PORT HARDY—Mayor Bev Parnham shared some details from a meeting last week on the planned Primary Health facility in the town.
“Physicians have noted there is a great deal of urgency around getting this facility up and running,” she remarked. “We’re a year behind where we should be,” she continued. “This is VIHA’s (Island Health’s) doing — they need to cut the red tape and get moving. (Island Health) have the most onerous way of doing things; they need to get off the pot and make this happen.”
The mayor noted the updated facility in the town was key to physician recruitment and retention. A physician is currently “waiting in the wings,” pending completion of a temporary extension to the health clinic.
“If we don’t get this done soon we’re going to start losing positions again,” she warned.
Island Health representatives held a meeting in Port Hardy this week to discuss long-term plans for North Island healthcare. This meeting took place after the Gazette went to press; see next week’s issue for a report.
Council received a follow-up letter from Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett after a meeting at UBCM.
The council delegation had met with the minister to discuss BC Hydro transmission line capacity to the North Island. Councillors had hoped to convince the minister to upgrade the existing infrastructure to allow for further North Island power projects.
“BC Hydro advises me that the existing transmission line can handle current and anticipated load demand,” came the minister’s reply.
“In other words, ‘We have absolutely no intention of heating up that line’,” the mayor translated. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to let up on the pressure.”
Coun. John Tidbury pointed out that the minister’s letter included an invitation: “BC Hydro’s draft Integrated Resource Plan, which was released for additional public consultation Sept. 3- Oct. 18, is an opportunity for the District of Port Hardy to provide feedback to BC Hydro on the infrastructure requirements it is proposing in the short to medium term.”
Unfortunately, as coun. Tidbury pointed out to laughter, the letter was stamped received Oct. 29 — a full 11 days after the close of the consultation period.
Coun. Deb Huddlestan recused herself from chambers as council voted on a motion to name the newly completed trail in the town.
The trail, which runs behind Eagle View Elementary School, was unanimously approved as ‘Huddlestan Trail, “In memory of our late councillor Al Huddlestan,” the mayor explained.
Councillors praised both the organizers and the public for making this year’s Remembrance Day commemoration so successful.
“I was really proud to live in this community when I saw the numbers — young and old — who came out in that weather,” said the mayor. “George (Kearey) and the Legion did a wonderful job.”