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General · 22nd November 2012
Jim Abram
Another windy and wet day and so far it is not causing the winter time blues to set in! ".... there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." (John Ruskin)

We are lucky to live where we do and have the kind of community involvement that we do to take care of us in times of need. We have really come together as a community with regard to emergency response and helping each other out when conditions get bad. This is great! I am so thankful for all of our volunteers who do such an incredible job of looking after us when the need is there.

The BC Ferry Consultation Meeting - November 27th at the Community Centre, 6pm to 9 pm - Please be there!!!

I am hoping that each and every one of you will be at this meeting to tell the Ministry staff, and the consultants, that we will not stand for any reduction in services, we want fares reduced and that we want the ferry system treated as the rest of the highway system and funded accordingly. That is all that they need to hear. And they need to hear it again and again, over and over!

The typical government consultation of this type is to try and get the community to give them the right to say to their bosses that the community agrees with what they are trying to put over on us. It is typical "divide and conquer" dynamics. They want to find $26 million in "savings" and they want it to come from us. This is not on, folks. There is no need for "savings", just an obvious need to put the ferries back into the highway system and fund it accordingly. You and I pay for every other form of highway infrastructure throughout this province: roads, bridges, tunnels, trains, buses, etc. Why are we also expected to pick up the lion's share of the ferries that contribute so much to the wealth of this province?

Please be there to drive home these points. We need them to go back to government with a consistent message: No cuts, reduce fares and treat ferries as highways. This is all they need to hear from us. Don't be dragged into the discussion of "which sailings are more important?" It is a trap!

The Cortes Meeting will be the next day, November 28th, from 1pm to 3pm and hopefully Cortes islanders will deliver the same message.

Network BC meeting and Telus services

I had a long conference call on Nov. 9th, initiated by Network BC, regarding our Telus services that I have been lobbying hard for. This call was precipitated by the meeting that I had while at UBCM in September with the Minister responsible and with Network BC. Network BC is the telecommunications watchdog and they are responsible for the contracts between service providers, like Telus, and the government. They are supposed to be looking out for our interests and this phone call attested to that. They are supposed to get back to me by the end of next week with, hopefully, some good news. Their task was to go and discuss our issues with Telus directly. I have also contacted Telus directly again this morning to ensure that everything is still on track for all of the services they have said they will be providing. I will keep you up to date.

Remembrance Day ceremony

I would like to thank all of the people who worked so hard over the past year to ensure that this most recent November 11th ceremony was the best yet. It is an honour for me to be able to present a wreath on behalf of the Regional District and our community in remembrance of all of the veterans of past wars and those men and women who are out there right now putting their lives on the line. It was also an honour to attend the dinner as your regional director and witness the camaraderie amongst all present and to hear stories of times past. The Legion was packed to the doors with people. This event has grown incredibly over the years that I have been the director for this area, mainly due to the tireless efforts of the members of the Legion and their associates and volunteers. Congratulations to all!

Advisory group

I am still working on the setting up of this group of advisors. I have approximately 30 names of people to go through and try and choose from. Then there is the task of finding a date that everyone can attend a meeting. That should be fun! But I intend to make it work. More to follow.

I am trying to keep this report as short as possible since I am late getting it in. If you need to contact me, 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 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