PORT HARDY—Friends, family and community leaders came out last weekend to commemorate the life of Allan Huddlestan, long-time councillor and former Mayor of Port Hardy.
In a dedication ceremony Sunday, Mayor Bev Parnham paid tribute to the man and announced the official opening of the Huddlestan Trails, the newly paved trails running from the Civic Centre to PHSS.
“Al served Port Hardy and Mount Waddington for many years as mayor, councillor and Regional Chair,” said Mayor Parnham. “Always a champion for his community and region, Al was instrumental in making the North Coast Trail a reality and it is very fitting to memorialize him with the naming of this beautiful community trail.”
Though he couldn’t attend in person, a statement was read on behalf of Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan. “Over the past three decades, Al gave countless hours of service to make this community a better place for everyone,” said Duncan. “His dedication will continue to inspire not only those of us who knew him, but the many people who will enjoy this trail for generations to come. It serves as an unending tribute to the incredible difference that Al made to Port Hardy.” ˇ
“It is an honour to have the new commuter trail dedicated to Al,” said Debbie Huddlestan. “He would be pleased to know that the trail now connects the neighbourhoods with the local schools, giving the children a safe way to move around the community.
“Al was proud to call the North Island home; he loved Port Hardy and the region,” she continued. “Our children went to these schools; it was a great place to raise a family.”
“I know he would be thrilled to see so many people enjoying this beautiful new trail system,” she concluded.
The Huddlestan trail upgrades the existing commuter trail system, enhancing connectivity, safety and accessibility while promoting a greener, healthier environment. The project included:
• Paving 1,028 metres of commuter trails to connect Port Hardy Secondary School and Eagle View School with key neighbourhoods and the Port Hardy recreation complex;
• Paving 70 metres of trail and adding 168 metres of new trail in Stink Creek Park;
• Adding 171 metres of curb, gutter and sidewalk to create a safe and accessible walkway to the town’s primary elementary school – so that children do not have to walk on the roadway;
• Constructing footbridges at Stink Creek Park and Little Tsulquate Creek; and
• Installing signs, culvert crossings and garbage receptacles.
The project was made possible by a $365,970 grant from the B.C. Government’s Community Recreation Program and a $91,492 grant from the Government of Canada Gas Tax Fund that is administered by the Union of BC Municipalities.
The provincial $30-million Community Recreation Program was developed to help local governments meet the costs of capital projects that make communities healthier, more active places in which to live. In total, 98 recreation projects throughout B.C. were funded through this program to help build everything from bike parks, trails, fitness facilities and walkways to playgrounds, rinks and recreation centres.
The federal Gas Tax Fund provides long-term funding to municipalities across the country to build and revitalize their local infrastructure. The Government of Canada has now made the Gas Tax Fund a permanent source of funding. The Fund will grow from its current $2 billion per year to reflect indexing established in Economic Action Plan 2013, which also provided increased flexibility on how the money can be used to address local infrastructure priorities. Through the Gas Tax Fund, the Government of Canada provides $250,697,000 in annual funding for municipal infrastructure in British Columbia. To date, the Municipality of Port Hardy has received $2,478,559 from the federal Gas Tax Fund.