MANAGER’S DESK: Frank discussion about city bylaws

South Port merchants, Alberni Valley chamber get education on Port Alberni city bylaws and their limitations.

Chamber of Commerce president Neil Malbon and I are gratified with the meeting we had with the South Port merchants at Char’s Landing last Friday to discuss common problems and potential fixes. It was a great exchange of ideas.

Thanks to city planner Scott Smith for speaking to the more technical side of bylaws and the city’s limitations to exacting huge changes. What Scott did announce at the meeting, is that they will be looking to rewrite the city’s bylaws to bring them up to date. This will be a big job and it will be challenging.

What we would like to see is that the business community and the chamber get seats at the advisory table when the bylaw changes are being considered.

Bringing city bylaws up to date should be advantageous to local merchants who are struggling with current bylaws that seem to do everything but encourage entrepreneurs. This will help with the overall revitalization plan for uptown.

Another “must” regarding revitalization is to establish a ring road for industrial traffic to get the big trucks off of city streets. With the new dryland sort, log shipments and the potential of coal trucks, an industrial ring road will be absolutely mandatory. Western Forest Products, Island Timberlands, Catalyst Paper, Compliance Energy potentially, the city, Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and the Port Alberni Port Authority have to realize the great benefits to all if this goal is realized.

Maritime heritage booster, Walter Winkler, stopped by the office to show me a “just off the press” book that has been written by his former partner in the MV Uchuck, David Esson Young. The book is entitled The Uchuck Years: A West Coast Shipping Saga and it tells the stories of the cargo/passenger ship that now works Gold River and Nootka Sound, but started its west coast service in Barkley Sound. The author held an inaugural book signing at Costco in Courtenay last weekend and the store sold out of copies right away. The book is available in town at Curious Coho Books on Johnston Road and it will be a great read.

The Maritime Heritage Society will be inviting David Esson Young to do a presentation in the fall down at the Hutcheson Gallery. We’ll let you know when he’s booked. Speaking of the Maritime Museum, it opens its doors for the summer season on June 25 and they will be open every day through Labour Day. Stop in and get the schedule for special children’s events and workshops this season.

Thought for the Week:

The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments.” — Friedrich Nietzsche