The ACRD’s Alternate Approval Process Starts for Alberni Airport Expansion

That’s a lot of A’s!

As you no doubt know, the ACRD is looking to upgrade the Airport by lengthening and widening the runway, adding a GPS route and adding lights.  You can read the justifications (business case) and full details for these expansions on their website.

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 9.46.20 AMI personally support this expansion.  We have a corporation that is wanting and needing to expand their work at the facility and is already doing that work out of country.  We have an airport that, due to our weather, cannot operate most of the year with the facilities that it currently has.  The added runway, lights and GPS will mean more ability for flights to land and takeoff in more types of weather and to do so safely.

The ACRD has committed to borrowing up to $6 Million for the completion of the project.  Depending on whether the project receives grants from the Province or Federal Government it could be less than that amount.

Have your say on the Airport Borrowing

As of last week, the ACRD entered into the Alternate Approval Process in order to approve the borrowing of up to $6 million.  Personally, I would have voted to have a referendum as I have never really liked the AAP, especially when dealing with borrowing decisions, but this is a legitimate process.

If you are a resident of the City of Port Alberni, Beaver Creek, Sproat Lake, Beaufort or Cherry Creek and do not want this borrowing to take place then you can register your disapproval at the ACRD office by signing a Elector Response Form. The details are here. The form looks like this:

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 9.59.33 AM


If 2,050 (10% of the total electors in the areas) or more valid elector responses are received by the deadline, the ACRD Board must obtain assent of the electors by way of referendum before proceeding with the bylaws. Forms must be completed and handed in by 4:30PM August 5th.

That Canal Beach Thing

So, Canal Beach is in the news again… and not just because I fell in on my first attempt at a paddle board.  (thank you Councillor Sauvé for the encouragement :P)

11412380_10155735520180204_7021791299187782115_nThe ACDC event was exceptional and a huge success.  However, it was also a bit of a launching point for the question of what to do with the lease with the Port Alberni Port Authority that is nearing its 1 year anniversary on July 1.  To my mind, the question was answered when the contract was written.

That 1 year mark is very important.  It marks the first milestone in the contract.  Here is that milestone:

If, during the first year of the Term of the Lease, the Tenant has not commenced industrial activity on the Land to the satisfaction of the Landlord, the Lease will be terminated upon 90 days written notice by the Landlord to the Tenant, and if the Tenant has not caused the commercial activity to commence during such notice period the Tenant shall return the Land to the Landlord in the condition required upon expiry or earlier termination of this Lease. For certainty, if the Tenant has subleased the Land or a substantial portion of the Land to Canadian Alberni Engineering Ltd. or other approved subtenant  (with the exception of any tenant already occupying a portion of the Land as of the reference date of this Lease), and that subtenant has submitted a satisfactory proposal to the Landlord for the operation of the site, the Landlord will consider this satisfactory commencement of industrial activity on the Land.

The “Landlord” of course is the City of Port Alberni, and the “Tenant” is the Port Alberni Port Authority.

While it is a bit of a mouthful, I find this milestone to be quite clear and concise.  If there is no new commercial/industrial activity approved by the City on the Lot A/B lands before July 1 then the Lease will be terminated after 90 days notice.

At the June 22nd council meeting I introduced, with the support of Councillor Minions, a notice of motion that will appear at the next meeting on July 13th that would authorize the City to give said 90 day notice as of July 15th.

I don’t believe the debate about whether Canal Beach should be expanded needs to enter into it right now.  This is a much simpler matter of adhering to the contract that both the City and Port Authority signed.  It is unfortunate that Canadian Alberni Engineering was not able to secure the contracts from the Federal Government.  However, this is precisely why the milestones were set in place in case that occurred. If we choose to ignore our own milestones and conditions then the City will lose a huge amount of credibility in both the public eye and in the eyes of anyone the City signs a contract with in future.

What do you think?

Should we expand the Airport?

Should we honour our contract?

Post a comment or send me an email or call me!

One more thing! Chris has a mobile phone!

It finally happened.  After 6 months it became quite clear that between VIU, the City, and home life, not having a cellphone just was not working.  So I broke down and got a cellphone.  Note that neither the City nor VIU outright pay for this phone, though VIU may pay for some of the purchase cost, we’ll see.

So now, in addition to stopping me on the street, or email, this blog, twitter, or Facebook, you can reach me or leave a voicemail anytime at: 250-731-7930

Please don’t phone my home number.  I’ll be redirecting any phone calls about the City from there to this new number.

I’m on vacation from VIU until August so I will be out and about in town a lot more.

Have a great week!  And I do hope to post more often.




7 replies on “Long Time No Blog! Airport Processes – And Honouring Contracts – And a New Phone!”

  1. What reason should the taxpayers shoulder the burden of increased taxes for 1 corporation, and as it seems just for his benefit. Had there been signed contracts from other companies wanting to move here, then it wouldn’t be an issue. Until there is companies ready to move here, the vote will be no. You mat have forgotten the original excuse used to get the airport to where it was no, build it and they will come attitude, guess what they built it and no one came. If it was going to attract others, it would have happened long before this.. So Wayne Coulson wants an airport extension… then he should pay for it, not the taxpayers.

    1. I don’t think there has ever been a sogned contract from a business unless it was a public private partnership, but Coulson Aircrane has made it quite clear that they are already converting planes in the U.S. and Singapore right now and have contracts to last them 3 years and if they can do it at this airport, then they will. It isn’t a binding contract, but it is pretty close I think. :). Thanks for your comment Dan!

  2. Yes we need a real airport. We have one road out. We have no cool heli tours. Maybe K D Air would give us a go with a regular flight out. Maybe friends, family and us might like to fly in or out of here on a not sunny day. Maybe someone has an emergency in their family and want to hire a flight out, and it’s night. Maybe some smart investor is looking at how cheap it would be to set up here, except there’s no airport.
    There’s only one way to make this town more successful and that is to provide well paying, solid jobs for our children and grandchildren.
    Coulson could be the start of series of quality industries looking our way. We should be standing at the airport with welcoming smiles.

  3. Yes to the Airport expansion, it’s a long term investment in infrastructure that should have been done long ago. I’d like to see the AVDRA consulted in some way to enable the annual race to continue.
    Yes to honouring the non-use clause of the port contract by the end date.

  4. With regards to the contract with PAPA I fully agree with what you said…it definitely needs to be adhered too. How stupid would they be to write a contract, sign it and not follow through with it. For many, many years our port authority has had more control over our city then our elected officials do. Nanaimo is a port with a port authority they told them to move their industrial interests to Duke Point, the city had more plans to beautify their waterfront to help growth. Why can’t we do that? Our friend moved to Courtenay and stopped by for a visit yesterday – after being away for almost one year this is what he said “I can’t believe how f—-d up PA is!!! He didn’t realize it until he had lived in another island community and saw what progressive thinking can do for making a city attractive and grow.

  5. I feel the same way about borrowing from the public for an unnecessary private venture as I do about the raven coal mine never going away. Angry. Very Angry. They’ve got big balls to even ask while the city is in constant trouble concerning finances.

  6. Wait until you’re able to restore higher tax levels to the mill. Then talk about how many presents you want from Santa.

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