From our Executive Director, Barry Janyk – May 28th, 2018:
As folks are likely aware, there was another “Open House” style meeting at the Roberts Creek Community Hall on the 24th May to “learn about and provide input into options being considered regarding the designation of Tetrahedron Park to enable the province to consider the possible expansion of the community water supply infrastructure at Chapman Lake.”
This meeting apparently was different in intent than the initial meeting held May 2nd, established to “learn about and provide input on the options being considered that will enable the Sunshine Coast Regional District to enhance the community water supply system in Tetrahedron Park.”
These meetings are being hosted, at BC Parks’ expense, in response to the request by the SCRD to draw down Chapman Lake within the park by up to 8 metres during peak summer season. Like the previous meeting, there were close to 200 in attendance. Notice was a traditional 5”x 5” advert in the local papers. Both came out the Friday before the meetings (Wednesday/Thursday).
At the meetings were the same players: Jennie Aikman, Vicki Haberl, Tim Janzen (senior planner from Victoria), Rod Dalziel (local Park Ranger) and facilitated by a John Radford. The format was the same: a presentation by parks staff as to the issues followed by questions from the public. All questions had to be written; no questions were allowed from the floor. The format worked well. It curtailed rowdyism, emotion and real dialogue. I know there has been a lot of information shared to date and Paul Kubik has been a great help in disseminating the facts of the matter. There are only three options BC Parks offers:
- Re-designate the park as some type of “protected area” under a ELUC
- Exclude areas required for watershed purposes from the park via boundary adjustment
- Re-designate the park as a conservancy
Apparently, it is understood that the Minister can always say “no,” but little mention of that was made in the meeting.
While the tone was respectful, the overwhelming comments–likely 10 to 1–were clear: leave the park alone and find another solution. There are options as we know but BC Parks is either unwilling or unable to discuss them as that was not the nature of the request of parks. That is a matter for the SCRD to deal with.
The BC Parks website will apparently, and eventually, provide a lot of material. BC Parks maintains it is going to post all the Q&A on the site. Given the short time frame I hope that comes soon!
There is an excellent overview of the situation here: thescca.ca
June 8th is the deadline for public input on the three, er four, options. Staff will have a report prepared and provided to Minister Heyman by “mid July” for his consideration. If he chooses he could take it to cabinet for consideration. If cabinet approves it would go to the legislature as the Park Act would have to be amended. Earliest date for that action would be the spring sitting in 2019.