A Public Health Emergency-Covid-19 Update. Click Here for Vital Information
Welcome to Pender Harbour and Area Residents Association (PHARA), previously known as Pender Harbour Advisory Council (PHAC), serving the residents and communities on the Sunshine Coast of BC from Middlepoint to Earls Cove/Egmont since 2013.
PHARA is a volunteer organization which exists to support the vitality of the communities of Pender Harbour and Egmont areas as excellent places to live, work and play for residents and visitors. The Association provides a structure that allows residents to identify issues of broad community concern and have them effectively addressed.
The Association draws its main funding from a $10. membership per person per year, or $100 for a lifetime membership fee. It saw a surge in growth as it moved into its expanded mandate but is looking to include more of the residents in the area. To join please go to our Join Us! section. Members receive regular insider newsletters with updates on the latest activities of the association.
PHARA is involved in the community in many ways, with committees dealing with derelict boats, Dock Management Plan revisions, cleaning local waters of debris, the annual trash bash, beach access signage, community volunteer awards, the installation of No Wake signs in the harbour and much more. We invite community input into other projects we should take on as an association.
IMPORTANT TAX MEETING ON FRIDAY, FEB 26 at 9:00 am
A Message from Len Lee, Area A SCRD Director
The SCRD is holding budget information meetings for residents of Areas A, B, D, E and F. The Pender Harbour and Area Residents Association (PHARA), the Rotary Club and the local Chamber of Commerce are hosting the information session for Egmont and Pender Harbour this Friday, February 26 at 9 am. Details are below. Everyone is invited to attend and participate MORE INFO. (Note, SCRD’s sessions are held on a corporate version of Zoom)
It’s a big, expensive budget and there are no “nice to haves” in it. Cost increases are primarily driven by water supply projects, dam repairs, upgrades to our water treatment plant, the imminent closing of our garbage dump (2026), and fire protection. So far, the board has spent 5 full days in budget meetings and reviewed hundreds of eye-crossing pages of documentation.
The SCRD doesn’t take tax increases lightly. These are needed. Please see the budget press release, the CAO’s budget introduction, and Area E Director Donna McMahon’s Five Horsemen of the Property Tax Apocalypse. Area Directors can answer general questions, but if you want to dive deeper, please come to the meeting. Finally, there’s more info about utility bill increases HERE.
Director, Area A
PHARA held a Zoom Town Hall Meeting on January 31. Our Zoom account only allowed 100 participants and we apologize for those who were unable to log in. To this end, we’ve posted a summary of the meeting as a text document (Town Hall Summary) as well as the full audio of the meeting below.
The full audio version is 2 hrs, 14 min. in length
To access speakers, slide the timeline to the number showing below.
Derelict Boats (Peter Robson) 14:40
Beach Access (Peter Robson) 19:00
Dock Management Plan (Sean McAllister) 23:30
Lifetime Achievement Award to Rose-Marie Everett (Jon Paine) 33:04
Community school (Francine Clohosey 39:05
Rotary Club (Bill Charlton) 55:27
Health Care Center (Susann Richter) 1:13:46
SCRD Area A Director report by Leonard Lee 1:41:05
Rotary updates (Bill Charlton), Click here for the Rotary Briefing
Pender Harbour Community School Society (Francine Clohosey, Manager). Click here for her Town Hall presentation
Derelict Chuckanut has been moved to its new home, container bound for the dump.
In memory of Rose Marie Everett
SHÍSHÁLH-BC LAND USE PLAN (FOR CROWN LANDS IN OUR COMMUNITY)
The BC Government is moving ahead with a Land Use Planning process for the Sunshine Coast in conjunction with the shíshálh Nation. For some time our Area A has requested some control over zoning of Crown lands and for the opportunity to be involved in how decisions are made.
The public is invited to complete a questionnaire (see link below) in order to help the shíshálh-BC Land Use Planning Table understand the early interests, opportunities and concerns as they relate to the planning process and initial planning themes. The questionnaire is open to anyone with an interest in this planning area.
By filling out the “Participant Questionnaire,” (which only takes a few minutes) community members have the chance to share their thoughts, mostly through multiple-choice questions, anonymously. It is not often that we are given the opportunity to participate in decisions that affect us and our community, so let’s take advantage. The questionnaire must be completed by January 31. Sorry for the late notice, it is a narrow window and one of the issues going forward will be facilitating better timing and platforms for the public to respond.
Further details can be assessed by clicking the links below.
Click for the shíshálh-BC Joint Land Use Plan Backgrounder
Click for the shíshálh-B.C. Land Use Planning Questionnaire
Click for an overview of Land Use Planning for Provincial Public Land
“Update on Spreading kindness Fundraiser”
“Happy New Year” everyone with best wishes for good health, happiness, peace and hope for a better year ahead as our world seeks the end of Covid.
With Christmas behind us, I wish to give everyone an update on how your kind and generous donations benefitted and will continue to benefit so many in our community. The “Spreading Kindness” fundraiser exceeded our expectations when compared to the previous 3 years, when it was called “Adopt A Youth”. To begin, we contributed a $50 gift card to 250 individuals including adults, youth and children in need, that live in the Pender Harbour and Egmont communities. These gift cards, IGA, Oak Tree Market, Marina Pharmacy and Petrocan also helped our local businesses during this challenging time of Covid. This certainly made Christmas that much brighter for everyone, especially knowing how much our community cares. Funds were also provided to our local High School in support of food programs that could then continue over the school break period as many families, particularly those unemployed, were in need.
Additionally, and of great importance, your monetary support to “Spreading Kindness” will enable those youth and families in need, continuous assistance all year long, through direct contributions, and through the Pender Harbour Community School Youth and Families Support Program. This will include food, clothing and basic necessities along with other specific needs as they arise.
You can be certain that the funds you so generously contributed will be spent wisely and remain within our community to support those less fortunate.
I also thank the PH Rotary for their administrative expertise and John Henry’s for promoting my “Spreading Kindness” fundraiser.
Once again, I express my gratitude and sincere thanks to all of you. This is the true meaning of kindness and caring for others, people like you, making Pender Harbour such a great place to call home.
Best wishes always
Exciting New Projects Proposed for Area A
The Pender Harbour and Area Residents Association (PHARA) and the Pender Harbour and District Chamber of Commerce (COC) were recently invited to consult with our Area A representative, Leonard Lee, in order to explore potential projects that would qualify for funding under the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) for the year 2020–2021.
The GTF is a permanent source of funding provided up front, twice-a-year, to provinces and territories and provides communities with funding for eligible infrastructure and capacity building projects. Communities select how best to direct the funds. In British Columbia the GTF is administered through the Union of BC Municipalities. In Area A, potential funding under the GTF must first be approved by the Sunshine Coast Regional District, then be approved by the Union of BC Municipalities.
While gas tax funding has been available in the past, there have not been viable, substantive uses for gas tax funds put forward for Area A. Eligible projects must meet specific criteria to qualify, including the requirement that the asset/project be owned by the local government. This requirement has substantially narrowed down the list of possible candidates in Area A. After scrutinizing a number of potential projects based on current needs and their benefit to our communities’, PHARA and the COC have agreed that the three most eligible, financially viable and achievable projects this year are:
A) The replacement of the Harbour Learning Centre building in Madeira Park, which is owned by the Pender Harbour Learning Centre Society. This 50-year old building has no washroom facilities, no running water, isn’t insulated and is rotting down to its foundations.
B) The further development of Dan Bosch Regional Park on Ruby Lake, including expanded parking, beach areas and a new cartop boat launch. This is important as the park is overcrowded in the summer, parking consistently overflows to Highway 101 creating a dangerous situation for vehicles and pedestrians, social distancing on the beach area is impossible due to its small size and there is no easily accessible area for launching SUPs, kayaks and other human powered craft.
C) The shoulders along the stretch of Garden Bay Road between the Harbour Authority docks at Hospital Bay and the north Pender waterworks building (the pumphouse) is extremely narrow and dangerous for pedestrians. This needs to be widened for safety reasons.
These three projects meet the strict criteria for GTF funding. Final decision for these, however, rests with the SCRD in concert with various other government organizations. Should the SCRD agree, they will allocate funds in the budget for 2020-21 to further investigate these projects and their costs prior to final application to the UBCM.
For more information on the GTF, click here
Help Build a Ride Hailing Service in Pender
Coastal Rides (coastalrides.ca) is a Sunshine Coast based ride-hailing service. Users can hail a ride using a smartphone app. Drivers are needed in the Pender Harbour area. Drivers need to have a Class 4 license, undergo driving and criminal record checks, and have a vehicle that is 10 years old or newer. This is a great opportunity for drivers to work on their own schedule and help get people where they need to go. Potential drivers can learn more and sign up here: https://www.coastalrides.ca/drive-with-us. The company is also working with another local company called Care For A Lift to get a wheelchair accessible van on the system.
The sea is a big part of our lives on the Sunshine Coast, and one of the main reasons for living or spending time in the area. Many of us get out on the water whenever we can to fish, sail, kayak, paddleboard, or simply explore one of the most beautiful and varied marine environments in the world.
Yet despite its beauty, the waters that surround our coastline can be very unforgiving. Weather conditions change rapidly, turning a gentle sea into crashing waves, driven by fierce winds. Strong currents drag us and our vessels in ways we never expected. Rocks lurk beneath us. Engines break down. Even the most careful and prepared among us sometimes make mistakes, putting our lives and the lives of those who set off with us on the water in jeopardy.
When things go wrong, the volunteers of the Royal Canadian Marine Search & Rescue (RCMSAR) Station 61, based in Pender Harbour, are there to respond. The dedicated team aboard their specialized vessel, the Iona C, covers a vast portion of the Malaspina Strait, as well as Jervis Inlet, Princess Louisa Inlet, and Hotham Sound. Throughout the year, no matter the conditions, they set out to help those who are in distress. They also provide support and act as safety vessels and first-aid assistance to community events year-round.
Donations are always appreciated: you can help at www.rcmsar61.ca/donate
To learn more about Station 61, checkout their new website www.rcmsar61.ca where they offer resources for boaters, including webcams and weather around Pender Harbour.
Residents Association Responds to Proposed Madeira Park Name Change
Your community association is well aware of the controversy surrounding the recent proposals to change the highway signs and rename Madeira Park. In that light, PHARA along with the Chamber of Commerce prepared two letters: one strongly opposing the proposed name change and the second requesting a hold be put on dual language sign implementation. We are confident that all affected parties will be able to come together in the very near future to ensure that our voices are heard. The two letters are now in the hands of the SCRD, the shíshálh Nation, the Area A Advisory Planning Commission and provincial government officials.
In the spirit of reconciliation, we look forward to undertaking a process of consultation with all parties to discuss dual language signs and the more important issue of the proposed name change to Madeira Park.
The proposed name change letter can be found here
The dual language sign letter can be found here
Derelict Boat Success.
After years of effort by PHARA Board members and with the support of the Federal Government, two of the most notorious Pender Harbour derelicts, the Lulu Island and the Kwatna, have been removed for good—but it wasn’t easy or quick.
After more than two years of effort by PHARA, the removal of the two vessels was approved by Transport Canada’s Abandoned Boats Program and contracted to Gibsons-based Freedom Diving Systems Ltd. They teamed up with Sunshine-Coast-based Hiballer Marine for the use of a tug and barge, excavators from Indian Isle Construction based out of Pender Harbour, disposal bins from Coast Bin Rentals as well as organizing all the necessary spill prevention equipment.
The Kwatna was beached on a rocky shore while the Lulu Island had sunk in about 30 feet of water. The initial plan was to recover the two vessels relatively intact. However, both broke up into hundreds of pieces. The Kwatna was mostly removed using an excavator. The salvors found 16 massive batteries and 460 litres of diesel and oil on the derelict. The sunken Lulu Island broke up into slime-covered pieces that had to be placed by hand by commercial divers into large metal bins on the bottom. The bins were then hauled onto the barge where they were dumped and sorted for metals, wood, hydrocarbons and other materials, most of which had to be disposed of off the coast. The project was slated to take place over three days, but the scope of the work required the barge to be on-site for eight days. In the end, though, Freedom Diving Systems did an excellent job removing all traces of these derelicts.
A huge thanks to Penny Harrison and Eliza Kinley for their ongoing efforts over the years to see this project though to the end.
Unfortunately, there are still a number of other derelict eyesores rotting away in the harbour that need our attention. The association is ready to take action, but we need your support. If you’d like to donate to the cause, please email us at email@example.com and we will contact you. For more detailed information on the removal of the derelict vessels, see Derelict Boats under the Projects menu.
Progress on revising the DMP
When the Provincial Government and the shíshálh Nation imposed a new set of onerous regulations concerning dock placement and construction in Pender Harbour without consulting the local community, the community was shocked and angered. In some areas, docks would have to be removed for environmental reasons, though there was no supporting science. Other areas would require new docks to be shared. New dock construction requirements were not based on real science and would actually cause danger. Unproven technologies were given as fact.
This is the major issue of concern for Pender Harbour and will have ramifications throughout BC. For more information, visit Pender Harbour Dock Management Plan
Town Hall Meetings
PHARA normally hosts two Town Hall Meetings each year, once in spring and once in the fall. These well-attended public meetings, held at the Community Hall, serve to up date residents and visitors about the work of PHARA and other community groups. They also include an open mike segment where the general public can express their concerns and issues that they’d like to see addressed. As part of the fall meeting, PHARA in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Pender Harbour, hands out the Community Volunteer Awards.
“Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Town Hall meetings will be held via Zoom until further notice.”
Community Volunteer Awards
As a community, Pender Harbour runs on the efforts of volunteers. Most of the wonderful things that happen in the community are the result of countless hours of volunteer labour. This annual award is about recognizing the value of volunteers to our community and honoring specific people or organizations, who, as volunteers, have contributed to significant improvements in the quality of our community. We would like to thank the Rotary Club of Pender Harbour for their generous support for and sponsorship of this award. For more information on the awards, past recipients and/or to nominate an outstanding volunteer, visit the Volunteer Awards link above.
2021 COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER AWARDS NOMINATIONS OPEN
The Pender Harbour and Area Residents Association and the Rotary Club of Pender Harbour are pleased to announce the opening of nominations for the 2021 Pender Harbour Community Volunteer Awards. Individuals or organizations may be nominated for the awards.
The deadline for nomination is July 1, 2021 and all that is required for a nomination is a letter explaining why the nominee is worthy and a few other details. Nomination form with complete details are available from Volunteer Awards Entry Form. The awards will be presented at the PHARA’s Fall Town Hall Meeting.
The award criteria includes:
- Exemplifies the spirit of community service
- Is a leader and role model
- Breaks new ground
- Supports and encourages the development of others
- Shows vision, initiative and creativity
- Makes a difference
- Is respected for their contributions
Previous winners include: Don Fraser, Pender Harbour and Egmont Volunteer Fire Departments, Doreen Lee, Bill Gilkes, Barrie Wilbee, Billy Griffith, Muriel Cameron and Brenda Scoular.