Island News & Views
Go to Site Index See "Island News & Views" main page
General · 23rd December 2011
Jim Abram
It is great to look out my office window and see glowing green trees and bright blue skies even though the temperature is near zero. Such a beautiful day!

I would first of all like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very happy holiday season and all the best for the new year. I hope you get some time off from whatever you are doing and lots of time to spend with family and friends. I am hoping to do the same. The new year will be a very busy one and I need a bit of time to recharge.

Lastly, I would like to thank my opponent in the recent election for stepping forward to run against me. I did send a personal note after the election but realized that I had neglected to mention anything in my report. Thanks, Shawn for giving the people of Area C an opportunity to decide whom they wanted to represent them through an election process.

Smokestacks and Paybacks
In my Nov. 6th report, I mentioned some of the discussion that had taken place at the Comox Valley Regional District Solid Waste Management Committee meeting the week before. l told you about possible plans for a waste to energy plant at the Elk Falls mill site and that discussions were taking place between two companies to do so. It is my duty to report such items to you as they happen.

Unfortunately the Campbell River Council took great offense at this report and accused me of causing both of their Mayoral candidates from their council to lose the election. I was reamed out publicly at the next SRD Board meeting and told that this was going to come back to bite me.

Well, it did at our Inaugural Board meeting on Dec. 15th. I have been the Vice Chair of the SRD for the past year and have worked hard on your behalf. But, lo and behold, they did get back at me. Through lobbying other directors, they managed to elect one of their own councillors. Oh well!

Meeting with Telus
I have secured a meeting with the Telus officials whom I have been chasing down for the past while. We will have a person to person meeting in Victoria and discuss all aspects of their services on Quadra Island and the outer islands: not just wireless, but fiber optic and cell coverage also. I have been having discussions with various Telus officials ever since I got the original ADSL service brought into the Cove area and have renewed those discussions in the past year.I expect this to be a productive introductory meeting with others to follow. I will let you know what happens.

Meeting with Minister Pat Bell

I have also secured a meeting with Pat Bell, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation, to discuss all three items and to have him look at some of the impediments to success that some of our eco-tourism operations are facing at this very moment. The date is yet to be determined but will be in early January if possible.

Gowlland Harbour views

I can report that I have heard absolutely nothing on this file for the past two months or more. I have nothing to report and know nothing more.

Ministry of Transportation meeting
I invited our new supervisor for this area, Sue Pauwels, to a meeting to discuss the various concerns that have been expressed to me about road conditions on the island. We spoke at length on these issues and also I took her on a tour of some of the areas that she needed to see for herself.

The other purpose for the meeting was to introduce her to the Quadra Island Community Pathways Committee. Since I have been working towards many of the same goals as this newly formed committee, it seemed like a good time to bring in Highways and discuss with them how we could collaborate in the future on our ideas. Sue was very keen on helping out where she could, making it clear that her specific mandate is very limited: mainly safety! Well, that was picked up on by the members present and myself and all of a sudden ALL of our issues had a safety component to them. She was very amused ands is very interested in helping out where she could. This was an introductory meeting and there will be more. She seems to have a good grasp of our needs since she has previously been in charge of Denman and Hornby Islands.

I also had a good discussion with her about the state of the lines on the roads and have sent her (at her request) an email requesting that the centre line and the crosswalk at the school be done in thermo-plastic coating so that they will last for many years. The current lines are usually gone in a matter of months. Betty Doak of our Safety Council will be writing a similar request. I got the impression that Sue thought it was a reasonable request. We will see!

Qauthiaski Cove sewer expansion
I have had a number of discussions with people in a small portion of the new sewer expansion area. They are not in favour of moving ahead with this proposal and in order to keep the proposal available to the rest of the expansion area, I have asked staff to look at eliminating this one small area from the service area. They will be looking at this in the next few weeks and I will let you know what happens. Please hold tight in the mean time. we need to se how this effects the proposal. We want to get it right before it goes to petition.

Upcoming workload
During the election and afterwards, I continued to work on issues at a frantic pace. I am not going to try and list all of the issues that are coming up and ongoing. Some are items such as the transfer of the School District property on Stuart Island to the SRD for community purposes, issues at Surge Narrows on Read Island, the road-end at the Surge Narrows road, Sensitive Ecosystem mapping for the north end of Quadra and the outer islands, ongoing forestry Visual Quality issues for our eco-tourism industry, The Local Area Plan for Quathiaski Cove, and on and on.

January is going to be a busy month!. I will be working on all of these issues over the next two weeks but will not be taking on any more during the holiday season. So, think "Holidays".

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 , or by mail at Box 278 in the Cove, V0P 1N0... Lots of choices. You can also view my website at

Please note my new email address. The old "oberon" address is no longer active. Also, now that the election is over and I have returned the rest of my house to a residence instead of "election central", please do not use my residential phone number for SRD calls. All business calls should be on 285-3355. Many thanks!

Respectfully submitted,

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