LETTERS: Stalemate with ICF frustrates writer

Nov. 10: Trains, boats, history and the provincial economy on the minds of Alberni Valley letter writers

Why the stalemate with ICF?

To the Editor,

When then Port Alberni Mayor, Ken McRae announced the proposed formation of the Island Corridor Foundation to save the E&N Railway and its corridor, I was very enthused and behind it all the way.

What’s happened since that time to change my mind?

Everything appeared to be moving along quite smoothly with good communication, public meetings etc.

When Graham Bruce become CEO everything seemed to go in a different direction. As an example, there was an operational committee which consisted of individuals with railway management experience and knowledge as well as longtime front line workers. This group provided the directors and executive guidance in this area so they were not dependent on the contract operator, SVI/SRY.

I believe the ICF workshop in Port Alberni in October 2010 was about the last public contact until their infamous press conference on April 2, 2014.  This was intended to inform the public of a deal with VIA for the return of passenger service. VIA would not confirm this or participate in the event.

I might add that trains were operating between Victoria and Courtenay until 2011, at which time passenger service was suspended and has not returned to operation.

Now, it seems we only hear from the ICF, mainly through Judith Sayers, when there is an issue which requires damage control—i.e. regional districts withdrawing funding, comments from Langford Mayor Stu Young and a recent report from a consulting group.

Graham Bruce and the ICF executive have taken a railway that operated freight and passenger service from Victoria to Courtenay to the token operation it is today.

Such a performance in the private sector would have resulted in firings of the CEO and executive officers no later than the second year.  In fact, the CEO’s contract was recently extended.

It begs the question, why has this been allowed to happen?

If we are to save the railway there will need to be a complete purging of the ICF executive and some restructuring of the organization itself.

Wayne Oliver,

Port Alberni

•••

Clutesi fuel closure disappointing

To the Editor,

Re: Clutesi Haven Marina fuel service.

I  was dismayed to read in your paper that the boat fuel facilities at Clutesi Haven Marina were going to be closed.

Clutesi Haven is one of the largest tourist draws and revenue generators in our town. Since the city turned over management of Clutesi to the Port Alberni Port Authority, that facility has gone down hill with no caretaker, and very little if any security.

Now if boaters require fuel for their boats, they will be required to carry gas in their cars, a very dangerous situation, or fight tourists going to Harbour Quay to launch their boats and get gas at the Tyee Pier dock.

It’s obvious that the decision has already been made to destroy one of the most popular boat launching sites, that people have used for more than half a century.

Tom Gowan,

Port Alberni

•••

How long for atonement?

To the Editor,

History is not politically correct. Nations enslaved and ethnically cleansed weaker ones. The meek inherited desert sand and ice floe.

There was no welfare nor OAP and elders were abandoned if they couldn’t move with the tribe. Alcoholism plagued Europe, women and children had few rights and suffered abuse. During the Second World War many kids were sent to Canadian farms for safety.

Was the intent of residential schools to abuse or educate, just as British private schools did?

How many generations must atone for historical sins? Does the world rule by right of might and proclaim moratoriums, amnesty and statutes of limitations?

Will any political party trump the rest by giving Canadians a referendum, offering each aboriginal person over the age of 19 a one-time payment to sign treaties and eliminate status benefits? Would giving everyone equal seating on the Canuck bus put the country in debt but benefit everyone?

R. Frankow,

Port Alberni

•••

Island setup or being set up?

To the Editor,

Barely two weeks ago, Premier Christy Clark with great fanfare at the Vancouver Island Economic Summit announces that Comox Valley MLA Don McRae will chair a committee to prepare an Island platform for the upcoming May election. Hooray!

A few days ago, Transportation Minister Todd Stone announces that there will not be a new alternate routing for highway 4 to Port Alberni. What?

Do these guys not communicate with each other?

But perhaps they wanted to get the bad news out before the election and the Island platform was prepared.

Either way, the Alberni–Courtenay riding was just handed to the NDP without a contest.

Bob Kanngiesser,

Port Alberni