Election 2014: Lantzville candidates target water deal

DISTRICT OF LANTZVILLE – Candidates are divided on how to move ahead with the water agreement.

Two months after Lantzville signed a water agreement with Nanaimo, election candidates are talking about making changes.

Lantzville election candidates are divided on how to move forward on a new water-supply agreement. At least three contenders are interested in talking to Nanaimo about amendments to the deal, while others want to see public consultation, a chance to consider elements of the document, and action.

The 20-year deal was inked last September after more than a year of negotiations between the district and City of Nanaimo. It will see city water pumped to 225 homes in upper Lantzville – a move anticipated to free up connections to the district’s own water system – and would allow for 50 new development hookups each year. Another 211 homes on private wells have the potential to gain access in the future.

But not all candidates are satisfied with the way the agreement stands and would want to see changes if elected, including where the water flows to.

Incumbent candidate Coun. Denise Haime said in an online questionnaire that the agreement as it’s written is “structurally flawed” and needs to be addressed to make it workable for all residents. She’d propose amendments to Nanaimo, as would council contender Doug Parkhurst, who says connections should go to lower, not upper Lantzville where the district can bring development and revitalization.

“We put water into where it should go so Lantzville can fulfill its own vision of how it wants to grow,” he said.

Mayoral candidate Colin Haime would also look to propose amendments to the contract wording. In an e-mail to the News Bulletin, he said he supports the right water solution, one that supplements the needs of all existing residents on wells at an affordable cost, but “the current agreement fails on both of these points.”

His proposed changes would include providing water for “all existing residents on wells” as well as water connections to revitalize the village core and would still respect limitations Nanaimo has put on Lantzville, he said.

According to Nanaimo’s city manager Ted Swabey, the two jurisdictions would have to agree to renegotiate. It’s a move that incumbent mayor Jack de Jong said he’s apprehensive about, pointing out that two supporters of the deal on Nanaimo city council aren’t seeking re-election. He also says this is a “really good deal” for the community, listing the 20-year term with an option to extend the agreement and the ability to stop the agreement as examples.

“The ball is in our court whether we want to continue with this … there’s no obligation even in the agreement, but certainly it’s my intent to move ahead and to make use of that agreement,” he said, adding he plans to lay the pipe if elected.

Other council candidates have different ideas about next steps forward.

Incumbent Coun. Jennifer Millbank said she’d want to see how all the pieces of the agreement fit together, including logistics and cost, as well as see connections freed up in upper Lantzville transferred to the downtown. A lot can be done with 200 connections, she said.

Council candidate Warren Griffey is happy the two municipalities agreed to a water agreement, but believes there’s implications like higher density and taxes and wants to see public consultation.

John Coulson, who is looking for a seat on council, believes it would be a big mistake to start laying pipes in the ground. He questions whether the agreement has been entered into legally, and wants to take a pause to “truly identify the needs, review the solutions, look at the costs, talk to the residents in a more meaningful fashion … and have a referendum.”

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

Just Posted

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Mask rules inconsistent

Letter writer says he won’t pay fine for violating COVID-19 Related Measures Act

Nanaimo’s new NightOwls baseball team announces first player signings

Four NCAA Div. 1 players, three of them Canadians, added to roster

Nanaimo school district sees ‘unprecedented’ increase in distance-ed students

School District 68 hires teachers to support distance learning and transition program pupils

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don’t party in a pandemic

Why are people holding parties when they know it is a health risk, asks letter writer

Stilwell begins election race in Parksville-Qualicum

B.C. Liberals incumbent up for re-election as MLA

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Best of the City: This year’s winners

Nanaimo News Bulletin presents full results of our 2020 Best of the City readers’ survey

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Best of the City: Greek taverna takes top spot

Asteras in the Old City Quarter chosen Nanaimo’s Best Restaurant Overall

Nanaimo parents say elementary schools aren’t appropriate voting stations in a pandemic

Elections B.C. says site of polling stations not yet determined, working with Dr. Henry’s office

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

MLA in a pandemic, Nanaimo’s Malcolmson looking to be part of B.C.’s recovery

Sheila Malcolmson running for re-election in Nanaimo riding

Most Read