Plans will move forward for a new Tim Horton Children's Foundation (THCF) camp on Pine Lake, if the Liberals get voted in.
BC Liberals will fund up to $5 million to reroute and improve the logging road that now serves the West Stave Lake area.
"The road might be fine for logging trucks, but it absolutely is not suitable for cars or buses taking children to camp. Tim Horton Children's Foundation has a license for occupation for the site and is completing their due diligence, and our plan is to improve the access roads in tune with the Foundation's schedule," said marc Dalton, Maple Ridge-Mission MLA incumbent.
The THCF plans to build a year-round camp to accommodate up to 3,000 children each year from low-income homes.
It will be in Mission, on Pine Lake, near the south shore of Alouette Lake, on the site of what once was the Boulder Bay corrections camp for youth.
"This is fantastic news for our foundation," said Dave Newnham, vice-president and executive director of the THCF.
"We're planning on building yet another first-class, beautiful facility, this time in British Columbia. Although we are still in the approval stages, the road upgrade is a requirement for us to move forward in the process and represents a major positive step in the right direction."
"There is much more to this than simply road construction. There is a big economic benefit to Maple Ridge-Mission, and the roadwork will enable that.
For one thing, the Tim Horton camp will mean more than $15 million in construction and capital costs. That alone brings big benefits to our community. Then it will have an operating budget of $3 million a year, five full-time staff and up to 100 seasonal staff, and it will do major purchasing of food, supplies and services here. And the roadwork itself also means employment and the community benefits that come from it," Dalton added.
The plan is to reroute the current stretch of forest road to Pine Lake to accommodate cars and buses.
It will be gravelled and maintained for year-round use. In all, there will be 12 kilometres of road improvements, including 5.1 kilometres of new road construction as a bypass route around Sayres Lake and two new bridges. The current road is very steep and often has wash-outs.
The road in question is north of the already-improved road that serves the famed Zajac Ranch for Children, which is on the shores of Stave Lake, in the northwest area of Mission.
"We have kids from B.C. who come to our other Canadian camps already, but having a camp to go to in B.C. will be terrific," said Newnham.
"Our intent is to help send kids from economically disadvantaged homes on a life-changing camping adventure where they can discover their potential, at no cost to their families. We would be able to do that year-round, up to 130 children at a time. We're looking at 3,000 kids each year from urban, rural, and Aboriginal communities."
The Tim Horton Children's Foundation provides opportunities for economically disadvantaged kids who normally wouldn't be able to go to camp. The camp located on Crown land would be the seventh such Tim Horton camp and the first in BC. The Foundation currently operates five camps in Canada and one in the U.S.
@ Copyright 2013