Qualicum Beach council has deferred indefinitely discussions with the Qualicum Nature Preservation Society in relation to wetlands located in Lot C of the Seacroft Estates.
The decision was reached by council at its regular meeting on Sept. 16.
“What contributed to that decision ultimately was firstly there is going to be a registered 219 covenant on the private land that protects the entirety of the wetlands in perpetuity and so ultimately it really makes no difference who owns the land,” said Chief Adminstrative Officer Daniel Sailland. “It all serves the same function.”
Previously, there was motion to direct staff to invite the QNPS to indicate in writing if they intended to lead a fundraising campaign to purchase Lot C for conservation purposes.
The QNPS had sent Mayor Brian Wiese and council a letter, dated Sept. 16, inviting the town to put in writing if it would purchase the wetlands area and keep it as municipal natural asset. The group indicated it would be willing to provide advertising support to the town.
QNPS President Ezra Morse said in the letter they support Coun. Teunis Westbroek’s stating “acquiring this property is more important than my personal feelings.” He also pointed out that the town has more experience with managing land and spending taxpayer funds and it made more sense for the QNPS to provide advertising and social media support.
Council had also previously indicated the town’s willingness to assist the QNPS, through advertising and promotion, if they do choose to raise funds to purchase the land.
Morse indicated they want to meet with council to collaborate on a framework to preserve the sensitive ecosystem.
“I think it is more important to our community and environment that we are all aligned, we both agree about the importance of protecting our wetlands in the face of climate change,” said Morse. “The town has signalled they want to work to preserve this area, so what we need to do now is collaborate on the best ways to do so as we have been proposing for months.”