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General · 27th February 2011
Jim Abram
So here we are at the end of February with spring only weeks away.We made it through another winter! And it has been quite a busy one and I see no slowing in the upcoming months. I hope that you will read on, as we have a number of important meetings coming up on the island in the next two or three months. I have been posting the dates, times and places in the last two reports that I have written and made mention that there would be meetings in the near future on the specific topics with the dates to be announced in a previous report. (see reports in the Discovery Islander and the Gumboot for Jan. 17th, Jan. 31st and Feb. 14th). And in spite of all of that, at the meeting that was just held on Thursday, February 24th, the first speaker got up and complained that no one had been notified of the meeting! Ironically, he was the first to arrive at the meeting! Not sure how he found out! I have no idea what else I am supposed to do to keep you, the public, informed. I have to depend on you to inform yourselves, by reading what is written and attending where you think it is appropriate.

Public Meeting Notices
Please mark on your calendar!
At the meeting that was just held on Feb. 24th at the School, I managed to get our top four staff from administration, finance, engineering and operations to attend so that you would get the best possible information available. The SRD will do its best to do the same for all of the upcoming meetings. The participation and interest by our staff has been phenomenal in these Quadra Island issues and we have certainly been getting more than our fair share of attention from all of them. It is very heartening to have my efforts to make this happen finally come to fruition. The regional district gets its share of criticism from all quarters, mainly because they are "government", and no one including me, has any great love of government. In my opinion, it is time for that to change at the local level... at the SRD level anyway. They work for us and they are doing their best to try to interpret our needs and carry them out as quickly as possible. I believe they are actually putting in more time in Area C than all other areas combined!

So here are the dates to watch for:
Wednesday, March 2nd (6 to 9 pm at the Maritime Heritage Center in CR) Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area town hall meeting (PNCIMA). This is not sponsored by the SRD but I am their representative on this initiative and it deals with the marine planning of our coast. They are looking for input from communities.

Thursday, March 3rd (7 pm Quadra Elementary) Schellinck Public Meeting Re: DL 208 application (Gowlland Harbour Views). This is a public information meeting sponsored by the applicant and is your best source of information concerning the proposal. Don't miss it!

Monday, March 7th (7 to 9 pm Quadra Island Community Centre) Quathiaski Cove Sewer Expansion Area Meeting. Extremely important!

Wednesday, March 9th (7 pm Quadra Island Community Centre), Financial Plan presentation by staff and overview of 2011 work plan for Area C. This will explain the budgeting process and show you where your local government tax dollars are used.

Thursday, March 17th (7pm at the Fire Hall), Quadra Island Safety Committee. Questions about roads, ferries, emergency services? This is the place to discuss those issues.

Wednesday, April 27th (7pm at the Community Centre) Public Hearing for the Timber West rezoning application for the dry-land sort.

For those that are interested, I have just returned from two province wide forums in Richmond and Vancouver. The first was put on by the UBCM as an annual event to get all of the rural directors, like myself, together to discuss issues that need to be addressed at the provincial level, that will impact us at the local level.

The second one was the PNCIMA forum to discuss marine planning on all of the waters from the south of Quadra to the Alaska border. It is a very important process and representatives from all sectors sit at the table, including the Federal, Provincial and First Nations governments.

I leave tomorrow for another Province wide forum in Vancouver, called the Community to Community Forum. I was instrumental in putting this annual forum in place with the UBCM and the First Nations Summit. All local governments and all First Nation governments are invited. The intent is to deal with issues outside of the treaty process that effect our individual communities and how to have a better relationship, pre-treaty.

Near the end of the month I will be attending a forum in Victoria for all Chairs, Vice-Chairs and Administrators from around the province. (for those of you who missed it, I was elected the Vice-Chair of the SRD in Dec. 2010). We will be discussing the necessary legislative changes that need to be made to make regional districts function better.

In between all of the above we have our regular committee meeting days, our regular board meeting days and our extraordinary Comox Valley Regional Solid Waste committee meetings to deal with the latest version of the Solid Waste Management Plan, which will effect us all, and the regular meetings of the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital board meetings. I'll be at all of them on your behalf!

I am going to end here, since I need to get packed and out the door to get to Vancouver. 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