Ministry meets with Nanaimo council on Colliery dams

NANAIMO – Mayor plans to reach out to comptroller for instructions after meeting in Victoria.

Six Nanaimo politicians travelled to Victoria last week to get the province to see beyond the concrete, earth and stone of the Colliery dams.

“All differences aside from council and how fractious it’s been in the community, this is about us going to the ministry and saying this park and these little dams represent far more to the community than just a couple of structures,” said Mayor Bill McKay, whose council wanted to relay what “magical places” the dams are.

Five city councillors and the mayor met with the comptroller and deputy minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations in Victoria on Thursday to explain the Colliery quagmire, what the structures mean to the community emotionally and the need for more time to work on the structures. It comes after the city won a temporary hold on an order to remediate the Colliery dams as the Environment Appeal Board considers its stay application.

Coun. Bill Bestwick said the goal was to express their political position on the situation council finds itself in and build a relationship with the deputy minister and the office ultimately responsible for making a final decision. He said the office did more listening than talking and council will have to wait and see what the next steps are but he thought it went “really good.”

McKay agrees, and said he now plans to reach out to the comptroller to understand what his take away of the meeting was and instructions for council.