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Briefly: April 26, 2013

Green Party It’s official: the Green Party has finalized a candidate for the riding of Powell River-Sunshine Coast.
Briefly: April 26, 2013

Green Party

It’s official: the Green Party has finalized a candidate for the riding of Powell River-Sunshine Coast.

Richard Till was confirmed by Elections BC Wednesday afternoon after a week and a half of fundraising and internal work to finalize the candidacy.

Till was selected and confirmed as the Green candidate last week and he confirmed Tuesday morning that the party’s nomination booklet was completed and submitted to Elections BC. All the paperwork was finalized by Elections BC on Wednesday.

Till joins incumbent New Democratic Party candidate Nicholas Simons and Liberal candidate Patrick Muncaster on the ballot for the May 14 election.

In an interview with Coast Reporter on April 18, Till said he was approached to run in the riding when another person chose to step aside.

“I’ve been involved in a lot of things in the past and changes for the good,” he said. “I felt I still had some fight in me and had the energy to work for change. I considered accepting and contacted the party.”

In his bio posted on the Green Party BC election website, Till said human ecology is the great arena of change in our time.

“I believe the time has come to gather with organized movements to effect necessary change,” he said. “The Green Party represents the most viable vehicle to steer us toward the right sort of change for British Columbia.”

Till graduated with a bachelor of science in behavioural science and a minor in outdoor education. He is a qualified welder fabricator and has built a log house and irrigation pipeline, farmed organic grapes, built and sailed a boat, run a business, been a trades instructor, worked in youth corrections outdoor programs and, most recently, worked together with the Sechelt Nation.

Mountaineering, working in outdoor youth programs, canoeing, backpacking and working in the back country have further convinced Till that BC must be protected from the invasive agendas of foreign corporate interests that have no roots or human investment here.

“People here should have the opportunity to choose Green Party values and objectives; they should have a voice,” he said.

-Ian Jacques, Coast Reporter

Vessel replacement

Powell River and Texada Island residents have an opportunity to learn more about BC Ferries’ vessel replacement program at two information meetings. The meeting in Powell River takes place from 7 to 9 pm on Wednesday, May 1, at Powell River Town Centre Hotel.

The Texada meeting takes place from 7 to 9 pm on Thursday, May 2, at Gillies Bay Community Hall.

BC Ferries’ representatives will be present to discuss plans for replacing the Queen of Burnaby, the regular vessel on the Powell River-Comox route, and the North Island Princess, which serves Texada. The event includes information explaining the strategy, vessel design and project timelines, as well as a question and answer period.

BC Ferries has developed a plan to commission two 145-vehicle ferries and one 125-vehicle ferry to serve the Powell River-Comox and the Gulf Islands-Tsawwassen routes. The corporation is also replacing the Queen of Nanaimo, a sister ship to the Burnaby, which serves the Gulf Islands route.

The proposal would see the new 125-vehicle vessel act as the primary replacement vessel on both routes when the main ships are scheduled for maintenance and refits. The smaller ship would also see active duty in the Gulf Islands during the high traffic summer months and shoulder seasons.

The company is handling the replacement of the North Island Princess separately from the replacement of the two larger vessels.

BC Ferries is following recommendations to move toward the standardization of its fleet with three classes of vessels. Instead of building ferries specific for routes, it is planning on building a strategic fleet that can be moved around on different routes.

The corporation intends to forward an application to replace the older vessels to BC Ferry Commissioner Gord Macatee. The commissioner must approve any major vessel capital expenditure of $30 million or more. BC Ferries is seeking public input on the proposed new vessels before filing the application to the commissioner.

Public comments submitted during the information sessions will be forwarded to the ferry commissioner.

Residents unable to attend the information sessions can visit online to learn more about vessel replacement. Details can be found there along with an email address for submitting input.

Suspect caught

Powell River RCMP have arrested one suspect in the rash of thefts from unlocked cars.

Shane Velkjar, 18, of Powell River has been charged with a number of counts of mischief and theft under $5,000.

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 23, police responded to a report of a suspicious person entering yards in the area around Oliver Street and Joyce Avenue. Patrols located the suspect near Jasper Street and Marine Avenue.

Police are acknowledging that the arrest “was due in large part to the watchful eye of a concerned citizen.”

Since February, police have been hit with an unusually high number of this type of theft in Powell River, with over 20 thefts reported in the last three weeks.

Police do not believe that Velkjar is responsible for all of these thefts and are continuing their investigation.

Anyone with information on this or any other crime is asked to call Powell River RCMP 604.485.6255 or CrimeStoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS (8477).

Police are reminding people to not leave valuables in their vehicles, including loose change, and to keep their vehicle doors locked.