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General · 28th April 2011
Jim Abram
URGENT FERRY ACTION REQUEST
I would like to first thank the people who did send in letters due to my request to write to the Minister, Blair Lekstrom, regarding taking the ferries back into the Ministry of Transportation. I would have liked to have seen many, many more letters since we are all effected by the ferries. I hope people will not stop the letter writing campaign.

A NEW REQUEST
Please address all letters to the Minister: blair.lekstrom.mlaleg.bc.ca, but also to the Premier Designate, Christy Clark: Premiergov.bc.ca, and also please copy me. The Premier needs to have a clear picture of how these fares effect families and how they effect job creation. Please work those points into your letters... maybe even into the title so she will pick up on it as the emails come in.

The reason I ask these things of you is that I went to Victoria last Wednesday and Thursday to meet with the Minister. We had a great meeting. I presented copies of all of the emails that I had received along with a brief that I wrote explaining what I want him to do and why. We met for 30 minutes with his staff present and then he asked them to leave and we had 20 minutes of private one on one conversation. I have had a long association with Blair as he used to be in local government (Mayor of Dawson Creek and on UBCM Executive with me). So we had a really open discussion and it all boiled down to him saying that he felt having the ferries under Highways makes perfect sense and he supports that. His challenge is convincing the Cabinet that the experiment with BCFS has failed for the minor routes and it is time to fix it.

So, that is our task, folks! We must convince the Premier and the Cabinet members to support Blair in his capacity as Minister of Highways. So, if there are any other Cabinet members that you know or any other MLA's (Liberals) that you know, now is the time to contact them and give them your pitch. I will be doing the same. You can go to the BC Government web page and get all of the names of the Executive and their emails: http://www.gov.bc.ca/premier/cabinet_ministers/. Flood them with input on "how this effects families and job creation". Those are the Premier's priorities.

REGIONAL DIRECTOR'S REPORT
Well, as another month draws to a close and the sky is dark and pouring rain, what better activity could I be taking part in than writing another report! I will need to cram in a few issues into this report as I will be away from April 30th until May 16th. I will not have email nor cell coverage during that time. For technical questions you can call the Strathcona Regional District office at 250-830-6700 and have your call directed to the appropriate person.

PUBLIC HEARING GOWLLAND HARBOUR
By the time you read this, the public hearing for the dry land sort at Gowlland Harbour will have taken place. I have mentioned this in previous articles and I hope we will have a good turn out. This issue has been before our Board for many years and is now before the community for input. After the public hearing the issue will go to the Board for a determination, probably at the end of May. I will keep you informed in a future report after May 16th when I return.

THE SCHELLINK PROPOSAL
This proposal came before the Electoral Area Services committee once again at our last meeting. Due to the complexity of the issue, many suggestions / recommendations came forward along with a recommendation from staff to go to first and second reading at the upcoming Board meeting.
We directed staff to go back and change the wording in the proposed OCP amendments to make it stronger and more clear for any future proposals that might come forward for Silviculture lands. I have been in conversation with staff since then to learn that they are having serious difficulties with the wording as proposed and we spent a great deal of time coming to some proposed wording that might accomplish this goal. I also made a motion to insure that the Quadra Island Conservancy will be referred on the proposal and the development agreement with regard to any covenants that might need to be put in place or reviewed. I will be asking that this be referred back to staff at the Board level this Thursday, to be brought back at the June Committee meeting. I am doing everything that I can as your Director to make sure that what comes before you is as complete a package as can possibly be presented so that you will have all of the info needed to make a decision on the proposal.

SEWERS IN HERIOT BAY
This report has been a long time in the making, but it is finally ready for release. We made a motion at the last Board meeting to hold a public forum with the effected property owners regarding the engineering study results. The study looked at two options: a stand alone community sewage system in Heriot Bay with its own treatment plant and outfall and a community collection system that would then be piped to the Quathiaski Cove plant for treatment. The details will be presented at the meeting, but I can tell you that both options are very expensive and, failing to obtain some sort of senior government grant, are probably not practical. Come to the meeting for the details.

INTERNET COMMITTEE

My apologies to everyone who expressed an interest in this idea. There just hasn't been an opportunity to get together due to the sheer volume of work at the SRD and in the community. I hope we can still put this together at some point. I am still pursuing this at the SRD level with staff.

Except for the period between April 30th and May 16th, 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