Skip to content

Gibsons gets a new chief building official: Council briefs

Also, councillors urge Gibsons residents to speak up the highway bypass study.
Gibsons Municipal Hall

The following are briefs from the June 21 Town of Gibsons regular council meeting:

Brian Marcell started as the Town’s new chief building official June 13. 

Marcell came to Gibsons from Campbell River, where he’d held the chief building official title since 2018. Before that were decades of experience in the industry working for municipalities and for his own company. His first gig as a building official was in 1986.

Marcell is trained in architectural design, carpentry, plumbing and is a registered R 2000 builder.  

Reconciliation sidewalk

Following up from a presentation from ʔakista xaxanak Garry Feschuk, hereditary chief and former elected chief of the shíshálh Nation, and co-chair of the syíyaya Reconciliation Movement, at their previous council meeting, Mayor Bill Beamish said the Town would contribute $5,000 toward the reconciliation sidewalk project in Sechelt. The director of finance said the funds were to come from existing approved budget funding from the council section of the budget. 

Sound understanding

Council agreed in principle to a memorandum of understanding with the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society to support their work. Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Region in Sept. 2021 after more than five years of sustained effort on the part of the society. Though getting the designation was a monumental effort, presenter Ian Winn said the hard work lies ahead – in managing the biosphere region. Also in discussions is Gibsons hosting the Howe Sound Community Forum in Gibsons in fall 2023.  


The 2021 Statement of Financial Information and council remuneration reports were received. Councillors were each paid between $20,000 and $22,000 and Mayor Bill Beamish was paid just under $42,000 last year. When asked why councillors Annemarie De Andrade and Aleria Ladwig were paid more last year (than the male councillors), the director of finance said that the extra money was for time spent as acting mayor.

Council’s youth

As school’s out for the year, so are the youth councillors. The program, run in partnership with the local Rotary Club, provides honorariums for the high school students who sit on council. 

Mayor Bill Beamish said that he’d like to see the program promoted widely to other municipalities, “Because we have a track record now. We can tell them how well it goes.”

Highway study

The Highway 101 Alternate Route Study also got some air time. Council stressed how important it is that people participate in the public engagement happening until July 28. 

“If you’re gonna get involved, get really get involved in this,” said Coun. Stafford Lumley. “Because a lot of times you sit in these meetings, it’s lip service. It’s like they already know what they’re gonna do.”

Lumley pointed out the congestion that came with the recent road work along Reed Road. “It was a nightmare in town.

“Our community should not be a bypass for people going to Powell River.

“I’m imploring everybody in the community to get involved with this public engagement.”

Beamish said one of his big concerns was the heavy trucking that goes through town – past three schools – and the recent logging truck accident at the corner of North Road and Highway 101. “Fortunately, there were no students there to use the crosswalk.”

Beamish also pointed out that this is long-term planning, rather than anything immediate. 

Supply issues

When asked how long until Gibsons gets hybrid virtual/in-person meetings, corporate officer Rebecca Anderson said that the equipment has been ordered but the microphones aren’t expected to arrive until October, the cameras not until August. “So we’re doing the best that we can. But it’s beyond our control at this time,” said Anderson. 

Though the meetings are not video recorded, there are audio recordings that get posted on the website for two weeks on the website before getting taken down. The audio files are taken down because the files are large, said Anderson.