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Letters: Installing ice at the Sechelt arena was the wrong decision

'How do those five directors justify directing our water supply to an ice rink while residents have so much angst about keeping our only local hospital, our businesses and our farms supplied?'
hockey-skates
Ice returned to the Sunshine Coast Arena just in time for a hockey tournament.

Editor: 

Buried in your article “Chapman Creek meeting supply needs” we are told that “Between Nov. 16 and 23, water from the Chapman system water has been used to ready the ice rink... Due to safety and logistical concerns, the SCRD has opted to keep ice production on the existing approved water source.” It is astounding that on Nov. 15, after being on stage 4 (severe) water restrictions for almost three months, the SCRD board decided to use water from our Chapman water system (~110,000 – 120,000 litres/week) for the Sechelt ice rink. This went against the recommendation of SCRD staff who are running the emergency operation. Five directors supported this motion (Backs, White, Lee, Toth, Henderson), and three voted against (McMahon, Gabias, Stamford). It appears that pressure from the hockey lobby outweighed the need to ensure water for residents, local businesses and essential services like the Sechelt Hospital. The SCRD staff who have been working long and hard on the emergency operation and enforcing the water restrictions must be disheartened by this decision. And all the other facilities and businesses asking for exceptions must be wondering about hypocrisy and fairness. 

There are around 22,000 residents depending on the precarious Chapman water system. A generous estimate of those who benefit from the Sechelt ice rink might be 1-2% (200-400). So how do those five directors justify directing our water supply to an ice rink while residents have so much angst about keeping our only local hospital, our businesses and our farms supplied? 

The SCRD board made the wrong decision. 

During the Nov. 15 discussion it was agreed that if an alternate water source is not put in place to maintain the ice rink, the board would revisit their decision. Many of us are watching for this to happen. 

Darlene Tymo, Halfmoon Bay 

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