Port McNeill harbour

Port McNeill harbour

McNeill harbour rates draw crowd

The proposed Port McNeill harbour rate increases came up at council's latest meeting Dec. 5.

The proposed harbour rates reared their ugly head again, this time during Port McNeill’s regular council meeting Dec. 5.

Concerned residents flooded the council chambers in droves, ready and willing to voice their complaints about the proposed bylaw that was up for third reading.

“Looking at the gallery, I’m convinced many of you are here regarding the harbour report and the bylaw that is on the agenda,” said Mayor Shirley Ackland, who stated questions from the public will have to be held until the end of the meeting, as per regular council rules.

One resident asked if the bylaw passes tonight will that make it law.

“It has to go through fourth and final reading (to be passed),” confirmed Ackland. “It’s third reading tonight.”

Harbour Manager Pete Nelson-Smith stated in his report that “it became clear through our public consultations that more work needs to be done prior to us raising the regular fees.”

Nelson-Smith said he has made “some changes to the wording in the bylaw and introducing some new fees that will help with the overall management of the harbour.”

Nelson-Smith pointed out that fees for the boat launch passes wont be increasing, “it’s going to be $10 a day to launch and park.”

He has also introduced a “new fee of $5 if people choose not to park.”

“The reason behind this change is not to do with the actual launch itself, it’s the parking. This has been one of the biggest things over the summer was the boat launch parking. A lot of that comes from the congestion.”

“What we can do to reduce that, is getting rid of such an excellent rate, so my thought behind that is for $225 it’s single vehicle parking year round, taking up 17-22 feet.”

Nelson-Smith clarified the reason for the change is that currently, ” a vehicle and a trailer taking up 50 feet can park for $60. There’s no differentiating between the two, other than the area they are parking.”

He added that some users have complained about picking up two different passes, the boat launch pass and the parking pass, so the changes “would make it so anyone who gets a parking pass would be able to launch. Some people have learned that if they attach a boat trailer they can park for the day. For the boat launch pass thats the justification there.”

Nelson-Smith added that the other changes are the North Island Rate of Area C and his proposed idea to remove them from the discounted resident rate, and to reduce the areas of reserved moorage.

“Is there any questions?” asked Nelson-Smith. “Are you proposing to keep the 20 per cent rate for seniors?” asked Ackland. “Yes, I am,” replied Nelson-Smith.

On the subject of the proposed rates, Councillor Aaron Frost asked if the $225 rate is just being implemented to control the parking issue that currently exists at the harbour.

“I understand that might help manage it, but is it actually going to manage it? Those with deeper pockets are just gonna pay their $225 and park wherever they want,” said Frost.

Council continued to discuss the parking issues that currently exist and the tourist and local rates, and then Ackland asked if there was a motion to receive the harbour rates bylaw.

“I don’t want to take this to third reading until Pete has a chance to consider the parking issues and resident and non-resident rates,” said Councillor Shelley Downey. “I’m proposing that it comes back at our next meeting with consideration for residents and non-residents.”

“I’ll second that,” said Councillor Jay Dixon, who thanked the community for coming out to voice their opinion on the matter. “We want the community helping us with the decision making.”

Just Posted

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

For more than a year, Rene Doyharcabal and a small group of neighbours in Langley’s Brookswood neighbourhood have been going out every evening to show support for first responders by honking horns and banging pots and drums. Now, a neighbour has filed a noise complaint. (Langley Advance Times file)
Noise complaint filed against nightly show of support for health care workers in B.C. city

Langley Township contacted group to advise of complaint, but no immediate action is expected

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

An inmate in solitary confinement given lunch on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. THE CANADIAN/Lars Hagberg
22-hour cap on solitary confinement for youth in custody still too long: B.C. lawyer

Jennifer Metcalfe was horrified to hear a youth had spent a total of 78 straight days in isolation

Flowers and candles were laid on the driveway of the Weber home, where Kerri Weber was found dead in November 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria man to stand trial for death of his wife last November

Ken Weber is charged with second-degree murder of his wife, Kerri Weber

The discovery of a missing woman’s body in Nanaimo earlier this month is now being treated as homicide, say Nanaimo RCMP. (File photo)
Discovery of woman’s body in downtown Nanaimo now being investigated as a homicide

Amy Watts was found dead near Albert Street and Victoria Crescent on June 3

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan listens as Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents the province’s latest budget, April 20, 2021. The budget projects $19 billion in deficits over three years. (Hansard TV)
B.C. government budget balloons, beyond COVID-19 response

Provincial payroll up 104,000 positions, $10 billion since 2017

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Most Read