AAPA Seaports Advisory

Community Outreach: Belledune, Prince Rupert

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Relationship Agreement Signed between First Nation Communities and the Belledune Port Authority

The Belledune Port Authority (BPA) has signed an agreement with First Nation communities, which enables all parties involved to explore the development of a framework for consultation on matters related to the port and potential projects.

During the past six months, the BPA welcomed members from all five First Nation communities within the immediate region including Pabineau, Eel River Bar, Listuguj, Gesgapegiag and Gespeg, to the port for introductory meetings. The parties continued to have follow up meetings both at the port and within the First Nation communities to develop a practical, transparent and respectful approach to adequate and purposeful consultation and accommodation.

"The Port of Belledune is situated on the traditional land of the Mi’gmaq people", said Denis Caron, the port authority’s president and CEO. "As a neighbor, the port is seeking to develop long-term relationships with the First Nation communities that are based on good faith, respect and transparency. Today, the port and the communities of Eel River Bar First Nation and Pabineau First Nation are forging a path forward that is practical, respectful and supportive of the values and traditions promoting a long-term sustainable economic future together."

As described by the port authority, the agreement aims to:
  •  Maintain and foster sustainable long-term relationships that are transparent and respectful
  •  Support the revitalization of the Mi’gmaq communities while encouraging greater opportunities for Mi’gmaq participation in sustainable, lawful and respectful economic development
  •  Facilitate economic links between the Mi’gmaq communities and business proponents interested in developing on port land and/or utilizing port facilities
"We recognize the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the Aboriginal and Treaty rights of the Mi’gmaq people," said Mr. Caron. "We will continue to engage with our neighbors on future projects and work together in sustainable business development in a shared effort to revitalize Northern New Brunswick."

Local Gymnastics Training Reaches New Heights Through Investment from Port of Prince Rupert

A Prince Rupert sporting society has grown by leaps and bounds thanks to a financial contribution from the Port of Prince Rupert.

The Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association is the latest beneficiary of the port’s Community Investment Fund, having received $60,000 in matching funding for the purchase of new equipment and enhanced youth programming.

A 40-foot square sprung floor, landing mats and uneven bars are a few of the new features at the Club’s home in the Ceremonial Room of the Museum of Northern BC.

The PRGA was founded by a handful of local parents dedicated to bringing the sport of gymnastics to children in Prince Rupert. The club began with donated equipment that had not been in use for 20 years, which enabled the club to offer its first ten-week class in September 2014. Midway through the first season a donation from the Lion’s Club enabled the purchase of rings and bars for smaller children, and allowed local kids to see what gymnastics could offer.

However, old equipment and the lack of a dedicated space proved challenging, and the board acknowledged the need for a permanent location with unrestricted access for member classes. In 2016, the Museum of Northern BC contacted the club to see if the Ceremonial Room at the museum could cater to the needs of the growing club. The space was a match for the club, and the club is now able to offer classes six days a week, with programs for parents and toddlers, kids of various skill levels, and—most recently—an adult drop-in class.

"Once again, the hard work of a dedicated group of volunteers combined with the generosity of local societies and businesses has resulted in a new initiative that is improving the quality of life in our community," said Don Krusel,
President & CEO of the Port of Prince Rupert. "It’s our great pleasure to partner with the Prince Rupert Gymnastics Association and help bring this exciting sport to an even greater number of people in Prince Rupert."

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