Christian and Erica Ward, bottom right, spoke to council on May 25, 2021 about their hopes to save the Hope Station House. (Youtube)
Christian and Erica Ward, bottom right, spoke to council on May 25, 2021 about their hopes to save the Hope Station House. (Youtube)

Christian and Erica Ward, bottom right, spoke to council on May 25, 2021 about their hopes to save the Hope Station House. (Youtube) Christian and Erica Ward, bottom right, spoke to council on May 25, 2021 about their hopes to save the Hope Station House. (Youtube)

Hope mayor says district still open to hearing proposals as heritage repeal process continues

Hope Station House still facing demolition, as council works on longstanding ‘situation’

The future of the Hope Station House was up for discussion again at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The night included a presentation from Christian and Erica Ward of the Hope Station House Society, a third reading of a bylaw repeal to remove the building’s heritage designation, and a statement from Mayor Peter Robb.

“You are all aware this is a lingering and controversial issue that has taken some 40 years to get to this situation,” he said. “This community needs council to take decisions to finally resolve this longstanding situation.”

He noted there would be unhappy people no matter what they decide to do. Their choices, as laid out by Robb, are to demolish the building and be done with it, to allow a third party to take control of it and move it out of the District of Hope, or to make it more attractive to any First Nations wanting to either accept it or to move it to First Nation land.

He said that repealing the heritage designation of the building is necessary for any of these options.

Robb also noted that the District of Hope does not anticipate any future municipal use for the building, nor does it have the land for it.

But he added that they aren’t done entertaining proposals from the public, including the society.

“There is the possibility that if the District receives a timely, feasible proposal by a third party, to take control of the building and move it to another site within the municipal boundaries (at its expense); that a new heritage designation bylaw could then be enacted to protect the building at its new site and in line with the current Provincial heritage legislation,” he said.

He said that AdvantageHOPE “has made it clear that they now have no interest in the building and feel it could not be renovated in a cost-effective and functionally effective way.”

Following his comments, council voted unanimously on the third reading of the bylaw repeal. They will vote to adopt the bylaw, removing the heritage designation, at a future meeting.

Erica Ward said they appreciated the time to speak at the beginning of the meeting, in which they encouraged the District and council to take part in future meetings and join creative discussion in future plans for the building.

We want to see the Station House saved, and we believe in it as a municipal asset,” Ward told The Standard. “This is why we return to council, to encourage them to engage with us and other supporters of the Station House, to work together to secure a positive future for this important heritage building.”

Council did engage with the Wards after their presentation, and one of the questions raised was why they haven’t raised any money yet.

“Whilst community groups are currently engaged in fundraising – along with a wide range of other activities to support the preservation of the building – fundraising is complicated by the fact that the District owns the Station House, but do not support the community efforts to save the building,” Ward said. “Nobody else currently has any legal status in relation to the Station House, and there are no agreed partnership arrangements that allow anyone else to have any formal involvement with the building. Seeking significant donations on this basis is unrealistic.”

But there is grant money available, as has been mentioned all along, that could offset both capital costs and ongoing expenses, she added.

She also said there is renewed and growing support for saving the building.

“Although the mayor commented that the District does not anticipate any future municipal use for the building, we would strongly urge them to reconsider this stance,” Ward said. “Operating as a Visitor Centre/Museum is the most common adaptive re-use option for historic train stations in our province. It’s a model that works, and would see us become part of a booming network of history and heritage.”

During the third reading, Coun. Scott Medlock said he was still interested in hearing more from those who want to save the building.

“My ears are still open,” he said. “I’m still willing to talk and hear about this.”

The Hope Station House was given its heritage designation on July 8, 1982 by the council of the day. At that time, it was on different land. It now sits on Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure land. It needs to be moved as per an agreement between the ministry and the District of Hope.

READ MORE: ‘Honk for history’ say supporters of Hope Station House


@CHWKcommunity
jessica.peters@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Heritagemunicipal politics

Just Posted

/  Bob Friesen Photos
PHOTOS: Father’s Day Parade cruises through Mission

Taking It To The Streets event featured about 100 vintage vehicles

Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP looking for missing 20-year-old woman

Police say Alexis Paige Simpson has not been in contact with her family in two months

(Maps.Chilliwack.com)
RCMP seek dash-cam footage after Chilliwack road rage incident

Male driving a black pickup stopped and allegedly threatened to punch another driver

Deepak Sharma of Abbotsford has been convicted of the sexual assault of one of his cab passengers in West Vancouver in January 2019.
Former Abbotsford Hindu temple president convicted of sexual assault

Deepak Sharma assaulted a female passenger when he was a cab driver

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Agassiz toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Penticton Indian Band Chief Greg Gabriel speaks to the Sacred Hearts Catholic Church burning down early Monday morning, June 21, 2021. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton band chief condemns suspicious burning of 2 Catholic churches

Both Catholic church fires are deemed suspicious, says RCMP

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read