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1. What is West Coast Multiplex project?
The West Coast Multiplex (WCM) is a community facility in the making — the dream of many passionate West Coast Vancouver Island parents, kids, sports enthusiasts, health professionals, wellness advocates, senior citizens, educators and business people from eight communities including District of Tofino, District of Ucluelet, Ahoushat First Nation, Hesquiaht First Nation, Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, Toquaht First Nation and Yuułu?ił?ath First Nation. When it is built — on designated land adjacent to the Tofino-Ucluelet Airport and Long Beach Golf Course — the proposed facility will serve multi-generational families who are interested in improved health and wellness through a variety of year-round recreational and educational activities.
2. Hasn’t the Multiplex been in the works for a long time?
First envisioned more than 20 years ago, the Multiplex has gone through several planning phases, each supported by varying degrees by the communities it will serve. As with all projects developed by multiple communities and supported by regional and local governments, the Multiplex project has finally reached a point in its history where it has acquired significant support from the West Coast communities it will serve.
The WCMS has received financial contributions from the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, Mainstream Canada, the Annual Society golf tournament (formally Stick in the Mud) and the Tofino Saltwater Classic fishing derby.
3. How has the plan for the Multiplex been scaled back from its original vision?
The plan for the WCM facility has been significantly scaled back from its original 2008 plan and will be constructed in phases to make it more affordable to build and manage. For example, the 2008 plan included a swimming pool in the first phase. The scaled-back plan calls for only an ice rink and supporting amenities to be built in phase one.
4. How much will it cost to build the Multiplex and how will construction be funded?
The West Coast Multiplex Society has been deemed responsible for raising all Capital Funds to cover the Project costs through grants, funding applications and donations. Construction cost for the West Coast Multiplex Phase One (ice rink and supporting amenities) are estimated to be up to 18 million. It has never been the intention of the West Coast Multiplex Society to burden local taxpayers with the facility’s construction costs. Instead, the Society and its supporters are actively seeking financial support from the Provincial and Federal governments in the form of support grants and stimulus packages, and from non-governmental sources such as corporations, private donations and business opportunities.
5. What was the Referendum?
A Referendum is an opportunity for British Columbians to take part directly in the political and legislative process. Referenda are votes in which registered voters are asked to express their opinion on a matter of public interest or concern. Registered voters indicate their opinion by marking a ballot in response to one or more questions.
In November, 2012, the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) conducted the Multiplex Referendum which asked Area “C” (Long Beach), District of Tofino and District of Ucluelet voters if they are willing through a property tax levy, to support the establishment and operation of a service for public recreation and community use including a multiplex facility – estimated in ACRD studies not to exceed $450,000 annually.
Voters were presented with the following Referendum question on November 24:
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District
REFERENDUM – WEST COAST MULTIPLEX SERVICE AREA ESTABLISHMENT, 2012
WHEREAS the West Coast Multiplex Society is committed to raise all the funds necessary to engineer, design and construct a multiplex facility on the West Coast.
AND WHEREAS the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District has been requested to establish and operate a service for public recreation including a multiplex facility on the West Coast.
Are you in favour of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District enacting Bylaw E1056, West Coast Multiplex Service Area Establishment, 2012 to establish a service area within Electoral Area “C” (Long Beach), the District of Tofino and the District of Ucluelet, to operate a public recreation facility for community use, including a multiplex facility, with an annual maximum requisition limit of the greater of $450,000 or $0.35 per $1,000 of taxable value of land and improvements?
The West Coast Multiplex Referendum passed with a significant majority of Votes (679 to 395).
6. What will the facility’s operating and marketing costs be and how will they be paid?
While the West Coast Multiplex will collect revenue from a variety of sources (including year-round sports tournaments, conventions, non-resident/visitor daily usage fees, meeting space rentals, sponsorships, advertising and third-party lease arrangements), the scaled-back West Coast Multiplex Phase One is expected to operate at a deficit of up to approximately $200,000 per year.
The West Coast Multiplex Society has secured the interest and involvement of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) Area C to help determine how this operating cost deficit will be paid. The ACRD, which represents all the communities that the Multiplex will serve, has reviewed and approved the “West Coast Multiplex Feasibility Report”.
Residents will not be taxed on the deficit however, until the facility is build and has been in operation for a year. Only the deficit amount will be spread over the entire tax base each year.
7. Hasn’t the West Coast Multiplex been fundraising already? How was that money spent?
Since 2003 the West Coast Multiplex Society and community supporters have raised $427,000 towards the project. The monies raised have primarily been applied to the development, by paid professionals, of a feasibility study, business plans, architectural designs and geotechnical research. In concert with the Society, the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) has contributed $125,000 towards the project and has provided the necessary land. The site, approximately 5.5 hectares in size is estimated to be valued at $400,000. In 2016 the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation provided $100,000 towards an updated business plan and facility design for phase one.
8. In addition to the ACRD, who supports the Multiplex development?
The West Coast Committee of the Regional District (including Area C Director Tony Bennett, Mayor Josie Osborne, and Mayor Bill Irving) voted unanimously to support the March 27, 2012 motion to proceed to Referendum for operating cost support for Phase One of the West Coast Multiplex.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by all of the following eight communities (Mayor and council, and Council and Chiefs) in 2013 indicating support for the project.
Tla o qui aht First Nation Ahousaht First Nation Ucluelet First Nation
Hesquiaht First Nation Toquaht First Nation District of Tofino
District of Ucluelet Alberni Clayoquot Regional District
In addition to local and regional health and wellness advocates, residents and business owners, the West Coast Multiplex concept has been publicly endorsed by:
· National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Hereditary Chief from the Ahousaht First Nation.
· MLA for Mid Island-Pacific Rim, Scott Fraser.
· MP for Courtenay-Alberni , Gord Johns.
· The NHL’s Willie Mitchell and Brendan Morrison whose Tofino Saltwater Classic Fishing Derby has raised more than $430,000 to support community initiatives including the Wickaninnish Community School, Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society, Tofino Parks and Recreation Program, and the West Coast Multiplex Society. See a complete list of endorsements.
9. Where do I get more information?
This website is the best place to stay apprised of WCM information or we are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WestCoastMulti/. In addition, feel free to send an email with specific questions: email@example.com
10. How do I get involved?
We need your help, email us today to get involved firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also a couple ways to show your support for the West Coast Multiplex including:
· Write a letter of support explaining why the Multiplex is a “must have” for the West Coast of Vancouver Island and send it to us at email@example.com
· Tell your friends and neighbours, every chance you get about the benefits of the Multiplex to our communities.
11. Who will own the West Coast Multiplex?
The land is currently owned by the ACRD and the business plan recommends tla-o-qui-aht first nations to manage the facility on behalf of all communities but nothing has been decided concretely at this time.