouble for Robin Gomez 
June 18-- Downtown manslaughter case adjourned until July 13
June 17-- RCMP release information on Third Avenue slaying 
June 17-- Homicide in the downtown core 
June 16-- From the ice to the courtroom, Robin Gomez goes to trial 
June 15-- Search for Skeena fatality suspended
June 11-- Walk for Justice participants heading into the homestretch of their journey 
June 4-- Walkers for Justice seeking public inquiry into Highway of Tears disappearances
June 2-- Rupert constables honoured by North District 
June 1-- RCMP make arrests as ferry arrives on the Charlottes 
May 31-- A walk for justice begins at a most symbolic place 
April 2-- Make sure your best side is showing for that next traffic infraction
March 25-- Highway of Tears to be featured in German magazine 
March 23-- Lead feet leave city coffers flush with cash
March 13-- Get out of the courts and into your cars! 
March 12-- Rumblings of the need for a Provincial Police force in British Columbia
March 6-- Arrests made in Inlander blaze 
March 6-- And now come the excavators
March 4-- Inlander ablaze once again
February 21-- All your emergency services under four walls and one roof
February 19-- Former teacher sentenced to forty five days on sex charges
February 13-- The Inlander may yet rise again 
February 11-- The search begins for shelter for the Inlander's residents 
February 7-- Residents seek relocation while investigation continues into Inlander Fire 
February 6-- The road not to be travelled? 
February 6-- Wednesday's Inlander fire forces residents to relocate 
February 4-- Inlander suffers smoke, water damage in afternoon fire 
January 28-- Drugs intercepted en route to Lax Kw’alaams 
January 25-- Highway of Tears families receive update from RCMP 
January 24-- Justice will take the form of a circle 
January 22-- Early morning fire claims two lives in Terrace 
January 15-- Bar Crowd troubles continue
January 11-- Underpaid Mounties contemplate an exodus

Podunk Below the Masthead (Wednesday, March 31, 2010)

Risky times for the Eulachon, lucky times for a Rupertite and NaiKun's disappointment at a BC Hydro decision, some of the items of interest for Wednesday.

Daily News, front page, headline story
EULACHON COULD BECOME LISTED AS A "SPECIES AT RISK"-- While the Eulachon run on the Skeena has been described as that of a bumper stock, in other locations on the west coast that isn't the case and in both Alaska and the coastal lower 48 things are so bad that the fish is about to be designated as a threatened species. Those concerns may spread across the border into Canadian waters with DFO in the process of  conducting an assessment on the state of the fish in Canada.

A birthday present of a lottery ticket set in motion a chain of events which proved to be a pretty impressive way to celebrate a birthday, as local resident Wichuta Nuanta won the Set for Life lottery taking home a prize of close to 1.2 million dollars over 25 years. Nuanta exchanged a scratch ticket from her birthday stash for a free play on the Set for Life, it was that subsequent ticket that proved to be lucky one which will most likely herald a bit of change in her life as she receives 1,000 dollars week for the next 25 years.

Yet another puzzling decision from the Provincial government as the Ministry of Children and Family Development withdrawas its funding for the success by 6 program, a much heralded development tool for early learning education that has received great reviews during its existence. Citing the government's recent deficit situation, Liberal Minister Mary Polak said that the cuts to the program were one of those decisions that governments have to make that wouldn't be liked. She went on to explain that the Ministry's staff were looking to discuss what could be done  with program ogranizers, but on a much more limited basis. The first casualty of the cutbacks is Duane Jackson  the local coordiantor for Success by Six who will be out of a job by this time next year.

The sports section reviews the plans of some local organizers to get minor baseball back in place in Prince Rupert. As we outlined on the blog earlier this month, Kendal Sheppard has been seeking out other Rupertites interested in re-starting the sport in the city, which hasn't had a minor baseball program in place for almost fifteen years now.

(Daily News Archive Items for Wednesday, March 31, 2010)

Eulachon could become listed as a ‘Species at Risk’
Local woman is "Set-for- Life"
Funding cut for success by 6
Dancer returns as part of Kelowna ballet

The Northern View
NaiKun no longer being considered for BC Hydro Clean Power Call -- Details on the latest setback for NaiKun Wind Power Development, who failed to make the second cut in BC Hydro's Clean Power call (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
BC Hydro Rejects Naikun Project -- CFTK Tv 7's review of the NaiKun story (see article here) CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North No new items were posted to the CBC website for Tuesday Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. The most recently posted items for this week can be found on the weekly archive for Daybreak North click here 

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
No new items were posted to the CBC website for Tuesday

Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. The Most recently posted items can be found in the archives for Daybreak North click here 

Daily News, front page, headline story 
Eulachon could become listed as a ‘Species at Risk’ 
By George T. Baker 
The Daily News
Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A bumper stock of eulachon in the Skeena has not been mirrored in the United States, nor has it been reflected in the Kitimat area.

The eulachon’s continual decline in both Alaska and the lower 48 Pacific states has caused the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. to place the fish under “Threatened Species” status. It may find the same fate later this year in British Columbia.

NOAA will list the species under the “Threatened” designation under the Endangered Species Act this week. 

According to NOAA spokesperson Brian Gorman, the U.S. has not accomplished much in researching the misunderstood fish, but the decision to list the fish was mainly in response to a request from a Washington State First Nation tribe.

The Cowlitz Tribe in Washington State, which once depended on abundant catches of eulachon in the Columbia River for food and an item of trade, asked for the listing in 2007.

 ``The tribe just had its annual eulachon ceremony a few weeks ago and there were none for us to dip. Our nets were empty,’’ Taylor Aalvik, director of the tribe’s Natural Resources Department, said in a statement to the Associated Press.

 “I don’t know if there has been much research done into [eulachon]. It has mainly been the decline in catch and reports from both recreational fishermen and commercial fishermen,” said Gorman.

Gorman added that as far as he was aware, there has been some consultation with Canadian counterparts regarding the listing, though he couldn’t say whether it was Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

“When we convened our biological review, which is what we do whenever we have to consider a listing under the ESA, we were in touch with Canadian folks to find out what the presence of [eulachon] was in B.C. and what the history of eulachon was in B.C.,” said Gorman.

Under the ESA, a “threatened” species is in danger of becoming endangered in the foreseeable future. An “endangered” species is one in danger of extinction in all or part of its range.

Eulachon, known as the Pacific Smelt in the U.S., are small ocean-going fish that historically ranged from northern California to the Bering Sea in Alaska. They return to rivers to spawn in late winter and early spring. This little fish is so high in body fat during spawning that it can be dried, strung on a wick and burned, lending another name to its list of aliases – candlefish.

In the U.S. there is a small and widely dispersed commercial and recreational fishery for pacific smelt.

There are two populations of eulachon swimming in North American rivers.

The group that will receive protection ranges from the Mad River in Northern California to the Skeena River in British Columbia. Like salmon, it lays its eggs in rivers late in the winter and spring and spends the rest of its life in the ocean. The other population ranges into Alaska and the Bering Sea.

 Issues that could make it more difficult to reverse the population decline include shrimp fishing, less water in rivers, and smelt being eaten by birds, seals and sea lions, the agency told AP.

The unexpected bumper crop in the Skeena river this year has given eulachon researchers a chance to really examine what exactly is going on with the greasy fish.

A local independent eulachon researcher, Dave Rolston, who is working with DFO, the World Wildlife Foundation and the Kitsumkalum band, said this year’s higher than usual numbers on the Skeena have been very useful to their research.

Rolston and his partner are working on three key strategies – critical eulachon spawning habitat; looking at various stock parameters, such as the size of the run and the male-to-female ratio; and lastly, looking at the eulachon larvae as they hatch to find out how many there are, how their habitat works and predicting the run size for the future.

Of course, that is one of the trickier parts about eulachon because there is still much unknown about what happens to them when they leave the rivers and hit the ocean.

 “It has helped that there a lot of eulachon in the river. You don’t have to go scraping for them as you would in a bad year,” said Rolston. “And it is also helped that there is no ice in the river this year. You can get in by boat.”

It is an El Nino year, which means that the warmer than normal conditions don’t only help fishermen, but also researchers trying to grasp what’s going on with this mysterious fish. Rolston said that they have found that the fish spawn in a ”dynamic” part of the Skeena. “It is just above the salt water, but you are substantively influenced by the tides. The water is turbid and dark so it is hard to see them,” said Rolston.

On the North Coast, reaction really depends on where you are. The Haisla of the Douglas Channel have listened to stories from Nisga’a and Tsimshian friends about the amazing year they are having on their rivers this late winter and early spring.

Haisla band councillor Gerald Amos said that the U.S. nomination of eulachon as threatened was the right move to make and he urged the Canadian government to do the same.

 “I listed eulachon as threatened in my own brain a few years ago. I think, on a personal level, that its about time the eulachon received that kind of attention and what remains to be seen is what we are prepared to do about it,” said Amos.

This year, both the Kidala and Kitlope Rivers have had no eulachon return.

 “The Skeena and Nass rivers had bumper crops this year, but in the case of the Kitlope River, which is pristine water with no logging and rip-rapping of the banks of the river, it is pretty much a natural system - and yet there are no eulachons,” explained Amos.

It isn’t clear if the listing would shut down eulachon fisheries – both commercial and recreational – in the U.S., but is a change that would likely be monitored by the North Coast First Nations. Both the Nisga’a and the Tsimshian have huge vested interest in the fishery that has been a staple of the Aboriginal diet for millennia.

The question now is whether or not the Canadian government will follow suit.

According to Karen Calla, Fisheries and Oceans Regional Manager for the Species At Risk, a eulachon assessment is under way in B.C.

The Committee on Status of the Endangered Wildlife in Canada is conducting the assessment and the DFO will await their findings.

 “We are expecting that they are going to finish their assessment for November. At that point, they would then assess the level and then from there it is forwarded to government and we evaluate the listing under the Species at Risk Act,” said Calla.

If COSEWIC has observed a decline of 50 per cent of the total number of mature individual over the last 10 years or 3 generations - whichever is the longer - eulachon would receive a threatened designation. If it were a 70 per cent reduction, the fish would be considered endangered.

Based simply on this year’s numbers in the Skeena and Nass Rivers, which some have claimed to be the best in six years, it would be difficult to argue that they have declined. And in the Douglas Channel, it has been another tough year for Haisla fishermen looking for tasty candlefish.

Rolston thought that the threatened decleration in the U.S. and a possible one in Canada would be a good turn of events.

 “I think threatened status is going to ramp up the profile. The Americans doing their thing doesn’t effect us directly, but it will probably free up some funds for researchers, which will ultimately help everyone.”

Sailing the corporate waters of BC Ferries and the Alaska Marine Highway

We provide for your research requirements some of the Podunkian items of interest concerning all matters BC Ferries and AMHS.

From this portal we provide our archived items pertaining to BC Ferries and its operations on the North coast. Items will appear by date, most recent to past.

Items with links in this hue of blue are BC Ferries
Items with links in this hue of blue are Alaska Marine Highway


March 20-- Mayor Mussallem shares his message on BC ferries with Northwest Mayors in Terrace
March 16-- Crown to lay charges in the sinking of the Queen of the North
March 11-- Winds hold Northern Adventure in Port
March 2-- Seeking to shift vessels on the Rupert to Skidegate run
February 25-- BC Ferries says it's willing to hear Rupert's concerns
February 17-- Rupert run cancelled Monday as Alaska Marine Highway suffers technical problems
February 11-- More consultation required before BC Ferry route implementation
February 4-- Requesting a course change from Chairman Hahn
January 24-- More delays for BC Ferries
January 17-- More weather delays for BC Ferries
January 16-- Weather delays Saturday departure of the Northern Adventure


December 21-- Ferries becoming much more cautious following November nightmare 
December 17-- City Council to challenge BC Ferries plans for route changes 
December 16-- BC Ferries cancels Thursday sailing to Haida Gwaii due to weather
December 16-- BC Ferries faces a Northwest mutiny over transportation plan
December 10-- Ferry terminal part of coastal settlement 
December 2-- BC Ferries presents plans for new route 
November 28-- Transportation Safety Board launches its own investigation into Northern Adventure sailing
November 25-- BC Ferries to investigate circumstances of Northern Adventure's aborted crossing
November 24-- Northern Adventure weathers unexpected storm
November 23-- Sailing a Northern Misadventure-vessel does not belong on route, says MLA Coons
November 23-- Many questions in wake of Northern Adventure's return to port
November 23-- Stormy weather keeps Northern Adventure in port
November 21-- BC Ferries books some room at the Inn and perhaps books some controversy
November 10-- BC Ferries continues with its exploration of a possible Rupert-Vancouver link 
November 10-- A current of hubris in Mr. Hahn's replies
November 8-- The most rewarding adventures of David Hahn and his fellow travellers
October 19-- Court rules against psychological harm cases for some of the Queen of the North survivors September 10-- Crab lines still posing problems for BC Ferries 
August 31-- They may be getting a little crabby about crab traps at BC Ferries
August 29-- The continuing problems of the Northern Adventure 
August 24-- Not so fast for the Northern Adventure 
August 23-- 11 AM Sailing for BC Ferries
August 21-- BC Ferries cancels weekend sailings of the Northern Adventure 
July 23-- Growing the ferry numbers for the North
July 16-- Provincial Chamber shoulders local ferry issues
July 1-- Backlash brewing in Alaska over proposed Rupert Terminal purchase
June 28-- It's getting crowded out there on the seas 
June 19-- The Matanuska prepares for her return 
June 1-- RCMP make arrests as ferry arrives on the Charlottes
May 21-- Twice as many sailings, but still the mail only comes three times a week
May 19-- Northern Expedition is on the clock...
May 9-- Northern Adventure to be sidelined again for repairs 
May 4-- Over one thousand take the tour of the new B. C. Ferry
April 26-- Prince Rupert is the hub for two of the world's top ten ferry rides 
April 23-- Alaska Marine Highway still has Rupert Ferry dock on their purchase list 
April 21-- Wanted to a good home: one slightly aged ferry recently retired
April 20-- One era ends... and another prepares to begin..
April 19-- Northern Expedition slips alongside for a short stay 
April 16-- A Queen prepares to take her leave
April 6-- The Northern Expedition is in Northern waters
March 26-- BC Ferries reinstates Captain of the ill fated Queen of the North
March 20-- More adventures for the Northern Adventure? 
March 11-- Safety first, or into service first? 
March 9-- Our ship has almost come in...
March 8-- Sailing through the fog of information at BC Ferries 
February 28-- Will Steve Smith find some choppy waters on the way to the BC Ferries board? 
February 3-- Queen of the North court case comes to an end without any answers
February 2-- From Flensberg to Prince Rupert
February 1-- Blustery weather plays havoc with BC Ferries schedule
January 30-- All in all, they’d rather have taken a plane 
January 25-- Ferry service to Charlottes resumes two weeks early
January 23-- Mr. Hahn Begs to Differ with Mr Coons. 
January 22-- BC Ferries choppy waters of concern to MLA Coons
January 21-- Cost cutting measures put employees on the dock waving goodbye at BC Ferries 
January 16-- Sittin' by the dock of the bay, waiting for the bills to flow away 
January 11-- BC Ferries to face many questions during February trial 
January 8-- More anger directed at BC Ferries on the Charlottes

Naikun Wind Development misses out in second BC Hydro Clean Power call

"We are obviously very disappointed with the outcome and will seek discussions with BC Hydro to fully understand its decision and determine the most effective path forward for the project,”-- Naikun Wind Development President and CEO Paul Taylor outlining his company's disappointment after BC Hydro's Clean Power call announcement of Tuesday.

It's apparently on to Plan B for Naikun Wind Development, after BC Hydro announced their second round of successful Clean Power call applicants and did not call on Naikun to become a participant in their program through their Hecate Strait wind power project.

BC Hydro selected four more participants in its much vaunted clean power call, two run of river projects near Squamish, a waste heat project in Sparwood and a Wind Power project planned by Sea Breeze Energy Corporation for Port Hardy.

That brings to 23 the total number of programs announced by BC Hydro, 19 previous approvals were announced at the start of March. For those left on the sidelines in the Power call program, BC Hydro advised that they may have better success later with the introduction of the Province of British Columbia's Clean Energy Act.

In a press release put forward by Naikun on Tuesday, the company offered up it's thoughts on where things go from here, an apparent dedication to continue forward with a heading by the title of "Naikun looks to success beyond Clean Power Call".

For now it seems that the company will continue to move twoards completion of its environmental review process for the project, as well as continue on with the process of partnership with the Haida Nation, providing assistance to the Haida to secure support from the Federal Government that would enable the Haida Nation to become one of the generation project’s equity owners.

So far there hasn't been much indication from the Haida as to what their future plans may be in regard to participation in that project, but one imagines that the developments of today could add for more discussion points among their membership.

The company also stressed its intention to pursue the acquisition of other renewable energy assets as part of a diversification program and reduce the Company’s risk profile, as well as continue seek out and secure near-term revenue

Naikun recently suffered some disappointing news on the Federal side of the power agenda as well, when the Federal Conservatives cancelled a 1.48 billion dollar eco-Energy program as part of their Federal budget cutbacks.

The recent decisions from both Federal and Provincial directions has made for a very disappointing thirty days or so on the alternative energy front and would seem to be a set back at least in the near term for plans to harness the wind off of Hecate Strait.

The Northern View-- NaiKun no longer being considered for BC Hydro Clean Power Call
CFTK TV 7 News-- BC Hydro Rejects Naikun Project

In Pursuit of Potash

Digging through the back issues of our Podunkian travels we seek out the detailed revelations of all things Potash in the quest for an export Terminal for Saskatchewan's finest offerings to the world.

In this space we offer up an archive of the developments in the quest for a Potash Terminal for Prince Rupert, a much delayed process that has seen a number of twists over the last year or so.

Below some of the items from that file archived by date:


June 23-- Canpotex Update
January 28-- Getting ready to rumble in the potash patch 
January 27-- Could Potash competition benefit Prince Rupert?


December 31-- Canpotex Decision delayed
November 2 -- Canpotex negotiations are back on track
October 27-- Another twist of the Canpotex tale
October 25-- Pondering the problematic issues for potash
October 22-- Mayor Jack says that the Canpotex decision process is still on track!
October 20-- Is Rupert out of the Canpotex sweepstakes?
October 10-- Major projects for Rupert at the mercy of the recession
September 24-- Canpotex finds a welcoming ear from Rupertites
September 23-- Rupert rolled out the welcome mat for Canpotex
September 16-- You better watch out, you better not cry; you better not pout, I’m telling you why! Cause Canpotex is coming to town!
June 4-- Another Ridley project hits the slow switch

It's the economy (Wednesday, March 31, 2010)

Vacation plans subject to change with yet another bankruptcy, seeking the price of oil through the Big Mac Index and economics always seem to come down to a north/south split, some of the items of note for Wednesday.

Globe and Mail-- Tour operators scramble as Skyservice shuts down
Globe and Mail-- Anglo Irish Bank posts country's biggest ever loss
Globe and Mail-- Expect a new peak for oil next year
National Post-- Canada, Japan point to restaurant recovery
National Post-- Megayacht sells for US$46-million
National Post-- Barrel of oil worth 22 Big Macs
Vancouver Sun-- Vancouver International Auto Show: Trucks take a back seat as Ford bets on Fiesta
New York Times-- Obama’s Oil Drilling Plan Draws Critics From Both Sides
New York Times-- Germany Moves Closer to Setting Up Bank Crisis Fund
New York Times-- Swiss Move Closer to Releasing UBS Names
USA Today-- Cisco aims to make Wi-Fi easy with its first router for homes
USA Today-- California solar projects rush to beat deadline for subsidies
Guardian UK online-- North-south income divide widens, official figures show
Guardian UK online-- NHS computer upgrade in crisis as supplier CSC misses critical deadline
Guardian UK online-- Anglo Irish Bank reports €12.7bn loss as EU launches enquiry into state aid
Times on line-- BSkyB told to cut prices for sports channels
Times on line-- The two-faced Tories can’t have it both ways
Telegraph UK online-- Carbon offsetting needs to stop looking like a medieval religious practice
Telegraph UK online-- Nuclear power – yes please, and lots of it
Telegraph UK online-- PIMCO fears UK 'debt trap'
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Gloucester Coal goes into trading halt
Melbourne Herald Sun-- As the dust settles, eyes turn to Rio Tinto
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Qantas engineers may ban Easter work
People's Daily-- China's central bank repeats moderately loose monetary policy stance
People's Daily-- China's demand for gold to double within next decade
China Daily-- China's top 100 retailers see big sales rise in Jan-Feb
China Daily-- Power companies urged to prepare for Expo, Games
Times of India-- From April 1, pay more for driving on toll roads
Times of India-- India offers stakes in petrochemical plants to Kuwait

She just doesn't seem that into you Larry !

If departing glances could kill, then Foregin Minister Lawrence Cannon probably feels that he isn't six feet under, but twelve.

Cannon (left) felt the full effects of the icy stare from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton these last few days, which probably now makes him  a charter member of the Bill Clinton doghouse club, not because of any personal failings, but of the policy ones of the government he represents.

Mrs. Clinton arrived in Canada and spent a good portion of her time taking Cannon to task on any number of issues, high among her talking points an expression of firm resolve that the US would prefer that the Canadian Forces stay the course in Afghanistan and change that departure date of 2011.

She upbraided Cannon over his hosting duties for his Arctic conference, suggesting his guest list was short a few key players when it comes to issues of the arctic circle club and for good measure and as a parting shot on her way back to Washington, she took the Conservative governments thoughts on Third World maternal rights to task. Drubbing the Foregin Minister prior to his closing press conference of G8 Foreign Ministers (which she didn't attend) by advising that any discussion on that subject, requires a discussion on the topic of abortion and family planning, an interjection that the Liberals suggest means that the Conservative agenda on that issue is dead .

And while we can find some agreement with some of her observations on a few of her concerns, we're not sure about the method of delivery, nor is the irony lost of the US lecturing other countries about expanded inclusiveness and consultation, never really their strong suit over the course of history.

All in all, Cannon found himself at the receiving end of enough barbed commentaries, that we suspect he began to long for the House of Commons and welcome embrace and the less antaganostic efforts of the Liberals, NDP and Bloc Quebecois in Question period.

And while not quite the same level as some previous high profile disagreements, highlighted by the the days of Lyndon Johnson with Lester Pearson (don't come and piss on my carpet) or maybe when Richard Nixon described then Prime Minister Trudeau as an ass-hole and pompous.  It was perhaps the most open and transparent exhibition of American frustration with their Northern neighbours that we've seen in a while.

Though having Ms. Clinton deliver the American perspective does allow some elbow room for President Obama whenever he next meets with Prime Minister Harper.

It's an interesting display of American policy enforcement falling as it does on the heels of Vice President Joe Biden's recent trip to Israel where he took the Israeli's to task for their internal policies on expanding settlements.

There too, the full pressure of American foreign policy was delivered by a key member of the President's inner circle, leaving no misunderstanding as to the unhappiness that the US has with it's Allies that don't quite follow along with the textbook.

The Prime Minister gave Cannon a bit of a helping hand on the Afghanistan issue when he reiterated that Canada's decision to remove troops from that country will remain in place with the 2011 departure date still firm. Though we suspect that between now and then, the issue and how it evolves will become one of the main defining features of Harper's Prime Ministership thus far.

The Liberals took advantage of Mrs. Clinton's public expressions of concern to ask for a debate on Canada's future in Afghanistan leaving a window open it seems for some form of military engagement though not in combat, a possibility that even has some traction within Conservative circles, though for the Prime Minister it is a conversation  that isn't required, since it is his Government's intention to move beyond the mission in 2011.

We're not sure exactly, other than a less than subtle prod to change direction, what the Secretary of State hopes to gain with her enthusiastic and public rap to the knuckles, delivered over and over again on a number of Canadian media outlets.

In particular when it comes to the Afgahnistan issue, which for the most part has seen the Conservatives hold that flag pretty high these last few years despite the  growing casualty count and an underlying feeling of Canadians that the mission hasn't been moving forward fast enough towards its goal of a secure and stable Afghanistan.

And while we're sure that she and the American administration are more than aware of our contributions thus far in Afghanistan, we suggest that when it comes to the heavy lifting there, Canadians really doesn't need a lecture from her or anyone else.  

For a Prime Minister that frequently has to push back against those that say he's too cozy to the United States, having the Secretary of State find fault with so many issues, may actually work in his favour should we end up back at the polls in the near future. Though as always, how he handles the after effects of the recent events will in the end dictate those results, and if past history is any indication taking advantage of opportunity never seems to be an easy fit there.

As for the effects on Mr. Cannon, it certainly won't do him any long term harm to be considered not in lock step with the American agenda, always a good thing when you want to walk on the world stage.

And after watching the full Hillary treatment for a weekend, hen pecked husbands everywhere have a new symbol to measure themselves against whenever they get together to talk about relationships, when it comes to getting nagged Mr. Cannon is seemingly the new poster boy.

They say that best friends should be able to speak at ease on any topic, though we suspect that for a few times this weekend, Minister Cannon most likely was wishing that some of those differences weren't quite so much part of what seemed like open mic night at the conference.

National Post-- John Ivison: Cannon glad to see the back of Clinton
Toronto Star-- Hillary Clinton stirs the pot on Afghanistan, abortion and the Arctic
Globe and Mail-- Clinton's tough diplomacy stings Ottawa
Globe and Mail-- No means no, PM tells Clinton
Globe and Mail-- Clinton’s Afghan remarks turn up heat on Canada
Winnipeg Free Press-- Don't take Clinton's bull-in-china-shop approach personally, experts tell Canada
Winnipeg Free Press-- Clinton's public arm-twisting on Afghan extension prompted private Harper rejection
Photo above that tells a million stories, was found on the National Post website

Podunk Below the Masthead (Tuesday, March 30, 2010)

More mystery at the Pulp Mill, another suspicious attempted child abduction case and a second  degree murder case goes to trial, some of the items of the Tuesday news cycle.

Daily News, front page, headline story
WATSON ISLAND MILL SITE - THE STORY CONTINUES -- The Daily News outlines a few of the developments over the fate of the Watson Island mill site, the key revelation being the startling news that apparently all six previously submitted bids were rejected by the City. Two local sources on that angle, Lax Kw'alaams Chief Councillor Gary Reece and Bill Belsey, currently working on behalf of Sun Wave both confirmed for the Daily News that they understand that the city found all six bids did not meet the city's criteria. That would be a move that leaves the future of the site at the moment up in the air. While the City contemplates its next move, they have ongoing requirements for maintenance fees for the site and now are faced with a court case set to play out in BC Supreme Court as they continue on with their disagreements with Sun Wave, the recalcitrant tax paying former owners.

District of Port Edward Council welcomed a delegation from Prince Rupert Peace Power Corporation last Thursday night, as they updated council on the progress of the Mount McDonald wind farm, the proponents of the wind development are awaiting the completion of their Environmental Assessment, which once accepted will move the project on to its next phase of development. It's not expected that any feedback from the assessment will be received until at least 2011.

Yet another suspicious occurrence in the city involving children, as the RCMP issue their second alert of the last few weeks. Police have advised residents of the Kootenay Avenue area that two men were suspected of an attempted abduction last Thursday at approximately 7:20 pm at Kinsmen park in the area. The first of the two men is described as a Caucasian male, with blue eyes and short, dirty blonde hair with long bangs that reached his eyes and a leather jacket and according to a sketch apparently was wearing an Edmonton Oilers ball cap. The other male featured shoulder length hair and was wearing a black toque. The two were driving in an older light brown Ford Truck with shiny rims, and approached two children aged five and seven attempting to lure them into the truck, when the two declined they say one of the men said " you wanna die, you better run". If you have information on the incident you are asked to call the RCMP at 250-624-2136, 1-800-222--TIPS or at 

The sports section runs through the medal haul for local skaters at the Nizut-nee skating competition in Houston this past weekend, as well a look back at Kelcie German's hockey season, as she recently wrapped up her second season with the female Major Midget Cariboo Cougars.

(Daily News archive items for March 30, 2010 )

Watson Island mill site the story continues
Ol’ McDonald had a wind farm...
Kitimat looking at options to revive town 
Literacy Day event well attended 
NDP speak up to oppose pipelines 
Hospice under-utilized

The Northern View
Emotions run high as board makes decision on closures -- The Northern View takes a look back at last weeks emotional school closure vote as the School District selected Ecole Westview School for closure (see article here

The Northern View
CN busy changing railroad ties in area -- Rail crews continue on with their railroad tie replacement project, which will see 100 rail workers involved in the major refit for the Northern line (see article here)

The Northern View
First Nations groups vow to halt pipeline-- Another bit of catch up as the Northern View recounts the developments of last week regarding the Enbridge Gateway project and the growing coalition against it (see article here)

CFTK TV 7 News
Son to Trial in Father's Death -- A Prince Rupert man will continue on to trial in the death of his father and the stabbing of another man in August of last year (see article here)

CBC News British Columbia, Daybreak North
No new items were posted to the CBC website for Tuesday

Daybreak North is only posting selected items on their website now. The most recently posted items for this week can be found on the weekly archive for Daybreak North click here

Daily News, front page, headline story 
Watson Island Mill Site - The Story continues 
By Monica Lamb-Yorski 
The Daily News
Tuesday, March 30, 2010 

At least three of the proponents previously interested in Watson Island still have an eye on the property.

Speaking from Vancouver, Chief Councillor Garry Reece confirmed Lax Kw’alaams is still interested in purchasing Watson Island from the City of Prince Rupert. Representatives from the band toured the site last week and continue to explore partnership possibilities.

Reece said the band has a signed firm agreement with an investment partner, but was unwilling to disclose the partner’s identity at this time.

 “We’ve also talked with Quickload Terminals and CN Rail because they are interested in leasing properties on the site,” Reece added.

Quickload is presently a tenant at Watson Island and has stated it will continue to have an interest in leasing property at the site. It originally answered a request from the City, issued October of last year, for proposal submissions for purchasing the property, but told the Daily News in a recent interview that its proposal had been rejected.

A representative of CN Rail said the company was not prepared to make comment on the possibility of leasing, at this time.

Two weeks ago, Lax Kw’alaams held meetings, both in their community and in Prince Rupert, to let band members know about the band’s plans.

Council came away from the meeting feeling that community members were receptive to the band’s hopes for the purchase of Watson Island. “We feel like we have the community’s support,” Reece commented.

When asked if the band has met with Sun Wave Forest Products recently, Reece commented that they had had a couple of meetings prior to Sun Wave filing against the City in the Supreme Court of British Columbia.

 “We haven’t met with Sun Wave since they filed the claim,” Reece said.

 According to Reece, the City rejected all six proposals that were submitted by the December 15 deadline to purchase Watson Island.

 “None of the proposals met the criteria,” said Reece. “Everyone was rejected. We’ve just been putting information together and we don’t know where it will go, but we are still interested in the property. There are a lot of opportunities there to get something in place and we are interested in working with other partners.”

Bill Belsey, former Liberal North Coast MLA and a former manager at the pulp mill, is now working on behalf of Sun Wave and two other Chinese companies interested in B.C. 

From Vancouver, Belsey said it is also his understanding that all six proposals to purchase Watson Island were thrown out by 
the City.

 “With all due respect to the City, they were looking for thirteen million and nobody believed that taxes are worth that. They were based on a value of sixty million - that of an operating pulp mill,” Belsey commented.

According to Belsey, he was hired by Sun Wave because of his past experience in Prince Rupert and with the pulp mill. 

“They have hired me to work with legal counsel on the current court case between Sun Wave and the City.” 

Another part of his job involves looking at possibilities in various aspects of fibre-related industries.

 “Sun Wave is looking at development in other places, even Kitimat, but the company has invested quite a bit in Watson Island and is still interested in doing something there,” Belsey explained.

There has been speculation that Sun Wave is interested in dismantling the ‘B’ mill and taking it off the Watson Island site, but Belsey said that isn’t true.

 “When I mentioned that to the Chinese they looked at me in disbelief and said, ‘that’s old technology’. They had talked about moving the digesters at one time, but realized the cost would be impossible. They have no intention of sending the mill elsewhere. I dare say there’s not much left there of value.”

 When asked why Sun Wave had filed a claim against the City in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, Belsey said the company felt it had run out of options. “If the City won’t talk to you, I guess it’s time to go another route.” 

According to Belsey, in an interview with the Northern View, he had attempted to set up meetings with the City, but his initiations were not returned.

Upon subsequent questioning by the Daily News, Mayor Jack Mussallem had responded that neither he nor, as far as he was aware, city staff had been contacted by Belsey.

 “I’ve never been approached by Bill Belsey to have a meeting. I saw him once in 2010 at a social function, but never discussed anything with him,” the Mayor said.

Belsey, in turn, has confirmed that this had been his method of approach, “I saw the mayor at the Community Foundation dinner and told him I was in town and I’ve talked to City councillors and local businesses.” Belsey maintains Sun Wave is still open to talking with the City.

 “Our legal counsel has said we need to sit down as adults with the City and then call in our lawyers when we need them. [The City] knows we’re eager to talk and they are using a moronic cliché, ‘it’s in front of the courts’. It’s sad that the City is continuing to pay a burn rate of one hundred thousand dollars a month at the mill and nothing’s happening out there and now they’re paying a burn rate plus lawyers.”

A third party, formerly a component of the Greenfield Clean Energy proposal, is also expressing a continued interest in the property.

Greenfield, who had been one of six that submitted a proposal on Watson Island, moved on to greener pastures upon receiving their letter of rejection by the City. In fact, it remains unclear exactly what the City’s criteria consisted of. According to several sources, Greenfield had been willing to meet the requested purchase price of 13.5 million but, as with others, the letter had simply stated that their proposal did not meet the required criteria. 

However, one of the proponents previously associated with that group is expressing an interest in working cooperatively with Lax Kw’ aalams and others in the possible purchase and potential use of the property.

 “The green technology introduced under the Greenfield proposal still shows an interest in the area. We have important green technologies that other proponents can use. In other words, there is a will to collaborate,” said a spokesperson.

 “Together we still may assist the City in coming up with something positive for the area. That’s a whole lot better than sitting back and allowing this environmental and economic catastrophe to continue.”

It's the economy (Tuesday, March 30, 2010)

Explore for oil offshore, yes you can, Smokey the revenue collector and even climate skeptics need financial assistance from time to time, some of the items of interest for Tuesday.

Globe and Mail-- Canada ranked No. 2 in competitiveness
Globe and Mail-- Ontario's auto sector gets fresh boost
Globe and Mail-- Quebec stirs health-care debate with proposed user fee
National Post-- Watchdog in way of higher dividends: Bank chief
National Post-- MasterCard offers card aimed at Muslims
National Post-- Tax cuts turn Canada in to a cost leader
Vancouver Sun-- Small gets bigger at Vancouver auto show
New York Times-- Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time
New York Times-- Ireland Lays Out a Plan to Help Banks
New York Times-- Oil Prices Find a Sweet Spot for World Economy
USA Today-- Speeding 'cushion' may dwindle due to recession
USA Today-- Verizon report sends Apple shares to all-time high
Guardian UK online-- Irish toxic loans are half as big as economy, bank bailout reveals
Guardian UK online-- US oil company donated millions to climate sceptic groups, says Greenpeace
Guardian UK online-- MPs quiz Alistair Darling about the budget - as it happened
Times on line-- Election uncertainty stalls housing recovery
Times on line-- Ireland on the brink of full-scale bank nationalisation
Telegraph UK online-- Rising house prices and economic recovery boost Gordon Brown
Telegraph UK online-- What banks can learn from Al-Qaeda
Melbourne Herald Sun-- AWB set for new joint venture
Melbourne Herald Sun-- Business presses China on transparency
Sydney Daily Telegraph-- Australian victims can still seek Lehman damages
People's Daily-- China to launch new inspection of construction projects
People's Daily-- Pension fund spreading wings abroad
China Daily-- Iron ore prices should be reasonable - officials
China Daily-- Yuan appreciation can't redress trade imbalance
Times of India-- Rupee rise gives fresh trouble to exporters
Times of India-- Bharti to sign Zain deal today