PORT McNEILL—Faced down by a determined group of residents calling for changes to local garbage-control bylaws, town council didn’t flinch during its regular meeting June 17.
On the other hand, councillors unanimously agreed the grade five students made a compelling case with a well-researched presentation.
“I’m very impressed with the information you brought forward,” coun. Shirley Ackland told the half-dozen students of Jennifer Lok’s Sunset Elementary class, who called for stronger measures from the town in controlling problem bears in the community. “I don’t think you left anything out. You did a great job.”
The students clearly did their research, including identifying areas where bears had returned repeatedly for a free meal, and looked up bylaws in neighbouring communities. Lok said she hosted a visit by Mac Willing of the North Island’s Bear Aware program, and produced a poster as students Macey Guldager, Camryn Stanley, Callista Stuckless, Rebecca Hill, Koen Sharpe and Abbie Mohan gave their presentation.
The class previously wrote a letter to council, but noticed a lot of bears in town, and wanted to speak to council about its concerns. The students lined up in front of council and each took a turn speaking from prepared scripts.
“Port Hardy has a garbage bylaw,” said Callista Stuckless, one of the six students who stepped forward to address council. “We live where bears live, so it’s our responsibility to make our town less attractive to bears,”
“We’d like to see all the garbage cans with open tops gone by the time we go to high school,” added Koen Sharpe, another student.
“Very, very good,” Mayor Gerry Furney said following the delegation’s appearance. “Nice presentations from everybody, and very nicely presented.” Furney went on to ask for a copy of the students’ shared speech in order that council might consider the request.
Logger Sports helped
Council approved a $500 contribution to the Port McNeill Logger Sports Society to host its fourth annual Lumberjack Competition, scheduled for July 6 at the Broughton Boulevard logger sports grounds.
“The last couple of years we’ve donated that amount, and I’d recommend the same,” said Ackland. “I think they do a good job of showcasing the history of the community.”
Council agreed and passed the motion unanimously.