Ladysmith Maritime Society has caught the attention of our national media.
Richard Wiefelspuett, our executive director was interviewed by the CBC’s Claire Palmer on Sunday in the marina parking lot with the familiar background of our former community marina.
The interview aired on CBC Vancouver TV during the 11 pm news.
Here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbEacKeDdHM
The Ladysmith segment starts at 11:17 (minutes: seconds) into the clip.
There was also a brief segment in French on IcI-Colombie-Britannique CBC radio this morning.
Here’s the link:
Thank you to all of you who worked hard to bring our story to the media.
After the unsuccessful injunction hearing in late December 2023, LMS has been strategizing for a future without the operation of its Ladysmith Community Marina program. Encouraged by the Town Council Resolution on December 5, 2023, and the subsequent Rise and Report on January 23, 2024, LMS has formulated plans to maintain a presence in the marina, focusing on the continued operation of the Museum and the Heritage Boatshed (commonly known as the “Bill Adair Shed”).
The Town’s resolution has allocated moorage costs for these two boathouses and an additional 20 feet of dock space, presumably facilitating public access to customary maritime exhibitions, and events. However, an outstanding disagreement persists regarding the ownership of LMS’ boathouses and the entire marina infrastructure, prompting recent communications wherein LMS has expressed its commitment to finding an amicable solution with the new operators of the marina, Coast Salish Development Corporation (CSDC), as well as with the Town of Ladysmith, and the Province.
Despite the encouraging Town resolution, CSDC has not yet agreed to LMS’ continued presence in the marina. “This ongoing ambiguity necessitates contingency preparations for a worst-case scenario, where LMS may be forced to remove all maritime assets from the marina,” explains Marnie Craig, President of LMS. “Additionally, alternative venues for LMS’ annual festivals and events, typically held in the marina, are under consideration.”
In the short term, LMS remains focused on preparing for BC Heritage Day on February 19, 2024. Due to the current uncertainty surrounding marina access, the event is planned to take place at LMS’ on-land venue, the boat restoration shop (“Car Shop”), with Harbour tours departing from the Ladysmith Yacht Club at the Ladysmith Marina instead. Simultaneously, preparations continue for the potential reopening of the museum, which LMS is ready to swiftly move ahead with upon receiving approval from CSDC.
LMS emphasizes its unwavering commitment to cooperation and collaboration with CSDC. As the situation evolves, LMS remains open to constructive dialogue, cooperative solutions, and a shared dedication to the well-being of Ladysmith harbor.
Further details about BC Heritage Day will be released in the coming days.
For additional information, please contact:
Marnie Craig, President
Ladysmith Maritime Society
The Ladysmith Maritime Society (LMS) is currently facing a challenging situation where it’s rights to operate the Ladysmith Community Marina until 2029 are being disputed by various entities, including the Province of BC, the Town of Ladysmith, DL2016 Holding Corporation and the Coast Salish Development Corporation.
The Province prematurely cancelled the Head Lease for the water lot on which LMS has operated the Ladysmith Community Marina since 1999, claiming the entire Marina infrastructure as it’s own. Subsequently, a new Head Lease was issued to an entitly controlled by Coast Salish Development Corporation, resulting in what is essentially an expropriation of LMS’ marina assets valued at approximately $6 million. This has also led to a loss of the Society’s primary funding stream of about $1 million per annum from marina operations.
As a consequence, LMS is compelled to seek new moorage (at cost) for it’s unique floating museum, several boathouses and a fleet of award winning heritage boats. Despite the impact of these actions by the Province and the Town, LMS has not received any compensation.
Attempts to find a negotiated solution have, so far, been unsuccessful, but efforts are ongoing, and we hope to find some kind of mutually acceptable solution to meet everyone’s interests. However, in the interim, we are left with legal avenues as the only recourse to uphold LMS’ rights. In an attempt to halt the lease transfer and maintain the status quo, LMS applied for an interlocutory injunction with the BC Supreme Court, but unfortunately, the court ruled against it based on the “balance of convenience.”
We are reaching out to you to support the Ladysmith Maritime Society in it’s legal pursuit of compensation for the loss of marina assets and income. The Society has incurred significant legal costs and your donations will contribute to the ongoing fight for LMS’ rights. Thank you.