Staff Sgt. Craig Blanchard of the Port McNeill RCMP salutes after laying a wreath at the cenotaph in Port McNeill.

Staff Sgt. Craig Blanchard of the Port McNeill RCMP salutes after laying a wreath at the cenotaph in Port McNeill.

November 2012: Year in review

A collection of the top stories from this month last year.

SRM Projects Ltd., a renewable energy engineering firm based in Nanaimo, withdrew its application for an investigative license application for Blackney Passage Monday after several whale researchers objected to its location in critical whale habitat off North Vancouver Island’s coast.

OrcaLab, the whale research station on Hanson Island, and SRM Projects Ltd. made the announcement of the application’s withdrawal in a joint press release Monday.

“We see this as a win-win situation,” said Dr. Paul Sprong, founder of OrcaLab. “We are very pleased with how receptive SRM Projects was to the concerns we raised.”

With a backdrop of the stunning scenery of Broughton Strait, the newest tanker in the Canadian Shipping Lines Fleet was welcomed to the North Island with a blessing by First Nations chiefs and elders.

The Rt. Honourable Paul E. Martin, the first of the CSL’s new Trillium Class of Panamax tankers, had just completed its first loading at the Orca Sand and Gravel quarry ship loader just west of Port McNeill.

The Orca quarry is operated by Polaris Minerals Corp. of Vancouver in a unique partnership with the Kwakiutl and ‘Namgis First Nations, negotiated by Polaris founder Marco Romero prior to the quarry’s opening in 2007.

A former teacher in the School District 85 (Vancouver Island North) system was charged on two counts of possession of child pornography, RCMP and school district officials announced.

Timothy Josephy Ouellette, 45, was charged with possession of child pornography and with possession for the purpose of distribution or sale, said Cpl. Daren Lagan, media relations officer with the Island District RCMP.

No local children were victimized, and Ouellette no longer works for the district.

Mitchell, the Port McNeill-raised defenseman who helped the Los Angeles Kings win the 2012 Stanley Cup before bringing it to his hometown arena in August, returned to his home town bearing 33 M11 anti-concussion helmets he distributed to Port McNeill’s minor hockey association.

The visit was not publicized, and Mitchell surprised the young skaters by joining them on the ice for practice before retiring to the Image Room upstairs for pizza and autographs.