General · 6th November 2013
I hope that all of you have adjusted to the time change and the re-allocation of daylight from evening to morning. For me, the first few days are the hardest but I am sure I will get used to it as I do every year.
I would like to congratulate the Quadra island Recreation Society, the staff and all of the volunteers who worked on making a very scary and successful fun night at the Community Centre. The Haunted House was fantastic as were the refreshments and the fireworks. It is great to see the volunteer spirit alive and well in our community.
Surge Narrows AGM
Last Saturday, I attended the Surge Narrows Community Association AGM on Read Island. It was great to hear reports from all of the different committees that are focusing on varying aspects of life in the outer islands. For such a small group of people, there is an incredible amount of energy and enthusiasm for island life and trying to keep it vibrant. I was able to report to them on issues of concern to them: Wharf divestiture, road maintenance and upgrading, bylaw enforcement, and many other topics of concern. We had a great pot luck lunch and then went right back to business. The meeting lasted most of the day and as usual, transportation by small boat was provided from the Hoskyn Landing Park wharf to get me to and from the meeting. I certainly appreciate the hospitality provided by the community and the valuable input into local government and other issues.
Meeting with Premier's representative regarding BC Ferries
On Nov. 22nd, the Coastal Regional District Chairs group, which I am a part of, will be meeting in Vancouver with MLA Jordan Sturdy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. He was assigned by the Premier to handle the BC.Ferries file for the government. Each of us had a personal meeting with him in the past month and in addition to our presentations we all insisted that we have a joint meeting with him prior to him finalizing his report to the Premier. He consented to that request and we will now get one more chance to put forward our position regarding equity and fairness between the marine and terrestrial highway system. Please direct all of your positive energy and thoughts towards a positive outcome for our afternoon meeting on the 22nd. We will need all the help we can get. Our communities depend on a satisfactory resolution to this issue. I will report back to you after the meeting.
Wharves Divestiture by Transport Canada.
Although I would prefer to see the Federal wharves continue to be maintained by the Federal government, as they should be, three wharves are being considered for acceptance by the SRD for transfer. Otherwise they will be removed by the Feds. The wharves are: Surge Narrows, Owen Bay and Port Neville. The SRD has signed contribution agreements with Transport Canada which allows us to do the necessary investigation into each wharf's condition and allows us to insure that the money that they will pass on to us for maintenance is sufficient. We have done the engineering inspections (paid for by the Feds) and I have arranged for community meetings where necessary. I met with the Surge Narrows community at their AGM and they are in favour of the SRD being the new owners, if the only other option is removal. This wharf is far too important to the community to lose it. I have a meeting with the Port Neville community along with our Chief Administrative Officer on or around Nov. 13th and with the Owen Bay community in the same timeframe. We need to move very quickly as the Feds are insisting on a Dec. 31st deadline for a decision. The negotiations will then take place if we decide that we are going to go for the divestiture. It is a sad day when we who live on the coast cannot depend upon the historic role of Transport Canada "to transport goods and people" along the coast. That is their mandate and they are shirking their responsibility to us as taxpayers and as contributors to the national economy. (sounds sort of like BC Ferries, doesn't it?). I will provide details as they become available in the near future.
Dog bylaw interest
With all of the news of late regarding aggressive dogs, I have been receiving quite a bit of input from the community regarding addressing the issue of a dog bylaw. The RCMP would be ecstatic if such a bylaw were in place, as it would make it far easier for them to deal with issues as they arise. I know that the island community will be very divided on this very emotional issue, but I also feel that with all of the input, the discussion needs to begin. I am not proposing a bylaw. I am proposing a discussion about a bylaw. What might be needed. What might be acceptable. What might be enforceable. So, please everyone, keep in mind that this is just informing you that lots of people are saying that we need this to happen and I cannot, as your Director, ignore that. This is only the beginning of a discussion and I hope it will be a calm and rational, friendly discussion.
So, that is about it for now. 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!
Jim Abram Director,
Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets (Area C), SRD