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.
Covid 19 and our Community
The Pender Harbour and Area Residents Association is currently compiling a list of measures being taken by businesses in Area A to slow the spread of Covid 19. This will include information such as limiting store hours, limiting the number of people allowed at any time in a business, restaurant closures/take out only, doctors/clinic, full closures of businesses, banking the SCCU and so on. Covid-19 update.
Public Health Emergency: Information on preventing the spread of Covid19. Emergency Signage Covid-19
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