A weekly roundup of noteworthy news in municipalities across B.C.
BC Ferries has appealed their Land Assessment for the Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal. The facility, previously assessed and taxed at $47 Million, has been given a new valuation of just $20, based partially on consideration of the Corporation’s lack of profits. This change represents a loss of approximately $750,000 in tax revenue for the District of West Vancouver, which is currently attempting to pass a 2013 Budget. The cities of Nanaimo and North Saanich are jointly making an unprecedented joint appeal of the ruling that was outside of either of their jurestictions. However, the impact to those and other coastal communities with BC Ferry facilities could be significant if the re-valuation is upheld.
In a rare service improvement announcement, BC Ferries is looking to upgrade the Denman Island route to a cable ferry system.
A public forum in Victoria continues the long-running debate over the region’s sewage treatment system. Secondary treatment has been called for by Provincial and Federal mandate. Opponents say it is the wrong plan at the wrong time, while supporters say its finally time to stop fouling in their own nest. The sewage issue has spilled over into the Federal ByElection in the Capital where David Suzuki stresses that “the ocean is not a garbage can”.
The decades old Jumbo Glacier ski resort plans take another step forward with a defining and controversial step by the BC Provincial government to create the Jumbo Resort Municipality. This appointed local government will now have the ability to approve the land use and development permits for the resort village and infrastructure. Neighbouring communities and first nations have mixed reactions to this news to say the least.
The BC Ministry of Justice has filed an application in BC Supreme Court for the civil forfeiture of the Hells Angels’ clubhouses in Kelowna and Vancouver’s East End. In order for Civil Court to allow the forfeiture illegal activity on the properties must be proven. A task force with including local RCMP raided the Kelowna clubhouse amongst others in August as part of a series of raids across the Province.
BC child poverty rates are growing. Approximately one in seven students in schools across the Province are from families below the poverty line. Local school boards are attempting to cope and develop resources, but many are finding it difficult without clear policy change. The rates of poor children are especially poignant in the Province’s rural and northern communities.
Prince George has been given a dent to its reputation by a generalized headline by 48Hours, the CBS investigative news magazine. The headline to their story about the “Highway of Tears” tagged the Northern city as: ”The crime-ridden city of Prince George.”
While a little to the South, the quaint and progressive happy hippy haven that was – and still is – Wells, BC is being celebrated in a new book about the post 60s cultural movement that drew creatives and countercultural rebels “back to the land” and rejuvenated a ghost town.