PORT HARDY—Staff and students from Eagle View Elementary School packed Council chambers last week, the first of several delegations to appear before Port Hardy Council at its Jan. 28 meeting.
Teachers Sean Barfoot and Michelle Sedola explained they were seeking approval to develop an interpretative trail alongside Tsulquate River, adjacent to the school.
As stated in the pair’s proposal, “The land is owned by the District of Port Hardy and currently has several unofficial paths through the green space. The proposed area is within the newly paved Huddlestan Loop trails and essentially is reactivating an existing path.”
The project is part of a Masters of Education project for the pair, who hope the trail will provide the ideal setting for outdoor exploration and education for the students while at the same time strengthening partnerships between the school and the community.
Council heard that much of the trail requires only raking and pruning, but noted they would be seeking an in-kind donation of a danger tree assessment.
The councillors thanked the pair for their presentation and promised to forward the proposal to the Operational Services Committee for review.
Russ Hellberg came before council to invite representatives to support the Wounded Warrior Run, which begins in Port Hardy Feb. 16.
The run, hosted locally by the Legion and the 101 Squadron, will leave from Carrot Park bound for Victoria in a six-day, 600-km relay in support of therapeutic projects for former military servicemen and women. Primarily, the organization focusses on raising awareness of and supporting sufferers of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Five of the six runners, led by Allan Kobayashi, are retired servicemen themselves. The sixth is Steve Kobayashi, Allan’s brother, who joins the team in support of his PTSD-affected sibling.
Hellberg told the councillors an event was planned for 7 p.m. on Feb. 15 at the Legion as a sendoff for the runners. The next morning, the run kicks off at 6 a.m. as the runners set off for Sayward.
Hellberg requested council presence at these events and the donation of a Port Hardy flag to the team.
Deputy Mayor Jessie Hemphill suggested the event could be publicized on the District website while coun. Rick Marcotte suggested using the arena sign for the same purpose.
The deputy mayor thanked Hellberg for his presentation and commented that the Legion, “always do great work.”
RCMP and PHFD
Cpl. Brett Sinden brought councillors up to date with the local RCMP detachment’s quarterly report.
Overall, the detachment reported a slight decrease in files, with 873 from Oct.- Dec. 2013 compared to 887 in the same period of 2012.
Cpl. Sinden reported success with the local strategic objective of tackling substance abuse and drug trafficking. “Our chronic social offender program is working very well,” he said. “Most are doing quite well compared to previous years.”
On another positive note, Cpl. Sinden informed council that the detachment was currently fully staffed. “I’ve been here for two and a half years now, and we’re fully staffed for the first time.” He explained that the management team at the local detachment had pushed for a more balanced complement of experienced and new officers and the new makeup of the members reflected this balance.
The corporal was questioned on the one dramatic rise in his report, a jump from a single Breach of the Peace in 2012 to 20 in 2013. Cpl. Sinden explained that the charge was something of a catch-all, used to diffuse volatile situations. “It’s discretionary to a degree,” he explained. “We can use it to insist someone spend the night in a safe place. If we know something is going to happen, this can stop it.”
The Corporal was followed by Fire Chief Schell Nickerson, who reported 26 callouts for the department in the final quarter of 2013. The calls represented $130,000 in losses to fire and over $95,000 in saved property council heard.
Overall, membership numbers have dipped slightly with the department losing five members and gaining three for a total of 30 members.
The PHVFD were involved with a number of community events late last year, with members assisting with the Halloween fireworks display, Remembrance Day events, the Santa parade and hamper deliveries among others.
The deputy mayor and council thanked both for their presentations and efforts.