A local entrepreneur was cut out of a bear-proofing gig this
week, as the District of Squamish renewed and reconfigured a contract with
Carney’s Waste Systems that’ll see recycling depots decommissioned in favour of
The clash between Russell Roy of Critter Guard Lock Systems and
Owen Carney came to an overdue conclusion after Manager of Operations Gordon
Prescott found no proof of a deal between the two businessmen, though he did
come across a memorandum of understanding.
Councillor Corinne Lonsdale was the only member of the new
government to vote against awarding the contract, citing a trend of
encouragement council had displayed in its dealings with Roy. Previously, he
had been given a contract to fit his systems of garbage totes in Timbertown
trailer park. Further, he had his design tested and approved by local and
“I only know one system of bear-proofing in this community,”
Lonsdale said. “I would rather see this be shared between the two of them. I
would not like to see all this go to Mr. Carney.”
That didn’t fly with Councillors Doug Race and Paul Lalli, both
of whom said the district has no right to tell a company how to source its
“That would be like us telling them what type of trucks to
buy,” said Race.
The spat between Roy and Carney came to light in September,
when Roy appeared before council to complain about Carney cutting him out of
the deal. Carney wanted to do have the locks built in house. He said Roy’s
systems are inadequate, a charge the entrepreneur denied. Both men were
chastised by then Councillor Greg Gardner — now mayor — for putting
the municipality in the awkward position of choosing between two local
businesses. Gardner implored them to resolve the conflict on their own.
“What I’m hearing from Mr. Prescott is that has not occurred,”
he said during this week’s meeting.
Lonsdale attempted to have the whole thing deferred, but
council instead took a brief recess to mull over the information.
In the end, Carney’s secured the contract, which will last for
60 months. Curbside collection will begin in early January, and, as a result,
garbage will only be collected every two weeks. However, the district has
retained the right to revisit the bi-weekly approach in the event it becomes
problematic. In that event, the contract would be amended, and new costs would
be introduced. Currently, the system will not result in increased costs to
taxpayers, though the lock systems will run $1.60 per month over five years.
Riun Blackwell remembers November’s race to district hall.
There were 18 people to pester back then, exhausting stuff, even on the most
energetic of days. Now there’s only seven — and decisions made on the
chamber floor are a bit weightier than those promised on the campaign trail.
And so it was that Blackwell appeared before council to
showcase his idea to change the junior lounge and daycare in Brennan Park into
a weight room. Called Weight Room 2009, the proposal is not without merit, nor
is it without support from people like Race and Gardner.
“Swimming pools and weight rooms complement each other,”
Blackwell said. “I was informed that Nordic skiers coming to town have the same
problem as us locals: They can’t afford the private drop-in rates.”
Further, continued Blackwell, a weight room would be the indoor
backbone to a town that brands itself as an outdoor recreation capital, and, as
Olympic fever rises, there’ll be no shortage of users.
And yet, there are a couple of private facilities in town, and
seldom do businesses enjoy competition from government. Further, there are
already users of the space, however weak they may be. And so council simply directed
staff to look into the issue.
The multiple-family plague
There’s a time and a place for everything, even tired adages.
To Lonsdale, the time to approve rezoning near Eagle Run Shopping Centre is
most definitely not right now, especially if the plan is to shift land use from
employment to residential.
“I don’t know that we need another multiple-family residential
building,” she lamented. “I do know we need jobs.”
Thing is, said Director of Planning Cameron Chalmers, job lands
are envisioned in the business park, downtown and on the Oceanfront peninsula.
With the current Eagle Run zoning allowing for little more than restaurants,
garden nurseries and building supply stores, with second level residential, the
owner is less than enthusiastic about upgrading the mall. Rather, he prefers a
three-storey apartment complex with no more than 80 units. And, to sweeten the
deal, there’s an affordable housing contribution.
But Lonsdale was unmoved. The lone dissenter, she voted against first and second reading.