Parksville’s community leaders not attending ICF roundtable event in the city today

Chamber of commerce and tourism association reps say they didn't receive an invite

The mayor of Parksville declined an invitation from the Island Corridor Foundation to attend a day-long roundtable in his city tomorrow (Friday, Feb. 3).

The local chamber of commerce and the tourism association didn’t even receive an invite to attend and the ICF did not notify The NEWS about the event.

“I was invited, I’m not going,” said Parkville Mayor Marc Lefebvre, who also sits on the Regional District of Nanaimo’s board of directors.

The RDN board voted last year to take back the $900,000 in taxpayer money it had committed to the ICF for the re-start of passenger rail service on Vancouver Island. The City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach stopped paying the ICF years ago for rail crossings in their communities.

The ICF has continuously said it could re-start passenger rail service on the Island for $20.9 million. It was to get the money from the regional districts and the provincial and federal governments. The RDN pulled its funding and the federal government has yet to provide money, which would trigger the province’s contribution. There are First Nations on the Island, including the Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose Bay), also supposed partners of the ICF, who have initiated lawsuits against the ICF.

Lefebvre is one of many who have consistently said there’s no way the railway could be brought to standard for passenger rail service with $21 million, even if those funds became available to the ICF. He said that’s why he is not attending the event Friday and why his city stopped paying the crossing fees to the ICF

“I still don’t believe it, so what’s he point (of attending Friday)?” said Lefebvre. “And why would I pay for fees when I’m not getting any service.”

The ICF’s office administrator said Thursday that she sent invitations to a wide list of community leaders in early January.

“I found out about it on Facebook,” said Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce CEO Kim Burden. “I don’t think we are on their A-list. We haven’t been really supportive, not because we don’t want to see rail traffic, but because we have never seen a business plan that supports it.”

Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism Association executive director Blain Sepos also won’t be attending Friday’s event.

“I wasn’t invited officially and I don’t think I know of anyone else who was, other than maybe the mayor,” said Sepos.

The ICF office administrator said there will be 60 people attending the event, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Tigh-Na-Mara. The ICF’s website calls it a “community round table” and those attending (pre-registration was required) will have to pay $30 (lunch is included).

“The event will include speakers from partnering organizations involved with the corridor foundation to provide an in-depth look of the current and future opportunities,” according to the iCF’s website.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nanaimo man killed in Highway 4 crash

RCMP say dirt bike turned ‘suddenly’ into traffic

Port Alberni’s deepsea port was a busy place on July 14, 2020, with recreational boaters vying for attention with a logging ship, fishing vessels large and small, tugboats and more. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
QUINN’S QUIPS: ‘Port’ Alberni lives up to its deepsea name

Port Alberni’s harbour is an engaging place to stop and watch the action on the water…

Asher Brown of Port Alberni, 11, is making a name for himself in B.C. motocross action. He and his dad, Geoff Brown, started riding with Alberni Motocross Association (AVMX) at the same time. (DOUG FISK PHOTO)
Alberni Motocross signs new land deal with Mosaic

Land Use Agreement ensures continued motocross action on Cherry Creek track

The Alberni-Clayoquot Recycling Depot is located on Third Avenue in Port Alberni. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
EDITORIAL: It’s Waste Reduction Week in Canada. What are you doing to reduce waste?

The ACRD has launched a new ACRD Collects app to assist in diverting more waste from the landfill

Carys Howland, 10, and her sister Julian, 6, find a quiet spot to read the books they picked up at the Community Arts Council of the Alberni Valley’s book sale at Echo Centre in 2019. (SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO)
ARTS AROUND: Giant book sale cancelled for 2020

Book sale is an annual fundraiser for Port Alberni’s Community Arts Council

Port Alberni resident Holly Braker-McLaughlin captured footage of five bears playing in her yard. (SCREENSHOT)
VIDEO: Quintet of bears frolic in Alberni Valley yard

Port Alberni family was treated to a visit from some playful black bears

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Nanaimo RCMP arrest man with axe in downtown park. (File photo)
Man seen with axe at Nanaimo park, numerous RCMP officers respond

Incident happened Friday evening at Maffeo Sutton Park

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation load lobster traps on the wharf in Saulnierville, N.S., after launching its own self-regulated fishery on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Vancouver Island First Nations back Nova Scotia’s Indigenous lobster fishermen

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council calls for action before lives are lost

Skiers line up to start the Royal LePage Comox Valley Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race. Photo by Tim Penney
Popular Comox Valley adventure race cancelled for 2021

COVID forces Comox Valley Royal LePage Snow to Surf Adventure Relay Race cancellation again

Most Read