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Small craft harbours Pacific Regional Harbour Authority Advisory Committee (PRHAAC)

Record of discussion

June 30, 2022
Video conference

PRHAAC members Small Craft Harbours (SCH)
PRHAAC members
  • Mike Jacobs, Haisla Harbour Authority
  • Bruce Evans, Fanny Bay Harbour Authority
  • Leslie Taylor, Comox Valley Harbour Authority
  • Jaime Gusto, Steveston Harbour Authority
  • Ben Mabberley, Whaler Bay Harbour Authority
  • Robert Hauknes, Port Edward Harbour Authority
  • Terri Bonnet, Regional Director
  • Keegan Flannery, A/Harbour Development Manager (On behalf of Brenda O’Hara)
  • Arian Eshfagh, A/Plastics Program Officer
  • Lutz Budde, Oona River Community Association

1. Welcome and review of agenda

Terri starts with an introduction of herself as the new RD of SCH and asks others to also introduce themselves.

Afterwards she presents the Agenda to the group for review and feedback on any changes or additions that should be made.

No changes or additions are presented.

2. Review of ROD and Action Items from
November 12, 2020 and June 7, 2021 meetings

The ROD had been reviewed and approved by PRHAAC members. Regarding the one action item in progress, Terri suggests that due to the retention policy of MS Teams, it might be worth exploring other options for communication applications that the group can utilize. Main requirements are user-friendly and accessible. HAABC to be contacted for any application recommendations that work best for members.

All other action items had been completed from the previous meeting.

Fraser freshet update

We will want to continue monitoring the situation for any impacts resulting from the floods.

Action Item:Ben. M is looking for resources for clean-up of debris in the area (not in the water lot, reached out to TC already as well as Regional District & Province).

3. SCH update

  1. Budget 2022/2023

    Terri mentions that SCH has submitted funding proposals and we are currently waiting on approvals regarding the proposed budget.

    One of the challenges will be the increased cost of supplies along with the ability to obtain materials and contractors who can do the job. SCH will continue to monitor the situation so that important projects can still be completed on time.

  2. Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative (PSSI)

    Terri mentions that there was an announcement sent out last June about launching the PSSI program. As part of the initiative, there will be a program that links to vessel and gear retirement that SCH will be administering. SCH is currently working on developing the program. One of the challenges is trying to develop and define the program without having all of the details.

    SCH plans to eventually have another conversation regarding PSSI with the working group for further feedback and details on the future of the program.

    The meeting has been scheduled for summer.

    Action item: Arian to send out a link which explains the 4 key initiatives under PSSI to provide more background information to the group. Also to find out when the next PSSI townhall is happening and see if the invitation can be extended to PRHAAC members to attend.

  3. Ghost gear

    Terri mentions Federal Government’s plans to extend the Ghost Gear program through an influx of $10M of funding for 2022-2023.

    However, it has been indicated that the amount of application proposals for funding has equated to $53M. Therefore, there will be some hard decisions that will be made regarding who gets approved and for how much.

    FM has indicated that a response will be given to applicants near the end of July regarding if the proposals have been approved or not.

  4. Staffing

    Denise Frennete, the former National Director General of SCH, has sailed off into retirement as of January 14th 2022.

    Stephanie Hopper, who is regularly the Regional Director of Maritimes and Gulf Region is acting National Director General in the meantime until a permanent Director General is appointed.

    Terri Bonnet has joined SCH on January 4th as the Regional Director.

    Brenda O’Hara is back in her role as the Harbour Development Manager.

    Lam Hughson is acting as the Program Officer for Grants and Contributions (G&Cs) and the Pacific Salmon Strategy Initiative (PSSI).

    Keegan Flannery has joined Harbour Development as the new G&C Project Officer.

    Arian Eshfagh has joined Harbour Development as a Program Officer, working mainly on the Ghost Gear file as well as helping with PRHAAC and HAABC items.

    Oliver Lu has joined the Client Services team as the new Program Officer and will inherit Keegan’s portfolio of Sunshine Coast, North Island and Haida Gwaii sites.

    The Client Services team continues to be fully staffed at 4 Program Officers (Oliver Lu, Warren Bush, Valerie Schwark, and Naomi Oya).

    Pinky Kandola has joined Harbour Development as the new Property Officer. However, she is currently acting as IPPA’s Business Manager and will return to Harbour Development shortly.

    Yezi Zhang joined the Engineering team as a Project Engineer.

    Harleen Julka, Taskeen Danekari, Raymond Yan and William Zhang joined SCH as the Engineering Co-Op students.

    Sharon Tai has recently joined the Client Services team as the new Client Services student.

  5. SCH regional awards

    Terri asks for the support of PRHAAC members for any nominations regarding the up-coming SCH Regional Awards. Reminders will be sent out in the coming weeks.

    The categories available for nominations are:

    • Individual achievement
    • Long standing service
    • Up and comer
    • HA achievement
    • HA innovation

    More information will be shared in the near future.

4. Covid-19

Terri speaks about travel still being limited for SCH personnel. However, SCH is planning on increasing the volume of travel in the coming months, where Public Health restrictions allow. As the Government, we must ensure that we take the safety of our employees seriously.

DFO has begun to implement a hybrid return to the workplace as of June 1st. SCH staff have been gradually returning back to the office once per week at a minimum). Staff are currently asked to wear masks in all indoor areas of their workplace as well as where social distancing isn’t possible (board rooms, hallways etc.)

5. NHAAC updates

The NHAAC meeting has been planned for November 1st to 3rd. Terri asks the group for any key highlights that could be shared during the event. Ben suggests including information on the PSSI program. NHAAC is an environment where regions can share the important initiatives that are taking place. Jaime mentioned that we can also prepare an update on the Net Recycling Program at Steveston.

  1. Head lease working group

    Terri mentioned that SCH has been working on Headleases that are in overholds. Any Harbour Authority that is currently in overhold has the same policy in place as their old one. Internally, Property within Harbour Development is doing their review to develop a process in order to roll out the new headleases. The order of release will be based on overholds which have been outstanding the longest.

    More information will be shared shortly. Terri mentioned that if any harbours have leases in overhold, they can reach out to either Keegan or Brenda if they have any concerns.

  2. HA Ops manual working group

    Terri mentioned that the Manual working group was completed in 2021. A physical copy has been sent to Harbours.

    The working group is planning on coming up with a pocket handbook for users. They are planning on releasing more information in September. Ben mentioned that maintenance manuals were produced in the past that involved collaboration with SCH and Harbours, however they were never able to get a copy of that.

    Action item: Send over a copy of the maintenance manual to Ben.

  3. Indigenous working group

    The indigenous working group was originally formed at the last face to face meeting. They are planning on holding their first meeting after the NHAAC meetings in November. It will potentially be a day after November 3rd.

    Ben mentioned that he is looking forward to get to know what will be shared at those meetings. Only one update had been shared since the creation of the working group at a virtual meeting. No other form of communication or conversation regarding how to go forward has been had as of yet. Lots more to come in the future.

6. Roundtable, wrap-up and next meeting

  1. Round table

    Ben Mabberley:
    Ben referenced the importance of the Killer Whale Strategy and the impacts that it has on fishermen and boaters alike. It is something that isn’t unique to BC and also effects Saint Lawrence and the East Coast. Where and how we fish will largely be dictated by the Killer Whales.

    Also mentioned that he will be looking forward to an in person PRHAAC meeting as they prove to be more productive to sit in person than virtually. It gives an opportunity to dig deeper on issues. Inability to lobby for net recycling program in person has likely hurt the program.

    Bruce Evans:
    Recently finished one of their Annual General Meeting (AGM). They have had issues with bacterial contamination (possibly from raw sewage) with closures becoming the result of that and fingers being pointed at different people and places with no accountability in sight.

    They originally had some dialogue around that to see what avenues are available. It is quite a difficult situation as no one wants to take responsibility. He asked the group to let him know of any suggestions that come to their minds.

    Leslie Taylor:
    Leslie mentioned that they had one of their Crane training courses on the same morning. They were able to train 5 staff and one director on the crane material.

    They are working on ways to see how they can change their current crane policy to make it more effective. Questions such as, who will be using the crane since there is the added liability involved with anyone using the crane who isn’t a commercial fisher.

    Another challenge they have currently is having their used oil bins recycled and picked up by the appropriate company. They’ve called them many times but it takes a long time for them to come and pick up the used oil material. Jaime mentioned that others have also run into the same problem, and that at Steveston, they’ve implemented a 1% environmental fee on all their charges in order to cover any costs associated with disposing or recycling of material similar to used oils. Leslie will explore that option for her harbour as well.

    Robert Hauknes:
    Robert did not have much of an update as of now. Just need to wait and see what happens with PSSI. Everything else at Port Edward is running smoothly and all is well.

    Mike Jacobs:
    Mike mentioned that they haven’t been able to do too much in regards to major projects at the harbour. This was mainly due to Covid as well as other major construction work happening in the area resulting in a shortage of companies being able to perform necessary work. Aside from minor repairs, not much else has happened.

    They have been informed that they will need to remount and repair their wharf head. They have some materials from pervious jobs that they think can be used for the wharf head repair.

    Mike also mentioned that they have recently been interested in charging moorage in the harbour. Previously they never did charge moorage, however, due to changes in facilities by harbour users, they will be implementing a moorage charge but with a 100% rebate for users who can move under their own power. This is being considered to deal with the derelict vessel issue.

    Jaime Gusto:
    Jaime mentioned that since 2019, they have been able to recycle over 210,000 kilograms of nylon netting. In 2020, they have done 109,000 kg. They are also cost sharing a mural which is going up on one of their buildings. They have allowed the neighbouring restaurant, Pajos, to also do a fun event on their board walk. They are trying to pretty up their harbour and become more of a community partner.

    They are also hoping to work with Tourism Richmond to educate more people on role of commercial fishers and who they are as well as the things they do. Hoping to work with Tourism Richmond to install some educational panels on-site.

    One of their main challenges at the harbour is dredging the main channel. They’ve made the news recently because some of the larger boats have been dragging on the bottom which is becoming a safety concern. It used to be managed by the Port and now it is unclear as to who is responsible for dredging the channel. Currently SHA has no solution for dredging the channel as it is expected to costs a lot. Jaime has contacted city council, and looks like they will be contributing some funds, however those funds will be dependent on them getting further money from the province and federally as well. Currently the project is estimated to cost over $5M and even splitting that by 3, would still be a large sum for SHA to pay. They also have issues getting permits as they take a long time to get issued as well.

    Jaime also mentioned 2 big issues to raise at NHAAC: 1) Channel dredging 2) Dredging in our water lot- regional funding is not sufficient.

    Lutz Budde:
    Although Lutz was not able to make it to this meeting, he did provide some comments to share at roundtable which was done so by Arian.

    Lutz mentioned that he looks forward to a site visit from SCH staff. He hopes that Program officers and Engineers will have the budget and time available to come out to the harbour in order to support the harbour staff and directors, especially after the 2 years, it is much needed.

  2. Next meetings

    Next PRHAAC meeting – Second week of October?

    Action item: To think of a time and venue (at SHA potentially on the second week of Oct)

Action items

  1. In progress - Ben. M is looking into resources for clean up of debris in the area (not in the water lot, reached out to TC already as well as RD/Province).
  2. completed - Arian to send out a link which explains the 4 key initiatives under PSSI to provide more background information to the group. Also to find out when the next PSSI townhall is happening and see if the invitation can be extended to PRHAAC members to attend.
  3. In progress - Sent email to Ben - Send over a copy of the maintenance manual to Ben.
  4. In progress - Confirm prior to determine if in-person makes sense. - To think of a time and venue (at SHA potentially on the second week of Oct)
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