Parksville mayor gets support from council

City councillors were reacting to mayor’s fiery speech last week

City council has the mayor’s back.

Chris Burger received support from city councillors Monday night when he asked for responses to his speech last week calling for a mayor’s caucus to better represent Island interests in the halls of power in Victoria and Ottawa.

Speaking at a Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce meeting last week at The Beach Club, Burger said Islanders “need to assert ourselves. I’m just not feeling like we’re getting any attention. We don’t have an effective voice, someone to pull us together.”

Those who spoke Monday night at the council table seemed to agree with Burger’s assertion.

“We miss out on Vancouver Island and I don’t think it’s fair and it’s about time someone stood up and said hey, we are over here,” said Coun. Sue Powell.

“It’s about time we started working together as an Island,” said Coun. Carrie Powell-Davidson.

Much of Burger’s complaint centres around infrastructure money, or the lack thereof in his perception, coming to the Island. That includes the Island’s rail system, which Burger believes should be re-started with provincial and federal money to bring back industry.

Coun. Marc Levebvre agreed “our voices are not being heard” and he said he was fully behind getting the railway up to standard.

“Let’s get the rails up and running and let’s get the big trucks off the road,” he said.

In other council news from Monday night:

• Council gave the go-ahead to six different special event applications which centred around the need for approval of street closures, parade routes, park use, etc. The applications approved were from and related to: Ballenas Secondary School graduation prom parade, Coastal Community Credit Union Employee Family Beach Day, Summer by the Sea street market, Oceanside 10K Run and the ALS Walk, PGOSA summer events and the Friends of Foster Park Easter Egg Hunt and Halloween Pumpkin Walk.

• Jan Kretz of Adventures Sea Kayaking made a presentation to council and asked for some changes to her arrangement with the city to use the old hovercraft landing site in Community Park for her business. Last summer, despite an agreement with the city for the use of the site, the city effectively took away the site for the month of August when it painted a labyrinth on the hovercraft landing area. Council directed staff Monday to look into Kretz’ concerns — including signage —  and report back.

• Island Health medical health officer Dr. Paul Hasselback gave council a report on health at the local level. There weren’t many highlights, but Hasselback did point to the region’s lower-than-average birth rate and a higher-than-average death rate from motor vehicle accidents. Coun. Bill Neufeld asked questions about housing costs in the region and how they related to health. He said “housing is a grossly underrated concern when it comes to health issues” and Hasselback agreed.

• In the closest vote of the night (4-3), council passed a staff recommendation related to carriage houses, specifically related to changing the setback for these dwelling from the back property line to six metres from three metres for two-storey carriage houses. Councillors Neufeld, Powell-Davison and Al Greir were opposed.

• Council passed a motion to increase sewer user rates six per cent, with councillors Powell and Neufeld opposed.

• Council unanimously gave three readings to the water service system amendment bylaw.

•  Council adopted what were dubbed “strategic priority themes” put forward by Mayor Chris Burger, the culmination of what Powell-Davidson said were many discussions amongst council. Only Neufeld was opposed.

Just Posted

Canadian Music Hall of Famer Steven Page to play Parksville

Barenaked Ladies co-founder performs at Knox United Church on June 1

Parksville Beach Festival Society launches campaign for outdoor stage

Public invited to event May 25 to help with kickoff

Crime Report: Oceanside RCMP receive 328 complaints in one-week span

Vandalism and theft of a wheelchair among listed incidents

Controversial cell tower proposal in Coombs clears another hurdle

Committee indicates Rogers satisfactorily completed requirements

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

RDN looking into providing bus service 365 days a year

RDN transit committee to consider adding bus service on Christmas, New Year’s and Good Friday

One year after heartbreaking B.C. search, wife reflects on late husband

First anniversary of Ben Kilmer’s disappearance, and a search that galvanized Vancouver Island

Most Read