The Trail Lady
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New 50 Car Parking Lot for Pinawa

We’re gonna pave paradise, put up a parking lot …

 

Hey Pinawa peeps, this blog post is mostly for you and everyone else that enjoys my beautiful home town.

I was just day dreaming about my idyllic summers in Pinawa, when a surprising text popped into my phone. “Hey, do you know about the 50 car parking lot that’s being constructed at your favourite swimming dock?” It put a whole new spin on “Discover the Secret” for me. I was not aware, and I’m wondering if you are.

Before buying my current property last summer, across the street from the swimming pool, I had a good walk and talk with then Councillor Lynn Patterson. She walked me through where some additional parking spots were planned to be built. While building parking lots over green spaces is never ideal, it was not a grandiose 50 car mega lot planned by any stretch of the imagination. It was not located across from the swimming pool, either which happens to be adjacent to my property. I presumed I would be notified before waking up to bulldozers in my back yard, but maybe not.

The news got more disturbing. “The lot will be built within the next two weeks.” Say, what? A call to Mayor Blair confirmed all of this. “Well, I don’t think it will be the next two weeks,” says Blair Skinner, “but for sure we need it done before the tourists arrive.”

For perspective, I walked around my neighbourhood here in Victoria, counting parking stalls. Below is what an approximate 50 car parking lot will look like.

Discover the Secret

I asked Blair what public consultation was done for this project, and he indicated that something vague was mentioned in last October’s Newsletter. Something more specific will be in his upcoming Newsletter next week, he told me. By then I fear it will be too late.

In this day and age of social media and electronic news, it can be nothing but deliberate that we don’t know about this.

This project will forever change the landscape of that area, including the canoe dock many of us call heaven. Pinawa needs to balance the needs of its tourists and the desires of the residents who pay taxes.

What Can be Done?

Clearly if you have questions about this project, time is of the essence. May I suggest you pick up the phone and call a councilor or two, and maybe the Mayor as well.

For your convenience, I’ll provide you their contact info:

Blair Skinner, Mayor
(204) 753-2199
skinnerb@pinawa.com
Rhonda Henschell, Deputy Mayor
(204) 753-2358
henschellr@pinawa.com
Paul Crosthwaite, Councillor
(204) 753-2045
crosthwaitep@pinawa.com
Clay McMurren, Councillor
(204) 753-8841
mcmurrenc@pinawa.com

You may be interested in finding out what the three candidates running in our upcoming by election think about this, although by the time they are elected it will be too late. If you do feel like contacting them about this here’s how:

Geoff Nolette
Michael King
204-272-7035
Florence Campbell

There is a council meeting scheduled for 6:30 PM April 13th at the Council chambers. You need to call Gisele Smith @ (204) 753-5105 if you’d like to address council at that meeting. If you do go, be safe and follow public health regulations. I’m still in Victoria but I’m going to try and schedule a Zoom attendance and 10 minutes to ask questions. Wish me luck.

Public Consultation

Pinawa is in need of more infrastructure for visitors, but I am really tired of the lack of public consultation. There’s a pandemic going on right now, which is a great excuse not to hold public meetings. Pinawa isn’t the only town capitalizing on that fact. I am publicly requesting this project be put on hold until the pandemic is over and public consultation can be held safely. Whose with me?

I sent a draft of this blog post to all of Council yesterday, as a heads up but also as an opportunity to weigh in. Only Rhonda Henschell responded with an update to her contact information for me. Two of the three candidates running for council also received the draft.  As of publishing time, I have not found contact information for Florence Campbell but I’ll update the post once I do.

2 Comments
  1. Steffen Bunge says

    …so there was obviously the first “anti-council” demonstration of some sort in Pinawa just before the council meeting. People were just finishing up and getting there signs packed up, when I arrived. However I was at the council meeting, there was the opportunity at the end to ask direct questions. I really did not have any today. However, I am so happy I quit Facebook long ago. No matter what topic, Facebook is exploding,…in the real life, like in an actual council meeting nobody shows up. I have seen this with all important issues, water charges going up,…the community center had like 400 chairs, we were 7 or so. Big flair up about the tourists overwhelming the town with the channel float,…who was at this following council meeting, just me and one other person from Pinawa.
    The meeting is always a run trough and there is rarely any discussion. It is an insider checklist, nothing more. There are so called “1st,2nd and 3rd “readings” of things,…I would call those 1st,2nd and 3rd “mentionings”. However in real life, I mean outside of facebook!!!,…I do not feel that too many people bother at all.

  2. Colin Smith says

    I grew up in Pinawa, “they paved paradise and put up a parking lot…..” – Joni Mitchell

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