EDITORIAL: PCCC needs to find middle ground

It would be good to see the society develop a plan that reduces the annual taxpayer subsidy for the facility

The Parksville Community and Conference Centre is at a crossroads.

For starters, it is getting more scrutiny from city council than it has in years. The board of the society that operates the facility and its executive director might not like the attention or the tone, but it comes with the territory when 57 per cent of your budget comes from taxpayers.

And frankly, the society that runs the PCCC, and its executive director, haven’t faced much public/city council scrutiny in at least the last four years, so they are due.

At first glance, it’s easy to take aim at taxpayer-subsidized facilities like the PCCC. Why don’t they market themselves better? Why don’t they raise their rates? How can they keep expanding staff while they continue to ask for more in subsidies? Why should staff get automatic raises based on the cost of living instead of based on the centre’s performance? Why doesn’t the society aim to reduce the subsidy each year with an aggressive make-more-money plan instead of the public-trough-will-be-there-for-us stance?

First, it’s important to note the society that operates the PCCC is run by volunteer board members. These are community-minded people who give their time and effort for no financial gain. They hire an executive director to run the place and that, really, is the board’s most important task.

Secondly, the PCCC’s mandate is to operate as a community centre first and foremost. That means booking community non-profit groups ahead of more lucrative bookings like weddings or other private functions. Also, the way the agreement is worded, city hall essentially has the right of first refusal for booking dates.

It is the city, through its taxpayer representatives on council, that must change the mandate of the PCCC if it wants to see the facility make more money. That, as the society president pointed out Monday, would likely squeeze out some non-profit community groups.

As with most issues, there must be a middle ground here. We believe the PCCC needs to do a better job budgeting (it’s currently an illogical mess), a better job marketing and it needs to set goals that will reduce, not increase, the taxpayer subsidy. We believe that can be achieved without shutting the doors to community non-profit groups.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

Hannes Grosse, left, and Iris Steigemann, right, as they prepared for their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit. The father-daughter duo are showing at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach until June 26. (Submitted photo)
Cortes Island artists exhibit at Qualicum Beach’s TOSH in first father-daughter show

Both artists will be present at shows on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Photos displayed at a vigil for former Nanaimo outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found June 3 and whose death RCMP are investigating as a homicide. (News Bulletin photo)
‘We need to do better,’ says mother of woman killed in Nanaimo

Vigil held for former outreach worker Amy Watts, whose body was found downtown June 3

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

Most Read