Lake level requires answers
As a float-cabin owner on Powell Lake, I have been concerned about the lake’s alarmingly low water level [“Low water levels reveal old homestead,” September 20].
I understand that generating station owner Brookfield Renewable Power is currently performing upgrades at the dam and need to lower the level of the lake in order to do so.
However, having had the cabin since 1978, I have never seen the lake as low as its current level. I had to move it into deeper water for the first time ever and was recently contacted by Davic Marina and asked to move my boat, which is moored there, as they were concerned it may soon be aground.
I have sent several emails to different government ministries and Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons, with no response, to enquire whether there are guidelines or restrictions on how low a hydro producer can drop the water level. The silence is deafening.
I have, however, received a response from a representative of Brookfield, which reads, in part, "The lake will continue to drop until it reaches the bottom of our project area, which could be another approximately three feet depending on precipitation.”
Three feet lower! I have noted several float cabins already partially beached. Lowering the lake to the level indicated by Brookfield will cause major issues and damage to many cabins, not to mention the environmental impact this may have on the local wildlife.
Who assumes liability for this damage? It appears to me that Brookfield has full reign to do whatever it wants on the lake, with no one to answer to.
Name change unreasonable
We do not think changing the name of Powell River Regional District to qathet Regional District is a reasonable idea. [“Regional district seeks name change support,” September 13].
The name, which means "people working together,” is not a geographical location and would mean nothing to anyone as to where it might be.
We think the costs to change a name should not be borne by the residents of the regional district. We do not believe many residents want their tax dollars spent on website updating, logos, signage, paper, administration and all the other items, big and small, that would be impacted.
Indeed, we do not see anything on the regional district website that places a cost on this, let alone the confusion for anyone else in the province, country or the world who is looking into the area.
If you google Powell River, you get the regional district included in the Wikipedia article. There is nothing about qathet’s meaning, so how would anyone know what it meant, let alone where it is?
While we applaud reconciliation with first nations, Tla'amin Nation is not the only group represented in this area. Sechelt (shíshálh) First Nation, Te'mexw Treaty Association and Klahoose First Nation also have traditional lands in the regional district. Has anyone asked them what they think?
We attended a public meeting about this name change and felt the decision to change the name was presented as a forgone conclusion with only the opportunity to agree or disagree by the survey provided.
As there were few people present, it seems that the numbers of returned surveys will provide very little insight into the actual voice of the people impacted.
We believe a more fair and equitable decision on this issue should be included in the next election as a referendum item.
J. and N. Gregory
Powell River Regional District Electoral Area B
Name change overdue
I support the proposed name change from Powell River Regional District to qathet Regional District [“Regional district seeks name change support,” September 13].
The rationale provided on the regional district’s website is very convincing and appropriate.
Parts of the rationale that I particularly support for a name change include: Powell River has always been a confusing, limiting name for the regional district and is long overdue for correction; it would help celebrate Tla'amin Nation’s self-government status achieved this decade; it would help acknowledge the importance of other outlying communities, including first nations that are within the regional district, but do not identify with Powell River; and it would contribute to the reconciliation process, particularly by choosing a word meaning “people working together.”