Capital Project Loan Authorizations

A Loan Authorization Bylaw for the new RCMP Detachment project has now been initiated, and has gone through the Alternative Approval Process with no public comments opposing the loan provided to the City by the deadline. 

To proceed with borrowing for significant capital projects, Council must achieve assent from the electors of Prince Rupert prior to adopting a loan authorization bylaw. They may do so either by Referendum, or by Alternative Approval Process. The City has developed this page to help familiarize the community with upcoming projects that require loans, and to share information on how you can participate in loan approval decision-making.

Current Projects Requiring Capital Loan Authorization

RCMP Detachment

To be in compliance with RCMP standards and our Policing  Agreement, the City is seeking to borrow $25 million in loan funds to fully support the development of a new RCMP detachment. Before taking the loan, Council must pass a Loan Authorization Bylaw and achieve the assent of the electors, either through Alternative Approval Process or Referendum. At the January 10th, 2022 Council meeting, Council passed 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading of Police Detachment Loan Authorization Bylaw 3484, 2002. The Bylaw was forwarded to the Province for statutory approval as is a requirement, which was approved in April. At the May 9th, 2022 Council Meeting, Council began the process to obtain the assent of the electors for borrowing - which is proceeding via an Alternative Approval Process. This means that IF Prince Rupert residents were opposed to borrowing for the RCMP station, they would have had to register their opposition via the Elector Response Form available via the methods described below, by June 27th, 2022 at 4:30 pm. By the deadline, no opposition was registered with the City. 

An Alternative Approval Process allows Mayor and Council to proceed with an action unless at least 10% of the eligible electors state their opposition within a prescribed period.  Using Statistics Canada, BC Statistics and BC Assessment data forming the municipal tax roll, the total number of eligible electors in the participating area, the City of Prince Rupert, has been estimated to be 9,581. Council may proceed with adopting the Bylaw unless at least 10% of the electors, 958, are opposed to the loan authorization. If at least 10% of the eligible electors state their opposition to the proposed Loan Authorization Bylaw, the matter requires the Assent of the Electors via Referendum if Mayor and Council wish to proceed with the loan. 

RCMP Loan - Frequently Asked Questions

 

Eligibility + Submission Requirements:

The response of the electors must be in the form established by the City of Prince Rupert. Forms are available at the front desk of City Hall (424 3rd Avenue West, Prince Rupert). Blank forms can be mailed, faxed, or emailed, upon request. An accurate copy of the elector response form may be utilized, provided that it is made of the form prior to any electors signing such form, so that only elector response forms with original signatures are submitted.

For an elector response form to be accepted, it must meet the following conditions:

  • Only eligible electors of the City of Prince Rupert are entitled to sign an elector response form;
  • In order to sign this elector response form a person must either be a resident elector or a non-resident property elector (not both).
  • A resident elector is an individual who is qualified to vote in a jurisdiction by virtue of living in the jurisdiction. To sign this elector response form as a resident elector a person must:
    • Be a Canadian citizen;
    • Be at least 18 years of age;
    • Have lived in British Columbia for at least the last six months; and
    • Have lived within the City of Prince Rupert for at least the last 30 days.
  • A non-resident property elector is an individual who does not live in a jurisdiction but is entitled to vote in an election there by virtue of owning property in that jurisdiction. To sign this elector response form as a non-resident property elector a person must:
    • Be a Canadian citizen;
    • Be at least 18 years of age;
    • Have lived in British Columbia for at least the last six months; and
    • Have owned property within the City of Prince Rupert for at least the last 30 days.
    • **Note that if a property is owned by more than one individual, only one of them may sign an elector response form. If a property is owned by more than one individual, then the person signing this elector response form declares that they have received the written consent of the majority of the property owners to sign and submit this elector response form.
  • The full name of the elector must be stated;
  • The residential address of the elector must be stated;
  • If applicable, the address of the property in relation to which the person is entitled to vote as a non-resident property elector must be stated;
  • No facsimile or other electronic form submissions will be accepted. Forms must be dropped off/mailed to City Hall at the front desk or via the mail slot.
  • A person may not sign more than one elector response form in relation to this alternative approval process.
  • The elector response form must be submitted to the Corporate Administrator before the deadline of 4:30 pm on June 27th, 2022.

Electors may submit this form by hand delivery or mail to:

Corporate Administrator,
City of Prince Rupert
424 West 3rd Avenue,
Prince Rupert, B.C.
V8J 1L7

What will happen if Council achieves assent of the electors to borrow funds for the RCMP Station?

If assent of the electors is achieved, Council may fully adopt the Borrowing Bylaw at a future meeting. A summary of key project points is below:

  • The loan is planned to be repaid over a 30 year period, and is estimated to increase taxes potentially by approximately 2% the year following the dispersal of funds. The tax increase will only be necessary IF all funds are required to complete the project. 
  • The City has been setting aside additional tax revenues since 2019 to reduce the future impact of loan repayment for this project. If this step had not been taken, the project could have potentially increased taxes by 6%.
  • As previously mentioned, the existing RCMP station is no longer compliant to meet their needs, and the City is obligated to provide adequate accommodation as part of our municipal policing agreement.
     
  • The detachment project is intended to take GHG emissions into account in construction, and will be an asset to serve the community for decades to come.  Occupancy is anticipated to occur in 2024.


FAQ on RCMP Loan: 

 

Additional Information

What is an Alternative Approval Process?

For certain matters, local governments are required to obtain approval of the electors or participating area approval before the municipal council may proceed with its decision. The Community Charter  prescribes two methods by which a local government may seek approval of the electors. These are Assent of the Electors (which is approval by voting) or Alternative Approval Process which allows Mayor and Council to proceed with an action unless at least 10% of the eligible electors state their opposition within a prescribed period. If at least 10% of the eligible electors state their opposition to the proposed Loan Authorization Bylaw, the matter requires the Assent of the Electors via Referendum if Mayor and Council wish to proceed with their decision. 

What is a Referendum?

A referendum is a general vote by the electorate on a single political question which has been referred to them for a direct decision.

Who is eligible to participate in the Alternative Approval Process or Referendum?

An eligible elector for the purpose of this Alternative Approval Process is a person entitled to be registered as an elector and who meets the following criteria:

  • Is age 18 or older;
  • Is a Canadian citizen;
  • Has been a resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months;
  • Has been a resident of the City of Prince Rupert for at least 30 days; and,
  • Is not disqualified from voting by the Local Government Act or any other act.

A non-resident property elector who meets the following criteria is also an eligible elector:

  • Is not entitled to register as a resident elector for the City of Prince Rupert;
  • Is age 18 or older;
  • Is a Canadian citizen;
  • Has been a resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months;
  • Has been a registered owner of the real property within the City of Prince Rupert for at least 30 days; and,
  • Is not disqualified from voting by the Local Government Act or any other act.
  • Note: Corporations or land held in a corporate name are not entitled to vote. In the case of multiple owners of a parcel, only one person (with consent of the majority of owners) may vote as a non-resident property elector.

Past Capital Loan Authorizations

The City of Prince Rupert sought loans in 2020 to complete two major infrastructure projects that will carry our community forward in the decades to come: the replacement of our 100 year old dam, and the development of a new solid waste intake cell at the City's landfill. To complete those projects, the City  obtained authorization for two loans in the amount of $10 million each. Council used the Alternative Approval Process to gather elector assent on both of these loan authorizations.