Prince Rupert Port Authority COVID-19 Update
To our stakeholders:
Prince Rupert is a small, tight-knit community and most families are connected in some way to the Port.
I’d like to assure you that the team at the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) is taking the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously, and our primary goals right now are to keep our community and staff healthy and safe, help ‘flatten the curve’ by slowing virus transmission, and maintain the Port of Prince Rupert’s critical role in the continued global movement of goods and ongoing delivery of essential services. The port’s ongoing operation is vital to Canada and North America’s response to COVID-19, and as safety is integral to our sustainability as a gateway, we are working to ensure that trade is conducted as carefully as possible in this situation.
Prince Rupert Port Authority
Expanding on some of the local measures PRPA is taking to promote social distancing, effective March 17, 2020 the Port Interpretive Centre/Prince Rupert Visitor Centre will be closed until further notice. As well, we have cancelled the planned open houses in Prince Rupert and Port Edward for the Ridley Island Export Logistics Platform. PRPA staff is relying on telephone/videoconferencing technology in place of in-person meetings. Non-essential business travel has been suspended, and PRPA is not accepting visitors to its offices (except for essential people) at this time. Employees who have recently returned from outside of Canada are working from home in self-isolation, and we are currently developing a work from home plan for our employees. We are exploring other ways to continue public engagement in a different way aside from in-person gatherings. Increased measures will be introduced as the situation evolves.
Ensuring the health and well-being of gateway workers, local residents, and Canadians is our top priority. PRPA has been working diligently to determine actions and measures to take throughout this evolving situation. We have been working closely with our port tenants and partners to ensure that together we are doing our part to implement practices and procedures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The broader marine community is doing its part to prevent the spread of COVID-19, as Transport Canada, in concert with multiple agencies including the Canadian Border Services Agency, the Public Health Agency of Canada, shipping lines, masters and crews, port authorities and terminal operators have robust screening processes and practices to ensure vessels and their crews, as well as gateway workers are safe. Furthermore, the Government of Canada announced the delay of the 2020 cruise season, with the restriction of cruise vessels with a capacity of 500 passengers and crew at Canadian ports until July 1, 2020.
The continued health and well-being of gateway workers needs to be a public and community effort. More than 1500 people in Prince Rupert are directly employed in critical aspects of our gateway, and more than 3000 people in northern BC. Every port-related worker needs to take care of their health and take appropriate preparedness measures for themselves and their families as prescribed by the World Health Organization, the Public Health Agency of Canada, and the BC Centre for Disease Control.
In a small community like Prince Rupert, where every resident has personal degrees of separation that can be very low, we all need to act now to go above and beyond in the prevention of COVID-19 transmission.
We recognize that these are uncertain times for all of us, with critical health outcomes in the balance, and a country that is counting on us to ensure that the safe and efficient movement of vital goods continues to happen. As a port community, let’s set the example of doing what it takes to win this battle.
Please continue to monitor our social media channels and website for updates.
President & CEO
Nearly 30 Million Tonnes Of Cargo Moved In 2019
January 10, 2020
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced today another record year in volume. A grand total of 29.9 million tonnes of cargo moved through the Port of Prince Rupert in 2019 – 12% more than the 26.7 million tonnes handled the previous year and the highest total volume to date for the Port.
Supporting the overall positive trend was strong performance at DP World’s Fairview Container Terminal with over 1.2 million TEUs at an increase of 17% over 2018, the addition of propane volume through AltaGas’ Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal, and growth in coal handled at Ridley Terminal where cargo levels were up 18% over the previous year. Northland Cruise Terminal also saw a year-over-year increase in passenger volumes of 35%, totalling over 12,400 visitors to Prince Rupert through cruise travel.
“The Port of Prince Rupert’s consistent record-breaking annual volumes confirms the Port’s growing role in Canadian trade,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The Port of Prince Rupert has a reputation for offering strategic advantages to shippers. The 2019 volumes illustrate the growing market demand for the Prince Rupert gateway and further validates our plans for growth and expansion over the next several years.”
PRPA’s latest economic impact study released in 2019 revealed that port-related growth has resulted in the Port of Prince Rupert handling approximately $50 billion in trade value annually and supports an estimated 3,600 direct supply-chain jobs in northern BC, $310 million in annual wages, and $125.5 million in annual government revenue.
In 2019, several infrastructure projects supporting growth and diversification at the Port of Prince Rupert were announced, including the Ridley Island Export Logistics Park, the Zanardi Bridge and Causeway Project, and the Metlakatla Import Logistics Park – all of which are supported by the Government of Canada’s $153.7 million investment through its National Trade Corridors Fund. Moreover, construction commenced on PRPA’s Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor. The 5.5-kilometre corridor will provide a physical platform for two new rail sidings and a private two-lane haul road between Fairview Container Terminal and Ridley Island.
An anticipated $2 billion in capital expansion projects starting in 2020 will support further cargo growth, including DP World’s Fairview Terminal expansion project that will bring the terminal’s capacity up to 1.8 million TEUs by 2022; the Vopak Pacific Terminal project, which is currently undergoing its environmental assessment and expects to make a final investment decision in 2020; as well as Pembina’s Prince Rupert Export Terminal, which is currently under construction and anticipates being operational in late 2020.
For more information on the Port of Prince Rupert’s cargo volumes, please visit here.
December 13, 2019
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced today a collaborative agreement with the City of Prince Rupert to incorporate new public recreational access into a wetlands and fish restoration project along the Seal Cove Slough shoreline.
Through partnering with the City of Prince Rupert, PRPA has found a way to leverage its investment in habitat restoration to contribute to community amenities in the vicinity of the Seal Cove Slough. This habitat compensation project will include the development of new marine riparian areas, intertidal marshes and mudflats, eelgrass beds, and other shoreline planting, and will also serve to enhance visual appeal and feature environmental education components. It will encompass a lighted pathway around the slough, a pedestrian bridge, benches, tables, and interpretive signage, becoming another community waterfront asset.
“Environmental sustainability is a core value of the Prince Rupert Port Authority and this habitat enhancement project will reinvigorate an area impacted by historical industrial use while creating new recreational waterfront access,” said Shaun Stevenson, President & CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “This project builds upon the direction set by the Prince Rupert 2030 Vision and compliments past PRPA investments in community waterfront access made over the past two decades, including Atlin Terminal, Northland Terminal, Cow Bay Marina, Atlin Promenade and the Rushbrook Trail.”
“Seal Cove Slough, located near the Coast Guard and seaplane base on the northeast waterfront, presented a unique opportunity for the Prince Rupert Port Authority and the City of Prince Rupert to work together,” said Mayor Lee Brain, City of Prince Rupert. “The Redesign 2030 Vision has identified opportunities for partnerships to deliver projects that will make a difference to our quality of life and our future growth, and we are excited to see some of those opportunities already starting to take shape through commitments from the Port and others.”
Port development is required to mitigate environmental impacts wherever possible and where mitigation is not possible, compensate for habitat loss through habitat creation or restoration projects. These habitat compensation projects, also known as ‘offsets’, are designed to exceed the productive capacity of the habitat they are replacing or impacting. PRPA has an obligation to create and restore the marine habitat impacted by the construction of the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor and, working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, has identified the restoration of the Seal Cove Slough as an ideal project to achieve the habitat enhancement objectives of its compensation program.
Recent examples of PRPA habitat compensation projects include the development of artificial reefs in Porpoise Harbour and at the mouth of the inner harbour as compensation for projects such as the Road Rail Utility Corridor and Fairview Container Terminal expansion. These offsets have been monitored by DFO since their installation and have proven to be highly successful in their abilitdy to support a rich diversity and abundance of marine life.
December 11, 2019
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced today four commercial vessel owners recognized for achieving the highest level of environmental performance and participation in 2018 under the Port of Prince Rupert’s Green Wave vessel incentive program. They are COSCO, Maersk, Yang Ming, and BC Ferries.
Introduced in 2013 to encourage shippers to voluntarily invest in sustainable practices, the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Green Wave program offers discounted harbour dues to commercial vessels that implement air emission and underwater noise reduction measures. Using a three-tier criteria system, vessels are scored for their level of achievement in one of the recognized environmental programs or for technological advancement. Participation in the program is entirely voluntary.
The Green Wave program contributes to two of PRPA’s environmental priorities—reducing air and carbon emissions related to port activities and reducing the impact of marine shipping on marine mammals on BC’s north coast, in part through noise reduction measures.
“The Prince Rupert Port Authority wishes to extend a thank you and congratulations to COSCO, Maersk, Yang Ming, and BC Ferries for their leadership in sustainability practices in 2018 during transit to and from, and while at berth at the Port of Prince Rupert,” said Ken Veldman, Vice President of Public Affairs and Sustainability of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We also wish to recognize all of the vessel owners who participate in our Green Wave program at every level as they allow the Port of Prince Rupert to help accelerate a worldwide movement toward greater efficiency and sustainability.”
For more information on PRPA’s Green Wave vessel incentive program and our other environmental initiatives, visit here.
December 10, 2019
The Prince Rupert Port Authority has announced a $29,500 investment into improvements at the Prince Rupert Rod & Gun Club, its latest through the Community Investment Fund. The announcement was made December 8, 2019 at the annual Prince Rupert Rod & Gun Club (PRRGC) Family Fun Day event.
With $29,500 from the Fund, the PRRGC has revitalized the Club’s facilities and expanded its rifle range to 150 metres. Two additional shooting stations were also added to the rifle range, increasing user capacity from three to five people.
Founded in the 1940s, the PRRGC has primarily operated on volunteer labour and funding, from membership fees, user group fees, fundraising efforts, and public use. The PRRGC membership has grown to just under 200 active members. PRRGC is open to the public and in addition to the active members, over 700 non-members use the facility on a regular basis. The primary function of the PRRGC is to provide education to foster conservation, outdoor recreation, angling skills, as well as the safe use and care of firearms, bows and other tools that are used in outdoor pursuits.
Constructed in 1952, the building required some much-needed upgrades to both the exterior and interior. The PRRGC Revitalization Project has now transformed it into an energy efficient space. With updated lighting, wall and ceiling insulation, windows and a new high efficiency pellet stove, the Clubhouse has seen a major reduction in monthly utility costs. A new roof and some exterior siding were also included in the revitalization project.
The required improvements to the 100-metre range included expanding the footprint to accommodate another 50 metres of shooting length and the addition of two range stations. Completion of this project now enables increased usage from the main user groups like the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA), Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Royal Canadian Rangers. The PRRGC facility is a significant benefit to CBSA because it allows officers to train locally, reducing the cost and time required to complete their annual qualifications.
“We are happy to invest in improvements at the Prince Rupert Rod & Gun Club, as the upgrades to the facility serve a broad group of community members, from outdoor recreation enthusiasts to various organizations who have specific requirements for training,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We are proud to support local organizations in their work to enhance recreational opportunities for residents of the North Coast through our Community Investment Fund.”
“As time goes by, age starts to show and it was time to do a major renovation. With the generosity of the Prince Rupert Port Authority, we were able to renew the shine of the Clubhouse and bring it up to a standard that we can be proud of,” said Bob Bauer, President of PRRGC. “With the help of the Community Investment Fund we now have a safer, more sustainable operation.”
December 4, 2019
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) held a vessel blessing celebration today in honour of its newest harbour patrol vessel, the AMWAAL.
The vessel and the harbour safety team that crew her are a mainstay of PRPA’s commitment to marine safety. The new vessel features industry-leading equipment including navigation, communications, surveillance, marine fire fighting and high-speed jet-drive maneuverability, all of which will serve to greatly enhance PRPA’s marine safety capabilities. The vessel will also provide access to outer anchorages and local communities, and has a stable platform for PRPA’s in-house environmental monitoring programs and strengthened search and rescue support capability via onboard direction-finding equipment. The addition of the AMWAAL enhances the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s marine safety presence and allows staff to continue making a safe port even safer.
The AMWAAL was blessed by Sm’ooygit Gitxoon (Hereditary Chief Alex Campbell) and Sm’ooygit Niist’ooyx (Hereditary Chief Clarence Nelson) in the Ts’msyen tradition. The name AMWAAL is derived from the Sm’algyax word meaning ‘prosperity’. The name was chosen in consultation with Ts’msyen hereditary leaders and PRPA’s Board of Directors as a symbol of the shared, long-term community benefits that have resulted from port opportunities.
“We are proud to welcome the AMWAAL to our fleet, especially in a way that honours maritime tradition on the North Coast,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “Marine safety is a top priority of the Prince Rupert Port Authority and we are deeply committed to ensuring that vessels transiting our waters do so in a safe and sustainable manner. As the Port of Prince Rupert continues to grow, investments in marine safety enhancements such as the addition of the AMWAAL contribute to leading edge marine safety resources at the Prince Rupert gateway.”
“The Lax Kw’alaams Hereditary Chiefs’ Council is pleased that the Prince Rupert Port Authority is honouring our culture through not only a traditional Ts’msyen vessel blessing, but also by choosing to name the vessel AMWAAL. We share the value of protecting our waters with the Prince Rupert Port Authority and are impressed with the marine safety enhancements the vessel brings to the North Coast,” said Sm’ooygit Gitxoon (Hereditary Chief Alex Campbell) of the Lax Kw’alaams Hereditary Chiefs’ Council.
For more information on PRPA’s marine operations and industry-leading approach to safety, please visit here.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) announced today its investment of $161,372 into the first five salmon enhancement and sustainability projects under its new Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program, launched earlier this year.
“The Prince Rupert Port Authority recognizes that a healthy salmon population is vital to not only the community of Prince Rupert, but to the entire Northwest region,” said Shaun Stevenson, President & CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We take our commitment to our communities and our environment seriously, and it is our privilege to partner with organizations and to contribute dedicated resources to the betterment of the Skeena River and its salmon populations. Our organization wants to be part of a local solution to address some of the critical challenges that are facing Skeena salmon.”
The five projects are outlined as follows:
Project Name: Skeena River EstuaryDissolved Organic Carbon Study
Proponent: Skeena Fisheries Commission
PRPA Financial Contribution: $33,425
Project Summary: The Skeena Fisheries Commission is an aboriginal organization that focuses on fisheries management, science, and conservation in the Skeena Watershed. This 3-year project consists of establishing a detailed monitoring and sampling program for dissolved organic carbon and organic matter in the Skeena River estuary, which play an important role in food web function and are directly relevant to salmon health, productivity, sustainability and habitat condition.
Project Name: Gitanyow Lake Sockeye Salmon Assessment
Proponent: Skeena Fisheries Commission
PRPA Contribution: $25,500
Project Summary: The Skeena Fisheries Commission is an aboriginal organization that focuses on fisheries management, science, and conservation in the Skeena Watershed. This project will conduct a year-round limnological survey (study of the biological, chemical, physical, and geological characteristics of inland waters) of Gitanyow Lake to identify factors that may be limiting Kitwanga sockeye salmon.
Project Name: Kitwanga River Chum Salmon Enhancement Study
Proponent: Gitanyow Fisheries Authority
PRPA Contribution: $12,000
Project Summary: The Gitanyow Fisheries Authority provides fisheries, wildlife and overall environmental expertise and services for the Gitanyow people. This project will conduct a feasibility study to address declining Kitwanga chum stocks in the Gitanyow River and evaluate possible outcomes to enhance salmon stock, including the feasibility of a hatchery.
Project Name: Kispiox River Watersheds Temperature Monitoring Initiative
Proponent: Gitxsan Watershed Authorities
PRPA Contribution: $22,960
Project Summary: The Gitxsan Watershed Authorities’ mandate is to oversee and steward fisheries and other natural resource issues on the Gitxsan territories. This project aims to understand areas of thermal stress and refugia in key Skeena Salmon streams in the Kispiox River, enhancing current water quality and quantity research to inform fisheries management planning aimed at protecting fish during times of environmental stress.
Project Name: Lower Skeena River Pound Net Feasibility Study and Construction Project
Proponent: Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries
PRPA Contribution: $67,487
Project Summary: The Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries Stewardship Program was initiated to conduct scientific research and monitors the condition and use of marine resources within the traditional territory of the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation. This feasibility study is part of a longer term proposal aimed at the installation and operation of a selective fishing tool that will provide further research opportunities related to stock identification and salmon run information in the Lower Skeena River.
For more information on PRPA’s Skeena River Salmon Enhancement Program, our other Community Investment Programs, and how you can apply, please visit our Community Investment page here.
October 9, 2019
The Prince Rupert Port Authority announced today its investment of $100,000 into establishing a new Search and Rescue Emergency Operations Centre in Terrace, BC, to grow regional emergency response capacity in the Northwest.
Through its Community Investment Fund, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) partnered with the Terrace Search and Rescue Society, along with other donors and significant fundraising efforts, to build a dedicated, modern emergency response facility to house Search and Rescue operations and store the vast specialized equipment necessary to fulfill their regional rescue role. The total project is valued at over $500,000.
This space will be central for faster emergency callouts and will act as an Emergency Operations Centre in the case of disaster response and relief. With the creation of this new space, the Terrace Search and Rescue Society will then be able to host training courses and offer community members and organizations the use of their space, paving the way for a more robust Search and Rescue program. Terrace Search and Rescue is driven by volunteers trained in multiple disciplines such as: swift water rescue, rope rescue, organized avalanche response, man tracking, and ground search techniques.
“Improving the safety of our region by investing in local, and in this case, regional emergency response capacity is of fundamental importance to our organization and the value we place on safety,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The Port of Prince Rupert has an international reputation as one of the safest ports of call for large vessels due to our natural advantages, technology investments, and the world-class policies and procedures that govern their transit. But our focus on safety is not limited to our waterways. We understand that emergency response calls cover land and sea, in often challenging weather and terrain. It’s grassroots community-led organizations like the Terrace Search and Rescue Society that make significant contributions to ensuring our region’s emergency response capacity is world-class. Our appreciation goes out to them.”
“We are grateful for the investment that we have received from the Prince Rupert Port Authority,” added Dwayne Sheppard, President of the Terrace Search and Rescue Society. “Our organization is entirely volunteer-based and it is encouraging to receive assistance from organizations such as PRPA who support our efforts to ensure that best practice emergency response procedures and training are in place and available within Northwest BC. The creation of this new facility will enable us to continue our efforts.”
Terrace Search and Rescue has one of the highest call volumes in BC, with its volunteers logging over 800 hours annually in the region for different safety events and public awareness initiatives. The Rescue Society’s extensive capabilities allow it to contribute throughout the region—as far west as the Haida Gwaii, South to Bella Coola, West to Hazelton and North to Dease Lake. The Terrace Search and Rescue team collaborates regularly with smaller Search and Rescue organizations throughout the region on callouts, training, and to share best practices and procedures.
Thursday, September 12, 2019
A grand opening event was held today with students at Conrad Elementary School to kick off the school year and celebrate the new, accessible playground equipment available on site for all to enjoy.
The Prince Rupert Port Authority is proud to have partnered in the Conrad Elementary School Accessible Park project through its Community Investment Fund. The project saw the replacement of aging structures with fully accessible playground equipment and rubberized matting material, making this the first park on the community’s east side available to all children, including those with mobility limitations. The playground will fill a much-needed gap in recreational amenities for kids living and playing in the Conrad School area, serving to encourage physical activity and outdoor play opportunities.
PRPA contributed over $116,000 to the endeavour. The Province of BC’s Playground Equipment Program, School District #52, the Conrad Parent Advisory Council (PAC), Men of the Moose, and Prince Rupert Grain also contributed financially to the initiative. In particular, PRPA’s investment facilitated the ability to significantly expand the scope of the playground concept after the BC Government’s initial commitment to equipment replacement. The Parent Advisory Council and School District #52 were outstanding partners in executing on the new vision and making it a reality.
“The Prince Rupert Port Authority is proud to contribute to expanding the Conrad Elementary School Park into an inclusive, fully-accessible space for not only Conrad students, but all children residing in the community,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “This improvement to the Conrad playground facilities will serve as a legacy to enhance the quality of life for residents, namely children and their families, regardless of physical limitations. Encouraging an active lifestyle at a young age is vital and we’re pleased to be able to support it through our Community Investment Fund.”
“The Conrad School Parent Advisory Council, and the parents and children whose interests we represent, are thrilled with the new, fully-accessible playground equipment,” said Melissa Boutilier, Chair of the Conrad Parent Advisory Council. “We’ve received nothing but great feedback from parents and children who have played at the park and we look forward to maximizing use of the playground and its unique equipment throughout the school year. It’s very important to our PAC that barrier-free equipment be available in a school setting so that all children have equal opportunity to participate in recreational activities during a critical time in their physical and social development.”
“A new playground at Conrad Elementary means children and families throughout our community have a new, accessible and safe place to play,” said Jennifer Rice, MLA for North Coast. “This playground is the result of great partnerships between local organizations like the Prince Rupert Port Authority’s Community Investment Fund and our government’s Playground Equipment Program, which is helping build new playgrounds to benefit families in every BC school district.”
PRPA’S Community Investment Fund has previously made over $240,000 in investments in local playground infrastructure at Roosevelt and Pineridge Elementary schools and community playgrounds including Mariners Park and Anne Neufeld Tot Park in the past five years.
Tuesday, September 10, 2019
A celebration was held on September 6, 2019 in Massett to celebrate the acquisition of a new fast-response search and rescue vessel to service the waters of Haida Gwaii and the North Coast.
Through its Community Investment Fund, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) contributed $116,121 towards the project, which enabled the Massett Marine Rescue Society (MMRS) to invest in a new, enclosed, fully equipped vessel for its Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue (RCM-SAR) station. The vessel will significantly improve MMRS’s emergency response effectiveness and range off the coast of Haida Gwaii.
Efforts to acquire a new vessel have been underway since 2015 when the MMRS received word that its existing RCM-SAR vessel had surpassed its 10-year operating period. The society was faced with a challenge: to refit the existing vessel or purchase a new, modern vessel that would be safer for volunteers and more appropriate to the conditions of the North Coast. The new fully equipped Titan Falkins Class Type 2 vessel was identified early as an appropriate fit for the needs of MMRS and fundraising began in earnest in 2015. The Search and Rescue Society has successfully raised over $850,000 toward this initiative, with funding secured though PRPA’s Community Investment Fund, as well as a BC Community Gaming Grant in the amount of $645,000, and $100,000 from Gwaii Trust.
Through its Community Investment Fund, PRPA has previously contributed over $250,000 to upgrading response vessel capacities for the Prince Rupert Marine Rescue Society and the Lax Kw’alaams Rescue Society. In addition, PRPA has also provided $52,500 in funding to establish the Prince Rupert Ground Search and Rescue Association.
“Improving the safety of our region by investing in local emergency response capacity is of fundamental importance to our organization and the value we place on safety,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “The Port of Prince Rupert has an international reputation as one of the safest ports of call for large vessels due to our deep, wide, and protected approaches that offer short, direct access to and from Pacific shipping lanes, and the world-class policies and procedures that govern their transit. Grassroots community-led organizations like Massett Search and Rescue make significant contributions to ensuring our region’s emergency response capacity for local mariners and smaller craft incidents is also world-class. Our appreciation goes out to them.”
“We appreciate the support that we’ve received from the Prince Rupert Port Authority,” added Chris Ashurst, President of the Massett Marine Search and Rescue Society. “Massett Marine Search and Rescue is entirely volunteer driven and it is our hope that the acquisition of this new vessel will not only improve emergency response capabilities and response times, but also grow our volunteer base and expand employment opportunities for volunteers with training and experience gained in marine rescues.”