Ladysmith school halts all after-dark activity after student clipped by car

Ladysmith school halts all after-dark activity after student clipped by car

École North Oyster PAC petitions province for road safety improvements

École North Oyster’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is calling for greater road safety measures after all after hours school activities, including the annual Christmas concert, were cancelled this year after a serious incident last winter.

The school is situated on the often busy Cedar Road and last year a child was clipped, but escaped serious injury, while exiting a vehicle to attend a holiday function in the evening.

Now, the Nanaimo Ladysmith School District has suspended all after dark activities at the school.

The PAC has responded by launching a petition asking that the Ministry of Transportation to install street lights and widen the road, among a list of other suggestions.

“We’ve been working with the District who has been working with MOT to try and find a solution and it’s almost been a year now and no one has figured out the solution so we decided that maybe we needed to take a different route,” said PAC chair Candice McLean.

While daytime events such as the Remembrance Day ceremony were permitted, other events such as movie nights, dances and the holiday Christmas concert were removed off the calendar.

“The one thing that North Oyster really has going for them is their school community and that community really stretches from Saltair to Nanaimo,” McLean said. “They want to have their events at their school. Children want to show their parents their art on the bulletin boards, where they get to sit an assembly…. it’s really sad that we’re not able to have that community piece at our school due to lighting.”

When École Davis Road closed in 2014, students were amalgamated into Ecole North Oyster and the student population then ballooned from 90 to now over 340.

In 2014, District staff, in partnership with the North Oyster PAC, held meetings and discussed plans for the corridor in front of the school.

A request was made to the MOT and CVRD to install street lighting, put in flashing lights on the existing crosswalk, install an additional crosswalk on the other side of the school from the existing crosswalk, install additional school zone signage, widen road shoulders on both sides of Cedar Road and lower the surrounding speed limit from 60km to 50km/h.

These demands form the bulk of the PAC’s petition which has garnered over 600 signatures on Change.org.

“That is a dark, dark road. People fly down that road,” McLean said. “Even in the daytime when I’m dropping off my children, people are hauling down that road in a school zone.”

According to the MOT, however, the traffic in front of North Oyster doesn’t meet the threshold for a flashing crosswalk.

Dale Burgos, the school district’s executive director of communications said SD68 “understands the reason for the PAC’s need to petition the government for increased safety on the road around École North Oyster Elementary as it has been known to be a safety concern.”

However, none of the projects would be funded or managed by the district because it’s outside SD68’s jurisdiction.

“The PAC’s request for items such as flashing lights, increased signage, widening shoulders, or adjustment to the speed limit on the public road on which our school sits would be installed on public property not managed by the district. Funding and installation for these enhancements would have to come from our government partners. The district is open to revisiting these options with the CVRD and the Ministry of Transportation,” Burgos added.

The future of evening events at North Oyster remains uncertain and PAC vice chair Kristi Wright notes that in all cases they want to be inclusive as possible.

“A lot of us our working parents and unfortunately the time we have to give to this is at nighttime,” Wright said. “There’s other working parents out there that can’t be involved in these activities when they really want to be a part of it.”

In place of the Christmas concert this year the school plans to hold a winter activity during the day.

Just Posted

A slide on best practices when reporting a suspected impaired driver that was presented to Parksville city council on June 7 by Margarita Bernard, a volunteer with MADD. The organization’s Report Impaired Drivers campaign involves the installation of informative signs within the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
MADD brings campaign to report impaired drivers to Parksville

Aim is to raise awareness that 911 should be called

Pam Bottomley (executive director), right and Sandy Hurley (president) of the Parksville Downtown Business Association visit the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Downtown Parksville gears up for post-pandemic bounce back

Podcast: Hurley, Bottomley chat about what’s ahead for the PDBA

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

(File photo)
Crime report: Crooks busy pilfering bikes throughout Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Thefts among 295 complaints Oceanside RCMP deal with in one-week period

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

A still image from security camera video recorded June 8 shows an individual lighting trash on fire in the doorway of 19+ Cannabis Store on Victoria Crescent. RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating numerous fires set in downtown Nanaimo in the past three months. (Photo submitted)
‘It’s out of control’: More than 20 fires set in downtown Nanaimo in past 3 months

Authorities asking business owners to keep dumpsters locked

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Most Read