No money for Parksville or Qualicum Beach

When it came time for tourism funding announcements, the cupboard was bare

The provincial government handed out some big cheques to resort communities this week, but not a penny went to Parksville or Qualicum Beach.

Whistler is getting more than $6 million, Tofino, about $650,000, as part of the Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI). Since 2007, this program has pumped more than $61 million into communities like Uclulet, Radium and Revelstoke. This week, $10 million was doled out to 14 communities.

“I think of us as a resort community, a retirement-resort community, but we didn’t even come close to qualifying (for the RMI),” Parksville Mayor Chris Burger said this week. “Maybe that’s the problem — we’re not focussed on one element.”

Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association executive director Blaine Sepos said he believes RMI qualification is based on a formula that uses a hotel-rooms-to-full-time-residents ratio.

Our region has approximately 1,400 hotel rooms and a population of more than 30,000. While those kind of numbers might disqualify Parksville-Qualicum Beach for this program, Sepos said he believes the RMI “should be a sliding scale.”

“Tourism is the most important industry in Parksville Qualicum Beach and there’s a lot of pressure on the local infrastructure when visitors are here,” said Sepos.

Money from a program like the RMI, Sepos mused, could be used to construct the boardwalk link between Parksville Community Park and Rathrevor Beach.

“That’s a natural (for RMI funding),” said Sepos. “Not only for residents but for visitors too.”

According to a news release from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training: “Communities will use this funding to enhance services and infrastructure crucial to growing the tourism sector that drives their local economies, including trail and boardwalk improvements, venue development and tourist information services. Without

this funding, resort communities would not have the means to provide key

community assets to advance their primary industry — tourism.”

Ministry officials did not return a call from The NEWS this week.

According to statistics provided by the provincial government, in 2010, the tourism sector employed 127,000 British Columbians, generated more than $13.4 billion in revenue for tourism-related businesses and contributed more than $1.2 billion to provincial government revenues. Total tourism wages and salaries were $4.4 billion in 2010, an increase

of 37 per cent since 2000.



Just Posted

Woodyatt seeks help to pursue physics education in London

Kwalikum Secondary product gets accepted to prestigious university in United Kingdom

Nanoose Bay Catspan receives BC SPCA funding

Spay/neuter grant to address overpopulation

Solar system spending, asbestos removal in SD69 plan

Green house gas emission report received at May 22 board meeting

Gr. 7s learn about digital safety, health, consent at con in Parksville

SD69 hosts first Health and Wellness Conference for students headed to high school

Qualicum Beach east village plans take shape

Staff moving forward with east village concept

Trans Mountain pipeline: Is it worth the risk?

Concerns range from the threat of an oil spill to the impact of tanker traffic on wildlife

Federal leaders trade barbs about India trip at press gallery dinner

Justin Trudeau’s infamous trip to India earlier this year was the focus of many of the jabs

B.C. VIEWS: Our poverty reduction plan is already in place

NDP has another promise it needs to appear to keep

WestJet pilot strike averted as parties agree to mediation

Pilots had warned they could go on strike starting May 19

Out of control wildfire prompts restriction around Allie Lake

One of the first large wildfires of the 2018 season is blazing out of control

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

Most Read