General · 5th December 2012
It sure is wild out there right now! Heavy rain and lots of wind and we are in for more later tonight. Hopefully I will get this report out before the power goes.
A great big Ferry thank you!
My sincerest thanks to all of the people of Quadra for coming to the big ferry meeting last Tuesday night (Dec. 27th). Most of the 270 chairs were out and the back wall was lined with people. I cannot thank all of you enough for coming out, once again, to tell the Ministry and the Ferry Service what we think about their ideas and proposals. I asked you in two previous reports to come out in droves and you did. And the messages you delivered were consistent and strong. There is no way that the people who came to listen could get the message wrong or spin it some weird way. We told them clearly that we do not want service cuts. We want fare rollbacks to pre-2003 levels and we want the ferry system treated as the marine highway within the Ministry of Transportation and Highways.
I also want to offer a special thanks to Fire Chief Sharon Clandening for canceling the Tuesday night fire practice so that all of the firefighters could come to the meeting! Thank you Sharon and all of the fire fighters that attended. You were a great addition.
I will be continuing with my lobby efforts with the Chairs of the other Regional Districts and the Islands Trust to get the Minister and the Premier to do the right thing. I will keep you informed of any progress on that front.
I had a conversation with the Area Manager from Victoria once again and he was just about to travel with the Operations Manager and said he would get back to me after their three day trip. Well, he did get back to me! He has asked that I not release the actual details of the work that will take place, but he did tell me that we are absolutely on track and at the front of the pack. We can look forward to 4G-LTE cell coverage to be fully operational by March. (that is only 3 months away). This will provide cell and internet coverage. The Connecting Communities Completion project will happen later in the year and will involve the fiber optic system, as I understand it. So keep fingers, toes, arms, legs and eyes crossed until then (that should keep you out of trouble!)
I have been contacting people around the island as I have time and have had positive responses to my request so far. Many more calls to go out in the near future and then an introductory meeting as soon as we can decide on a date, time and place. I have been working on this off the corner of my desk a the same time that I have been attending pretty much daily meetings with community groups, individuals, Committees and the Board along with the provincial marine planning meetings that have been taking place at the same time that effect our entire area. I am booked every day this week and through most of next week (including the weekend of the 8th / 9th). Everyone is trying to take care of business prior to the Christmas holidays and it is grueling. I am trying to keep up with phone calls and emails but sometimes there is a bit of a lag due to meetings.
From the sound of the wind outside, I think I had better wrap this up for now. 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!
Director, Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets (Area C), SRD