High-risk facilities spark fire policy change

Challenges posed by mill inspection prompts policy change in Port Alice.

The Village of Port Alice adopted a Public Building Inspection Policy change at the council meeting last week.

The policy change came as a result of recommendations from FireWise Consulting as part of last month’s inspection training services.

Administrator Madeline McDonald said under the Fire Inspection Act there was the village was responsible for performing inspections, but high-risk facilities like those at the mill were beyond staff’s capabilities.

A compromise solution was offered whereby Neucel Specialty Cellulose would provide a Letter of Assurance that the facility meets the fire code, leading to a need to amend policy to accommodate this solution.

The council approved the two motions presented; first to accept the policy change, and second, to request a letter of assurance from the mill.

 

Administrator’s report

In her report to council, McDonald informed councillors of “productive negotiations” with Canadian Union of Public Employees representatives on contract negotiations.

She said the groups had made much progress and, while a settlement had not yet been reached, only a single issue was outstanding.

McDonald also informed council that, further to appointing two new members to the Board of Variance, these new members would be given an orientation session to familiarize them with duties and expectations for their new roles.

Council passed a motion to donate ice time for the annual Rod Watson Memorial hockey game scheduled for Feb. 9.

McDonald informed council that all proceeds from this year’s event would be donated to longtime community volunteer Dorothy Noseworthy to assist with medical expenses.

“It’s very good of them to put all of this together,” said Mayor Jan Allen.

 

Goose trouble

The council has consulted its lawyer to check the feasibility of an unusual request made at the last meeting.

VIHA’s Dr. Ian Mackenzie appeared as a delegation to argue the case for an exemption to the village’s Firearms Bylaw which prohibits discharging a firearm within the village boundaries.

Dr. Mackenzie’s position was that geese in and around the Health Clinic’s helipad pose a threat to helicopter traffic and that their feces poses a public health hazard.

He argued that current methods of clearing the geese were ineffectual and that current literature promotes lethal deterrence.

The Mayor advised the doctor that the council would need time to review his submissions and to consult with legal and insurance representatives before reaching a decision.