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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hurricanes, marine planning, and public fora

This past week there were two hurricane warnings for the waters around northern Vancouver Island, indicating winds over 64 knots (118 km/h), the first of which materialized and wrought destruction along the west coast. On this side of the island, some trees were knocked down, the ferries were canceled, and the power was knocked out on Malcolm Island for a day or so. The second hurricane warning failed to materialize, but was still enough to cancel several sailings on Friday. Sandwiched in between these two dramatic weather events was a public advisory forum in Port Hardy, almost as if it were being held in the eye of the hurricane.

Well, perhaps that's a bit dramatic. It was actually held in the auspicious setting of the Providence Place Inn, which provided a cozy setting for the 40 or so people who showed up from around the North Island. As I alluded to in my previous post, the purpose of the forum was to discuss the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area or PNCIMA (pen-SEE-ma) for short.
The discussion around this plan for the northern half of Canada's Pacific Coast was robust and covered a lot of ground. Concerns were raised over everything from coast-wide public safety issues to how people interact with whales in local waters. For the full list of topics, video footage from the event will soon be available on the PNCIMA website (there is already footage of the event in Campbell River). You can also use this link to take part in live webcast of the forum which is being held in Prince Rupert tonight.
As for the weather, today was another stormy one. The lights are flickering, and it feels like the power could go out any min-

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