Boat owner Paul Charlebois says there is a need for more public boat launch facilities on the Peninsula, a stance being demanded by the North Saanich Residents Association. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Boat owner Paul Charlebois says there is a need for more public boat launch facilities on the Peninsula, a stance being demanded by the North Saanich Residents Association. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

North Saanich residents launch new appeal for public boating access

Letter laments lack of quality facilities outside boat launch in Sidney’s Tulista Park

The North Saanich Residents Association has renewed calls for an additional public boat launch.

Association president John Kafka wrote in a June 3 letter to local, provincial and federal authorities that North Saanich lacks “safe, affordable public marine access facilities” for individuals with limited budgets, small crafts and no moorage. He added later that neither major marine centre at Swartz Bay or Tsehum Harbour include public launch facilities.

Kafka said Tulista Park in Sidney remains the only public boat launch facility on the Saanich Peninsula, with no public launch facility available for over 20 nautical miles, from Goldstream in the Saanich Inlet to Sidney in Haro Strait.

He added that demand at Tulista Park often overburdens the facility.

“Despite the efficiency of the launch facility, parking for vehicles with trailers is maxed out and the Town of Sidney is forced to ticket vehicles in areas where trailer parking is not permitted,” he wrote. “On weekends, the streets in Sidney are filled with vehicles with trailers (and) the dedication of additional street parking by the town has not alleviated the demand for parking.”

RELATED: Sidney North Saanich Yacht Club to launch boating season with a bang

Boat owner Paul Charlebois, who uses the Tulista launch about a dozen times a year, strongly agrees with the demand. The limited number of facilities in Greater Victoria, coupled with parking restrictions at Tulista Park, sometimes sees him drive to Ladysmith to launch. He generally likes the Sidney launch but would like to see any future one in more a sheltered area.

Kafka’s letter highlights other public launch facilities in the region, if only to underscore their unavailability and inaccessibility.

The Goldstream Boat House at the south end of Saanich Inlet “is very hard to access” from Highway 1 and a “very long way from North Saanich, Sidney, Brentwood Bay and the communities on the Peninsula,” he said.

Other boat launch facilities are located on the southern tip of Island, far from the protected waters of the Gulf Islands and the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a popular boating destination for Saanich Peninsula residents.

Kafka also mentions the private launch facility run by the Tsartlip First Nation in Brentwood Bay, noting that the facility closed ‘indefinitely’ in March 2020, while raising the possibility it could reopen in future.

The Peninsula News Review reached out twice to Tsartlip CEO Andrew Leach to enquire about the status of the boat launch but did not receive a reply by the time of writing.

The letter points to three possible options within and in the vicinity of the Institute for Ocean Sciences in Patricia Bay and makes a case for the federal government’s purchase of Queen Mary Bay and its addition to the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.

ALSO READ: Oak Bay selects proponent for transformation of Turkey Head, marina

Kafka acknowledged potential locations for a public launch facility are under the control of various jurisdictions but voiced hopes those bodies can coordinate efforts to improve public access and economic activity.

The letter does not mention the public boat launch at Island View Beach, which in past has been the subject of controversy over its condition and impact on the local ecology.

Christiana Jones, communications coordinator with the Capital Regional District, said that ramp is located outside of Island View Beach Regional Park on provincially-owned Crown foreshore.

“The future of the boat launch is not clear at this time,” she said. “The CRD is focused on completing the management plan for Island View Beach Regional Park. The previously presented draft management plan recommended that the CRD facilitate a multi-stakeholder process to investigate options for the boat launch.”

Britt Burnham, spokesperson for the District of Central Saanich, said as far as the municipality knows, the boat launch is currently not operational.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

BoatingSaanich Peninsula

Just Posted

A lift on marine border restrictions by next summer would bring an economic gain to Greater Victoria through the cruise industry. (Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich calls for opening of marine borders by summer 2022

Council to ask feds to end restrictions in time to allow planning for next cruise ship season

Camper the dog was found Wednesday night by someone walking their own dog along Hollywood Crescent. She had gone missing after a violent attack on June 11. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Camper the dog found safe after fleeing violent van attack in Victoria

Camper was found on Hollywood Crescent Wednesday night

In January 2019, Grade 5 students from Glenlyon Norfolk School, accompanied by Grade 11 student Anastasia Castro, gave a presentation to Oak Bay council seeking a ban on plastic bags in the district. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay set to survey businesses on single-use plastic products

Survey gathers information ahead of expected legislation on provincial, federal level

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: When was the last time you visited the mainland?

The films are again lighting the screens at local theatres, the wine… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 15

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits to failing to supervise his staff and find, report the shortage

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

John Kromhoff with some of the many birthday cards he received from ‘pretty near every place in the world’ after the family of the Langley centenarian let it be known that he wasn’t expecting many cards for his 100th birthday. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Cards from all over the world flood in for B.C. man’s 100th birthday

An online invitation by his family produced a flood of cards to mark his 100th birthday

Most Read