Elphinstone Chronicles

Professional forester Tony Richmond and his wife Marilyn retired to Elphinstone in 2003. Along with their children, they had visited for many years, often camping out on Beach Avenue as Tony’s parents lived in Roberts Creek. No sooner did they arrive here from Saskatchewan, than the couple became involved with the Elphinstone Community Association. Tony remains on the board while Marilyn (thankfully) oversees coffee and cookies for the community meetings. 

Tony recently wrote a book, Silviba – A Forester’s Log (2015), that I found to be an insightful look into his remarkable career as a forester, mainly in Saskatchewan, partly in B.C. Educated in forestry at UBC, Tony was hired as chief forester for the province of Saskatchewan. When the government there changed, top people suddenly become redundant (as often happens) so he set up his own business – Silviba – hence the name of his book. 

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Having known Tony for many years, I have great respect for his ideas and his enduring enthusiasm and concern for our community. Tony has been promoting the idea of a regional municipality, both in small group discussions and at Elphinstone Community Association meetings. Because it is the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure that decides on roads and planning matters in regional districts, the idea becomes more appealing the more I understand it. Municipalities have many powers, including taxation, roads and making those all-important planning decisions. Tony says that a regional municipality governance structure is “inevitable” for the Sunshine Coast as it is the only way to “provide the level of capitalization required for large projects such as what is needed for our water supply.” 

Tony believes that a regional district becoming a regional municipality is a way to get all stake-holders around the table to plan proper oversight of our own forestry. With municipal elections right around the corner, what better time to consider a different governance model? 

A reminder of the Saturday, Sept. 15 walk into the Reed Road Forest at 2 p.m. followed by Happy Hour at a nearby residence. Local craft beer and appies by donation as well as a presentation of the recent study carried out. Check the Elphinstone Community Association Facebook Page (not the one in England!) for details. All are welcome. 

The Elphinstone Community Association will host an All Candidates forum at Frank West Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. 

If you have Elphinstone news to share, email me at elphin@coastreporter.net.

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