Open letter in regard to boat launch

Dear Mr. Parliament

CAO Evan Parliament, District of Sooke

Dear Mr. Parliament;

 

On this day, August 10, 2011, I demand that the District of Sooke cease expending funds on the ‘Boat Launch Project’ until certain issues are clarified.

It would seem that in the matter of the public boat launch, the District of Sooke is guilty of a breach of public trust; and of fraudulently representing the value of the boat launch to the motorized-boating public. Assurance was given that ample parking would be available, and that vehicles and trailers would be accommodated.  Sooke would once again have a public boat launch for the fishing community.

Not only was the boating public given that assurance, but those who administered the Building Canada Fund-Communities Component, were also given the same assurance. All documents, the application report to the Building Canada Fund, Sooke Zoning Bylaw 416, and Development Permit #PLN00726,  make mention of parking for vehicles and trailers.

Specifically, Bylaw 416 and DP#PLN00726 state that no less than 19 spaces be available for truck/trailer parking. In detail there were to be 12 spaces at 40 feet; eight spaces at 33 feet; one space at 29.5 feet; and two trailer only spaces, for a total of 23.

Measurements carried out of August 7, 2011, found the following: eight spaces at 26.5 feet + 7.5 feet of sidewalk (34 feet); four spaces at 21 feet + 7.5 feet of sidewalk (28.5 feet); six spaces at 22.5 feet + 7.5 feet of sidewalk (30 feet); and two spaces for cars, for a total of 20.

We trailer a 19-ft Glassply behind a 3/4 ton pick-up and require 42 1/2 feet of parking space.  We also trailer a 12-ft aluminum boat with the same truck, and would require 34 feet to park.

The parking required in both district legal documents has not been provided. It is obvious that the boat launch will never be the amenity promised in return for the expenditure on the property. Yes, car-toppers, kayaks and canoes will perhaps use the site, but these are not the craft used by fishermen in local waters. The much-touted draw for tourism and world class fishing was simply a means to win support for the hotel.  The boat launch project and the property purchase  were part of the ‘Agreement’ with Prestige Hotel and they will be the sole beneficiary.

The Development Permit has been breached in a number of ways: failure to provide the parking as per the DP; the requirement for a grasscrete surface on the parking areas; the changes to the layout at the waters edge for the turn around, the failure on the properties to indicate in any way the change in property lines given by subdivision.  In fact at the time the subdivision was put to paper, we were told that would provide the necessary parking.

I also have in my possession a series of staff e-mails which make it clear that there is a short-fall of at least $440,000 needed to complete the project, and some interesting suggestions as to how to put the numbers to council. Some of the contents read as follows:

“An error at the outset of the project where the 200K from Prestige for the pier was misallocated. 100K for the unexpected costs of the boat launch land based works The key is – have we been authorized by council to do the work we are doing and spending the funds we propose to do… Just want everyone to be aware that this could be a major criticism of staff if it is not clear to council and the public.

Also – we must ensure that the whole boat launch and boardwalk will be public property. And we must ensure that we have amended our tenure licence and grant application if necessary.”

It is also obvious that a new contract has been awarded, or is to be awarded, to Heavy Metal, to do with the installation of the pier and boardwalk.

This project must not continue until these issues are put before the public and all questions answered. This should not be about providing amenities for Prestige Hotel. It must be about accountability and responsibility to the taxpaying public.

Gail Hall

Sooke

Editor’s note: Read Evan

Parliament’s response on page 11

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

Just Posted

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read