Groups uniting to pressure new Oceanside committee

Inaugural meeting set to take place Thursday in QB council chambers

Recreational groups and individuals want the new Oceanside Services Committee to make a decision now on the priorities identified in the Recreation Services Master Plan for District 69, completed and endorsed by the Regional District of Nanaimo board last year.

“We don’t want any more discussions,” said Randy White, former commissioner with the now dissolved District 69 Recreation Commission. “If this committee thinks it’s going to get away with that, it’s wrong.”

The RDN recently consolidated the District 69 Recreation Commission, District 69 Community Justice Select Committee and the Northern Community Economic Development Select Committee into one new committee, the OSC.

It will hold the first of its four meetings scheduled this year at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 16 in the council chambers of the Town of Qualicum Beach.

White, along with recreational groups in the Parksville Qualicum Beach, are uniting to express their concerns to the OSC. The group is still forming, said White, but the plan is to put the pressure on the committee starting at the inaugural meeting today.

“If they come out and ask us for input, it’s gonna be, ‘you’ve had it,’” said White, referring to the master plan. “Make your damn decision. If you’re not going to make your decision, then we’re going get loud. To me, the question to groups is, ‘are you sick and tired of this yet? What do you want? Do you want a decision now? Yes. If not, what?”

The District 69 master plan identified priorities that include upgrades to Ravensong Pool, construction of a rubberized track at Ballenas, and developing a centralized land purchase strategy for a future indoor/outdoor sport recreation facility complex for the Oceanside area. A similar conclusion was made in another study that was undertaken in 2004.

Some groups are not happy with the tight deadline to request to appear as a delegation at the inaugural meeting that the RDN only made known to the public on May 9, giving them just a day to make a request and submission.

Nancy DeGagne, a member of the Aquafit action group, said with the new committee scheduled to meet only four times a year, they don’t have a lot of chances to express their concerns.

“Since they have literally shelved all progress that has been made in this area such as pool expansion, track renovations, sportsplex, the feeling appears to be to sweep us under the carpet with a new name and unknowledgeable people on their committee and to delay all our past communications requests for service in this area,” said DeGagne. “They must be brought to awareness again.”

Ann McVey of the Ravensong Action group said they had to scramble at the last minute to get something together.

Ravensong Waterdancers wanted to discuss with the new committee the challenges they’ve been facing with the existing Ravesong pool.

“Limited pool times and lack of depth in the majority of the main pool,” said president Jessica Nemlander. “These two concerns directly affect our club’s programming, which consequently causes us to limit the number of teams, even though we have growth potential from within the community and surrounding areas.”

RELATED: RDN to form new group to replace northern committees

Nemlander wants the committee to dwell on the priorities concluded by the master plan.

“This was reinforced by the motions made at the RDN directors meeting on Sept. 4, 2018,” said Nemlander.

“The time for consultants and public input into what is needed is at a close, after discussing for many years — over five — and various proposals presented, it is time for a plan of action to achieve these goals so that our kids, community members and clubs can start to reap the benefits.”

White is not confident that the new committee can achieve a lot with having only four meetings in a year.

White and McVey are requesting to meet the mayors of the City of Parksville and Town of Qualicum Beach to talk about expanding their boundaries inorder to have the tax base that may help fund the needs of District 69 without having to go through the regional district.

“It’s time for Parksville and Qualicum Beach to grow up,” said White, a former member of parliament. “Our city boundaries have to expand here and we got to have a handle on the whole project. Not just a track or multiplex or pool or new skating rink. I do think, it’s at a crisis time. If you think 222 Corfield is a problem, they’re sitting on a development problem. You are being run by another city and your tax base is small.”

“We’ve got to take control of our property taxes,” said McVey. “We’re paying what… 35 per cent is going to the RDN for what? What are we getting back from it? By expanding your boundaries, they you get control of your finances.”

The meeting Thursday will also be live-streamed and can be viewed via the RDN website at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

FEDERAL ELECTION: Courtenay-Alberni candidates visit Parksville’s Ballenas Secondary School

Students ask questions before participating in their own vote

RDN offers free transit to polling stations on Oct. 21

Initiative aimed at boosting voter turnout, reducing vehicles on road

Parksville residents hear compelling tales from recovering young addicts

Speakers emphasize need for detox and treatment centre, shelter in the area

VIDEO: B.C. man’s yard comes alive with grizzlies at night

Malakwa man has captured images of 12 different grizzlies on video

B.C. calls for new caribou habitat restoration projects

Work to restore areas disrupted by logging, roadbuildin

Two RCMP vehicles vandalized in Duncan over long weekend

Local Mounties asking for help in finding culprits

Fire response at Trans Mountain Burnaby tank farm could take six hours: audit

Site doesn’t have mutual aid response agreement with Burnaby fire department

A year after pot legalization in Canada, it’s a slow roll

It’s one year into Canada’s experiment in legal marijuana, and hundreds of legal pot shops have opened

ELECTION 2019: Climate strikes push environment to top of mind for federal leaders

Black Press Media presents a three-part series on three big election issues

Suspect hits woman with pipe, jumps into waiting truck in downtown Nanaimo

Police say victim believes ‘vicious assault’ was an attempted purse-snatching

ICBC willing to loosen grip on driver claim data, David Eby says

Private insurers say claims record monopoly keeps them out

Most Read