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General · 10th September 2009
Michael Stahnke
An Open Letter to the Chief and Council,
We Wai Kai Nation

Dear Chief and Council,

I am writing to ask you to suspend your application for a Disposition of Crown Land and your application for Rezoning for long line scallop farming. I am writing to ask you to hold a well advertised public information meeting to explain your applications to Quadra Islanders and to answer our many questions and concerns. I am asking you to allow ample time following the meeting for us to respond to the information you will provide, and I am asking you to consider our concerns and our comments in your planning.

I am concerned about the location of the scallop farm adjacent to Rebecca Spit and Paddy’s Lagoon. The Spit is probably our most cherished spot on the Island. As you well know, from the large number of visitors to your campsite, Rebecca Spit and Paddy’s Lagoon are also extremely important for our island economy. I am very concerned about the negative effects industrial activity will have on our enjoyment of the area and on our economy.

Paddy’s Lagoon is probably the most environmentally sensitive area on the east side of the island. It is critical habitat for breeding resident Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles and at least 15 more resident and migrating species of birds. I am concerned about the effects of industrial noise and activity on the Lagoon and on the wildlife it supports.

Your application for rezoning includes a plan to expand further into our OCP Marine Reserve zone adjacent to the Provincial Park and further south in front of a residential neighbourhood. I would like to know your justification for the expansion.

Islanders and Planners from the Comox Strathcona Regional District spent an entire year reviewing residential zoning and settlement patterns. All Islanders were encouraged to participate. Included in the process was a review of our values and objectives for fisheries and aquaculture. The following wording was added to numerous other protective clauses.
2.2k (iv) “ To discourage commercial resource based marine use adjacent to settlement areas”

Your application is in direct conflict with our official community plan which expresses our
Island community’s values and objectives. I am very concerned about that and about the precedent expansion will set for further industrial activity adjacent to residential neighbourhoods.

These are but a few of my concerns. I trust you will give my request your full consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Michael Stahnke