General · 11th July 2013
What a glorious day! The sunshine has been so great for keeping the spirits up, the outdoor work happening and the power consumption down! May it last until December!
The local government issues that must be dealt with have not slowed down even a tiny bit. We are completely inundated with things to deal with to serve our constituents. However, first things first!
Canada Day festivities
I would like to send out a sincere "Thank you" to all of the volunteers who made the newly formatted Canada Day celebration such a success. Starting with the fantastic pancake breakfast at the No. 1 Fire Hall, complete with sausages, and cooked and served by an incredible host of volunteer fire fighters and friends. It was delicious and it was a full house.
The main events carried on throughout the day and evening in the Q. Cove commercial area and proved to be a very good venue to have the festivities. There was sunshine, shade, lawns, vendors of all types and food concessions that served up more than 500 meals to a hungry crowd. Entertainment was ongoing and, as always an incredible showcase of our wonderful and diverse talented musicians and performers. And the traditional Dog Show was great with added participation and performers. Let's not forget the added "plus" of the belly dancers, who performed a number of times. The energy was great and went on for the duration. Our RCMP were great sports to stick around in spite of the incredible heat, in their Red Serge for photo ops with the many tourists that attended for the day.
All in all, our community came together and made Canada's Birthday a day to remember. If you were unable to make it this year, please do next year as I am sure it will be even better.
I would like to put to rest a horrible misconception that is spreading like wildfire throughout the recycling circle. A decision was made at the Comox Valley Regional Waste Management Board meeting (I, and other directors, voted against it) to stop collecting glass at the unattended multi-material recycling depots. This included Quadra Island. I vehemently opposed this motion and asked that it be amended to exclude Quadra Island from the motion. After much argument, a vote was taken on the amendment and I was successful in retaining glass recycling at the Quadra Depot.
However, the next day, a press release went out that suggested that glass was being removed from all depots. This was incorrect and the General Manager of Communications revised the website version to explain the Quadra retention of glass recycling.
Even though our glass is brought to the CR landfill for crushing and using as aggregate, it makes so much more sense to "reuse" it as aggregate than to throw it in the garbage and help to fill up our precious space in the landfill sooner than necessary. So I am very pleased to say that we won this one! So keep on recycling your glass, everyone! You are doing your part and it is my job to ensure that the CVRD keeps on doing its job on our behalf.
I am still working on the staff to return our Multi-Material separated bins rather than mix it all together in layers in a single truck and then re-sort it at the processing plant. This is a no-brainer as far as I am concerned and will continue to push for this when our current contract expires with the collection company.
Surge Road end
Once again we have had an incredible success with the road end at the Surge Narrows Road. This was due to many, many hours of meetings with the Ministry of Highways, Emcon Services, the extensive community of the outer islands and myself. In the end, the residents and I came to an agreement with Emcon Services to deal with the last couple of hundred feet of road by doing what the tenacious David Cox (Read Isl.) had suggested all along. Emcon agreed to partake in a joint effort with the community and the Regional District (Area C) and pour two strips of concrete down the last portion of the road that is too steep to keep in place by any other method. The community turned out as did Emcon and forms were built and two four foot wide by six inch thick strips were poured where tire track would run right down to the water's edge. What a success. It was then backfilled on the edges and down the centre with crushed rock to make one heck of a nice roadway so that people on the outer islands (as well as tourists and Quadra residents) can have decent access and transport heavy goods that they couldn't safely carry by hand up and down the steep hill. This is yet another success story of community, local government and business working together to achieve what we need.
Quathiaski Cove sewer issues
The work on getting everything in place to have a workable, affordable sewer system in the Cove is hastily proceeding. The necessary steps are being worked on daily by both planning and engineering staff. The Connection Fee Bylaw is complete and passed by the Board. The Development Cost Charge Bylaw is ready to send to Victoria for approval. The
half-dozen properties on Green Road, on the water side, that have been waiting to be added to the service so they can connect are being expedited for inclusion in the system. The proposal for the expansion of the area to include another 38 (beyond the 6 mentioned) is underway and should be before the public by the fall. The user fees for the system have been reduced significantly this year and are slated to go back to approximately $450.00 for next year. So, all in all, the pressure has been kept on staff to keep this as a first priority and they are doing a great job on our behalf.
It will be critical to the future of the system and keeping the user few low, for the expansion area (the 38 additional) to vote to join into the system. The more the merrier!. We are also working with the Cape Mudge Band regarding their purchase of the old B.C. Packers (Weston) lands to explore options for joining the sewer service. In addition to that there are properties that are developing in the new Local Area Plan area that will be joining and helping keep those annual user fees down. Things are looking pretty good at this point in time and I am hopeful that the Cove community will support joining the system for everyone's benefit.
Very little was said in my last article regarding Telus cell / data / internet services since I did not have much to tell you. I have since asked for a meeting with Telus in Victoria to get the latest scoop and go over the proposal from North Island Communications to lease space to Telus on the tower that they have just been granted approval to build behind Heriot Bay Ridge. This tower will theoretically cover much of the north east island and Read Island. It is in the hands of Telus planners and I will meet with the Area manager to see where we are at. We also need to discuss the "Completion Project" which will tap into the existing finer optic line that goes from Q. Cove to Open Bay (and then underwater to Cortes). So, lots to discuss but no hard answers to give to you at this time. I will continue to do my best to promote these services and keep you informed as I am able.
I have to prepare for a flight to Vancouver for a Marine Planning meeting tomorrow and then Committee and Board meetings on Wednesday, so I am going to stop here. 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