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Daybreak North
with Carolina de Ryk
and Russell Bowers

Northern B.C.'s Number One Radio Show

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Listen live, weekdays from 6:00 to 8:37

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91.5 FM Prince George 
860 AM Prince Rupert 
88.3 FM Fort St John 

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Watch: Public Forum on Liquefied Natural Gas in Prince Rupert

A forum hosted by CBC Radio discussing the future of Liquefied Natural Gas in B.C.'s northwest moderated by Carolina de Ryk. Speakers include (from right to left on your screen): 

  • Jennifer Rice, MLA for the North Coast 
  • Don Krusel, Prince Rupert Port President and CEO
  • Barb Faggeter, Oceanographer
  • Bruce Watkinson, Gitxaala First Nation Environmental Monitoring
  • Herb Pond, Community Relations Advisor with BG LNG Group

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Simushir, fuel-laden Russian cargo ship, adrift off Haida Gwaii


Masset Mayor Andrew Merilees has concerns about what #Simushir means for #HaidaGwaii

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A 135-metre cargo ship laden with hundreds of tonnes of bunker and diesel fuel is adrift without power off the west coast of Haida Gwaii, and the Haida Nation fears the vessel will run aground tonight.

The Russian bulk carrier vessel Simushir is at the whim of wind and waves about 25 kilometres off Moresby Island's Tasu Sound, according to the Canadian Forces' Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria.

CBC meteorologist Johanna Wagstaffe said storm warnings remain in effect for the area and the wind, which had been gusting from the southwest, will be changing direction.The Canadian Coast Guard reported that the ship was incapacitated in gale force winds at around 1:30 a.m. PT Friday. Officials said later that afternoon that efforts were underway to get the ship's engine running again, but winds could push the vessel closer to land before that happens.

"Over the next few hours, they'll be shifting, coming in straight from the west, meaning pushing against the ship, pushing it towards to east," she said Friday afternoon. "Really, the next 12 hours will be critical with the changing weather conditions."

Friday night weather forecast for Haida Gwaii

Winds from the west are expected Friday night in the area of the stranded ship, represented by the orange spot in this precipitation forecast image. (CBC)

B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polaksaid her ministry received news of the situation at around 6 a.m. Friday, and that preparations are being made in the event that the ship runs aground.

"The province is also contacting its partners in the B.C. Pacific States Oil Spill Task Force both to notify them of the risk and to ask them to provide mutual aid as needed based on the outcome of efforts to restore power to the vessel," a statement from her ministry said.

Acting Canadian Sub. Lt. Ron MacDougall said the Simushir is carrying "a range of hydrocarbons, mining materials and other related chemicals," which includes 400 tons of bunker oil and 50 tons of diesel.

Ship's captain injured

Eleven people are on board and a helicopter was dispatched to remove the ship's captain, who is injured, MacDougall said.

The coast guard ship Gordon Reid is en route and is roughly 750 kilometres away. 

A U.S. tugboat company, Foss Marine Ltd., dispatched the tug Barbara Foss from Prince Rupert early Friday with plans to tow the stricken vessel back to Prince Rupert. Officials said it wouldn't arrive until Saturday morning at the earliest.

The U.S. Coast Guard also dispatched a helicopter to Sandspit, on the main island of Haida Gwaii.

Haida Nation alarmed

The Council of the Haida Nation has issued an emergency alert in case the ship makes landfall.

'We're scared. We're scared about what this could mean. It's the worst scenario possible.'- Council of the Haida Nation president Peter Lantin

Rescue officials say the ship is drifting parallel to the coast so there is no imminent threat of it running around, but the Haida Nation is calling the situation dire, saying the ship could hit the B.C. coast before help arrives.

CHN President [kil tlaast'gaa] Peter Lantin said it's their worst fear coming true and casts doubt on the Northern Gateway pipeline project's promises of world class oil tanker safety.

"There's nothing world class about it. The fact that 20 hours is the earliest estimated time of arrival for anybody just reinforces what we have been saying all along," Lantin said in a Skype interview from Haida Gwaii.

"The systems in place are not adequate, and it's a joke. It's a joke to think they could ramp up the amount of tankers through our territory and convince us that there's world class systems in place to respond. We're scared. We're scared about what this could mean. It's the worst scenario possible." 

The Simushir was en route from Everett, Wash., to Russia when it lost power.

With files from The Canadian Press and the Associated Press

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On the Ledge: legislative reporters get talking about Energy in B.C., Site C and BC Hydro

Globe and Mail reporter Justine Hunter and Colonist columnist Les Leyne join Daybreak North Host Russell Bowers this week after the province rubber stamped the environmental assessment for Site C.

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Group of Seven artist's portrait of a Tsimshian chief finds its way home after almost 90 years

A print of the black and white portrait of Kitselas hereditary chief Samuel Wallace hangs in the Kitselas Treaty Office. A single red accent was painted onto the drawing of his headdress in 1926. The drawing was done by Group of Seven artist Edwin Holgate.

Cyril Bennett-Nabess, a recent art school grad from Northwest Community College had no idea the drawing existed until recently. Now, it's a reminder in his office of his history--and we get the story of the drawing, Chief Samuel Wallace and how the Kitselas Treaty Office came to find out about the portrait.

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Municipal Election 2014:

Video: Prince George Mayoral Debate

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Video from the Prince George mayoral debate between candidates Lyn Hall and Don Zurowski, moderated by Russell Bowers.

Links to specific sections:

00:00 - Russell introduces the debate

6:45 - Mayors join podium and state platforms

15:45 - First question: Recruitment and retention of skilled labour from outside of PG - what ideas do you have on this?

23:03 - How will you take care of the VLA and the people who live there?

26:35 - Crime victims, addicts, sex workers in the VLA - how will you support them?

29:10 - Is there a plan to revisit an enforceable landlord license fee?

32:28 - Lheidli T'enneh First Nation and the city- what commitment will you make to ensure the two governments work together?

36:54 - How will you acknowledge the history of the Lheidli T'enneh displacement?

39:52 - Intermission ends

44:10 - How do you plan to keep people downtown in the evening and to make the downtown safer for students?

53:29 - What's your vision for the library?

58:38 - What are you most proud of personally in terms of what you've brought to PG during your time on council?

1:01:58 - What does youth consultation mean to you?

1:05:14 - How will you engage youth through social media?

1:08:28 - How will you create more housing for seniors out of the bowl area?

1:12:33 - Where do you stand on Prince George getting a Performing Arts Centre?

1:16:54 - Do you plan to have an upper management performance review?

1:20:00 - How much of a disconnect do you see between council and city staff?

1:24:14 - Closing statements

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Interviews, Municipal Election 2014:

Prince Rupert mayor candidate int# 4: Lee Brain

Experience is more than age, according to Lee Brain. The former fascilitator believes he has a plan to set Prince Rupert's city hall on a course to handle its transition from have-not city to have city. But first he needs to get elected. He talks with Daybreak's George Baker

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Prince Rupert mayor candidate int# 3: Tony Briglio


Prince Rupert mayoral candidate Tony Briglio says he will push the city forward, away from relying on an industrial saviour and on to balancing its own books. Here is more of Daybreak's George Baker's conversation with the mayoral candidate 

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Interviews, Municipal Election 2014:

Prince Rupert mayor candidate int. #2: Sheila Gordon-Payne


Sheila Gordon-Payne speaks with Daybreak's George Baker about a new way of letting taxpayers keep track of how council is doing, and why she thinks she's the person for the top job in Prince Rupert.    

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Interviews, Municipal Election 2014:

Prince Rupert mayor candidate int. #1: Jack Mussallem

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If you live in Prince Rupert, you've likely heard that Jack Mussallem has 19 years of municipal experience. And pressing repeat on the message, Mussallem says its that experience that the city needs more than ever as it faces another transition. He speaks with Daybreak's George Baker




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Site C passes environmental assessment

The federal and B.C. governments have issued an environmental assessment certificate to B.C. Hydro for the Site C Clean Energy Project, located seven kilometres southwest of Fort St. John.

Listen to our interviews with B.C. Environment Minister Mary Polak and Globe and Mail reporter Justine Hunter for reaction to the approval.