Port Edward Council Meeting: In Brief

Port Edward Council Meeting topics covered on July 12, 2016.

The District of Port Edward supports the province’s study to improve safety and access to transit on Highway 16 but is not fond of having to take on extra costs after the province’s proposed three-year funding model ends.

Renoviction Resolution

The practice of ‘renovictions’ — where landlords evict tenants to do renovations to the rental unit and then significantly increase the rent so those tenants can’t afford to return — has led the City of New Westminster to develop a resolution to amend the issue. The district agreed to support the resolution after it received a letter from the city. The resolution asks that the Union of BC Municipalities urge the province to amend the Residential Tenancy Act to allow renters to refuse paying rent more than what the landlord could have lawfully charged, which includes the allowable annual increases.

The plan for transportation on Highway 16

The province is moving forward with its plan to improve the transit system between Prince Rupert to Prince George in an attempt to improve access and safety on Highway 16. The route is also known as the “Highway of Tears” for the many women who have gone missing and been murdered in the area. To date, all municipalities have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, including Port Edward, to help develop a detailed service plan with BC Transit.

Port Edward council passed a motion to support the provincial government’s study, which will pour $5 million into a program that will improve the transit system along Highway 16, add webcams and transit shelters and offer First Nations driver education and training. The district’s main concern is that the proposed plan will only have three years of funding, and after municipalities may have to take over the cost.

Tickets and towing at the boat launch

People who park and block access to the boat launch area in Port Edward may soon get a wake up call. Councillor Dan Franzen suggested adding ticketing vehicles at the boat launch to the council action items and the district supported him. Mayor Dave MacDonald agreed that it’s a nuisance. “I really feel that we’re going to have to tow a few of them to smarten them up,” he said.

Request to improve Diana Lake beach

More new business introduced by councillor Dan Franzen arose after he made a trip to Diana Lake the other day and was disturbed by the state of its beach area.

He suggested to the district to send another letter to the ministry of parks to add upgrades to the beach. “It’s very embarrassing to take people there. There’s logs and [stuff] everywhere,” he said.

The district has made a request to the ministry before to clean up the area and the mayor pointed out that they did improve the picnic park.

“You would never let a beach get this bad in the Lower Mainland and we deserve the same,” said Mayor Dave MacDonald.