Port Hardy Council.

Hardy Council splits on tsunami warning system

Port Hardy council split their vote on a purchasing and installing a tsunami warning system.

A report to council from Heather Nelson-Smith, director of corporate services, was on Port Hardy Council’s agenda at their meeting Dec. 14, regarding alternative warning systems for tsunami preparedness.

In her report, Nelson-Smith wrote that “the subcommittee reviewed different options including the following: telephone call out systems, text SMS alerts, Facebook twitter and website, radio/tv, sirens, and first responder fan out.”

Nelson-Smith continued with her analysis, stating that “the subcommittee reviewed the different options above and found that while most of those options were preferable, there were considerations that had to be taken into account including when the event occurs, such as time of day or night, winter or summer, short or long notification.

“The subcommittee felt that the siren was the only option to cover all of the concerns of time of day and length of warning (close event or cross continental). This option will prevent the need for emergency responders to put themselves within the hazard zone of the event. The subcommittee also determined that a project of this magnitude should be completed in phases. The Beaver Harbour/Storey’s Beach area was determined to be the most high-risk area, given that it is further away from the town and the majority of the area is within the six-metre tsunami zone.”

The subcommittee’s recommendation to council was to request that a tsunami warning siren be purchased and installed in the Beaver Harbour area.

Costs have been estimated at approximately $20,000 for the purchase of a siren, however installation costs have not yet been determined.

“We should take a look at this report and have a discussion,” said Mayor Hank Bood. “I’m curious as to what the total cost of this is going to be,” said Councillor Leightan Wishart.

“Are there grants out there?” asked Councillor Fred Robertson, who was informed that nobody has investigated yet if there are any available.

“In this report it says ‘purchased and installed’. I’m not against this motion per se, but I’m wondering what budget year it’s coming out of, and if we should have a little bit more investigation into the cost of it,” said Councillor Pat Corbett-Labatt.

“At the finance meeting I suggested that we throw something in to a reserve for something like this,” said Councillor John Tidbury. “I mentioned not only this system, but other ideas, too, like a generator and things like that.”

“Is this something that really needs to be dealt with?” asked Wishart. “I have done a lot of investigating on the possibility of a tsunami in Port Hardy and my way of thinking is that it’s very slight. To spend $20,000 or $30,000 on something that probably will never be used, seems to me a waste of money.”

“We have the lowest tsunami hazard possibility on the island, so I think council needs to talk about the fact that this is suggesting a six-metre tsunami wave when we’re not in a high exposure area,” said Bood. “In my point of view, I agree with Wishart that we gotta be careful with our funds and make sure we’re not chasing something that might not be there. There’s options here, we can take the motion to a meeting where we actually have a full and detailed report from staff.”

“That’s my suggestion,” agreed Robertson. “If that proves to be the case, then that’s the report we will get, and if there proves to be a more significant hazard, then we’ll get that report on it as well.”

“We need to do more investigation before we spend the money. The motion on the table is about purchasing and installing, so I’m going to be voting against it,” said Wishart.

After a split vote, the motion was not carried. “Do we want to go further on the subject?” asked Mayor Bood.

“Can I move another motion that the subcommittee be asked to conduct further research on possibilities for the need of a tsunami warning system?” asked Robertson.

Council seconded that motion and it was carried.

“We will have staff look into the issue and then bring back a report to council on the need for a tsunami warning system,” confirmed Mayor Bood.

 

Just Posted

Community support keeps girls hockey alive on the North Island

“A successful program depends on community engagement and support.”

#MeToo at work: Employers play a role in fixing culture of harassment

B.C. workplaces are getting ahead of being the next MeToo debacle, calling on experts to train staff

Wilson recognized by Port Hardy Council for commitment to thrift store

Marg is a true leader for Port Hardy’s auxiliary and her nominators feel she is unstoppable.”

#MeToo at work: How reporting sexual harassment works – and how it doesn’t

British Columbians have four options to report harassment or assault, but none of them are easy

One person dead in logging truck collision

“The logging truck was stopped for other traffic, and it was rear-ended by a passenger car.”

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

Owl found dead after eating rat poison leaves B.C. woman concerned

After finding the owl on her Surrey property, Christine Trozzo says the poison is a concern for kids

Change to CPP death benefit panned as insufficient to cover funeral costs

Funeral Services Association of Canada lobbied governments to raise the value to $3,580

Woman in Nanaimo accidentally hands over diamond ring with spare change

Incident happened Wednesday at about 7 p.m. at parking lot near Nanaimo’s boardwalk

B.C. woman brain injured in crash as a baby gets $1.1 million in damages

Trial heard the woman was 16 months old, being carried by her mother when they were both hit

Court denies WestJet’s bid to toss out discrimination lawsuit of former worker

Mandalena Lewis is suing WestJet over allegations of gender-based discrimination

Sagmoen neighbours recall alleged hammer attack

Woman was screaming outside Maple Ridge townhouse in 2013

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Accused B.C. drug smuggler to be extradited

Supreme Court of Canada upholds extradition order for accused Shuswap drug smuggler, Colin Martin

Most Read