Students could benefit as West Coast academic rivalry ups scholarship ante

Ucluelet Council voted to once again support Ucluelet Secondary School by offering a scholarship donation.

The West Coast’s strong support of its only high school allows USS to offer more scholarship and bursary money per capita than any other school in School District 70.

The district has traditionally offered $500 for a scholarship towards the school’s scholarship coffers but may consider upping the ante to keep up with the Joneses.

During Feb 11’s meeting, Coun. Sally Mole noted that Tofino’s council had made a motion that morning to consider offering $1,500 worth of scholarship money. Ucluelet’s council approved a motion to confirm its scholarship donation by March 15 and will discuss the amount during upcoming budget talks.

Council sees room for improvement in Province’s emergency notification system Council agreed to send a letter urging the Union of BC Municipalities and its membership to continue lobbying for the provincial emergency notification system to be updated or replaced.

Council made the decision after reviewing a letter from Parksville Mayor Chris Burger who believes updates to the system are necessary for the safety of British Columbians living in coastal communities.

Burger’s letter to council highlighted two earthquake events-Oct. 27, 2012, and Jan. 5, 2013-that hit off the coast of Haida Gwaii, causing warnings to be issued to Vancouver Island residents regarding a potential tsunami.

“By the time emergency program coordinators and first responders received the provincial emergency system notification, the projected tsunami waves referenced by the warning had already contacted land,” Burger’s letter states.

Parksville raised motions to update or replace the current notification system at both the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities convention and the Union of BC Municipalities’ convention last year but Burger does not believe progress has been made.

“As of this date, EMBC has advised that the province has no plan to implement any changes to the provincial notification plan,” he states in his letter.