Friday, October 18, 2013

Update from Jeff Solomon — Long Term Strategy Report For the Colliery Dams to go to Council Monday at 4:00

Council will be presented with the staff report for the process of the long-term strategy for the middle and lower Chase River Dams on Monday, Oct. 21 at 4:00. Please note 4:00pm not 4:30.

These are some of the highlights from the report: 

• The Colliery Dam Park Preservation Society will be involved with the technical committee which will focus on outcomes that only involve remediating the existing dams. 

• Dam Safety Branch has advised that if remediation of the dams cannot be completed in 2014, short term physical alteration need to be considered in 2014. These physical alterations, if deemed necessary, will be developed by the technical committee in the context of the long-term strategy. 

• Staff are recommending remediating the existing dams, as this option does not involve removal. 

Snuneymuxw has requested that Council and the community exhaust all efforts to keep the existing dams providing there is a desire to continue with dams on the Chase River. Snuneymuxw has identified that the primary goal for them in this process is to protect the fishery. 

 The CDPPS has consistently identified their goal is to retain the park, dams and river in their current form as much as is possible.

A facilitator may be included to assist in the process.

Information from the technical committee will go to the executive committee which involves City Of Nanaimo senior staff, Snuneymuxw First Nations and the Dam Safety Branch. Policy Group is next which has mayor and council, SFN and Province (DSB) involved. Council then has final say.

More info at

My thoughts: There is a lot of good in this proposal. It sets an entirely new agenda with every intention to rehab the dams. However, there are also a lot of ifs and unknowns. Time will tell, but we now have what appears to be a true desire to improve the existing structures. There is no talk of removal or renaturalization. I have concerns with the time frame attached as they are suggesting the process may not be finished until 2015.

Also everyone will have to get ready for the arrival of 80 signs downstream. These signs may not be supportive of the message that we are attempting to convey. We didn’t have any input here.

I will be at Moose Lodge on Sat and at the Park on Sunday to fill people in further, and I will also be speaking at the COW mtg. on Mon.

I also have calendars. They turned out really well. $ 16 for ones with a slight imperfection $20 others.