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Pender Harbour BBS / LOCAL ISSUES: Decisions and situations that affect all of us in Pender Harbour. / AS YOUR ELECTED REP, I WILL TRY TO ANSWER ALL YOUR QUESTIONS
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# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 12:19

In my opinion if we really want to have a village council for Pender Harbour, those of us who support it should just go ahead and hold our own local elections outside the IGA...and then seek recognition from Victoria afterwards instead of all the red tape (studies etc) being talked about on this forum.

Do you really think it would work?

# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 14:11

Sorry, but it won't work.

When I spoke with (Municipal Affairs) recently, they said that they would consider an application only if the area's Regional Director was supportive because, presumably, the Regional Director represents the community or at least the majority of his constituents.

Amelia Bedelia
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 15:51

those of us who support it should just go ahead and hold our own local elections outside the IGA...and then seek recognition from Victoria afterwards instead of all the red tape

Humm, I wonder if that would be a conflict of interest for some people.

But, if you really care, You could at least try! There has got to be at least one other community out there that has dealt with something similar to this. Maybe it's not as far fetched as you think.

-------------------------------------------------- -------------
Hey John
I think it's clear that the people of Pender Harbour would like a Walking Path around Lily's Lake.
I know there was another work party today, and I'm sure it's starting to really come along, but I was just curious about what you - our elected representative - are going to do to help us.

John Rees
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 20:03

Jack, please tell me you are joking, had really thought you were one of the serious "Incorporators"

Annonymous, good point will check that out with the Ministry in the next week or so.
Met with them on Tuesday at the SCRD, the subject was South Coast Restructure, the meeting room was standing room only.
When that process first started a few years ago the then Regional District Directors for Area E and Area F appeared to throw their lot in with Gibsons to become a new bigger Municipality, with one vote for all three communities.
Interesting now, that one of the new Directors was elected to oppose the process, and the other cannot find any support for amalgamation.
Between them they moved to have a separate vote in each area, much to the chagrine of Gibsons.
Mentioned it only so that you may see why I am cautious on guaging community support for such an important issue.

# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 20:11

Interesting now, that one of the new Directors was elected to oppose the process, and the other cannot find any support for amalgamation.

How did they manage to get started?

John Rees
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 21:02

Amelia, good question and a refreshing new subject.
I cannot give you a short answer, but will explain what is happening on the Trails at the SCRD.
In 2004 we had a long drawn out process to create a new Parks Master Plan for the Coast. We advertised to the public for resident participation, and without anyone from Area A volunteering, I volunteered for some local representation.
Ten people met on a regular basis with a consultant for over a year, came up with a plan and went to Open Houses all over the Coast including Madeira Park.
The resulting plan went to the SCRD Board and was unanimously adopted.
Last week at the final round of budget meetings the cost and priorities were debated.
Main features are as follows.
1......$500,000.00 for the Area A Playing Field and related facilities at the Lion`s Park.
2......$200.000.00 to complete Connor Park in Half Moon Bay.
3......$150,000.00 to complete small parks in the other three rural areas.
4......Here you go, $300,000.00 for trail projects in all five rural areas, broken down over three years, with $20,000.00 being spent in each area [5] each of three years. This plan was again unanimously approved after a very lengthy debate and long term financing will be triggered.
Approximately eight months ago, the SCRD advertised for community trails committees. We, Area A , had a good response and four people we nominated. Under the auspices of an SCRD parks coordinator they went to work and identified trail priorities, not only in Madeira Park but also in Garden Bay and other parts of our overall community. This then went to an Open House, also advertised, and was well received.
The results will form the plan for supported [SCRD] trail construction here.
In addition to these initiatives, we were also successful in encouraging the new owner`s of Lowe`s Resort to contribute $70.000.00 towards a first class bicycle path down Lagoon Rd, details of this still have to be worked out.
Whoever it is building the trail you describe, should coordinate their plan with the existing trail committee, create a budget, and take it from there. Contact person at the SCRD is Rebecca Porte, ph 604 885 2261.........

John Rees
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 21:07

Annonymous, there was an election in the middle of the process.
The original Directors requested the study, the new one at least is opposed and the other is not sure.

Jane Reid
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 21:40

Just for information background: The South Coast Amalgamation was first initiated by Directors Jim Gurney (Area E), Brett McGilvry,(Area D) and Eric Cardinal,(Area F)with the support of Peggy Connor(Area B), when I was still at the RD. The original proposal was to include Areas E and F only. It was those directors intententions to keep Gibsons out of it. Mayor for Gibsons, at the time was Eric Small. I think Mayor Small made his objections known at Municipal Affairs, and during the negotiating period an election surprisingly ousted McGillvry, Connor from their seats, while Cardinal and Gurney didn't run.
The newly elected board didn't see amalgamation of only E & F as reasonable, circling the Town of Gibsons, some said is was an unfair tax grab of HSPP, so at some point a decision was made to include Gibsons.
Their funding was approved long before their actual study began. Municipal Affairs approved their funding for a feasibility study pending the completion of ours (Area A.)
I think if we were to apply now for funding, we too may get approval, but would have to wait to start the process until the other is completed.
I see that the good people of Roberts Creek are too wanting to look at incorporation. Sound interesting.
If they decide to apply for funding before us, we very well may have to wait 6-12 years for a chance again.

John Rees
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 22:07

Thanks for that interesting bit of history Jane.
The new amalgamation proposal, [Gibsons, Elphinstone and West Howe Sound] started a little over three years ago, engineered by Directors Fisher, Mulligan and Mayor Janyk.
The Robert`s Creek effort did not last long, and petered out about a year ago. It really was a statement, or a protective shield against possible annexation by Gibsons.
It all seems to go in cycles.

Jane Reid
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 22:19

John, this one is for you. I meant to mention it today when I met with you.
Hope you don't mind these background comments of mine. I'm only trying to help, if I can.
If my memory serves me well, the Roberts Creek Community Hall had a septic problem some years back. They did not have enough land for an adequate new system or drain field to remedy their problem. The Regional District (Director McGillvry) made a motion for the SCRD to purchase the adjacent parcel of land, (I think $200,000), and allow the Community Club to put their drain field on it. It passed without my support. You may want to investigate this one, as some precident may be a result of this action, to help the PHCC current septic problems. I think the money came out of the Parks Aquisition fund. Maybe it's a park today, I really don't know.

John Rees
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 22:34

Yes it is a park, owned by the SCRD, vintage maybe five years ago.
They did get some money a couple of years ago to start the Septic field and plumbing.
It is five acres between them and the Masonic Hall.

Jane Reid
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 22:50

John, I'm talking about 11-12 years ago, the property was purchased for a solution to the problems the Roberts Creek Hall were having. The RC Community Hall put in their drain field/septic tank then. If they got more money from the District a couple of years ago to start the septic field, it must be another new one. Is Madeira getting any help for their septic problems? Hardly seems fair to me. The SCRD bought the land to help Roberts Creek, then the SCRD continues to help out with additional funding for maintenance and upgrading? Shouldn't we get some assistance for a similar problem?

John Rees
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 23:33

I realize what you are getting at Jane, but there is a difference.
First you are right, the purchase was when you said, I was thinking of something else.
With the RD owning the land and creating a park, I guess that was the key to installing the field and related plumbing.
In Madeira of course the hall and associated property is owned by the Community Club, that is one point, another is that they have a commercial rental which also complicates matters.
Recently the Director from Robert`s Creek made a pitch, pardon the pun, for money for a new roof on the hall, which is also owned by their community club equivalent, that failed.

There is some Tourism money available at the moment, the Chamber is aware of it and I am surprised that the Community Club did not apply. The septic field could be argued as a critical component of tourist infrastructure.
Last week I sat on a panel that awarded $6,500.00 for some tourist signage at Egmont Rd turnoff, $6000.00 to our visitor info, centre and $4000.00 to help promote the Chamber Music Festival here in the Harbour.
Not a bad haul, half of what was given out in the rural areas and there is still some $32,000.00 left, pending new applications.
This was a Prov. grant for tourism related proposals, not for private consumption. For rural areas only.........

John Rees
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 23:40

Sorry Jane, the bell just rang, Robert`s Creek got the plumbing money from the west Howe Sound Recreation Fund of which they were a member, it covers the Gibsons Pool and a few other things down there or did until this year.
That function is now disbanded in favour of the new Rec. Function.

Jane Reid
# Posted: 26 Mar 2006 23:59

That's really good news. the West Howe Sound Rec.Function was a direct tax grab of WHSPP, only for the benefit of D,E, and F. Created by the infamous Gurney reign. It was always a thorn in the side of the non participating areas, the most unfair function at the RD, so I'm happy to hear that directors finally disbanded it. The board composition that I sat with would not agree to dismantle it. Way to go!

# Posted: 29 Mar 2006 10:15 - Edited by: leeboy

Hey John,

We've been discussing the possibilities of a Skate Park in Madeira Park in one of the other forums and you've been conspicuously absent from the discussion so far. I know you were supportive of it a couple of years ago and were working with the group that was raising money etc. so I'm curious to know where it stands now as far as you're concerned and where it stalled?

John Rees
# Posted: 29 Mar 2006 22:42

Gathering some info Leeboy [Midfielder] will get back to you soon.

John Rees
# Posted: 1 Apr 2006 14:14

Sorry for the delay Leeboy, however I have read all the postings on this subject and would offer the following comments.
First I am, and always have been in favour of such a facility.
Started a few years ago, working with the Community School, attended a couple of their organized meetings [little public support].
The main issue then and still is, a site location that will work.
I saw the old Highways work yard on Francis Pen [ south side] as a good location. Contacted by letter several Govt. agencies, and was finally told that the property was under review, as was all Crown Land on the Coast, and a decision could not be made at that time.
Since then as you pointed out, the property across the road, which incidentally was owned by Emcon [previous road contractor] has been sold, making the south side property more important to the Highways Dept.
Looking at the other Skateboard Park locations on the coast I have formed the following conclusions.
The Park in Sechelt is as you know on School Dist. land. Probably because of it`s location, [Chatelech H.S.] it is falling upon bad times. No one is stepping forward to maintain it. Two weeks ago the School Dist. sent a letter to the SCRD and to the Dist. of Sechelt requesting that we provide between $35k and $50k to bring it up to snuff, and further provide funds for annual maintenance, OR it will be closed.
There goes the possibility of using School Dist. lands, I thought that was a good idea also, particularly since we have found a new location for our community playing field, however They will never agree to that plan.
Looked at and talked to the people in Gibsons on the development of their park. Concerned about the location [Sechelt experience] they are going to put it alongside the new Ice rink and community centre at Brother`s Park.
It will be a 10,000 sq. ft. park, professionally designed, will combine street and bowl features and will cost $250,000.00 or $25.00 per sq. ft. a good figure to remember for us. This figure does not include the cost of land.
Over a long period they were able to access Fed/Prov grants for about 60% of the cost. It is expected to complete the project in approx. one year.
My conclusions, they are not cheap, either to build or maintain, and they must be designed properly by professionals, and be in a visible open space, easy to get to. Further you would need a strong leadership group, preferably with Society status, and possible alignment with a group such as the Rotary or similar.
The group should have a logical longer term approach and contain people who can research and write grant applications.
Ted`s idea about the old gas station site on Francis is good, however it would take a lot of effort to pry that land.
It seems to me that the best possibility for all reasons would be on the land we actually own, IE, the South Pender Harbour Water Board property on Lagoon, great spot, growing bigger every day.
Get the organisation, get the land, the rest would be a piece of cake.................

John Rees
# Posted: 1 Apr 2006 15:03

Forgot to mention a couple of things.
The Gibsons park is competition sized at 10,000 sq. ft., we would probably only require about 6 /7000 sq. ft.
The most important issue of all is appropriate zoning, we would require the support of all neighbours, to be able to rezone for this activity.........

# Posted: 3 Apr 2006 23:49

thanks John. I didn't mean to suggest you weren't supportive. Just absent from the other discussion, which I thought might have meant there was some question of the project's feasibility.

It seems it just died out and needs a revitalization.

# Posted: 4 Apr 2006 00:41

Ah, the Emcon property... I wonder if that would have sold had we become a municipality? Does anyone know who bought it?

# Posted: 4 Apr 2006 07:53

I believe Don White owns it, and Dave McCarthy leases it from him.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2006 01:17

Yes, John I was joking in my post of a week so so ago. But only somewhat.

If we cannot get our own municipal council up here sooner than later, a good start might be to get a Harbour Improvement Association going with open elections to its executive committee. While this body would not have taxing powers it could serve as a forum for sorting out local issues and represent us to senior levels of government. Obviously over time the HIA could evolve into a legitimate local government.

John Rees
# Posted: 8 Apr 2006 11:41

Jack, there are many such groups out there, not only in rural areas like ours but also in municipalities. In this community we have the Sakinaw Lake Ratepayers Association and the same for Ruby Lake, they act as an advisory group, communicate regularly and make recommendations, not only to their membership, but also to me as their representative. I also meet with them at their annual general meetings.
Maybe a good idea to start such a group in Madeira, Garden Bay and or Egmont.

# Posted: 8 Apr 2006 12:10

We used to have the Pender Harbour Ratepayers Association. Whatever happened to them?

James Dean
# Posted: 15 Apr 2006 21:21

Well Mr Rees I read with interest your rant in the Spiel about the new mine, I've lived here for a long time and I for one am in favor of it. I'm going to go through what you said and clarify a few things. I am a little concerned that you would say things that have no scientific data to back up your claims of water drainage into Anderson creek and into Harris lake. At there last open house a few weeks ago(I didn't notice you there) that very question was asked and I had a chance to over here the answere to that question and the DFO did look into the possabilaties, and there was no evidence of that happening, and was unlikely as they are completely different water sheds. I would think that you as our area rep. that you would do your home work, but I guess that you are personaly against mining(you stated that last year in the spiel when this company first came to light) so you seem to have a conflict of interest in this issue. Also the size is not three square kilometres they said there where two quarrys 300m x900m less than a square kilo. each. Barging through the chuk has beeing going on for a long time without incident. Wood bay.. wasn't that a fish prosessing plant not long ago.Everyone can see the plans just go to the open houses like I did, the SPHWD water shed flows to the west sepperated by a rise in the land. The carlson creek water shed flows to the south east this was clearly visable on the contour maps shown. My understanding that no water will be used for extraction they dont blast the limestone out with water,water will be used for dust suppreshion and some washed product, they also said that they would build holding ponds to capture rain and snow melt. Tailing ponds and leaching being our legacy, what the hell? they have to post a reclamation bond, a lot of money i would think. they said when there done there will be two lakes and the surrounding land put back to forresty use or recreation what ever the community wanted.I heard that it would be 100 jobs at the northern site and fifty at the southern site,if that brings ten to thirty jobs to the pender egmont area thats great, good paying long term jobs lets see you do that.Contaminated water supply, hasnt the limestone been leaching into the water systems for thousands of years already? The other problem I have with your article is you are using it as a personal opinion when you stated in the spiel last year your appossed to mining in general. get the science first before you start fear mongering. Oh by the way the people you say to contact, Dan Bauman and Jan Williams they are both Americans, what the hell do we have them telling us what we should or shouldnt do in our country, dont you think they have invaded enough countrys already. Yes you should contact Pan Pacific aggregetes and get the facts for yourselfs my fellow Penderites.

# Posted: 15 Apr 2006 22:02

Barging through the chuk has beeing going on for a long time without incident

You're sure right about that one: this evening I was reading a book about the Union Steamships that said the 101-ft. Comox used to do regular sightseeing tours through the Skookumchuk from Porpoise Bay in the 1930's!

John Rees
# Posted: 16 Apr 2006 16:57

Mr. James Bean, welcome, first posting.
Just a couple of questions, do you work for PPA, or maybe hope to, or better yet, are you on the Board of the SPHWD.?
If as you write, I should do my homework, means going to PPA open houses, the answer is emphatically no.
My column was intended to draw attention to a potential problem, concerning not only the South Pender Harbour water supply area, but also the risk to Anderson Creek, ground water systems and a whole new way of life for folks in the Wood Bay and Secret Cove areas.
To this end the column was so far successful, a large group has formed up in the Wood Bay area and are active in seeking information and answers from the appropriate officials.
Other folk have thanked me for raising the concern, even a few in Madeira Park.
The information I gave in my column was abbreviated, I had a lot more and since the publication I have collected even more.
What I said in my column I stand by, there does appear to be a concern, the public should be requesting all government sources they can, to make sure the Terms Of Reference for the Environmental Studies will include particular attention to our sensitive watershed, and the massive conveyor down to Wood Bay.

The administrator or manager of the SPHWD also accused me of Grandstanding on this issue, words to the effect that if I would have contacted their office, I would have been told there is no problem. Sorry about that, however after listening to their
philosophy on logging in our watershed I will pass on that invitation too.
I have, or I feel I have a responsibility to inform the public on this type of issue, if that upsets certain people maybe they should make a better effort to keep the community updated by bringing the topic to the forefront sooner.
Just like you Sir, my opinion is just that, time will tell, if I am wrong, the worst case is that there will be some good science available for the future. However if you and the SPHWD are wrong then we have a big problem..............

# Posted: 16 Apr 2006 18:46

Good job James Dean

We need more work for young people in our area and certainly a mine would be most welcome. I don't know much about this John Rees fellow, he seems a nice guy, but he isn't a very long range thinker. Every time one raises the local government issue the guy has reasons why it wouldn't make sense.

What sort a of mayor would John Rees make? That's the question. Would he put Pender Harbour back on the map or leave the place as the fat cat vacation home and old age colony it seems in danger of becoming?

I am so glad Mr. Dean that you are a mining supporter. We the silent ones are behind you if it means jobs for Harbour people.

John Rees
# Posted: 16 Apr 2006 21:07

Jack, you must sit in the bushes waiting to see what comes up in this section.
Mr. Bean seems to think that I have a bias against mining, that is not so, my concern is for the potential risk to our water supply, ground water supplies, wildlife protection and a change to lifestyles that none of us ever contemplated before we invested in this community.
I would love to see more jobs for young people here, but not at any price. At best , mining is a part time solution to this problem, if in fact local unemployment is a problem at the moment.
Most people I talk to up and down the Coast seem to think that there are jobs out there.
The one thing I have noticed about you Jack is that you do not understand how our basic economy works, IE, when you slag the "fat cat vacation home owners " and the senior population, you will not make many friends for your incorporation issue.
For the most part these folks pay the giant share of taxes, including school taxes and for the most part use very little of the services. In addition they hire, when then can find someone to hire, local people for all kinds of things including construction and maintenance, marine, garden and appliance repairs, on and on, give us a break, is this really a danger?
Talking about long range thinking Jack.............

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