PORT HARDY—Councillors had mixed reactions to the recent update on the fibre project from Telus representatives.
While councillors were looking forward to the project’s completion and praised the company for stepping up efforts to accelerate the timeline, the council noted several topics conspicuous by their absence from the presentations.
Acting Mayor Jessie Hemphill said that were concerned about two topics in particular.
“One is that you can’t get Telus internet in certain areas within the district, such as out at Storey’s Beach and Tsulquate Reserve, and so we would obviously really like to see all citizens have the best internet possible,” she said. “(Telus representatives) said that expanding the service area is not… it’s something that would have to happen after the line was connected, not something that would be there beforehand. There was some discussion around that but they weren’t prepared to commit to expanding their service area.”
The other issue that council felt was not addressed was an upgrade to cell coverage to fill in dead spots between Port McNeill and Campbell River. “That’s another thing we’d really love to see for the safety of community members,” explained the acting mayor. “They were very much not prepared to talk about cellular coverage in a meeting that was advertised to be about the fibre optic line and their internet service.”
Councillors did acknowledge plans to upgrade cell towers to the LTE standard, but pointed out the upgrade would only benefit existing customers.
“We just wanted to know what the long-term plan is and they weren’t prepared to talk about that,” said Coun. John Tidbury.
Council voted to approve amendments to the District of Port Hardy Official Community Plan, paving the way for second and third readings of the District’s new Zoning Bylaw.
“This is a bit of housekeeping on the OCP to allow us to bring our zoning bylaw into effect,” explained Coun. Hemphill.
Council passed the readings, which should see the Zoning Bylaw brought forward at the next meeting, June 9, for adoption.
Council also voted to adopt the 2014 User Rates and Fees Amendment Bylaw without discussion.
Copies of the Bylaws can be found by following the links on the District’s website; www.porthardy.ca.