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Pemberton council talks electric-vehicle charging station policy

Council briefs: farmer survey, Tourism Pemberton to support Pemberton Creek Community Garden
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With electric vehicles increasing in popularity, the Village of Pemberton (VOP) discussed what its policy should be when it comes to levying a fee at electric-vehicle-charging stations.

The VOP currently only has one such station, near the Pemberton & District Community Centre, but is exploring options for adding more.

Two additional charging stations have been included in a funding application to the province for a park-and-ride facility to be located at 1420 Portage Rd.

The VOP currently does not charge vehicles a fee at the community centre charging stations, but that could change going forward.

During its Oct. 22 regular council meeting, VOP council directed staff to look into options for a payment system.

Following the meeting, VOP Mayor Mike Richman said the municipality is eager to build more charging stations, and that the discussion about whether to charge was an important one to have.

"I think it's just a matter of planning ahead and looking at how we want to approach this," said Richman.

Costs for the single station may be minimal now, but could grow if others are added, noted Richman.

"And once again, that falls on the back of the taxpayer right now, so it's more looking ahead and going ... How do we want to approach this? Is it a user-fee process, or is it free?"

Farmer survey

Following recent changes designed to strengthen the Agriculture Land Reserve (ALR) and the Agriculture Land Commission, the province is inviting farmers to have their say on how it can encourage farming and protected farmland.

The aim of the consultation is to learn more about the ways the province can help farmers and ranchers diversify their businesses and help new or young farmers become established, according to a spokesperson from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Individuals can give their feedback on these topics and others via an online questionnaire.

While happy to see the province take steps to strengthen the rules around the ALR, Anna Helmer, president of the Pemberton Farmer's Institute, said that only "time will tell" how effective the changes are.

Helmer, however, isn't exactly excited to see the province looking for ways to help farmers run their businesses.

"I don't really want the government trying to figure out how to make a farm business a go," said Helmer. "That's not the role of government that I see."

A link to the online questionnaire, which closes on Nov. 14 at 4 p.m., can be found here:

Tourism Pemberton support

Tourism Pemberton has announced that it will donate partial proceeds of the 2019 Slow Food Cycle Sunday to the Pemberton Creek Community Garden.

Managed by the Stewardship Pemberton Society, the volunteer-led, organic community garden includes 75 plots and a plot dedicated to the Pemberton Food Bank.

"It's important to continue to promote local growers and the sustainability of growing/eating local," said Tourism Pemberton President Mark Mendonca in a release.

"We believe in what Stewardship Pemberton is all about, and what they are doing in our community... Tourism Pemberton is proud to support such a fantastic community program."

An official cheque presentation will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 9:30 a.m. at the Pemberton Creek Community Garden.