Nanaimo demands consultation on Gabriola bridge study

NANAIMO – The city wants consultation on any fixed link proposals near Cable Bay Trail, south of the city.

Nanaimo city officials are calling for consultation by the province on any fixed link proposals near Cable Bay.

Nanaimo city council was near-unanimous on a decision this week to advise B.C. Ferries and the province it wants consultation on any fixed link proposals near Cable Bay Trail, south of the city. A letter will also say the municipality expects no encroachment “on, near or over” the parkland.

The move follows an announcement by the B.C. government in September that it will commission a study into the viability of a bridge from Gabriola Island to Nanaimo, including possible locations.

“The point of this is putting the province on notice that we want to be consulted, we’re aware of those possibilities … I think it’s important that we get in front of this rather than behind it as we’ve seen ourselves do in the past,” said Coun. Diane Brennan, who points out they weren’t consulted prior to an announcement there would be a study.

Coun. Bill Bestwick opposed the motion and its expectation Cable Bay parkland be excluded from any fixed link proposal, pointing out that the city needs to be able to discuss best options.

A report from the province is expected this summer.