It was great to see so many people enjoying Canada Day in LeBourdais Park this past weekend, despite the iffy weather. A big thank you to the organizers, sponsors, and volunteers who put this event on, giving us all a chance to celebrate this great country. It was fun to see so many families in the park, and so many children playing in the new playground or sliding down the makeshift waterslide on the hill.
It’s too easy today to focus on the negative, as the news, with a lot of help from social media, tends to amplify the problems and concerns in our community and elsewhere in the world. Don’t get me wrong, like every other community we have serious issues that need to be dealt with, but we also have a lot of good things happening in our community that we can and should celebrate and appreciate.
Quesnel has phenomenal recreation venues and amenities, better than most communities our size, and we’re making every effort to keep improving them to maximize their availability and accessibility in order to make our community more attractive to visitors, residents, and investment.
Pop over to West Quesnel and see how great the Lewis Drive Rink revitalization project looks. This old outdoor rink is getting completely renovated to enable it to be used for lacrosse and basketball in the summer as well as skating and hockey in the winter. Baker Creek Park has also been prepared for the new addition to the skateboard park and work will begin this summer to replace the big red slide at the Patchett Street playground with exciting new hill-play structures.
The West Fraser Centre is undergoing refinements this summer to make it an even better venue to host events. The walking track has been rubberized, three new feature walls will be installed, finishing touches to the locker rooms are being added, and accessibility improvements to the seating areas will all be completed before the ice goes back in late summer. The whole precinct around the Centre will also undergo a major transformation to make it a great place to host tournaments, conferences, and events; all of which will bring direct economic benefits to the City.
Portions of the riverfront trail have been repaved and a new section added. A comprehensive riverfront development plan is now being created to maximize the attractiveness of this phenomenal natural asset. It’s Council’s hope that we will soon see some major cultural and tourist attractions developed along the City’s riverfronts, including some world class First Nations cultural facilities.
On top of these important developments, the City continues to make significant investments in core infrastructure. The Reid Street project is the largest of these and when this project is completed the City will have a beautiful new retail space in our downtown core. The City’s road paving program saw significant road improvements in West Quesnel, Johnston Sub, North Quesnel, and South Quesnel and our road rebuild program will take place later this summer. Major improvements to the City’s water system are also underway.
While these amenity and core infrastructure improvements are being made, Council continues to seek more investment in both affordable and market housing in order to make more housing options available for our seniors and for younger workers and families moving into our community. And, we continue to work with the Ministry of Transportation to get improvements to the Highway through the City, including a commitment to the proposed North-South Interconnector.
Over the summer, and especially during Billy Barker Days, I hope you will take the time to celebrate all that our community has to offer. Quesnel is a great place to live.