City council nixes $500k in Canal Beach improvements

Alberni city council wants more community involvement and less city money spent to improve Canal Beach.

More community involvement and less city money is the order of the day with Canal Beach.

Port Alberni city councillors appointed Coun. Dan Washington to liaise with local service clubs and coordinate donations for Canal Beach.

Washington is to liaise with Parks and Recreation as well as with heritage in the effort as well.

The idea is to create a community beach with less burden to the city’s taxpayers. “Just give me a year with it,” Coun. Dan Washington said.

In a special budget meeting on Monday, Mayor John Douglas and councillors had differing opinions about investing city resources into the beach. In the end, council voted to recommend not spending $500,000 into Canal Beach improvements.

Speaking for the motion, Coun. Jack McLeman said that he agreed on the concept of a beach but said that there is no clear vision for it yet, therefore he didn’t agree putting half a million dollars into it.

Douglas disagreed with curtailing beach investment. “The property sat there for 20 years and all we did was pollute it,” he said, further calling the move a “grave error”.