EDITORIAL: ICF is a lost cause

Conflicting reports on what will get the railway re-started, a lawsuit against a regional district director - what's next?

It borders on taxation without representation.

It’s also another indicator the Island Corridor Foundation has fallen off the rails and has become an expensive irrelevancy in communities north of Nanaimo.

The ICF owns the former rail corridor up and down Vancouver Island. The Regional District of Nanaimo is one the ICF’s owners, for lack of a better term. The ICF is trying to fix the line so it can re-start passenger rail service. To that end, it issued a cash call to its owners.

The RDN kicked in just under $1 million of taxpayer money. This despite votes against the expenditure from representatives of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Errington, Coombs, Whiskey Creek, Bowser, Deep Bay and environs.

Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay is now the RDN’s rep on the ICF board. Naturally and logically, he supports the ICF and re-start of the rail service, seeing as he has a fancy train station in his city and the possibility of jobs in a maintenance facility.

So, he will continue to pledge the RDN’s support for this ICF folly, and to heck with what the reps of roughly 30,000 taxpayers say north of his city.

However, days into their happy little ICF board relationship, McKay and CEO Graham Bruce are providing mixed messages. Bruce says the railway can be put in working order with $20 million. McKay doesn’t believe that’s possible and calls the $20 million a “foundation,” which to us means more cash calls are on the way.

Meanwhile, the ICF seems to be focused on things other than the railway. When it last hit our news pages, the ICF was suing Coombs/Errington RDN rep Julian Fell.

The relationship between the people north of Nanaimo and the RDN is fractured. The appointment of McKay to the ICF is yet another indication the RDN doesn’t give a hoot about the people of Bowser or Qualicum Beach or Parksville, except when it’s time to collect their money. Dog attacks, potholes, flooding — the RDN really isn’t interested in fixing the things that matter in Errington or Coombs or Martindale Road.

As for the ICF, a local politician we spoke with this week said it best:

“It’s a lost cause.”

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

The proposed running track upgrade at Ballenas Secondary is now on course. (PQB News file photo)
RDN: Parksville track upgrade project gains some traction

Staff recommends board approve $204,000 funding

The total earnings of Town of Qualicum Beach council and mayor amounted to $186,649 in 2020, including expenses. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Nine Qualicum Beach town employees earned more than $100K in 2020

Mayor and council received earnings totalling $186,649

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read