Victoria Quay is located on the Somass River in Port Alberni. Also the unceded territory of the Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)

LETTER: Port Alberni’s quay to quay walkway survey misses the mark

First question should have been ‘do you want a walkway,’ says writer

To the Editor,

While I appreciate the city allowing the public to engage in questions regarding the Quay to Quay Walkway, the first question in the survey should have been: Do you want a walkway and why or why not?

Instead, the questions posed would indicate that this $7.2 million project is a go-ahead whether we want it or not. I’m certain if the citizens were to list their top priorities, a new pool rather than a walkway would be on that list for most. For years, this city has been rumbling about replacing the aging 55-year-old structure—the oldest indoor swimming pool in B.C. Unfortunately, building a new pool within the next five years appears to be a pipe dream. And when our pool turns 60, will it even be functioning?

Smaller communities than ours (ie. Dawson Creek) have achieved what the Alberni Valley deems to be the impossible: to build an appealing, fun, and functional pool for all its 21st century citizens to enjoy. The benefits of a new pool—community bonding, encouragement of lifelong fitness, improvement of mental health, a great recreational activity on a rainy day and increased revenue—far outweigh the benefits of a walkway built in a tsunami zone.

This proposed walkway runs through an undesirable area of town where safety is questionable. Furthermore, how many people will use this walkway on cold wet days—which are a reality for five to six months of the year?

A good city council is one that truly listens and puts the citizens’ priorities first—not the other way around. When the majority is pressing for one project to begin while council focuses on an entirely different project, there is a problem. We can do better than this; we need to do better.

C. De St. Remy,

Port Alberni

Port Alberni