BREAKERS: Charges recommended in 2021 hit-and-run death – Ceremonial canoe disappeared – Ravensong upgrade gets go-ahead

June 30, 2022

  • Charges recommended in 2021 hit-and-run death
  • Ceremonial canoe disappeared
  • Ravensong upgrade gets go-ahead
  • Scene around Town

Charges recommended in 2021 hit-and-run death

In August 2021, a pedestrian, Qualicum Beach resident Colm Harty, was struck by a vehicle in QB’s village core, and died of his injuries in hospital a few days later. The driver of the vehicle did not remain at the scene, but was stopped by witnesses two blocks away.

Oceanside RCMP have confirmed that they recently sent a Report to Crown Counsel recommending charges be laid, but have not revealed the name of the suspect. — LS

Indigenous ceremonial canoe disappeared

Nanaimo’s display of Indigenous ceremonial canoe.

New residents and visitors to Qualicum Beach may wonder about the purpose of the elaborate wood-shingled structure set in the garden beds bordering the east side of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre.

This structure sheltered a beautifully carved Indigenous canoe from the weather, and was widely admired. Several years ago, this canoe disappeared from its location. Where has it gone? Was it stolen? Lost? Destroyed? Perhaps put up for sale on Facebook like QB’s benches? Or, maybe it is mouldering in the same place as QB’s Salmon mural.

Qualicum Beach seems to have regressed in its beautification of our community while other Island communities seek to enhance their surroundings. Nanaimo was impressed enough with QB’s display of the Ravensong ceremonial canoe that it has installed an Indigenous carved canoe in a prominent location.

Our collective “silverware” seems to be slowly disappearing from our community. Can anyone shed some light on where the Ravensong canoe is now, and why it disappeared?

Ravensong Aquatic Centre moves ahead

This is a welcome update to the article we published on January 21, 2022 about the Ravensong Pool upgrade – the struggle to break free from Parksville ambush. To understand the context of this update, please read our previous article.

Speed bump #1: In June 2020, Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne had recommended to the other members of the Oceanside Services Committee (OSC) that planning for renovations and potential expansion at the Ravensong Aquatic Centre in Qualicum Beach be suspended until more was known about Parksville’s intention to build a brand-new pool in their City.

“We’re going to have pricing and things ready to go shortly”, said Mayne at the time. Fast forward two years, and Parksville still hasn’t even landed on a confirmed location for their grand multi-plex plan.

Ravensong Aquatic Centre, Qualicum Beach, BC.

Speed bump #2: It turns out we were overly optimistic in reporting that “on December 14, 2021 the RDN Board hammered out a formula and commitment to finally have Area E pay its fair share” for aquatic services in the District. For some reason that decision has now become undone and the requisite by-law amendments need to be ratified through a referendum.

Speed bump #3: Maybe we should wait until we see if a grant request to the Canada Community Building Fund is successful? Common sense prevailed. Since the grant request is still in the process of being submitted, and approvals might not be made for another year, any positive outcome will simply be factored into the Ravensong financing plan, when and if that egg hatches.

At its June 27, 2022 meeting the Oceanside Services Committee debated and dithered… what to do, what to do. We suggest readers, particular those who live in Qualicum Beach, watch our regional directors in action at this meeting:

First reason, note how easy it is to locate the agenda item, one click to see the related staff reports, and you are immediately positioned at the starting point of the meeting video segment. This technology is the norm in recorded municipal government meetings in 2022, normal that is except in Qualicum Beach where the Town persists in making public access to their meeting information segments as difficult as possible.

Second, observe the manner of meeting facilitation demonstrated by the meeting Chair, QB Mayor Brian Wiese, who has had three years of practice at it.

Third, with your favourite headache remedy at hand, after the excellent 20-minute summary of the recommended Ravensong upgrades, try to follow the bouncing ball of the ensuing debate (begins at the 00:25:40 mark).

Spoiler alert: The OSC finally decided in a 4:3 split vote to recommend that the RDN Board get moving asap on Phase 1, preferably spreading any required loan repayments over a reasonable period (more than five years) to avoid a nasty spike in property taxes, even though this longer borrowing commitment would require approval through referendum.

Voting to get moving on Phase 1 were Directors Maclean, Mayne, Wallace and Wiese. Voting to continue stalling were Directors Fras, Rogers and Salter. — GS

Scene around Town