Share-There Launches on the Sunshine Coast

January 22, 2016, marked the official launch of Share-There, a ride-sharing social enterprise.  The concept comes from Sean and Michelle Morton (pictured in photo below).

Share-There was created to address some of the transportation woes on the Sunshine Coast, as well as add in the social benefits of the carpool in an electronic age.

Two great added features of the site are the event calendar and ticketing app.   You can add your event to the event calendar and sell tickets through the Share-There Website, similar to other event ticketing sites such as    Check out  Event and Ticket Information for the easy-to-use directions.

The mission statement of Share-There says it all:

“We aim to reduce single occupancy vehicle use and build a stronger local community and economy.”

It is estimated 80-90% of the vehicles travelling between Sechelt and Gibsons each day only have ONE occupant.   This is counterintuitive to the reputation we strive for : a more connected, environmentally conscious community.

Sunshine Coast – now’s it your turn.  Sign up for Share-There and stop driving by yourself!

share there

Congratulations again to Michelle and Sean!



The Pieceful Coast

Earlier this week, I was traversing the waters of Howe Sound in the metallic bosom of a BC Ferry.  From my car’s vantage point, I had a stellar view as the vessel cut through the stillness of the fjord.   And then it struck me how the calm waters of the Sound were a considerable contrast from the raging typhoons howling in the political arenas of the Sunshine Coast.

Neighbours, I am concerned. The gales that have occurred on our Coast the past few weeks are twisting opinions, pitting us against each other. Citizens are being disrespectful of other points of view, simply because it is not what they feel.  Rather than debating the issue, personal attacks are whipping around, stinging sand in to our community’s heart.

Healthy discourse and disagreement is part of the democratic process.  Running rampant with rumours,  fear mongering and throwing mud may advance your cause in the short term but in the long term, it will only further distance you from it. Negativity disenfranchises voters, especially newer voters, whom are simply trying to disseminate through the information to find the FACTS to make the best, or most palatable, decision for their future.

Coastally, we have some very real challenges facing us over the next few years: aging infrastructure, lack of services for our elderly populace, a deficit in young people and families, the need for affordable, safe housing and economic development to name a few.

We will still be neighbours after November 15, whether it be directly next door, in the same jurisdiction or as Port Mellon and Egmont. This Coast is our home.

Today is the 25th Anniversary of the Demolition of the Berlin Wall.   The significance of this day in our global history should not escape us.   Politics divided families, friends and citizens for decades.  Let us not divide our own community in to separate pieces along opinion and posturing.

I truly believe in the following, and even though it was written in the context of contract negotiation, it fits for election time.

Whether you look from left or right
Your politics do not matter
It’s for our kids we must fight
But not leave each other in tatter

The balance of the modern world is found
in the harmony of success
even arguments can be a sweet sound
In their tangled, ugly mess

At the end of this… we rebuild
relationships, community, schools, our self
We try and forget of animosity that filled
But wait for the next contract to come off shelf

(excerpt from “Poem from a Negotiation Observer”)

In one week from today, we will know the make-up of our municipal governments for the next four years.    And for those four years,  we will continue to be neighbours.

We don’t have to be friends.

But let’s bring some peace to the Coast by treating each other with a bit more respect.

Open Letter to all #SunshineCoastCa Candidates

Open letter to all Sunshine Coast Candidates..

The past few weeks, Voice on the Coast has been heavily concentrated on encouraging members of the public to get involved in the Electoral process. We have held a forum, attended candidates meetings, circulated questionnaires to all candidates (acclaimed and those on the campaign trail)

One of the things that I personally have asked the public to do is to speak directly to those running for office. ASK them the questions that matter to YOU and your family and friends. And the public is doing that! I think that’s AWESOME.

Well, it was brought to my attention that someone has asked repeatedly for questions to be answered, specific to their family situation, and has waited WEEKS now for an answer. This voter has followed up numerous times. And been put off. This is a two-vote household, with both members under age 35.

CANDIDATES – please do not do this.
You are in the interview process right now. Don’t mess it up. November 15 is a few short days away. Are you REALLY interested in being hired?

This opportunity to speak directly to the public about what matters to them is incredible. Embrace it. Learn the stories that shape our coast. Answer the tough questions.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC – please keep asking questions. You’re the boss here.
Nervous about asking/not sure what to ask? Send me an email. I’ll help.

Lori Pratt
VOICE on the Coast

November 15th will be here soon! Who’s got your VOTE?!

Check out my PSA on behalf of VOICE on the Coast, encouraging residents to find out about their local candidates then VOTING on November 15th.

Find out more about the candidates at the local government websites: for Rural Area 2 School Board Trustees for Regional Directors for Town of Gibsons Mayor and Council for District of Sechelt Mayor and Council

We do have several positions that have been acclaimed this year. I encourage you to find out more about those people as well.

Where Have All the Playgrounds Gone?

I was driving around Sechelt last week and noticed that there seemed to be a lack of playground spaces for young children.

We have playgrounds at the elementary schools, soccer fields and ball diamonds, but when it comes to the newest subdivisions in the Sechelt area, there are no ‘real’ playgrounds, especially in quickly expanding West Sechelt.  There are a few ‘green areas’ in the West Sechelt area — Tyler Heights Park and Clayton Park, but as you can see from my photos below, the playground equipment is unimpressive.  Picadilly Park is much more family friendly, but is still located quite a distance from these other two areas.  And if you want to drive, you can certainly try Trail Bay Waterfront, Pier and Adventure Park or Porpoise Bay Provincial Park.

Tyler Heights Park


Clayton Park


I will say that the views from both of these parks is amazing, but the terrain not especially friendly for young families. Tyler Heights is especially difficult, having been built up on a rock boasting in blackberry brambles. There is green grass at Clayton Park which I’m sure is lovely to roll around in after you’ve used the equipment there – a short slide. One positive thing is that both of these playgrounds are very close to the trail system that snakes through the West Sechelt area. And the view is stellar. But c’mon… the play structures are abysmal.

The Sunshine Coast community is trying to attract more families and young people, yet our neighbourhoods lack the subliminal message that children are present or even welcome. And yes, you could argue that these new subdivisions are not being marketed to families with young children. But those luxury homes can be sold to young professional couples that wish to make a lifestyle change to the coast or they can be sold to grandparents.  And don’t we already have enough luxury homes sitting empty on the coast?

The launch of the Vital Signs Report earlier this week (see full report here ) shows the aging demographic of our population is continuing to grow as the population under age 45 continues to decrease. In 2010, 40.9% of the Sunshine Coast population was under 45. In 2013, that number was 38.6%. No, this is not the fault of subpar playgrounds. But I would place blame in how each aspect of our community markets and brands ourselves to the world.

You can throw money at iniatitivies, projects and programs but if the policy, political will and messaging are not there, you will not change the trajectory that we currently following. By 2022, only 15% of the Sunshine Coast is projected to be of working age. Compare that with the rest of BC at approximately 40%. ( Vital Signs, 2014 )

Take a look around your neighbourhood with new eyes. What attracts you to live there? Is there a place for your children to play? What keeps you here? Is it your job, quality of life, the environment? What would it take to bring your friends here from off-coast?

As we enter the 2014 Municipal Election arena, listen to the candidates carefully as they address the issues brought forth to them. And make sure that you ask your questions.

November 15th comes quickly; make sure you have your voice heard.

Lessons from Chief Louie

I had the pleasure of listening to Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band speak on September 12 at the Rockwood Centre in Sechelt. Chief Louie’s visit was part of the “pro-voc-a-talks” series that the Coast Community Builders Association has initiated to encourage “exploring points of view”.

The Osoyoos Indian Band, under the leadership of Chief Louie, have one of the most successful business plans for a First Nation in all of North America.  They have established their own business development corporation and are a major economic player in the Okanagan.

Here are a few of the great takeaways from the Chief’s talk.

  • You can tell a leader by how they spend their time.
    • watch what a leader focuses on during their day.   Are they spending their time on useless tasks; are they working hard, side by side with their team?
  • Side by side, not dependent
    • When the Osoyoos Indian band signed an agreement with the province, they presented a token to the government to symbolize the new relationship.   The token had two parallel lines.  The parallel lines symbolized the new relationship – side by side, equal, not dependent on the other.  Chief Louie said that if you expect others to support you, you must support them.  He regularly encourages their golfing members to use the other courses in the area, to gas up at the station across town.
  • Move from a culture of entitlement to a culture of performance.
    • There is too much of a sense of entitlement in society today.  You should not expect to have things handed to you.   We need to move to expecting performance from each other.
  • The economic horse pulls the social cart
    • If you want to increase the programs you have to support your community, it’s necessary to improve the economy within it first.  This ensures that you have the financial resources available.  The better the economy is performing, the more you will be able to provide for your community.
  • Success is a study
    • “Go to school” on things that you want to know more about.   This is how the  Band learned about wineries, golfing and how to run succesful businesses within their community.
  • Anytime you have the chance, take a millionaire out for lunch. And pay for it.
    • Use the time with them to ask them questions about the lessons they’ve learned.  Learn from them.
  • Don’t wait for Perfect.
    • Perfect will never happen.  If you wait for perfect, you will be waiting forever.
  • There are no guarantees
    • In the end, there is no guarantee.  Weigh the pluses and minuses and make your decision based on the best information that you have.

At the end of Chief Louie’s talk, he left us with the following:

“You brought us whiskey during the Fur Trade; we’ll get you to sign our land back through NK’MIP first class wine.”


To learn more about Chief Clarence Louie and Osoyoos Indian Band, check out the band’s website at

More information about the CCBA and their initiatives can be found at