The City of Quesnel made good on their controversial decision to move the gold pan from Highway 97 north to downtown — and they did it under the cover of night.
Wednesday morning, July 22, the gold pan was in its new location across from the Quesnel Visitor Centre.
“Our city’s Goldpan has safely made the journey to its new home, right across from the Quesnel Visitor Centre,” stated a social media post by the Quesnel Visitor Centre. “Come by sometime and take your picture with it!”
The move could bring to an end the months-long debate and protest over why the city was moving the gold pan in the first place, which many felt should stay where it has always been north of town near the entrance to the Barkerville Highway.
It likely won’t smooth over hard feelings some residents had over the decision, however.
Mayor Bob Simpson said recently council’s decision to move the gold pan was part of a bigger plan when rebranding the city, noting the gold pan can be used as a photo op for travellers disembarking off the Rocky Mountaineer or stopping in to check out the visitor info centre.
City councillor Ron Paull was opposed to the move, and had a recent disagreement in a council meeting stemming from the gold pan.