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General · 11th June 2014
Jim Abram
Another bright and beautiful day for us to enjoy! I wish I could say the same for the events of the next two days… Ferry Advisory meeting Tuesday and then Board meetings all day Wednesday. So let’s get started!

Ferry Advisory meeting
This meeting will have taken place by the time that you read this, but hopefully you took note of it in my last report. I am hoping that some of the islanders who have been expressing concerns with the ridiculous schedule we are being forced to endure will show up to say a few words to the Ferry brass. The schedule is not working: not for average islanders, not for kids, not for commuters, not for business, not for anyone that I have heard of. So, we need to get it changed. The sailing times are not easily remembered, the sailings are mostly overloaded, the sailings are rarely on time, the connections to Cortes are being missed, people are wasting an unbelievable amount of time waiting for sailings that no longer meet their needs. What more can I say. Hopefully we will come out with a better schedule from BCFS at this meeting tomorrow. You will be notified if changes get made.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities AGM
I just returned last Tuesday (the 3rd) from the FCM meetings. It was an incredible journey! I was able to meet up with colleagues from all across the nation and talk about all of the common issues that we are facing at this time!. The FCM was very successful in relation to Ferries issues. I managed to get the issues on the National stage at least twice before the entire group (1800 delegates from 2,012 member local govt's across Canada) and also managed to make contact with influential council members from the cities where we need their support; Kelowna and Kamloops (Premier and Minister).

I also have agreement from the President of the BC Caucus to bring the issue to the forefront as soon as I put together a package for him. The FCM policy to put BC Ferries back in Highways was already adopted a few years ago due to a motion that we put forward at that time. So, all I need to do is to ensure that the issue is elevated once again and I need to tie it to the Eastern provinces' ferry service, which will be easy to do with the media that has been recorded on their issues of service and funding and being part of the Highways system.

So, a successful but stressful trip back east! Four days of travel and five days of meetings! Now it is a matter of writing briefs to go to these folks (mentioned above) and getting them to support us, here on the west coast. The Kelowna and Kamloops contacts couldn’t be better! Onward and upward!

Recycling under attack! (again!) (reprinted from last report)
This is the only other item that I need to tell you about at this very moment as the Comox Valley Solid Waste meeting will be coming up on June 19th, hence the refresher on the issue. A private corporation (another friend of government) has been contracted provincially to carry out recycling services throughout the province. I have managed to keep us exempt until now through a great deal of effort. The reason being, that this change would limit our recycling to a proposed four hours a day, four days a week with a completely secure, enclosed facility that would be locked up the rest of the time. This is unacceptable as far as I am concerned. I have expressed my opinion / objection at the Comox Valley Solid Waste Committee and to the General Manager himself. We have had extended conversations and emails on the topic. I finally got him to agree to meet with me and the SRD staff to convince him that this is not the way we do things on Quadra. The meeting was scheduled to take place at the SRD offices on Thursday the 22nd at 2pm. And guess who didn’t show up? The General Manager! No, he sent two of his underlings to try and persuade me of the benefits of the new program. Well, it didn’t work. The more they “explained”, the more angry I became with the audacity of the Solid Waste team. Their proposal is a pipe-dream. It won’t work for us and it won’t serve our needs. It will be one more service that people won’t be able to have access to due to the ferry schedule! (sorry, I just had to bring in one more example of ferry impacts). I left the meeting having put all of my cards on the table: We will not buy into their program. Can we be forced? I am not sure yet. I will keep you informed.

I will not be available for meetings for the next few weeks, but still accessible by cell and email. My Alternate Director will be attending all meetings that I might need to miss and will do a fine job of dealing with the issues at hand. 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… or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JimAbram…. If it is important, my cell is 250-830-8005… 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