General · 7th March 2013
Looking out my office window at this beautiful spring-like day is a real treat. Spring is on its way, for sure. Leaves are coming out and bulbs are sending up beautiful new shoots. Yesterday we saw the first two robins we have seen this year.
Telus meeting in Victoria
My meeting with Telus went very well and the "update" is that they still plan to be up and running by the end of March. However, it may be delayed by up to two weeks due to the many days that the welders were unable to work in the rain. They are doing their best to meet their timeline. North Island Communications of Campbell River sent information with me to the meeting. This was given to Telus for their consideration regarding a repeater site that will increase coverage to the east side of Quadra. No commitments were made except that the information will be given to their planners. We can only hope!
Meeting with Minister Bill Bennett re: sewer
My meeting with the Minister and his Deputies and Assistant Deputies went very well. It was a very frank discussion about the hardship being caused to the people of Quathiaski Cove due to the huge increase in user fees last year. My strategy was to present the case that the increase was caused as part of the "unintended consequences" of the split of the CSRD into the CVRD and the SRD in 2008. At that time we were told that these "unintended consequences" would be compensated for by the Province since it was their idea to split the one district into two. At the time that we were with the CSRD, the Q. Cove sewer was "assisted" greatly by the economies of scale: we had more staff that could stop in at Q. Cove and do a little bit of this or that and they could also take advantage of the huge stockpile of spare parts available at the CSRD waste management centre at no additional cost to the Q. Cove sewer service. When we were split, those opportunities ceased to exist. The SRD had no staff and no yard full of parts.
So, my presentation centered on this fact and called it an "unintended consequence", which the group seemed to feel was reasonable and allowed them an opportunity to look into helping out along those lines. Other suggestions were made by them to try to find some funds, even though the Ministry has no spare cash kicking around. Assurances were given that they would do what they could, if anything, and get back to me as soon as possible. I have done everything possible to try to get the fees reduced for the ratepayers and this was my last crack at making it happen at the highest level. So now we wait and see.
There will be three Public Hearings coming up shortly. The first will be for a subdivision by Schmidt in Gowlland Harbour on Monday, March 18th, at 7pm at the Quadra Elementary School. The other two will be for a private dock in Kanish Bay and a public dock on Florence Lake (Sonora Island) to be held on April 18th at 7pm at the Quadra Community Centre. Official notices will be posted in the local media as we get closer to the dates..
Disposition of Crown Lands
More and more notices of the Province issuing Licenses for mining operations and for Independent Power Projects (run of the river) are coming to me in the past few days. They are situated throughout Area C and deserve public input. As more information on these projects is gathered by myself and SRD staff, it will be passed along to you. From what I have seen so far, none of these projects will provide benefits but all will cause impacts to our area. The two Licenses have File #'s 1413031 to a numbered company - 0755748 BC LTD (for mining and power project purposes) and # 1412647 to Kleana Power Corporation (for water power projects, run-of -the-river and transmission lines).
The contact person at the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, is Judy Boone at 250-897-7553 or you can call Service BC, toll free, at 1-800-663-7867 and ask to be put through to her directly.
Many of the meetings that are on my schedule were published two weeks ago and since then the few remaining empty days have been filled. However, your needs are always a priority and your calls and emails are always answered within a day or two if not immediately. So, 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