(File art)

LETTER: Community centre part of city’s civic hub

Mayor Ed Mayne and city councillors have decided Parksville doesn’t need a community centre and will not provide operating funds for the centre in 2021.

If this sounds familiar it’s because they tried to do the same thing in 2019 but when local groups objected and no new tenant could be found they scrapped the idea.

This year the city didn’t give the community a chance to have input and justified its decision based on its hope “…to use that building for childcare through the Boys and Girls Club of Central Vancouver Island (BGCCVI).”

The key word is hope because it is counting on getting a grant from the Childcare BC New Spaces Fund. If successful the grant will be used “to do some substantial renovations to the inside of the building.”

What is the plan if they don’t get the grant? Highly unlikely the Boys and Girls club will have the money for “substantial renovations”.

If the city doesn’t receive the grant the building will sit empty.

What evidence is there that Parksville has such a severe shortage of day care spaces that it needs to take over this entire facility?

READ MORE: Your letters here

The centre’s Seaside Room alone is 7,100 square feet. It can seat up to 550 people theatre style and its other rooms combined seat a total of 250. Have city staff done any research on community needs to support a decision to take all of this space for a daycare?

Why is it that up until 2018, when the new council and mayor were elected, previous city elected officials supported the centre going back to 1996, when the city made a commitment to build it at a cost of $1.28 million. Were those previous councils wrong to build a community centre and make it part of the city’s civic hub?

The heart of any community is its volunteers and non-profit groups. How can they flourish without meeting space? What about the concerts, craft fairs, art exhibits, space for local dialogue on important issues? We pay taxes for physical and social infrastructure.

I hope Parksville voters will take the gutting of this vital community space under “consideration” when they vote for a new mayor and council in 2022.

Susan McAlevy


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Letters to the editorParksville

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

Just Posted

Ballenas Secondary in Parksville. (Google Maps)
COVID-19: Case confirmed at Ballenas Secondary School in Parksville

Contact tracing expected to be concluded by the end of day

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

Shown is Quality Foods at 319 Island Highway in Parksville. The Island-based grocery chain announced on Jan. 25 it made a $2-per-hour pay premium, implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, permanent. (Mandy Moraes photo)
COVID-19: Quality Foods makes $2-per-hour employee pay premium permanent

Island-based grocery chain had extended increase twice in 2020

Nanoose Bay author and poet Susan Pederson holds her book, ‘How Many Times Can You Say Goodbye?’, which is encompasses undelivered notes written to her best friend who was dying of cancer at the time. (PQB News file photo)
Nanoose Bay poet discusses hope in latest dance video

Pederson: ‘We all have something that we can do that will keep us going’

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read