Terrace submits bid to host national aboriginal hockey championship

This was one item on last night's city council agenda that also saw council strike down a company's bid to install a large advertising sign.

Hockey tournament plan submitted

Council heard last night of the city’s advancement in applying to host the 2017 National Aboriginal Hockey Championship.

“May 1-6, 2017, if we are successful, we will be hosting a high level national hockey championship. Very exciting,” said councillor Brian Downie, who showed council the submission document the host committee has put together.

Aside from Downie, the host committee composed of mayor Carol Leclerc, Kitsumkalum chief Don Roberts, Kitselas chief Joe Bevan and Cal Albright, the executive director of the Kermode Friendship Society.

Together they put together a proposal they are sending off to the aboriginal hockey association.

“It will be a hockey and cultural event. Including an opening ceremony in George Little Park,” said Downie.

“We want to showcase to those who come north coast aboriginal cultural, and also show them a good time,” he added.

Terrace is competing with Campbell River, Penticton and Cowichan to be the B.C. bid winner, Downie said.

The city will hear in June whether the application was successful, but after that there is a selection that takes place on the national level to determine the final destination of the event.

Variance denied

City council voted last night to deny a variance permit to a company wanting to put a large sign on property at the corner of the Sande overpass and Keith Ave.

A company called Seko Construction wanted a height variance, with their third party advertising sign to be located on land owned by UCANCO General Partners Inc.

The proposed sign was 8 feet by 16 feet (11.9 square metres) and 12 feet high, while the sign bylaw stipulates in the C3 zone a maximum sign area of 7.4 square metres, or 8 feet by 10 feet, with a total height maximum of 12 feet.

Council was tied in votes, with mayor Carol Leclerc casting the tie breaker.

Councillors Stacey Tyers and Lynne Christiansen also voted against granting the variance, while Michael Prevost, Brian Downie and James Cordeiro came out in favour.

Councillor Sean Bujtas, who was not opposed to larger signs at the previous council meeting when the same variance was discussed but deferred, was absent and did not vote.

Leclerc was of the same mind as Tyers in not wanting to set precedence of large billboard-like signs in the downtown and agreed with Christiansen that protecting the view of Sleeping Beauty mountain is important.

She pointed to Thornhill as a place where rules have broken down, with staff having showed examples of large signs located there.

“The regional district has a bylaw that doesn’t allow billboards and it’s just totally ignored,” said Leclerc.

“We have a natural setting and to have a third party sign on a busy street when you see Sleeping Beauty coming up … it would set a lot of precedence,” she said.

Cordeiro on the other hand argued that taxpaying property owners should be allowed to make money off property for which they pay city taxes, and that having a large sign should be permitted.