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General · 1st December 2016
Jim Abram
What an incredibly crazy week! The weather has been basically terrible. Requests for meetings locally have increased significantly at the same time that Regional District meetings have increased and as well I attended a three day UBCM meeting in Richmond.

On top of all of that, I had a Senator call me last Sunday at 7:30 AM ! and asked me to write a brief on the failure of the CCG radio station communications on the coast. I wrote 21 pages, 17 of which were a compilation of incidents of “no communication”. She needed it to present to a Senate Committee on the topic on Tuesday.

So now, some of what has been going on locally!

I mentioned an issue in my last report regarding a person that did not get a rezoning and then applied to the Board of Variance (not part of the SRD).

I gave you the details of the BOV and now I have received the determination of that Board. I am sure the outer island residents will not be pleased but there is no appeal. So here it is, as I received it from our Planning Dept.:

The Board of Variance considered an application to permit an exemption from section 531 (1) [alteration or addition while non-conforming use continued] of the Local Government Act (LGA) in order to allow an alteration/addition to a legally non-conforming dock to provide access to a permitted upland commercial use as authorized under section 542 (1) of the LGA.

The BoV motion read:

THAT the applicant suffered not only undue hardship, but un-acceptable hardship. Therefore, there is an over whelming need to approve the Board of Variance application 1C 16 (Hartin) – Urban Wilderness on Upper Rendezvous Island – to exempt the application from s.531 (1) of the Local Government Act.

The BOV Order reads as follows (Schedule ‘B’ Site Plan attached):

THEREFORE BY A RESOLUTION of the Board of Variance on November 8, 2016, pursuant to s. 542 of the Local Government Act, an exemption is granted to the applicant from s. 531 (1) [alteration or addition while non-conforming use is continued] of the Act for the lands described as Unsurveyed foreshore or land covered by water being the part of the bed of Calm Channel, Sayward Land District, as shown on Schedule ‘B’ of this order.

Today I met with a delegation of people from Read Island, SRD staff and Murray from Cape Mudge boat works to discuss the long overdue ramp at the Evans Bay Wharf on the east side of Read Island. I will not bore you with the years of details but just say that the meeting brought positive results and the ramp is likely to be built very soon and the float soon after. Water access is essential to people that live on islands, right?

I am having a meeting next week with Read Island residents and others to deal with the issues around the Hoskyn Channel Park dock. With all of the staff shuffling that has taken place in the past couple of years, certain roles have become unclear.. I hope to fix that next week.

Shortly after that meeting we will be meeting with a Prov. ministry, SRD staff and the community of Stuart Island to discuss the removal of a derelict float camp that is breaking up and is of serious concern. The level of cooperation and collaboration between groups is phenomenal. I am also bringing the Feds into this and a request for funding went to the Fed. Min. or Transport today.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) I will be going to Nanaimo to meet with the Minister of Transport’s top staff from Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo regarding the funding for the seismic upgrade that needs doing at our beloved Quadra Island Community Centre. We applied a year ago and were turned down. I met with the Minister and asked him what was up with that decision since this is our Emergency Response Reception Centre and that is what the program was intended for. The meeting was arranged within two days of my meeting with him. I am asking for (sort of demanding) $500,000.00 . If I get it, Hooray! If not, back to the drawing board.

The dog bylaw was before us at committee again and we are still being held hostage by the City of Campbell River. The fees they want to charge us for three incidents of use at their facility in a year is ridiculous… I refused and asked that staff go back and come up with a more creative solution. Hopefully they will be successful this time.

One resident has requested that we have an island wide burn bylaw that we can implement as necessary. Right now, only south Quadra is covered by the South Quadra Fire Dept. by law. They are not part of the SRD. The province issues the fire bans in the outer areas. The situation two years ago was that the province lifted the ban way too early when we were still tinder dry. This bylaw was supposed to remedy that situation allowing us to keep the ban in place. From the research that has been done to date it is unlikely that we will be able to extend this service at this time. It is still being looked into.

I have no new news on the internet front except that I have been involved in ongoing conversations with the community about our situation and possible remedies. Our MLA has joined the conversation and is doing a blitz by mail on the issues that I have been covering. I am more than happy to have the help of anyone interested.

And once again, a very festive two-day Christmas Craft Fair was held this past weekend. Lots of talent and creative crafts to share with your loved ones. It is one of my favourite events of the year. Hope you were able to make it. Congratulations to the organizers and the vendors.

Ok.. That is it for this report. Feel free to contact me between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday (please, not on weekends or holidays, 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