BC Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure

General Information Re: Wharf & Road Access

• There has been a wharf structure in use at this location on Gabriola Island since the 1880s.

• The Federal Government assumed responsibility for the wharf, and has maintained the water access for the public and residents, since 1919. The wharf is currently owned, operated and maintained by Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC).

• The road to the Green Wharf has been maintained for decades by the Provincial Government (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure) and, because of that, it is considered a public “highway” under Section 42 of the Transportation Act (BC).

• A section of Wharf Road (the bottom half kilometre +/-) traverses a portion of property that only became private (i.e., the Crown granted title to a private owner) years after the installation of the public wharf and original creation of an access road.

• When the land adjacent to the wharf was granted to a private owner, the government apparently failed to designate and survey a portion of that road as Crown highway (i.e., to officially exclude it from the private property it runs through). Instead, Government (MOTI) has relied to this day on the provisions of Section 42. However, Section 42 fails to clearly define the exact width of the travelled road (public highway portion). It should be noted that the original Crown grant reserves land required by the government for roads.

• Recently, the adjacent (absentee) land owner took action, via MOTI, to eliminate all roadside parking within half a kilometre (+/-) of the wharf, citing a variety of concerns (e.g., from liability issues to a claim of ownership of the road).

• Because Section 42 does not clearly define public highway width, MOTI’s local District Office has chosen to narrowly interpret the Crown portion of the road as being from wheel-rut-to-wheel-rut, (rather than a broader ditch-to-ditch interpretation, which would allow space for roadside parking).

• Users of Wharf Road and supporters of the parking cause are petitioning the Minister responsible to:
o clearly define the travelled road width through policy as being from ditch-to-ditch and to immediately restore parking and, if necessary;
o in the longer term, have a Court determine the width of the travelled road under legislation; and/or;
o ultimately resolve the issue via Government surveying and purchasing/acquiring the entire right-of-way.


Recent actions of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) now prevent users of the federally-owned public wharf (known as the "Green Wharf") on Gabriola Island, from parking within one half kilometre (+/-) of the wharf.

This situation creates unnecessary health and safety risks for all wharf users who are now required to walk to and from their cars on an unlit, rural, gravel road with a steep, uneven grade.

The Petitioners request the Minister of MOTI, the Honourable Blair Lekstrom, to restore the road side parking along Wharf Road through whatever legal means is required.

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The Restore Roadside Parking on Wharf Road - Gabriola BC petition to BC Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure was written by Concerned Citizens for Wharf Road Parking and is in the category Government at GoPetition.