Conversation key to south downtown waterfront planning

NANAIMO – Recommendation work by South Downtown Waterfront Committee on hold until key players meet.

The work of Nanaimo’s South Downtown Waterfront Committee has ground to a halt, with the need for three key players to discuss opportunities and interests for the water’s edge.

The City of Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw First Nation and Nanaimo Port Authority haven’t yet met to talk about plans for the 59-hectare industrial waterfront. In fact, the Tripartite Liaison Committee made up of the three parties hasn’t met at all in at least two years, according to the city’s legislative services.

It’s a move the South Downtown Waterfront Committee believes needs to happen before it does any more work on recommending a charter or a model for a management body. It has called for the SFN, port authority and city to agree on the mutual benefit of an integrated approach to planning, development and implementation of the south waterfront and for council to suspend committee operations until there’s clarity on directions.

The waterfront is complex, and three different parties have shared and different interests and need to come together, said Dave Witty, committee chairman, who adds they haven’t had the occasion to do that.

At a city council meeting this month, Coun. Bill Yoachim said none of the three parties have met to discuss the waterfront “politician to politician” and he hopes for a common, shared approach.

Coun. Bill Bestwick said he could not agree more about the need for a frank, blunt conversation without observers.

But Mayor Bill McKay doesn’t believe the city should pull the stakeholders together quite yet and Bernie Dumas, president and CEO of the Nanaimo Port Authority, told the News Bulletin the three organizations have not met in the same room “for quite some time” and he is frustrated.

“We are not putting our ideas together, and that’s why the tripartite meeting was created – was that we each, face to face, explain what’s important to each of us and try to blend it into a business plan or into a vision together,” Dumas said. “I don’t think there’s any reason we can’t get it done, but it’s just the schedules don’t seem to work or there’s an election or there’s something else that’s in the way.”

McKay said the city’s relationships with the SFN and port authority are fine and timing more than anything is the reason the trio haven’t met about the waterfront.

The city’s 10.8-hectare share of the south downtown waterfront is being freed of impediments sooner than originally thought, according to McKay, who says everyone needs to lay their cards on the table and figure out the interests in the property, what future development looks like and the impediments.

“Both council and the new city manager have a tremendous amount of work on their plate so I would prefer to see us prioritize her work plan, our collective work plan, for the next six months before we determine when we are going to engage in conversation with SFN, the port authority and other stakeholders,” he said.

Just Posted

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Curl B.C. chairperson Teri Palynchuk is this year’s winner of the Janette Robbins Award for leadership. Palynchuk is pictured here with the Curling Canada Foundation Cup along with past chairperson Peter Muir, left, and Curl B.C. CEO Scott Braley. (Photo courtesy Curl B.C.)
Nanaimo curling exec wins Curl B.C. leadership award

Teri Palynchuk receives Janette Robbins Award

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Most Read