British Columbia

Prince Rupert to donate deceased councillor's unused wages

Prince Rupert city council voted unanimously to donate the remainder of beloved former councillor Nelson Kinney's unused wages to the opening of a specialized lung clinic.

Nelson Kinney passed away in March of COPD and the donation will be used to open a clinic in his name

Nelson Kinney was first elected to Prince Rupert city council in 2002. He was known for always being the voice of the underdog. He died in March 2018. (Lonnie Wishart/

City councillors in Prince Rupert, B.C., voted unanimously this week to donate the rest of former councillor Nelson Kinney's council wage — amounting to $8,246 — toward the opening of a lung clinic in his name.

Kinney, who suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), died at the age of 77 in March of this year. He was known throughout the community as a voice for the people.

Kinney's niece, Crystal Lorette, says her uncle would be honoured to have the money go to charity.

"He was diagnosed with COPD several years ago and he realized that there's many more people in the community that have problems with lungs, and so he wanted to start a clinic in our community," Lorette said.

'We wanted to honour Nelson'

According to longtime friend Coun. Barry Cunningham, Kinney had been lobbying for such a clinic up until the night right before his death.

He had already laid the groundwork, so after he passed, Cunningham and other citizens began fundraising.

"We wanted to honour Nelson in any way we can. He was a great advocate for the city, for the seniors, for the youth," Cunningham told Radio West host Sarah Penton.

"He already had the ball starting to roll and we just picked it up and carried it on for him."

The clinic has received backing from Northern Health and they're working toward getting proper certification.

Cunningham says he hopes the centre will open in six to eight weeks. Meanwhile, he and the community continue to fundraise.

"He would be humbled, he'd be honoured. But Nelson wasn't the man that wanted statues or monuments, he just wanted to help people. That was Nelson's goal the whole time I knew him," Cunnigham said.

With files from Radio West and Josh Pagé