The Parksville Community Centre, 132 Jensen Ave East, is missing several key pieces of kitchen equipment, which prevents PASS/Woodwinds students from proceeding with their cooking class. (Mandy Moraes photo)

Without kitchen equipment, cooking program for Parksville students remains in limbo

Councillor: ‘Unfortunate for the kids’

PASS/Woodwinds students are unable to proceed with their foods program until essential kitchen equipment is returned or replaced.

The students reportedly arrived at the Parksville Community Centre (PCC) on Dec. 16, to find several pieces of kitchen equipment either disconnected or missing. As with the Parksville Community Centre Society (PCCS), School District 69 (Qualicum) entered into a lease agreement with the city for use of the commercial kitchen. The PCCS is no longer operating the PCC as of Dec. 31.

According to Mayor Ed Mayne, the operating agreement the city had with PCCS “did not give them ownership of any assets unless they can prove they directly paid for them.” This statement was based on a report which stated all PCC assets belong to the community centre itself, and not the society.

The City of Parksville is now considering legal action after the removal of the equipment.

The city’s chief administrative officer, Keeva Kehler, wrote a report that read “staff have reason to believe the PCCS was aware of the city’s intent to continue this use for the students as it was discussed between the solicitors in December.”

READ MORE: City of Parksville offers update on closure of community centre

In her report, it noted that the grill/stove, sanitizing dishwasher and racks, chest freezer, microwave, prep tables, freezer trays and all accessories were removed. As a result, the use agreement between SD69 and the city can no longer be implemented.

The student foods program on Dec. 16 had apparently been an important year-end event where they prepared holiday meals for themselves and their families.

Kehler said the program’s teacher was able to, with some difficulty, adapt his plan and proceed with a more limited menu.

Coun. Adam Fras suggested council send a letter to PCCS and allow a week for their response.

As per Kehler’s report, it would take at least two to three weeks from the date of purchase for new equipment to arrive. This timeline is on top of the week to wait for the PCCS to respond, as well as any installation and inspection times required before the kitchen is considered safe and ready to use.

READ MORE: Parksville Community Centre Society asks city to keep centre open

Coun. Doug O’Brien said he believes the one-week delay is reasonable but that it’s still “unfortunate for the kids.”

“They’re caught in this whole thing, and this is not what, as adults, we should allow to happen. But here we are.”

The communications manager with the city, Deb Tardiff, said the letter was sent to PCCS on Jan. 20, which asks for a response no later than Jan. 29.

As of Monday, Jan. 25, PCCS president Holly Heppner told the PQB News the society has not received a letter from the city, and that “90 per cent” of what was stated in the report was inaccurate.

Dr. Keven Elder, superintendent of SD69, said he would like to have the PASS/Woodwinds foods program start as soon possible, as soon as the physical changes at the community centre have been addressed. He said, given the current circumstance, he is unsure when the program will proceed.

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CommunityParksvilleSD69

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PQB News reader Randy Hall set up a camera at the beach in Parksville, in the same spot every day in February, to capture the changing days and weather. (Randy Hall photo)
WATCH: Scenes from 28 days in February in Parksville

PQB News reader Randy Hall set up camera in same location each day

An Island Health nurse prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine. (Photo courtesy Island Health)
Health authority opening 19 clinics to immunize Vancouver Island residents

Health authority anticipates more than 40,000 people will be immunized over the next month

(PQB News file photo)
Some frustrated Parksville Qualicum Beach residents now tossing recyclables in garbage

Option is driving to collection centres in Nanaimo and Courtenay

Mike Garland, fundraising member of the Oceanside Community Track committee, visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Mike Garland’s group wants an updated running track in Parksville

Podcast: Talk includes fundraising, plans to upgrade aging facility and more

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

Most Read