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General · 18th November 2010
Jim Abram
Has it already been two weeks since my last report? The fall is just zooming by. Anyway, I want to bring you up to date on a few issues.

Lightstation De-staffing attempt by Feds
I am in the midst of writing presentations to the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans on the de-staffing of BC's lightstations for delivery in Campbell River and a separate one for Ottawa this month. I will be going to the Senate hearings that will be held in Victoria, Nanaimo and Campbell River. They will be over by the time you read this. Then I will be going to Ottawa on November 29th for a Nov. 30th presentation to the full committee and then to the BC Caucus of Conservative Ministers, MP's and Senators on the next day. We have a strong Strathcona Regional District position on maintaining staffed lightstations, three of which are within our borders and two more which are very close by. The Union of BC Municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities have both endorsed our SRD resolution unanimously. I'll let you know how the meetings turn out.

Woodlots and Dry-land sorts

Island Timberlands (Timber West) has applied for a rezoning of the existing dry land sort in north Gowlland Harbour. This use has been the topic of much discussion since 1991 and a number of memorandums of understanding have been put in place over the years between the regional district and the company to deal with the operational issues. Most recently meetings have taken place between myself and the woodlot owners and between the company and the woodlot owners to try to make sure that all operational issues are ironed out prior to going to the full rezoning process. The issue was before the committee last week and we felt that after reading the letters from both parties that we had received, that a few issues were still unsettled and should be dealt with one more time prior to giving the by law first and second reading. So we deferred the issue until the January committee meeting to give the woodlot owners time to deal with the company. The issue will be back on the agenda in January so I hope the meetings are productive between the parties.

High-speed Committee

I put out a suggestion for any individuals that would be willing to help me in my never ending attempt to spread high speed internet throughout the island, to contact me. I have had three generous offers from well qualified people. If there are others interested, please contact me and we should be able to get together at the beginning of January. I would love to meet sooner but I am booked solid until Christmas. So, let's plan on a meeting in the new year

The Library
The Vancouver Island Regional Library Board (VIRL) is in charge of the libraries in this area. They set the budget, they set the priorities and they develop the capital plan. The SRD board has a representative on the board to bring our concerns forward. That director is Brenda Leigh of Area D, Oyster River - Buttle Lake. She has reported to our board recently that the Quadra and the Cortes libraries are both at the top of the list for replacement and that it is due to the conditions of the buildings not meeting the conditions required by the library board. There was a call for proposals advertised recently and as I am told by Brenda, it is now completed and there are a number of proposals that have been presented for the Quadra library in both Heriot Bay and in Quahiaski Cove. I have not seen the proposals and have only heard third hand about a couple of them. The reason I am bringing this up in my report is because it is an issue that affects our island communities; Quadra and the outer islands.
At some point the VIRL will need to make a decision on the proposals. It is my understanding that the current building is not an option. So, where will it be? I do not know and I do not want to see our community divided by a decision that will be made by another body than the one that I represent. I think it would be good to look at the proposals when they are available and see what makes the most sense. How can we best serve our community? I will keep you posted on what I hear at the board level.

Feel free to call me between the hours of 8:30 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday (please, not on weekends, folks!) at 285-3355, or you can fax me at 285-3533 or you can email me anytime at jimabramxplornet.ca , or by mail at Box 278 in the Cove, V0P 1N0... Lots of choices.

Please note my new email address.

Respectfully submitted,

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