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Bralorne locals deny version of skatepark removal



Bralorne locals disagreed with the story told by Bubba Shaw in the Aug. 1 issue of Pique Newsmagazine, which documented the destruction of a skatepark built in the community’s recreation centre.

According to Ivan Canjar, the story made the town of Bralorne look bad and contained several inaccuracies. Another caller, who asked to remain anonymous, also said there were problems with Shaw’s account.

While he admits taking the skatepark apart personally, Canjar denies using a chainsaw or a crowbar. He says he used a skillsaw to carefully take the ramps apart at the joints and believes they could easily be repaired and assembled somewhere else.

Furthermore, he says that Shaw was given a formal eviction notice by the Bralorne Bridge River Community Association to remove the ramps prior to an annual softball tournament held by the community. The tournament, said Canjar, raises money to pay for the recreation centre.

"He gave me his word that he would be out of there," said Canjar.

He also denies that the centre was unused for more than 10 years, as Shaw claimed, maintaining that it was used every year for the softball tournament, every four years for a miner’s reunion, and occasionally at Christmas for community functions.

"We feel (Shaw) has exaggerated the story," said Canjar.

"Some of the young people saw the community hall was easy pickings, and some of the older (residents) didn’t want that kind of attitude in town," said Canjar.

"Most people don’t want to get involved in the whole thing, but he (Shaw) was a real instigator. People are here for the quiet life. We had our concerns and (Shaw) wasn’t very co-operative with us. He was rude at these town meetings, giving the finger or whatever, and the people weren’t going to stand for that."

Canjar says Shaw provoked some of the older residents at the beginning, which set the tone for everything that followed.

Canjar also said that Shaw left the community with $800 in Hydro bills for the recreation centre.

Canjar doesn’t know who stole Shaw’s tools from the centre, but admitted that he cut through the locks Shaw had put on the doors three times to gain entrance.

Shaw said he locked the doors after some of his tools were stolen the first time, and would have given the key to anyone who asked.

At that point Shaw had a lease from the association to operate the skatepark, but according to Canjar that lease was only granted by the secretary of the association without any kind of formal vote or approval processes. Most people in the community were surprised by it, he said.