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General · 3rd April 2015
Jim Abram
Hard to believe that we are already at the end of March and ten days into spring.. How time flies when you are having a good time!

Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC) Rally in Courtenay! BE THERE!

So the big event for this issue is the rally in Courtenay. I know I mentioned this in my last report but we need to pick up the pace on organization and attendance, so I am posting some of what I said last report, once again.

The Annual General Meeting of this regional group of the UBCM will be in Courtenay this year from April 10th through 12th at the Florence Filberg Centre. We have a full agenda of local govt. work to do, but as many of you may remember, we have held two other “events” at this gathering in the past.. very successful ones that supported local government, got our message across to the public and also garnered lots of media attention. We need to do it again this year and make it even better.

In this massive battle with the government over BCFS, everyone is always asking, "So, what's next?"... Well I have a venue for you and it will be, as I said above, at the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities AGM to be held at the Florence Filberg Centre (downtown Courtenay) starting on April 10th at 1:00 pm and going through to April 12th until about noon as stated above. As stated above, we have had two demonstrations at this AGM in the past few years and they have all been remarkably successful. One was in Nanaimo and the other was in Qualicum... There will be a huge internal local govt. session on the ferry situation for the delegates that should be a really good affirmation of what we are asking for: Reduce the fares, restore the service and put BCF back into the Ministry of Transportation, and they will be discussing “What’s next?”. It is so remarkable that we have gotten province wide support from local govt. and it started right here on Quadra Island and has spread through the AVICC and UBCM.

There will be a few people there that you might want to talk to. The Premier has been invited (attendance not confirmed), the Minister responsible for Local Government and the Leader of the Opposition. There will also be many MLA's from Govt. and Opposition.
I would suggest that a peaceful support rally be considered once again to show that the people are behind the local government position as stated above. Lots of people and lots of signs - especially about putting the ferries back into the Ministry - will make a great media event and they will be there for sure... so think about it. There will be a sign painting event at the Quadra Community Centre on April 8th from 2pm to 5pm. If you cannot come and help but have a sign from a previous event you can drop it off to be re-used at this event. You can also get it to Pat Lowes 285-3790.

This group (AVICC) represents all V.I. local governments along with all of the Sunshine Coast and the the Central Coast.. all in one place at once and in a Liberal riding.!!! How good can it get.??? So, are you up for it??? The conference starts at 1:45 on the Friday and ends at noon on Sunday. The main speakers will be between 1:45 and 3:30pm (Govt.) on Friday (but the rally starts at 1:00pm) and 8:30 and 10:00 (UBCM and Opposition Leader) Sunday… The opportunities to talk to Provincial MLA’s from all parties will be ongoing for the three days, so feel free to button-hole them as you can. That is why they are there!

This is your chance to get us out in front of the media in a supportive role.. supportive of all of these local governments that don't support the provincial govt. method of dealing with ferries.!.. All we need are a few organizers to make sure the signs are appropriate and lots of bodies... a sound system would be good, and some presenters. I will be glad to help, speak and MC if you like...

I keep hearing, "Why aren't we hitting the streets?", etc.. So here ya go.. a PERFECT opportunity that is easy to attend... Are you going to take the bull by the horns and do something? I will be there, doing the local govt thing and at the panel about BCF and putting it back in the Ministry and where to go from here. Will I see you outside when I come out to speak with you and rally with you??? People have been saying, "I am tired of talk. I want action!" So here is your chance... We could have at least a 100 plus people there from Quadra alone, but this is not only a Quadra issue. This is all of us! All of the coast!.. There will be people there from other communities. But Quadra is always the leader. Let’s keep up the tradition! Are you putting your names forward to do a bit of sign painting and showing up???... Let's see it! Let's give them a show of our strength!... A few good organizers can make this one work. It is all ready for you... Just step up to the plate. I don't want to do all the media prep. and come out and find that no one showed up.. That will look REALLY BAD!.. (I have already started that process). So what do you say? Are you game??? The woman that started the 20,000 signature petition (the Petition is now at 24,000 and climbing) is helping out with the organization of this event also. You can go to the following site to read more:

Back Your Local Gov.! As they Back Us!
Friday, April 10 at 1:00pm, 11th and 12th
Florence Filberg Centre, Courtney BC

This is the posting on Facebook to alert people to the event. I hope that there will be some keeners who will step up and help out. It won’t take much!

We will keep this issue front and centre until we win it or until the next Provincial election... whichever comes first.

This is the only issue that I am going to cover in this report so that you will not be distracted by any other. We need to concentrate on this rally. It is a short distance away and spans three days. I hope this will increase the attendance. See you there…

So, 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 or by mail at Box 278 in the Cove, V0P 1N0… or on Facebook at…. 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