Downtown plan leaves too many questions

The newest concept plan from the City depicts a development that means we will lose the remaining heritage buildings at Five Corners

We have lost the Empress Hotel, and are about to lose the Paramount Theatre. The newest concept plan from the City depicts a development that means we will lose the remaining heritage buildings at Five Corners including The Hipwell Building, all the way up to and including the Stacey Block.

No one at City Hall deserves a pat on the back for planning to demolish every single significant heritage building left on the Yale Road corridor in advance of a concrete plan that they can actually communicate to us as more than a concept drawing.

Why is Chilliwack one of the only municipalities between Hope and Whistler without a council -appointed Heritage Advisory Committee?  Just google it, I did.  Why has the Museum and Archives been relegated to a role that seems to involve salvaging artifacts from our heritage buildings before they are demolished? I would like to hear publicly from the experts at the Museum and Archives as to how they  feel about the Downtown Plan. There are so many other voices in this community that are conspicuously absent, such as the voice of the BIA. Maybe it’s because CEPCO, the BIA, the Downtown Implementation Committee, and the City ,all share board members and staff…you can google that too.

This whole Downtown Plan and all the shenanigans at the City and CEPCO reminds me a little of the HST fiasco…sometimes the “process” is equally as important as the “outcome” trying to be achieved. When people feel that they have not been consulted properly, and that their voices have not been heard, they are going to let the people in power know about it…first on principle, and then because they want answers and will find a way to get them.

Last week, I got a call from a friend of mine who happened to be driving by the Paramount  just after 6 a.m. Knowing I am passionate about the state of heritage buildings downtown, he called me, and I threw on a jacket, grabbed my camera and walked the 2 minutes up to the Paramount to see for myself. Sure enough, by 6:20 a.m., contents of the Paramount had been loaded into a large private construction trailer and off they drove, in the company of three or four other pick- up trucks. Maybe the light of pre-dawn is when CEPCO and the City do their best work, or maybe they would like demolition to proceed as quickly and quietly as possible to avoid too many curious eyes and any more questions.

I personally feel they should go back to the drawing board totally on the Downtown Plan, some will disagree with me and that’s OK. What’s not OK is a Downtown Plan built on misinformation, lack of transparency and an improper consultation process. Other communities all across Canada have successfully rebuilt their historic downtowns without ripping out the roots of the community and without alienating their citizens…just google it.

Krista Butt

Committee member, Friends of the Chilliwack Paramount

Just Posted

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Dozens of demonstrators gathered in March at the Hope Station House, showing support for preserving the 1916 building. (Photo/Christian Ward)
New reports breathe life into efforts to save the Hope Station House

The documents were presented to District of Hope Council at a meeting June 14

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema, a member of the Canadian national women’s soccer squad.
Another scoreless draw for Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canadian national women’s soccer squad

Canada played Brazil to a 0-0 tie days after doing the same in a friendly against the Czech Republic

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-month-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

A letter from a senior RCMP officer in Langley said Mounties who attended a mayor’s gala in January of 2020 used their own money. Controversy over the event has dogged mayor Val van den Broek (R) and resulted in the reassignment of Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power (L). (file)
Langley RCMP officers used ‘own money’ to attend mayor’s gala, senior officer says

‘I would not want there to be a belief that the police officers had done something untoward’

Squirrels are responsible for most of U.S. power outages. Black Press file photo
Dead squirrels in park lead Richmond RCMP to probe ‘toxic substance’ found in trees

Police aren’t sure if the chemical was dumped there or placed intentionally

Most Read