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Looking back on 2022 on the lower Sunshine Coast

What a whirlwind. A lot happened. Let's recap:
OCTOBER HAZE: On Oct. 18, Davis Bay’s usual view of Vancouver Island disappeared on the horizon, as a special air quality statement was issued for wildfire smoke covering much of southern B.C., including the Sunshine Coast. Environment Canada reminded residents to take care to limit their exposure.

In the final days of 2021, a deep cold fell over the Coast, with temperatures dipping to -20C with windchill. Local farms, which had faced the heat dome and then atmospheric river event mere months earlier, faced down even more extreme weather. On a happier note, Roberts Creek humourist and performer David Roche was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. Then began 2022. 

Snowplow Davis Bay flood
A snowplow helped remove debris at a flooded section of Highway 101, as stormwaters looked on. Keili Bartlett


• The annual New Year’s Day Davis Bay Polar Bear Swim is cancelled for a second year running, however, one brave swimmer (Graeme Green) is still determined to plunge into the new year right. 

• BC Assessment releases 2021 property values. A typical family home in Gibsons is assessed at $895,000 compared to $671,000 the year before. In Sechelt, the estimate for a typical family home is $819,000 compared to $600,000 the year previous.

• BC Ferries’s Horseshoe Bay underground parkade is closed Jan. 2 because a rockslide sends rocks and debris into multiple levels of the parkade. 

• The Province of BC is ordered to pay financial damages to the owners of two Seawatch homes as a BC Supreme Court Justice rules that the neighbourhood’s state of local emergency ceased to be “reasonable” three months after it was initially declared in February 2019. 

• Where a day earlier plows had been clearing snow, plows are deployed to Davis Bay on Jan. 7 to clear the closed highway, which is covered in debris from a king tide and strong winds. The same section of road had flooded a year earlier. 

• Poor weather conditions mean that in the early days of 2022, propane trucks have trouble delivering on the Coast. Some locals run out of the propane they needed for heat. 

• A report estimates that $19.79 an hour for two parents with 35-hour-a-week jobs was needed to provide the basics for a family of four on the Sunshine Coast in 2021. Report is from Sunshine Coast Foundation and Living Wage for Families BC.

• The gravel conveyor at Lehigh Materials’s Trail Bay shiploading facility collapses Jan. 8. Company does not disclose any details publicly. 

• BC Cancer announces Sunshine Coast is part of at-home cervix screening pilot project. 

• BC Ferries warns customers of the potential for unplanned service disruptions in coming months as the Omicron COVID-19 variant, severe winter storms, vaccination policies and global shortage of professional mariners causes crewing difficulties. 

• Coastal Recovery Community proposes a four-bed addiction recovery facility for men on Farnham Road in Gibsons.

• Hugh Macaulay, long-time mental health advocate and Coast Reporter columnist, dies at 62. 

• Former Sechelt chief financial officer Victor Mema will face a hearing before the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta over alleged misconduct while working for the municipalities of Sechelt and Nanaimo, confirms Court of Appeal of Alberta decision released Jan 11. 

• Church Road well field construction contract is awarded to Maycon Construction Ltd. for $7,585,265 with a $50,000 incentive offered if the substantial part of the project is completed more than 30 days before Sept. 2. Construction management services are awarded to Associated Environmental for $990,686. 

• Gyms and fitness centres are allowed to reopen Jan. 20 as provincial COVID-19 restrictions lighten. Limits on gatherings (one household plus 10, attendees must be vaccinated, no indoor organized gatherings) are extended to Feb. 16.

• More than 100 new COVID-19 cases are reported on the Coast between Jan. 9 and 15 for the third week running. 

• Sunshine Coast Community Forest work “may have been the tipping point” for a Nov. 15, 2021 landslide that affected Burnett Creek and the Dakota Forest Service Road, a B.C. Ministry of Forests report dated Jan. 17 says.

• BC Ferries’s “L run” is suspended as of Jan. 28 because of crewing challenges. 

• Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) issues fishing closures to protect five more glass sponge reefs in Átl’ka7tsem / Howe Sound as advocates call for more enforcement. 

•Gibsons braces for increased policing costs as it awaits the census count. If the head count is above 5,000, then it has to take on responsibility for policing. 

• Northern Resident Killer Whales pay a rare visit to Sechelt and rub their bellies on the pebbles near the shore. 

• North Lake residents raise concerns that with property values up between 98 and 169 per cent, for nine properties with provincial leases. The rent on those parcels of land correspondingly rises at least 100 per cent. They go on to win rent freezes in May. 

 • Sechelt votes to put off consideration of upgrades to Boulevard on its Trail Bay waterfront until 2023. 

• B.C. extends its vaccine card program to June.

• Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre receives $2,500 in small donations on Jan. 17 – what would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. 

• Sunshine Coast tree faller Darren Emerson dies in a falling accident near Egmont on Jan. 24. 

• Sunshine Coast Foundation announces its certification as a living wage employer, on Jan. 28. 

• Pender Harbour-raised opera singer Rose-Ellen Nichols dies at 41 on Jan. 30.  

Three years Seawatch Feb. 15, 2022
On the third anniversary of the Seawatch evacuation, "three years" is seen spelled out on the fence surrounding the neighbourhood. . Keili Bartlett


• Planned Coastal Recovery Centre in Gibsons announces that it’s having to adapt its plans to a day-use model rather than a residential model, because there are too many obstacles in readying its Farnham Road rental for residential use. 

• Howe Sound Pulp and Paper is to get nearly $1.7 million in provincial funding for greenhouse gas reducing initiatives, it’s announced. 

• The honks in Davis Bay every Saturday morning grow louder as vaccine mandate and vaccine card protests grow more vocal. 

• The SCRD announces it will not be offering spring ice at its Sechelt facility because of a lack of bookings amid ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. 

• Tree clearing starts ahead of construction at the Joe/Orange Road intersection. It’s just the start of months of delays at the busy spot on Highway 101. 

• The stats are in. The 2021 census reveals a population count of 4,758 in the Town of Gibsons – narrowly ducking a massive jump in policing costs that comes with a population of 5,000. 

• Nearly three years after first approving it on Feb. 15, 2019, the province declines to extend the state of local emergency for Sechelt’s Seawatch neighbourhood. The SOLE expires Feb. 11. 

• Commercial farmers in the SCRD are granted a two-week exemption at the beginning of any future Stage 4 water restrictions.

• A 315-metre voluntary no-anchor is zone established near Armours Beach in Gibsons to protect eelgrass. 

• shíshálh Nation begins investigating the site of the former St. Augustine’s Indian Residential School with ground penetrating radar.

• Seawatch owners are given access to the neighbourhood for the first time in three years on Feb. 18. 

• SCRD starts a referral to the Skwxwu7mesh Nation as part of formal steps to protect Reed Road Forest (DL1313).

Logging truck
A logging truck trailer overturned by the Heritage Playhouse March 11. No serious injuries were reported. Patrick Lessard


• Fundraisers emerge across the Coast following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Local Ukrainians react to the invasion with disbelief. 

• ​​Gibsons’s Milos Pospisil goes to Poland to transport Ukrainian refugees fleeing their country.

• After a miscalculation underfunded nine community wastewater plants the previous November, users of those SCRD systems face unexpected rises in user fees. 

• The SCRD finalizes its budget. Across property classes, taxation increases 7.42 per cent. In Area A, taxes rise 13.92 per cent, 12.01 for Area B, 6.11 for Area D, 7.91 per cent for Area E, 2.05 per cent for Area F, 6.08 per cent for Sechelt Indian Government District, 6.13 per cent for District of Sechelt, 4.86 per cent for Town of Gibsons.

• The Church Road well field, which is to add nearly five million litres of water a day to the Chapman Water System, breaks ground March 8. 

• Oceanmount Boulevard neighbours raise concerns about lack of consultation, design, sound and placement of Town of Gibsons’s well 6 pumphouse. Residents ask for a “stop work order.” After design consultations, a solution is reached. 

• Two Gibsons residents, Charlene SanJenko and Pam Robertson, are nominated for YWCA Women of Distinction Awards.

• Work starts on road changes on Wharf Avenue between Cowrie and Dolphin Streets, notably changing the parking from angle to parallel along the stretch. 

• COVID testing stops at respiratory clinics. Sunshine Coast COVID Physician Task Force winds down. 

• Town of Gibsons issues a permit for the removal of 41 trees in the Gibsons Elementary School grounds. An arborist had deemed the trees hazardous. 

• Harbour-Egmont Highlights columnist Dilys Williams shares news that the small bear cub rescued earlier that year – Sakinaw – is doing well at Critter Care Wildlife. 

• A logging truck trailer overturns at the corner of Gibsons Way and North Road, losing its load onto the Heritage Playhouse lawn. Luckily, there were no pedestrians at the often busy intersection and no one was injured. 

• A young, male fin whale is found dead in the Pender Harbour area. The incredibly rare occurrence is under investigation, and shíshálh Nation holds a ceremony for the animal. 

• The Gambier Grocery Group that created a vital link for food at the beginning of the pandemic is honoured with the provincial Medal of Good Citizenship. 

• Work starts on Phase 1 of shíshálh Nation’s Selma Park neighbourhood, which includes the development of 45 lots. 

Divers in Waugh Lake
Gene and Sandy Ralston brought their equipment from Boise, Idaho, to the Sunshine Coast to help in the search for Thomas Hines in April 2022. Courtesy of Sunshine Coast RCMP


• The province declares the Sunshine Coast “functionally an island.” (Just kidding.)

• After 35 years of debate, a protective covenant is placed on Gospel Rock. Just under seven hectares of environmentally sensitive land in the 19 hectare development is registered on title to be permanently protected. 

• Gibsons proposes a 2.2 per cent property tax hike.

• The Sunshine Coast RCMP ask the public for information about the sinking of three boats at the Government Wharf in Sechelt Inlet. The boats “may have been intentionally sunk” between April 2 and 4.

• District of Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers announces her intention to run for a second mayoral term in the fall. 

• Gibsons declares the time from June 8 to the middle of 2023 as the Year of the Salish Sea. 

• The body of 26-year-old Thomas Hines is recovered from Waugh Lake three years after the maritimer-turned-Coaster went missing. Volunteer divers from Idaho use sonar equipment to find Hines, with RCMP support. 

• Changes to BC Ferries’s Route 3 reservations system cause confusion – and a hit to the pocketbooks of some. Reservations – no matter when they’re booked – become $15 each (previously they were $10 more than a week in advance, $17 the week of sailing). The company also introduces penalties for reservation no-shows.

• SCRD says bylaw officers are investigating complaints about the Bayview Hills development in Halfmoon Bay.

• District of Sechelt breaks ground on its new Operations Centre, April 11. 

• District of Sechelt Coun. Matt McLean announces he won’t be seeking re-election in the fall and he’s moving to Vancouver Island to pursue a masters at UVic

• Thieves clean out 40 years worth of tools from local boatbuilder Brian Portman’s Parkway Drive workshop sometime between March 15 and 29. Portman returns April 5 to discover the theft. 

• The site of the former South Coast Ford shop catches fire on Good Friday. The cause is believed to be an unattended propane campfire ring. No injuries reported. 

• SCRD snowpack report shows snow water equivalent at Chapman Lake 91 per cent of normal and 94 per cent of normal at Edwards Lake.

• Lighting upgrades at Sechelt Airport are sent out for retendering as the board approves spending just over $600,000 for a lighting system upgrades. 

• Mother-son fundraising team Megan and Cody Kelso spend 100 hours in a scissor lift and raise more than $10,000 for the Gibsons Heritage Playhouse and the Nature Trust of BC.

• RCMSAR Gibsons Station 14 rescues a Squamish man from the side of a cliff on Gambier Island after his boat sank while he was trying to avoid taking the ferry to the Coast. He created smoke signals to call for help. 

• SCRD votes to “wind down” RV use on Lockyer Road property in Roberts Creek where eight people were living in recreational vehicles. 

• An addictions recovery centre – Coastal Recovery Community – opens on Farnham Road in Gibsons.

• Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue’s only rope rescue team leader retires, leaving the Coast without capacity to provide high-angle rope rescues because Emergency Management BC hasn’t offered the training in several years. 

• Charlene SanJenko launches reGEN, a media company to be the intermediary between media creators and those with the dollars to support them. 

• Sechelt eyes an average 8.3 per cent increase in municipal residential property taxes.

• Gibsons Public Market celebrates its fifth birthday. 

• Swanson’s Concrete and Denis Turenne Concrete donate a concrete path for an eight-year-old Halfmoon Bay boy who uses a wheelchair. 

• April Tools returns in Pender Harbour April 30 after a COVID hiatus. 

C. Pelicans
Two species of pelicans occur in B.C. and both are rare visitors to the Sunshine Coast – but many people reported the 26 pelicans who spent a few days in Porpoise Bay. Elaine Easton


• A logging truck tips over at the corner of Egmont Road and Cod Lane in Egmont – both the truck and the trailer tip over into a resident’s yard. No injuries are reported. 

• Two neighbourhood dogs attack a pet emu in the Welcome Woods area of Halfmoon Bay. “Big Bird” dies overnight. The SCRD bylaw department fines the owners and officially deems the canines “vicious dogs.”

• A Grey whale is spotted feeding off the Coast. 

• Marisa Alps is selected as Jane Davidson’s successor as executive director of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts.

• After three years, another sinkhole daylights in Sechelt’s Seawatch neighbourhood. 

• A BC Supreme Court judge finds a Gibsons man not criminally responsible by reason of a mental disorder for the Dec. 27, 2020 killing of his mother. 

• Statistics Canada data finds that every community on the lower Coast is older than national and provincial averages. The average age in the SCRD was 50.4 in 2021 (the median age was 56) and the four-year cohort with the most people was 65 to 69 (3,415 residents).

• Roberts Creek SCRD director Andreas Tize announces he’s not running for reelection in order to spend more time with his daughter and because he expects his business to keep him busy. 

• A truck driving north on Highway 101 snags communication lines, knocking out services for several hours in the Pender Harbour area on May 8. 

• Chatelech Secondary School’s Parent Advisory Committee awards Bev Hosker Motivational Award to Kundalata James for her work as coordinator of the school’s hot lunch program.

• A flock of 26 white pelicans flies into Porpoise Bay, drawing the curiosity of birders and non-birders alike. Two species of pelican occur in B.C. and both are rare visitors to the Coast, Good Birding’s Tony Greenfield informs us. 

• Howe Sound Pulp & Paper is evacuated for about two hours on May 12 because of a leak of combined condensates. Several workers are taken to the hospital.

• Gibsons returns to in-person council meetings. The town lacks the capacity for hybrid council meetings, so the meetings are in-person only. 

• The Trellis Seniors Care Services’s Silverstone site breaks ground. 

• Federal Minister of Agriculture and AgriFood Marie-Claude Bibeau visits the Coast. She and MP Patrick Weiler visit One Tiny Farm for a tour and meet with the One Straw Society. 

• The District of Sechelt Council bans off-leash dogs from Kinnikinnick Park as the Ebbtide off-leash dog park nears completion.

• After facing sinkholes, a protected bird species, rodent infestations and difficult weather conditions, the SCRD’s new dump drop-off area at the Dusty Road landfill reopens after a year’s closure. 

• Pender Harbour Learning Centre gets revitalization funding for the addition of two new modular units and accessibility features (including washrooms). 

• Chaster House reopens following damages during the Nov. 15, 2021 atmospheric river. 

Alvina Paul at unveiling
Friends and family gathered among a group of around 60 people for the June 16 unveiling ceremony. Keili Bartlett


• Pride month festivities begin! 

• The George Hotel and Residences form and character development permit expires June 1. 

• Coopers Green Hall replacement cost estimates increase. The SCRD board ups the budget to $4.5 million from $3.1 million. 

• Gibsons man Milos Pospisil plans his second trip to Europe to do relief work in the Ukraine-Russia war. He returns with Project Volya and brings healthcare items including tourniquets, hemostatic gauze and chest seals, as well as toys and educational materials for children to the war-ravaged country. 

• Five pieces of art are selected for installation along Gibsons’s new Public Art Path. 

• St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church in Gibsons notes increasing usage of its food bank services and starts a hot lunch program.

• School District 46 graduates return to in-person ceremonies and other graduation events. 

• Benjamin Ellerton of 6th Roberts Creek Group is awarded the prestigious Chief Scout’s Award by the Chief Scout of Scouts Canada. 

• A Gibsons-commissioned study finds that Aquifer 560 can support a doubling of the town’s population.

• Every June since 2016, the Town of Gibsons has raised a pride flag in support of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Every year the flag is raised, it’s been subjected to targetted attacks. This year was no different. Staff receive threatening phone calls on June 6. But, the flag keeps flying. 

• The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says a small poultry flock in Sechelt has tested positive for the H5N1 avian influenza virus and has been placed under quarantine. 

• Gibsons is set to take down the barricades blocking Glassford Road but a plea from neighbourhood kids and parents instead sees the barricades moved to the north side of Blain Lane.

• Someone steals approximately 500 doughnuts from a business in the 5600 block of Sunshine Coast Highway in Sechelt. 

• SCRD Halfmoon Bay director Lori Pratt announces she may have to move off-Coast as she cannot find new rental accommodations. She had been planning to run for re-election, but her housing trouble ultimately prevents that. 

• Sechelt’s Sonya Richmond, who has been walking Canada’s Trans Canada Trail documenting birds and inspiring others to get out into nature, is named Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Stan Hodgkiss Outdoorsperson of the Year.  

• A Sechelt man wins $1 million in Lotto Max’s draw. 

• The first syiyaya Days, an event series celebrating Indigenous culture, histories, and ways of knowing, runs June 21 to July 1. 

• Sechelt approves the Telus Living apartment complex development permit in Sechelt. 

• The province starts public engagement on the “Highway 101 Alternate Route Study” looking at potential bypasses between Gibsons and Sechelt. 

• Town of Gibsons gives first reading to the Stonehurst redevelopment proposal but pairs it with a direction for staff to work with the developer to reduce mass and height of the proposed residences. 

• A Porsche fire in Gibsons in the 500 block of Marine Drive June 17 appears “to be deliberately set.” No one is in or around the Vancouver-registered car when it is set on fire.  

• A memorial to late master carver ?antuni Tony Paul of shíshálh Nation is unveiled with one of his designs at the Tsain-Ko Centre mall.

• Gibsons Mayor Bill Beamish announces he’s not seeking a second council term. He says he’s moving to Haida Gwaii. 

• Sechelt’s new dog park on Ebbtide Street opens, and is named for beloved late Sechelt bylaw officer and animal advocate Jane Bowers. 

• “Patriarchal” oversight requirement is removed from the self-government agreement between shíshálh Nation and Canada in a unanimous decision in the House of Commons. 

• Langdale ferry is delayed on June 24 because a “stowaway” is found on board “passing himself off as a member of the crew and evading the crew.” The man had entered the staff room and changed into a chef’s uniform, the RCMP say. 

• Internationally renowned Inuk artist Annie Aculiak dies in her Selma Park home at 64 years old.

Canada Day parade b
Canada Day parade opened with an orange shirt walk down Cowrie Street.. Bronwyn Beairsto


• Canada Day parade opens with an orange shirt walk down Cowrie Street.

• Longtime manager of Eastlink Community TV (long known as Coast Cable) Steve Sleep retires after 50 years in the industry. 

• Sunshine Coast Community Forest welcomes its first summer student, Michelle Wells. 

• Stage 1 water restrictions remain in place for the SCRD’s Chapman Water System into July. 

• Sechelt’s Advisory Planning Commission requests more varied house facades and weather-resistant walking paths for the Havies development between Selma Park and Davis Bay. 

• ts’ukw’um’s last payphone is removed from its post by Telus after years of decreasing use.

• Drag racing makes its triumphant return to the Sechelt Airport July 10 to more than 1,550 roaring fans. 

• A stop-work order is issued for a potential bed and breakfast operation on a remote property in Doriston Landing on Sechelt Inlet.

• News comes that the Church Road well field will not be available by the end of summer as previously hoped. Because of supply chain issues, delivery of the computerized controller of the pumps and motors is delayed. 

• Beloved Beachcombers actor and shíshálh Nation member Pat John, who played Jesse Jim on the long-running CBC show, dies at 69. 

• Federal Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations Marc Miller announces $9.1 million in funding for the shíshálh Nation’s Selma Park subdivision. 

• Sakinaw is one of five Sunshine Coast bear cubs who returns to the wild in the early hours of July 7. 

• Telus welcomes first campers to summer camp at Telus Wilderness Point on July 17. 

• A two-hectare wildfire lights on the north side of Skookumchuck Narrows on July 14. BC Wildfire Service soon gets the fire under control. Suspected cause is listed as “person.”

• Chapman Stage 2 water restrictions start July 28. 

• The SCRD board learns that the proposed site for the Coopers Green hall replacement may not be geotechnically suitable in the face of climate change. 

• Statistics Canada data reveals the lower Coast’s income breakdown. The median after-tax income in Gibsons in 2020 was $40,000; in Sechelt it was $39,600.

• The shíshálh Nation tells residents of 17 homes on lower Sinku Drive that they will need to evacuate their oceanview homes as a geotechnical assessment has identified “safety concerns with regards to ongoing occupation of the affected properties.” 

• News comes that work at Pioneer Park at Gibsons’s Five Corners will create a temporary and potentially permanent home for the Beachcombers’s Persephone boat. 

• Gibsons adopts its short-term rental (residential guest accommodation) bylaws.

Vehicle in pharmacy
A car accidentally drove into the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Wilson Creek Plaza Aug. 4, 2022. . Courtesy of Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy


• The shíshálh Nation and B.C. are negotiating the first joint decision-making agreement for the implementation of the much-discussed Pender Harbour Dock Management Plan.

• Firefighters extinguish a brush fire in Halfmoon Bay on Leaning Tree Road.

• Gibsons sends a 16-unit School Road strata development back for developer-staff discussions. 

• A Transportation Safety Board report on Airspan Helicopters Ltd. crash in 2021 says “environmental conditions” caused the crash. 

• Town of Gibsons Coun. Aleria Ladwig says she’s not running for election in order to spend more time with her family. 

• Sechelt council approves the development permit for the Havies subdivision – Homei Group’s proposal for 99 units of three, five and six bedroom homes near Selma Park.

• On Aug. 9, the SCRD issues a press release suggesting that the community’s efforts in conserving water at Stage 2 could decrease the chance of escalation to Stage 3 water restrictions in the Chapman Water system in coming weeks. 

• Premier hopeful David Eby visits with local leaders on the Sunshine Coast on Aug. 7. 

• Gibsons’s Silas White declares his intention to run for Town mayor – again. He had been acclaimed in 2018 but withdrew.

• Area F SCRD director Mark Hiltz says he’s not running for re-election citing exhaustion from the emergencies of the previous four years (pandemic, climate change).

• The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy keeps filling orders at their ts’ukw’um location after a vehicle crashes into their shop (again. The last time was in 2020). Luckily, no one was injured. 

• Halfmoon Bay Volunteer Fire Department chief Ryan Daley and assistant chief Tom Wayte are deployed to a BC Wildfire Service base camp in Penticton to assist with the Keremeos Creek wildfire. 

• Sechelt’s Coun. Tom Lamb announces he won’t stand for re-election due to his hearing aids, which he says make it difficult to participate in conversations. 

• Sixteen local physicians pen a plea to the province for help. In a letter, they describe their urgent need for more space and funds to practice on the Coast.

• A fire destroys two tents at a Sechelt homeless encampment on Hightide Avenue. No injuries are reported.

• Havies developmentbreaks ground in Sechelt on Aug. 22. 

• Gambier Islanders and the BC Wildfire Service contain a fire sparked near Halkett Bay on Aug. 18. 

• Stage 3 water restrictions start for the SCRD’s Chapman water system Aug. 23. 

• Provincial funding means that Arrowhead is reopening five days a week following COVID-19 operation reductions. 

• A motorcyclist dies after a collision with an SUV on Highway 101 near Halfmoon Bay on Aug. 24. More than 80 local motorcyclists show up for an awareness ride from Pender Harbour to Davis Bay the following week in memory of the motorcyclist. 

• Pender Harbour’s Loon Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary with a bash on Aug. 27. 

• SCRD starts Stage 4 water restrictions for the Chapman water system Aug. 31. 

 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation 2022 b
Thomas Paul Sr. and his great-granddaughter Lindsay August cut the ribbon to open the Reconciliation Crosswalk on Highway 101 during the Sept. 30, National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Keili Bartlett


• News breaks that Marine Recycling Corportation is eyeing Port Mellon as a potential shipbreaking site. 

• Gibsons starts Stage 3 restrictions as of Sept. 1 in anticipation of potentially providing water to the Chapman water system. 

• Federal Minister of Rural Economic Development Gudie Hutchings visits Gambier Island to announce funding for high-speed internet for 633 homes on Gambier and Keats Islands. 

• More than 100 people attend a hearing for SCRD’s Zoning Bylaw 722. 

• Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre announces that it is closing until the end of the year as it’s full and planning its future. 

• Sunshine Coast flags fly at half mast after Queen Elizabeth II dies on Sept. 8. 

• The race is on. Candidate nominations close at 4 p.m. Sept. 9 as four local governing bodies get primed for general elections. 

• The SCRD board approves spending $55,920 to study moving the Sechelt landfill’s contact water pond to potentially extend the landfill’s life. 

• CEO of RCMSAR Bill Riggs makes the trip to Gibsons to present Ian Wright (who volunteered with Pender Harbour Station 61 for more than two decades) and David Croal (who recently stepped back as station leader of Gibsons Station 14) with the CEO’s commendation to recognize the volunteers’ “extraordinary dedication to duty and strength of purpose in furthering RCMSAR’s mandate.”

• Gibsons rezones the School/O’Shea Road development to have nine rather than 16 apartments.

• Regulations to prevent sex trafficking at body work studios in Sechelt given three readings by council.

• As the date to withdraw from the local government election passes, candidates are locked in. The SCRD sees only one race as four of the five rural director seats are acclaimed. Acclaimed are Leonard Lee in Area A (Pender Harbour-Egmont), Donna McMahon in Area E (Elphinstone), Kelly Backs in Area D (Roberts Creek), Kate-Louise Stamford in Area F (West Howe Sound). For Area B (Halfmoon Bay) Patrick Dickie and Justine Gabias face off at the polls.

• In Gibsons, running for mayor are Leslie Thomson, Phil Yeung and Silas White. Running for councillor are Annemarie De Andrade, Blake MacLeod, Bob Morris, Christi Thompson, David Croal, Desmond Delaney, Greig Soohen and Stafford Lumley. 

• Running in Sechelt for mayor are Allan Holt, Darnelda Siegers, Jeri Patterson and John Henderson. Running for councillor seats are Adam Shepherd, Alton Toth, Anna Jade Chen, Brenda Rowe, Cheryl Chang, Christopher Moore, Darren Inkster, Dianne McLauchlan, Donna Bell, Micky Argiropoulos, Thomas Bramble, Tim Horner, Warren Allan. 

• In the running for school board trustee are Amanda Amaral, Ann Skelcher, Ric Leskie, Maria Hampvent, Pammila Ruth, Briar Teal Hartwell, Stacia Leech, Sue Girard. Samantha Haines is acclaimed. 

• For the Islands Trust Gambier Local Trust Area, Kate-Louise Stamford and Joe Bernardo are acclaimed. 

• Sechelt adopts updated short-term rental regulations. 

• Use of the Chapman Lake siphon in future years is at risk, the SCRD committee of the whole heard Sept. 8, as BC Parks’s renewal of permission to use the siphon in 2023 is not guaranteed. 

• BC Cancer is now offering at-home cervical screening kits to more communities in the province, including some of the Sunshine Coast, to make it easier for people to access HPV testing. 

• The Sue Big Oil campaign kicks off on the Sunshine Coast with an event that draws more than 60 people in Roberts Creek. 

• The SCRD activates an emergency operations centre to respond to the water crisis brought on by drought conditions on Sept. 27. 

• The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team is dispatched to investigate human remains found inside a vehicle fire near Egmont.

• The Chapman water system nears “operational zero” without the Edwards Lake siphon, the SCRD board hears. 

• The SCRD is targeted by a ransomware attack. For nearly 16 hours mid-month, the district’s website and emails are down. 

• The SCRD asks the province to put a proper consultation process in place for naming requests as a proposal comes forward to change the names for 10 geographical features in the shíshálh swiya. 

• Hundreds of people gather for the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30, hosted by shíshálh Nation, the syiyaya Reconciliation Movement and District of Sechelt. 

N. Edwards Lake Siphons
The siphons working at Edwards Lake. SCRD photo


• Siphons at Edwards Lake are activated and water from the lake is added to the Chapman water system. 

• Sechelt’s updated Zoning Bylaw, modernizing land use in the municipality, is unanimously adopted. 

• The Coast sees its second Mayday for Muscular Dystrophy, where teams of local firefighters walk sections of Highway 101 between Earls Cove and Langdale. 

• Given the ongoing drought, a fire ban is reinstated across the Sunshine Coast ahead of Thanksgiving weekend. Between Oct. 4 and 11, Sechelt Volunteer Fire Department responds to 12 illegal campfires.

• In the Oct. 15 local government elections, John Henderson defeats incumbent Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers, winning 1,399 votes to Siegers’s 1,012. Also elected to Sechelt council are incumbents Alton Toth and Brenda Rowe, returning former councillor Darren Inkster, as well as newcomers Donna Bell, Adam Shepherd and Dianne McLauchlan. 

• Silas White wins the Gibsons mayor’s seat with 82 per cent of the vote. Also elected are councillor incumbents David Croal, Annemarie De Andrade and Stafford Lumley and newcomer Christi Thompson. 

• Justine Gabias wins SCRD’s Halfmoon Bay director’s seat, receiving 457 out of 632 votes. 

• District of Sechelt, shíshálh Nation and SCRD declare a local state of emergency Oct. 17 in face of ongoing drought and risk to the Chapman water supply. Also put into a place is a ban on large non-essential commercial uses of water. 

• A 60-year-old man may be facing multiple firearm offence charges after the Sunshine Coast RCMP responded to a report of shots fired in the North Road area the evening of Oct. 12. 

• More than 64 long-term accommodation spaces at campgrounds in Sechelt have their water shut off as SCRD enforces water restrictions on properties with suspected water leaks. Water is eventually restored to the properties. 

• WorkSafeBC launches an investigation into the death of a worker in the 100-block of Mahan Road of Gibsons Oct. 19. 

• The province announces a Foundry clinic is to come to the Sunshine Coast, but a location is to be determined. It will offer services – drop-in counselling, medical care, youth and family peer support and social services – to people 12 to 24 years old as well as their families. 

• Two new blood and IV rapid infusers arrive at the Sechelt Hospital. 

• It’s a banner season for humpback whale spotting on the Coast as groups of humpbacks are spotted feeding – as many as seven or more at a time. 

• The Coast’s state of local emergency remains in place but the commercial water ban lifts Oct. 31. 

• Open burning ban is lifted in Pender Harbour and Egmont Oct. 28 but remains in the rest of the Coast. 

A very low Chapman Lake as seen Oct. 28. SCRD photo


• More than two dozen workers within the healthcare system on the Coast are officially made public employees as part of a massive “repatriation” effort by the province to bring commercially contracted employees back into the public system. 

• Financing in place for shíshálh Nation’s $8 million wastewater treatment project in ts’ukw’um. 

• Pumps at two Sunshine Coast gas stations are temporarily shuttered because of possible gas contamination leading to vehicle breakdowns. 

• Raven Indigenous Capital Partners invest $2.5 million in Salish Environmental Group, parent company of Salish Soils. 

• A man with a qathet region connection is alleged to have attacked U.S. house speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul. 

• Sunshine Coast Community Forest and Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) agree to collaborate after a brief ELF road blockade at cutblock EW24 in ts’ukw’um on Oct. 27 and 28. Logging begins at the cutblock and the groups plan to deeply discuss what our future forests could look like. 

• Statistics Canada data shows that Sechelt and Gibsons have gotten more diverse. 

• Water supplied to 18 Garden Bay area homes is under a “do not use” warning from Vancouver Coastal Health as of Nov. 4 because of slightly elevated arsenic levels – though notification takes a month to get out because of an email miscommunication.  

• A windstorm Nov. 4 knocks out power for many on the Sunshine Coast  and fire departments are kept busy as drought-weakened trees fall on powerlines and uproot gas lines. SCRD later approves more than $200,000 in spending related to emergency repairs. 

• An early morning house fire in Selma Park is characterised as the year’s biggest structural fire so far, but luckily firefighters save two neighbouring homes. No reported injuries. 

• Town of Gibsons’s new council takes its oath of office Nov. 1. 

• District of Sechelt’s new council takes its oath of office Nov. 2.

• The new SCRD board holds its inaugural meeting Nov. 10.

• The Shaw Road affordable housing project breaks ground after a “long and arduous struggle.” The four-storey building is to accommodate 40 units of mixed-income housing. 

• Three SD46 teachers are honoured at the 2022 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education: Elaine Tattrie of Gibsons Elementary, and Tom Kellough and Sara Douglas of Chatelech Secondary. 

• Grieg Seafood BC Ltd. will decommission its fish farm facilities in shíshálh Nation territory following the Nation’s review of the facilities and a months-long “consent-based decision-making process,” according to a Nov. 14 press release.

• SCRD issues a second order under the state of  local emergency, targeting private pools, Sechelt’s arena, cannabis growers and cement producers, because of “the imminent risk that the supply of potable water from the Chapman Water System will be exhausted.”

• As the anniversary passes of the Nov. 13-15, 2021 atmospheric river, the SCRD and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) are still working on repairs. MOTI has spent $9 million on storm damage – so far. 

• The SCRD Board votes to authorize the installation of ice at Sunshine Coast Arena ahead of the Sunshine Coast Minor Hockey Association’s Winter Classic tournament and as the state of local emergency remains over the Champman water system. 

• Pender Harbour-Egmont SCRD director Leonard Lee becomes SCRD board chair. Elphinstone director Donna McMahon is selected as vice-chair. 

• Consultation is under way for Greenline Marine Inc.’s proposed electric passenger ferry between Gibsons and Vancouver.

• Chapman Creek water flows are high enough to put an end to the state of local emergency Nov. 18. However, Stage 4 water use restrictions remain. 

• Scouts Canada has closed Camp Byng indefinitely while the organization works on an “operational plan” amidst issues with maintenance and declining use. 

• Sechelt amends its property maintenance bylaw to allow district bylaw and RCMP to enforce against unauthorized access to private property. 

• Sechelt creates a community safety task force with the focus of coming up with practical solutions to improve the safety of residents and businesses. 

• Lions Housing Sociey’s Greenecourt housing project in Sechelt is reduced from 104 to 94 units after “higher than anticipated construction costs and funding shortfalls.”

• Ground Search and Rescue use newly restored rope rescue capacity to save “spry” black lab Racecar on Nov. 25. The dog had been trapped two nights on a narrow ledge on an embankment in Roberts Creek. 

• A missing kayaker is found dead near Gibsons Nov. 26 after an intensive all-night search involving the Canadian Coast Guard and three search and rescue units. 


• A raft of targeted services is coming to the Coast in the spring for approximately 25 people afflicted with overlapping medical needs who rely on supportive housing or who aren’t securely housed, the province announces. 

• A dry nitrogen technology upgrade for the fire sprinkler system at Sechelt Aquatic Centre will cost an estimated $813,619  SCRD board members hear. 

• The Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner determines that the SCRD does not need to take any more steps regarding a “cyber incident” back in September. 

• After several months of highway delays, improvements on a stretch of Highway 101 in Roberts Creek by the intersection of Joe/Orange Road and the highway, is finally largely complete. 

• Four Sechelt residents are arrested and face charges of aggravated assault with a weapon related to an attack on a female that occurred Nov. 19. 

• SCRD dump contractor costs double for 2023 – to $783,596 from $377,000 – as the district’s 10-year contract expires. 

• Retired teacher creates an education fund for Capilano University Sunshine Coast campus students who don’t get straight As. 

• Gibsons council approves the first wave of temporary use permits for short-term rentals in dwellings without permanent residents, authorizing 22 in a single resolution. 

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