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General · 17th November 2009
Jim Abram
I promised last report that I would try to fill you in on a number of topics. Since I am late getting this in, I had better just jump right in.

Bute Inlet evening

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the great event held at the Community Centre last Saturday night regarding Bute Inlet. This was very frustrating for me since I have been on the front line on this issue since the very beginning. It first came to my attention as a number of referrals from the provincial government regarding water licenses over 17 rivers in the Bute Inlet area (which I represent). I sent the strongest opposition reply possible and have been fighting it ever since along with all of the dedicated people who understand how wrong this proposal is. I have taken a position on this issue and I cannot imagine anything that could make me change how I feel about this desecration of one of the world's most beautiful places. I am very appreciative of all of the people who have gone up to Bute and taken photos and put together slide shows and films to show the natural beauty that will be destroyed forever if this proposal goes ahead. Congratulations to all who put together such an informative and entertaining evening. I am sure that our numbers will increase due to the presentations.

BC Ferries Advisory Committee

As many of you now, I have been on this advisory body since its inception. Its composition allows for five members from Campbell River, five from Quadra Island and five from Cortes Island. Over the years the membership has gone up and down. We are at an all time low right now and desperately need new members who are willing to contribute time for two official meetings per year (sometimes three), the occasional local meeting of our own group and the occasional email or call. it is not a huge time commitment but is very important to everyone that uses the ferry system. There are constant changes happening that effect each and every one of us (usually negatively) and we need help! I get lots of calls from people who are concerned about various issues regarding the ferry. It is time for more people to step up to the plate and help effect the changes that WE want to see happen. This is your chance. So please lend a hand. You can forward your name to the BC Ferries communications person, Sarah Cotton, at Sarah.Cottonbcferries.com Please also send a copy of your email to me. I look forward to a full table at our next meeting!

Public Health Care Rally November 18, 2009

I hope that many of you will have been able to attend this rally at the legislature. It will have already happened by the time that you read this, but I feel it is very important to mention in this report. I have just had surgery at St. Joseph's Hospital in Comox and Wendy just had surgery on her shoulder at the Campbell River Hospital on Friday. For those of you who have had to use our hospitals, I hope that you can relate to the following comments. For those of you who have been fortunate enough to not need a hospital please take note of what is available to you at some future date. I have never seen such an incredible group of professionals all working together to do their jobs, helping people. The doctors, nurses and all of the staff put out 100%+ all of the time to make your visit to the hospital as efficient and effective as they possibly can. And they do it with love and personal care that goes well beyond any job description. Unfortunately they have to work in some of the most overcrowded and underfunded situations that can be imagined. But they make it work. The reason I mentioned the rally is because it is protesting the unbelievable cuts that are taking place day after day to our health care system. With our demographic being what it is, there is no excuse for talking about cuts to health care. It is absolutely tragic. If you know a health care professional, go up to them and thank them for what they do. Most people would not put up with what they put up with, We are so very lucky to have them and I hope the rally drives that home to government.

Quathiaski Cove neighbourhood planning process

The Q-Cove Neighbourhood Planning Project has recommenced at the staff level, after taking care of all of the legal issues that preceded it, and the hope is to have a consultant hired and for work to start in December 2009. We will be able to confirm timelines of meetings and process within the next couple of weeks. This is finally going to get underway and I am very pleased to get to this point. We will probably have some preliminary meetings early in December and then break for Christmas and then really get going in January. You will be kept informed.

Strategic planning and Sustainability planning

The SRD Board adopted a new strategic plan over the past few months and a set of goals and objectives for the next 5 to 10 years. A copy of the summary report will be/has been posted on the SRD Web Site at www.strathconard.ca . Now we just have to figure out how to implement those goals and objectives!

The SRD Board also held an Environmental Awareness Workshop on Friday October 30, 2009 to discuss its obligations under the Climate Action Charter, which is a provincial initiative. This workshop provided important information about the Climate Action Charter to the SRD Board as well as key officials from Campbell River and Sayward. There were excellent presentations made by Charlie Beresford from the Columbia Institute, Dale Littlejohn from the Community Energy Association and Ted Battiston from the Whistler Centre for Sustainability. I was out of commission when this took place but I am sure it will all eventually be on our web site.

The two sewers!

Unfortunately, staff have not been able to get an update for me on the Heriot Bay and the Quathiaski Cove sewer issues. Believe me, it is not for lack of trying on my part or theirs. I expect to have something by the next report.

Evans Bay Wharf divestiture

The SRD board is currently waiting for Transport Canada to send revised documents for the Evans Bay Wharf Divestiture. We have done everything we can at this point, including visit the site and inspect it with an engineer. Once we receive the new documents we will complete the process very quickly. This is really a housekeeping matter at this point. Everyone has agreed to the terms. I look forward to completing one more community and local government joint project. This will be very beneficial to the people of the outer islands and to the traveling public in general.

Okay... that is about all the energy that I have at this time. It feels great to be back to work, even in a somewhat limited capacity! Feel free to call me between the hours of 8:30 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday (not on weekends, folks!) at 285-3355, or you can fax me at 285-3533 or you can email me anytime at abramfamoberon.ark.com , or by mail at Box 278 in the Cove, V0P 1N0... Lots of choices.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Abram
Director, Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets (Area C), SRD