On May 31, Gibsons mayor Silas White emailed a letter to BC Premier David Eby urging provincial action on lower Sunshine Coast water supply issues.
White’s letter stated that “without a cent of funding” the province could “significantly address the mounting water anxiety on the Sunshine Coast” by immediately taking three steps. He outlined those as approval of the Sunshine Coast Regional District’s requests to amend the Environmental Flow Needs for Chapman Creek and to use the Chapman and Edwards Lake siphon systems in 2023 and 2024 when warranted as well as finalization of the water licence for the regional district’s Church Road well.
In a June 1 interview, White told Coast Reporter he wanted provincial decision makers to “hear the human side of the water crisis, as it definitely has an impact on people’s moods.
“I’m someone who grew up on the Coast and I remember a lot of summers when this was the best time of year and it was a big reason why people chose to live here… Unfortunately, we now have this spectre of being worried about water upon us every summer.”
White said he was “not writing to try to point fingers or shift responsibility to the province government but just sharing what everyone here on the Coast is going through and requesting that they help in any way that they can by speeding up approvals.
“I feel the timing is good to send this as June begins. I want the community to know that every elected official and every local government on the Sunshine Coast is recognizing this as our top issue… It is really a full court press right now and the Town wanted to do our part by leading advocacy at this time, when it is needed and when it is not too late."
Gibsons, with its own water source is “somewhat on the outside” of the regional water crisis White said, “but still being very much affected."
The letter, sent on behalf of the council and community of Gibsons, was copied to seven cabinet ministers, Powell River-Sunshine Coast Member of the Legislative Assembly Nicholas Simons and Coast Reporter. White said he was inspired to reach out in writing to the province after speaking with Simons earlier in the week. White’s letter has been posted to gibsons.ca.