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CANACE Welcome Centre to open on Douglas Creek

By Jennifer Vo

August 30, 2013

The Sachem

If members of the Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality (CANACE) have their way, the CANACE Welcome Centre will be open by the end of September in the old shack located by the entrance of the former Douglas Creek Estates.

But before opening the welcome centre, Gary McHale, co-founder of CANACE, said he is working to put together a presentation to help council members “understand” what land the county owns and doesn’t own.

“We’re hoping to put together a committee to speak to council because it was clear when we spoke to the one council member that he’s completely in the dark,” said McHale. “I’m trying to be fair to them. We want them to see the deeds. We want them to know the facts, and then they can better understand what their duties are and what they can do with or without the province’s consent.”

McHale said they plan to register as a delegation for the upcoming September 17 Council in Committee meeting to inform council about the group’s intentions to open a welcome centre.

“I’m not going to ask them for permission at all,” said McHale. “I’m going to tell them what their property is, tell them what’s on their property, and I’m going to inform them that we are opening up the CANACE Welcome Centre there.”

After that meeting, he said the group would continue to fix up the shack, which includes painting and installing a proper door, windows and signage. And how the county responds to the news of the information centre will be a victory for McHale either way.

“If they disagree with my point of view then they have the opportunity before I finish my welcome centre to go and remove it,” he said, adding that doing so will illustrate that the county had the ability to remove it all along. “If they don’t remove it, then I guess they’ve given me consent,” which he said would open the door for others to disobey the county’s building codes and bylaws.

The shack that members of CANACE plan to use is located near the entrance of the former Douglas Creek Estates and is about 350 square-feet, which McHale said would be big enough to house the welcome centre.

He said the centre would have news clippings, flyers related to property rights as well as copies of court rulings to illustrate property rights and the enforcement behind them.

“There will be various material to educate the public on the truth of what our legal system is,” said McHale. “The county has to control their own property. They can’t keep blaming the province for not controlling their property when the county can’t even do the same thing.”