The airport dike will remain 'as is' for now.

Valley residents vote a resounding ‘no’ in dike referendum

Valley residents vote a resounding ‘no’ in dike referendum

The residents of the Bella Coola Valley have spoken loud and clear in regards to whether or not they will support the CCRD’s efforts to become a diking authority, and the answer was a definitive no.

Two bylaws were passed in recent months paving the way towards the referendum. Bylaws 415 and 416, which would establish the Bella Coola Dike Service and authorize the borrowing of over one million dollars respectively, were passed earlier this year.

On May 25, residents were asked whether or not they supported these initiatives. Out of an estimated 1000 eligible voters, 458 turned out to cast their votes. 30 voted yes, and 428 voted no.

To be eligible to vote, you had to be over 18 years and a registered property owner or renter in the Bella Coola Valley. Nuxalk Nation members residing on IR#1 were unable to vote because they do not pay property taxes while living on reserve.

“It’s difficult to determine the percentage of voters who cast a ballot,” said Acting CAO Isabell Hadford. “The latest census figures from 2011 show that 1,067 people live in Areas C, D, and E of the Bella Coola Valley, however we don’t know how many of these people are of voting age and these figures may have changed since 2011. The number of valid votes cast was 458 and the CCRD is pleased that so many people took the time to vote.”

Taking on the airport dike was a controversial choice, and many residents expressed that they felt that private property should be afforded the same level of protection. However, the CCRD responded that the federal and provincial governments’ would only look at funding the airport dike as it provided a service to the entire community.

It was indicated at the public meeting held last April that both the federal and provincial governments’ would not be willing to consider future proposals from the Valley if the residents voted no on the referendum, but this has not been confirmed by the Coast Mountain News.

If the referendum had passed, the CCRD would have been responsible for the construction and maintenance costs of the airport dike, resulting in a tax hike of 30 percent. Depending on which area you live, this would have cost anywhere between $67 and $153 per year. If the CCRD had borrowed the million dollars, this would have taken taxpayers approximately 30 years to repay.

At present, there has been no indication on future plans from the CCRD. “The Regional District is very pleased to have had such a definite respond to the Airport Dike project referendum question,” said Hadford. “Next steps will be discussed at the June 13 Board meeting.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Totem pole, doors unveiled in historic collaboration between Nuxalk Nation and BC Parks

The ceremonies took place in traditional Nuxalk territory (Stuix) - also the home of Tweedsmuir Park

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Trudeau announces bioregional oceans protection agreement in Prince Rupert

Agreement announced in partnership with 14 central and north coast First Nations

115 new wildfires burning across B.C. due to 19,000 lightning strikes

More fires expected to start today, says BC Wildfire Service officials

Local artist Danika Naccarella commissioned to design artwork for Northern Sea Wolf

The Sea Wolf symbolizes family, loyalty and the protection of those travelling their waters.

Pigs crash yoga class in B.C.

First it was goats, now it’s pigs — you can get downward dog with the whole farm in Aldergrove

Mexican bird makes a rare appearance in Bella Coola

The Northern Crested Caracara was spotted galavanting around Bella Coola for several weeks

Judge dismisses DNA request in Cranbrook triple murder case

Dean Christopher Roberts must appeal directly to the federal Minister of Justice, reads ruling.

Yes, we could use a soft drink tax

NDP rejects useful tax advice because it’s not popular

Canada sweeps China in Pacific Rim Basketball Classic

National men’s team beats China twice over weekend in Vancouver and Victoria

Rainbow crosswalk in B.C. defaced 10 days after installation

Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk has been defaced sometime over the weekend

Closing arguments expected in trial for twice convicted Canadian killer

Crown, defence expected to give closing arguments in Millard murder trial

Canadians undertake the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission

A dozen Canadian peacekeepers arrive in Mali as yearlong mission begins

Most Read