Port Hardy Scotiabank employees Michelle Benton and Michelle Jensen take part in the Movember fundraising efforts to battle cancer

Year in review: November

Marine Harvest announced a reduction of 60 people in its B.C. aquaculture operations

  • Jan. 4, 2012 7:00 p.m.

Marine Harvest announced a reduction of 60 people in its B.C. aquaculture operations in response to a jump in global supply that has depressed the price of farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

Roughly 12 per cent of Marine Harvest’s 550-person workforce in B.C. will be impacted between now and the end of 2012, Marine Harvest spokesperson Ian Roberts told the Gazette. Of those, approximately 250 workers operate within the Regional District of Mount Waddington.  “What we’re hoping is that most of that will take place through normal attrition,” said Roberts.

• Many North Island parents who previously noticed no impact from the limited job action of the B.C. Teachers Federation were treated to a jarring reminder when their children’s report cards arrived.

For some students, the section for letter grades was left blank as the scaled-down reports acknowledged only general enrollment information.

“The responsibility for report cards falls on our administrators and on the superintendent,” School District 85 Superintendent Scott Benwell told the SD85 Board of Trustees at its regular meeting last week. “Our contract describes the minimum information required, including the student’s name, classes they’re taking and attendance information, if we have it.”

The job action, initiated by teachers at the beginning of the current school year, is designed to bring pressure to the union’s negotiations with the B.C. Public Schools Education Association on a new contract.

Several well-known North Islanders gathered to chart a course for economic wellness in increasingly tough times and the consensus was Port Hardy needs a makeover. Port Hardy Mayor Bev Parnham and eight other community leaders met at Port Hardy council chambers for a round table discussion on an economic plan for the future, one that includes luring investment to the Port Hardy.

It was agreed one key element to luring new investors and their money was to present the town in the best possible light, something made difficult by the run down condition of the downtown area.

• Mayor Bev Parnham of Port Hardy and Mayor Gerry Furney of Port McNeill  were both reelected to office. Port Alice elected a new mayor and board.

• Efforts to return a one-of-a-kind Hornsby Crawler tractor to the North Island picked up steam when the Mount Waddington Regional District Board of Directors approved first reading of a bylaw to establish a Heritage Registry Bylaw for Area D, and promptly opened the bylaw up to amendment by offering other North Island communities a chance to join in a region-wide heritage registry. A heritage registry would provide an opportunity for communities to access grant money to restore and preserve historic artifacts and sites, while also providing provincial and federal recognition.

“The long and short of it is, to help our communities protect their heritage assets, we need a registry,” said Neil Smith, manager of economic development and parks.

“If communities want to be eligible for grants and to be recognize provincially and federally, this is the first step.”

• A series of landslides that closed Highway 19 for a day and a half forced stranded travelers to scramble their work, child care and school schedules before the road was reopened a day later.

 

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