Mayor Bev Parnham will soon have a street named in her honour.
At their regular meeting Feb. 24, District of Port Hardy council gave three readings to a bylaw which will rename a portion of Thunderbird Way south of Granville Street “Beverley Parnham Way”. Before making the change official, council wanted to give property owners that will be affected some notice. The motion will be brought back to council for adoption.
Parnham moved to Port Hardy in 1978 and was first elected to District of Port Hardy Council in 1989. She was elected Mayor in the fall of 2009. She was completing her second term when she passed away.
To say that Parnham was a tireless advocate for her community would be an understatement.
Mayor Parnham played a key leadership role in both internal and external committees, including the Executive Committee, Finance Committee, Economic Development Committee and the Downtown Revitalization Committee.
She was on the Regional District of Mount Waddington Board of Directors, Regional Hospital Board, BC Ferries Northern Advisory, Island Coastal Economic Trust, Scott Islands Advisory, Primary Health Care Local Working Group, and Vancouver Island Regional Library.
She was also an active member of the local Rotary club.
During her tenure as mayor, Parnham achieved many significant advances in economic development and sustainability, including the introduction of a new official community plan and zoning bylaw review. She assisted in attracting the first green energy initiative to Port Hardy with the construction of the Cape Scott Windfarm, increased access to health care and physicians for Port Hardy residents through her work on the Mount Waddington Local Working Group and through the establishment of the new Medical Health Centre.
Parnham forged relationships with local service organizations and First Nations to increase collaboration, lobbied against reductions in BC Ferries services, laid the groundwork for establishing a tri-community forest partnership with Port McNeill and Port Alice, worked with council to attract new residents and businesses; the District was the only community in the Regional District of Mount Waddington to grow in population (five per cent realized) as per the 2011 census.
During her tenure, $9 million in harbour upgrades were completed over the last seven years, making Port Hardy the busiest harbour for fish landings in all of British Columbia.
Parnham worked tirelessly to position Port Hardy as a transportation hub for the North Island and Central Coast and helped Port Hardy to be recognized in 2012 by the province as a Carbon Neutral Community.
She also supported active communities through the addition of enhanced green spaces, commuter trails and bike paths.