Counter petition on borrowing for Port Edward school gets needed signatures

The District of Port Edward’s fears came true on Monday March 21 when community members Larry and Violette Bowman handed council members the counter petition to bylaw 513, a bylaw that would allow the district to borrow $2,000,000 to build a new school, with more than the number of required signatures.

The District of Port Edward’s fears came true on Monday March 21 when community members Larry and Violette Bowman handed council members the counter petition to bylaw 513, a bylaw that would allow the district to borrow $2,000,000 to build a new school, with more than the number of required signatures.

“Port Edward needs a school but [this isn’t the time] to spend two million dollars when we are on shaky economic ground. There are a lot of people struggling out here,” explained Larry Bowman, adding that with the debt the water treatment plant and other expenditures have recently cost taxpayers, it wouldn’t be in the community’s best interest to continue racking up the debt.

“The general consensus from the people was that nobody really wanted to go into debt any further right now on any account because there are some rapid rising costs of living here…We just can’t willy-nilly be out there spending all kinds of big money thinking we’re going to enhance the community,” commented Larry Bowman.

Larry and his wife Violette Bowman decided to go door-to-door with the petition after hearing a considerable amount of talk against bylaw 513 around town, as well as the fact that it bothered them that the petition could only be signed at the Municipal Hall, the meeting area of city council who were the ones who felt strongly that the school was needed despite the resulting debt.

The pair took the petition door-to-door to about 85 homes in Port Edward, all together collecting 69 signature, plus five signatures that were collected from the Municipal Hall expressing opposition.

At an open house the District of Port Edward held around two weeks ago, Mayor Dave MacDonald and CAO Ron Bedard argued that although the creation of the new school, an addition on to the current Community Centre, would put the district further into debt it would not make residents see a drastic increase in taxes like many expected. They also expressed their fears of the district not having a school because it could mean less people having the urge to move to Port Edward, which could have a number of negative effects on the town.

The Bowman’s did have an argument against the council’s stated as negative effects of not having the school.

“The argument is that Dodge Cove hasn’t had an elementary school in years and people are still lining up to get [to live there],” said Larry, with Violette adding that there hasn’t been a property reduction in Dodge Cove since the closure of its school.

“They’re doing fine without an elementary school,” started Larry,

“With or without the school here there has been a reduction in property values. Even with the school here, we haven’t had a lot of properties sold.” He finished.

The District of Port Edward now has the option of going for a referendum on the issue.

Updates on this story, as well as Port Edward’s Council members reaction to the opposition will be available shortly, after the district’s council meeting this evening.

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

Just Posted

The Port of Prince Rupert has experienced another year of increased cargo volumes, shipped through the city, with more than $50 billion in international trade facilitated through the area, the Port Authority announced on Jan. 18. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Port cargo volume growth continues despite pandemic obstacles

Prince Rupert Port authority announces $50 billion in international trade

The IIO B.C. is seeking witnesses to an arrest made in Penticton on Nov. 8, during which the male resisted and sustained a head injury. (File Photo)
The Independent InvestigationsOffice of B.C. released a report on Jan. 18 that a Prince Rupert RCMP officer is cleared of any serious harm wrongdoing from a May 29, 2020 incident. (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigation clears Prince Rupert police officer

IIO investigated May 29 incident where woman fell 25 metres in Prince Rupert

Face masks are required to be worn in all SD 52 common areas such as hallways. School District 52 announced on Jan. 15 three different schools in Prince Rupert all had a member of the school community test positive for COVID-19. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
3 Prince Rupert schools have positive COVID-19 case(s)

Letters sent home to families in three Prince Rupert schools announcing COVID-19

Power outages affected thousands of BC Hydro customers in the north on Jan. 14 (File photo) (File photo)
Power outages affect thousands of BC Hydro customers in northern B.C.

Transmission failure led to outages in Prince Rupert and Port Edward

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

The IIO B.C. is seeking witnesses to an arrest made in Penticton on Nov. 8, during which the male resisted and sustained a head injury. (File Photo)
The Independent InvestigationsOffice of B.C. released a report on Jan. 18 that a Prince Rupert RCMP officer is cleared of any serious harm wrongdoing from a May 29, 2020 incident. (File Photo)
Police watchdog investigation clears Prince Rupert police officer

IIO investigated May 29 incident where woman fell 25 metres in Prince Rupert

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Most Read