Well, the recovery period from surgery seems to be over, since I just looked at my January daytimer and I don't have a single day that is not spoken for! Traditionally, January is a very busy month, after the holidays and all, but this year is ridiculous! I intend to pace myself and keep a positive attitude in spite of the intensity of the work to be done. So, here is a taste of the month's activities.
Ouathiaski Cove Village planning process
Now that our consultant, David Rousseau and his team, have been awarded the contract, we have gotten off to a quick start. The past two weeks, we have had two official meetings and I have met with the youth group informally to discuss the project. You will see, elsewhere in this issue, a more complete explanation of the process and the members of the steering committee. The steering committee was set up to try to manage the process, with representatives from as many "interest groups" as we could think of. They will work closely with the consultant and the Regional District. I will be involved, start to finish.
This is going to be one of the more exciting processes that we have participated in for quite awhile. All of the good ideas that were put in policy in our last OCP review will now be able to be implemented on the ground in a tangible manner. We did some of this "visioning" a number of years ago with students and professors from UBC. But that process was just that.. a vision. This process will have a result at the end of it. As I said in my last report, "The end product will be a village that we can all make use of, possibly live in at some stage, and be very proud to show off to the rest of the province. I am not going to pre-empt the actual details of the project but will say that it will provide various housing types for all ages and levels of income, will make use of some of the most innovative ideas out there regarding sustainable living and will make use of whatever "green" technology can be worked into the project. It will create a very walkable community with the emphasis on green space and clustering of development. I think this will be a very exciting community exercise and will go through until the beginning of June 2010. We have one of the best consultants and his team working for us and they are primarily local residents! We will finally have what you have all been asking for: local professionals that understand the island lifestyle!" I will leave the rest of the explanation to the author of the other article.
I just want to mention that this process will concentrate on the Cove area and that the rest of the island will not be effected as far as the OCP and zoning are concerned. The existing documents still apply and are not part of the scope of this exercise.
Granite Bay Hydro
The unbelievable task of getting 11 km's of hydro line out to Granite Bay cleared the last hurdle recently. That was getting the right of way cleared to BC Hydro's specifications so that the line could actually be installed. I would like to acknowledge and sincerely thank Chris Toulmin for the incredible amount of time and energy that he put into keeping the community together on this project and as the "clearing house" for all related matters. He has managed a herculean task and has obtained commitments from so many Quadra contractors for free work, so that the task could be completed. I would also like to thank all of the local contractors for the amount of donated time and equipment that they put into this project. And last but not least, the community members who contributed, not only financially, but, were out there working on the road as flag people and out there in the worst possible weather clearing trees and brush and doing all of the painful hand work in the wet and cold. You are all to be commended for bringing hydro to the Granite Bay area for your use and for the use of all future residents. You have helped to "green" your community as a result, in the way of far less diesel use in generators.
Ferry dock closure, Q Cove
I received the following from BCFS regarding the actual closure time for the Q. Cove terminal for replacement of the approach and ramp:
"The dates for the berth closure at Q Cove are Tuesday, April 6 - Saturday, April 10, 2010. The terminal will be open by Sunday, April 11. One of the reasons for the timing is we wanted to ensure that passengers are able to travel on the Easter long weekend (Friday, April 2 - Monday, April 5).
We are currently developing a water taxi schedule for this time period and are looking at options for commercial traffic. We will be issuing a service notice next week with the dates of the closure and alternative service options.
If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact me.
Sarah Cotton is the person to contact if you have any questions or concerns about this issue. She is very good about getting back to you with answers. Her contact info follows:
Sarah Cotton: sarah.cottonbcferries.com Tel: (250) 978-1398 Cel: (250) 516-2263 Fax: (250) 978-1119
Their will be notices in the local media with details as they become available.Scallops
By the time that you read this, the Cape Mudge Band's application for an 85 hectare scallop farm off of the east side of Quadra Island at the southern boundary of Rebecca Spit will have gone before the Electoral Areas Services Committee on Wednesday, January 13th. The staff report and the committee minutes will be on the SRD web site at www.strathconard.ca
Green Power forum
I will be attending, as a participant, a forum being sponsored by West Coast Environmental Law, called "Emerging Solutions for Clean Green Power". This is to be held in Vancouver at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue on Monday January 11th. The dialogue will begin with a focus on identifying the high level political, economic, environmental and social factors that must be addressed. There will be three expert presenters and then an open discussion between the 15 panelists. Audience participation will then take place. It is an exciting but intimidating opportunity for me to express our views on this topic and on the stripping of local government's mandated authority over land use planning with regard to independent power projects such as the one proposed in Bute Inlet.
On January 18th I will be going to Sacramento, California to make a presentation to the Air Resource Board of the California Legislature. I was invited to present on behalf of local governments with regard to Bill 30 and the process (or i should say the lack thereof) that led to the implementation of this archaic legislation in 2006. California is in the process of considering changing its laws to allow them to purchase "less- green" power, which would enable them to buy power from sources such as the proposed Bute Inlet projects. California is under the impression that we, the people, through our local governments, have been consulted on these projects and agree with the less restrictive rules that they are contemplating, due to a very misleading letter written to them by the environment Minister of BC. It will be my job to "enlighten" them on the process that never happened! Another example of how far beyond Area C this job can take your representative, to represent Area C interests! This trip will be paid for by the group that invited me to attend. I'll fill you in when I return.And then there was the Lighthouse!
I saved the best for last. I was just informed through the "kelpvine", that the Coast Guard intends to do a major soil remediation at the lighthouse. This is a totally unnecessary exercise. And to top it off, it is only necessary IF the property is to be divested to another party. So... that says to me that they have already made their decision to destaff Cape Mudge and to turn it over to the Department of Indian Affairs (INAC) or divest it in some other manner. INAC are also involved in this exercise.
Now for the details. They will remove 1500 cubic metres of "contaminated soil", that is one hundred fifty 10 cubic yard dump trucks, traveling two directions (300 trips) to go to the ferry to take the soil to Victoria to be packed in barrels to be shipped to Swan Hills, Alberta (north central Alberta) for remediation. The 1990/91 cost per barrel was $850.00 per barrel. That did not include shipping! So, how many barrels are there in 150 dump trucks at many hundreds of dollars per barrel in today's dollars??? Then there will need to be 150 dump trucks of topsoil imported to the station (another 300 trips on the ferry and the roads) to replace the soil that was removed. Do you think that the CG will use local contractors to do the work of hauling? From past experience, it is very unlikely. Some off-island friend of the CCG will get the contract. Sorry for being so cynical, but after 25 years of watching them mismanage their budgets and do stupid things, this is how I see it will be done.
The main point in all of this is that the proposed consultation "prior to considering any destaffing" is an absolute sham! I hope John Duncan's phone will be ringing off the hook. 1-800-667-8404 or email to duncaj2parl.gc.ca and Duncan.Jparl.gc.ca
Maybe they will read this and see how insane it is and think twice about it. The eternal optimist!
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.
Director, Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets (Area C), SRD