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General · 7th November 2011
Jim Abram
I know that there is an election taking place but the business of the Regional District must go on! And it does. We have had a number of meetings since my last report and there are a few items that I should report to you.

BC Ferry Commissioner
I am not sure how many of you saw the tiny ad in the Campbell River papers about the request for additional input by the Commissioner "on a number of key issues described in a series of discussion papers". They are listed on his web site at www.bcferrycommission.com/reports-press/whats-new/coastal-ferry-act-review Now that's a mouthful! So, after hearing from more than three dozen communities we now have to continue the discussion. I do hope that all of you will. I am sure that you will be able to glean from the papers what direction he is leaning towards and then you can comment on it! I have meetings arranged with the other coastal regional district chairs and the Islands' Trust to meet with the Minister of Transportation and the Premier in January and February (as the Vice-Chair of the SRD). We will be given the opportunity to discuss the Commissioner's report prior to government making their decisions. So, please provide feedback to the Commissioner and copy me, if you don't mind.

Internet
There seems to be lots of confusion around the Telus information I provided last report. I gave you the verbatim info that I got from the Telus executives. I will be working on getting them to join us into their fiber-optic system that covers a considerable part of the island. If they are looking at wireless service, I am sure that will be a start, but I want true high-speed internet for those who want it and will do whatever is necessary to get them to provide that service. I would hope to set up a meeting in early December with their team to see where we are going. I cannot give you more than I have in the way of info, so hang tight! More to follow.

Local Area Plan for Q Cove Village
For those of you that might have missed this item in the last report, we have given the by laws 1st and 2nd readings for both the OCP and LAP and have passed them on for First Nations' consultation. They will then go to the public hearing stage hopefully in January or February. If the community agrees with the plans then they will be given third reading at which time they will need to go to the ministry for approval prior to the SRD giving them final adoption. Once that is complete then people wishing to develop some of the great ideas in the plan can get started!. I am looking forward to that time.

"Mass Burn" garbage facility in Campbell River?
Some of you may or may not have heard about this issue. The Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Management Plan is being reviewed at this time. It is reviewed about every 5 years. One of the options to land-filling is called Waste to Energy (WTE) and it is what Gold River is in the process of negotiating with Vancouver to burn their processed garbage (not the raw product). So, at out meeting on Thursday, it came out that Campbell River also has hopes for a facility at the Elk Falls mill site for a "mass burn" site... that means no sorting, just dumping raw garbage into an incinerator and lighting it up. As you can imagine, I was horrified, having spent so many years monitoring the pollution from the mill along with the Cape Mudge Band. There were only three directors that spoke for having the application be required to go through the solid waste plan rather than just allow the municipality to do it on their own. Myself, Brenda Leigh from Area D and a Director from Area B near Comox all spoke against this and it passed. So, in spite of the beautiful clean air that has resulted since the pulp mill closed down, the air that we sell as a commodity to our tourism industry customers, we may be looking at another huge smoke stack with noxious fumes covering our island. I thought you should know about this since it will be a very major dispute in the next few months. This WILL effect us. I must say here, that so far we have no details and it may never happen. But keep informed just in case.

For Your Information
Make sure you get out there and vote on November 19th at the Quadra Elementary School. Go to the following web site for more information on other voting opportunities: http://www.strathconard.ca/siteengine/activepage.asp?PageID=151 You can also phone the Chief Election Officer, Tom Yates at 250-830-6704 if you have any specific questions. I hope that everyone will take this opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote.

As always, I am always available. 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. You can also view my website at www.jimabram.com

Please note my new email address. The old "oberon" address is no longer active.

Respectfully submitted,

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