Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas spoke out about the multiplex project’s issues at an open house back in February of 2019. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)

Port Hardy mayor clarifies controversial ‘multiplex project tax’

‘The tax money is in reserve’

Port Hardy Mayor Dennis Dugas has heard the grumblings on social media about the district’s ‘multiplex tax’ and he wants to set the record straight.

“When we were going to do the multiplex project we had a referendum (in 2016) and were approved to borrow six million dollars from the taxpayers,” stated Dugas, who then noted that the tax dollars collected have been “put aside because we have to have monies in our reserves to cover the costs for when we go for borrowing. The percentage of that cost is coming out of the district’s funds to be able to do the project. The tax money is in reserve, now whether the funds are going towards a brand new facility or major repairs of the old one, we still have to have that money ready. It’s being held for that and nothing else.”

Dugas added the Parks, Arts and Recreation committee is just starting to have conversations about what the future holds for the multiplex project.

Quick facts about the multiplex project:

The district had previously budgeted $12.6 million dollars to build a smaller-sized version of the project, but thanks to tender bids coming in 40 per cent higher than anticipated, they were forced to go looking for more capital from the governments and key stakeholders all over the Regional District of Mount Waddington. To date, Port Hardy has six million from the Strategic Priorities Fund, six million borrowed from Port Hardy taxpayers, $430,060 in reserves, $250,000 donated from Mowi, and an annual payment of $50,000 from the Regional District of Mount Waddington (which the district has to apply for every year for 30 years to get the full one million dollars). Thanks to the tender bids coming in so high, the budget for the project ballooned to $22.4 million.

Back on March 27, the district issued a news release stating it was not selected for funding from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure-Community, Culture and Recreation Program.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Port Hardy Mounties help First Nation chief build smokehouse

‘We have great maya’xala for all the community members, in each of the communities…’

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Access to remote Side Bay beach up in the bureaucratic air

Roads to the pristine north west coast Vancouver Island beach at risk of being deactivated

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Most Read