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February 01, 2024
TOFINO, British Columbia and UCLUELET, British Columbia, Feb. 01, 2024– The West Coast Multiplex (WCM) Society today unveiled the details of a petition calling on the House of Commons in Parliament to significantly increase funding to expand, create, or replace health, wellness and recreation facilities on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Initiated by the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation and the WCM Society, and supported by Member of Parliament, Gord Johns, the petition received more that 550 signatures from supporters across Canada and is expected to be formally presented to the House of Commons in early February. Timing of the petition coincides with Parliament’s review of 2024 allocations of several multi-year government funds aimed at helping communities across Canada build and improve community infrastructure projects so they can rebound from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic including:
Recently rebranded and redesigned, the West Coast Multiplex is a planned multi-use facility, including a pool, arena and other amenities, to be located on designated unceded Tla-O-Qui-Aht Tribal Parks land adjacent to the Tofino Airport, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Long Beach Golf Course on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. An updated design plan also reserves space for the possibility of high-ground emergency preparedness, gymnasium, physical therapy, meeting, and educational components designed to enhance the health and unanimity of the remote and often wellness-neglected communities in the region. While the WCM project has received commitments from private donors, the project, which is estimated to cost $50 million to complete, is in major fund-raising mode with government sources and additional philanthropic/grant support.
Architectural drawings of the planned West Coast Multiplex: a multi-use facility, including a pool, arena and other amenities, to be located on designated unceded Tla-O-Qui-Aht Tribal Parks land adjacent to the Tofino Airport, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Long Beach Golf Course on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
“As the need for better wellness facilities becomes more dire, we are working with private, public and government entities to help achieve the community’s vision for a comprehensive wellness facility by securing funding to build and operate it – as it will have an enduring, transformational impact,” said Samantha Hackett, Chair of the WCM Society. “The response to our Health and Wellness Infrastructure Petition was overwhelmingly positive and signals the ongoing support for the West Coast Multiplex. We are very excited about the potential impact it will have on funding allocation for this community project and others like it.”
“Throughout its history, the West Coast Multiplex Society has worked tirelessly to partner with the region’s community-based organizations to maximize the value, utilization and impact of the planned facility,” said Gord Johns, Member of Parliament, Courtney-Alberni, British Columbia. “In addition to addressing important social determinants of health and mental health providing preventative and protective factors for youth, the WCM will be a significant asset to the region’s general wellbeing. I am excited to see renewed efforts to bring the project to fruition and look forward to presenting this meaningful petition to the House of Commons.”
Historically, the proposed multiplex facility has received overwhelming support from the local communities it will serve. In a 2012 referendum, for example, 63 per cent of West Coast voters cast ballots in favour of funding the majority of the proposed facility’s annual operating costs through property taxation.
Samantha Hackett, Chair
West Coast Multiplex Society