Marine users group pusing for Pat Bay boat launch

Brian Dunic hopes to convince the powers-that-be to open existing boat ramp to public use.

The boat launch at Sidney’s Tulista Park is becoming so heavily used that proponents of a second launch on the Saanich Peninsula are pushing for one at Pat Bay in North Saanich.

When the weather is good on the weekends, the boat launch at Sidney’s Tulista Park can sometimes fill up fast.

It’s for that reason a group of residents in North Saanich — and elsewhere on the Saanich Peninsula — are angling for a new, public facility.

And they’re hoping they can convince others that it should go at Pat Bay.

Leading the way is Brian Dunic, the chair of the Peninsula Marine Access Group. He has written letters to, and met with, members of North Saanich District council, asking they support a boat launch facility where one had been promised years ago. He says, however, he is running into a jurisdictional nightmare.

The land in question belongs, in part, to the province and federal government. It’s also overseen by the Victoria Airport Authority — and falls within the boundaries of the District of North Saanich.

Despite making similar requests for a boat launch — and watching other people do so since the late 1980s — Dunic said no one official organization has picked up the ball.

“I’m a former (North Saanich) councillor, I was on council from ‘88 to ‘93. A boat ramp committee was formed then, based on the need. Pat Bay already has a ramp and there was at one time a verbal agreement with Transport Canada.”

Dunic said that deal was rescinded in 1991 or ‘92, “and nothing’s happened since.”

No longer a councillor, Dunic said some of his friends suggested to try again, especially as the only other public ramp — at Tulista Park — was heavily used and causing parking problems on residential streets.

Dunic has made presentations to the current council and said he has followed their actions, such as meeting with the Victoria Airport Authority and council’s more recent vote to set up meetings with provincial and federal ministers on the subject.

Dunic said various reasons have been stated for why there’s not been a public boat ramp at Pat Bay in recent years. Top of the list, he said, is the safety issue between boaters and float planes which use the area. As well, there’s potential conflict with the airport’s main runway.

Dunic said, based on the experience at Victoria’s Inner Harbour, he thinks any conflict between users could be easily resolved.

However, he admitted he’s not sure what it’s going to take to see a public boat ramp in Pat Bay.

“It shouldn’t cost a lot of money. The ramp is there — all they’d need is the parking.

“It’s really needed. Tulista is really the only usable boat launch north of Oak Bay.”

Just Posted

Fire-ravaged North Saanich restaurant not likely to re-open until spring

Voicemail greeting from owner of Deep Cove Chalet thanks those who have reached out after Oct. 28 kitchen fire

Extreme case of poop-throwing gives Victoria bike community a bad name

Car centric roads and infrastructure invite cyclist-motorist incidents, says cycling coalition

ICBC warns shoppers of the high-accident season at mall parking lots

Over 150,000 accidents happened during the holiday season last year

Woman thrown from mobility scooter in downtown Sidney collision

Pickup truck attempting a right turn struck woman in crosswalk

Greater Victoria hotels named best in Canada

Beacon Inn at Sidney ranks third in 3-star category, Magnolia and Abigail’s also named

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

Good Food Summit plants seeds for food security

The Good Food Summit runs Nov. 22 and 23

Vancouver Island men face ordered to pay thousands in fines following deer meat sting

The incidents happened years ago but sentencing was recently concluded.

The Vancouver Island elasmosaur needs your help

Famous Comox Valley fossil hunting for votes in chase to become BC symbol

Pot users, investors need to be vigilant at Canada-U.S. border

U.S. authorities say anyone who admits to having used pot before it became legal could be barred

Awards will recognize business excellence on Vancouver Island

Nomination period begins for Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards

Shirtless stranger loomed over couch and started stabbing, bloody B.C. murder trial hears

Colin John pleads not guilty as trial opens in 2016 Chemainus murder case

Late 2019 too long to wait for ridesharing: B.C. Conservatives

“While the rest of the world is embracing this transportation revolution, B.C. is only now staggering slowly toward legislation on a business model that’s been mainstreamed for over a decade in other jurisdictions.”

Police aim to prevent retaliation after Hells Angel found dead under B.C. bridge

IHIT confirms Chad Wilson, 43, was the victim of a ‘targeted’ homicide

Most Read