I am not really sure where to begin this report. I guess I’ll start by saying it was great to have a bit of a holiday with Wendy in the dry hot desert, but coming back to the tons of work that piled up during that time makes one wonder if it is worth it! I have to thank my Alternate Director Dan Mackenzie for filling in for me on the meeting scene. He did a great job and we kept in touch. I did have my phone with me on the trip so I was able to deal with urgent matters as they arose. I did try to keep it to a minimum amount of time each day and some days I was lucky enough to not have any service so had no choice but to just enjoy the trip. Also, on this Easter Monday of April 17th, my family celebrate our arrival on Quadra Island on April 17, 1985, to take over the staffing of Cape Mudge Light Station. We arrived after a horrendous trip on the CCGS Wolfe in storm force winds from Boat Bluff Light Station on the Central Coast. We had our possessions ferried ashore at Q. Cove by the old Marine Link landing barge run by Tim Campbell and then we trucked them to the station. Our kids were one year and seven years old at the time. Quite the start to an ever more adventurous life than we could ever have imagined! What a long strange journey it has been! And here’s to many more! Now onward with my report!
A few things happened while I was away and they were positive developments that I was expecting. I just hated not being here for them at the time.
Our Q. Cove sewer finally got underway and I will talk more about that in the next report. This was the result of the $1.4 million grant that I got from the Provincial government and a lot of work and effort on everyone’s part to move it along to fruition. We will do the official ground breaking on Tuesday the 18th and then it is full steam ahead! I could have some very good additional news in the next few weeks, but I don’t want to jump the gun. So stay tuned!
The $500,000 grant that I worked with the province on for our seismic upgrading of the QICC and Emergency Reception Centre was announced in my absence and was awarded due to the need to get it out there prior to the fiscal year end of March 31st. Further details will be announced this week by the SRD. I was very pleased to have been able to negotiate this grant on my own with some very cooperative provincial officials and the Minister himself.
I was here to attend the meeting where we gave first and second reading to the by law to permit the first rezoning in the new Local Area Plan for the Village Plan in Q. Cove. The Public Hearing was held on April 12th at the QICC and was very well attended. I am not allowed to talk about the issue now until it has gone back to the Board for disposition. At that time a decision will be made to move forward or not. I’ll let you know.
You are probably all aware by now that our years of lobbying the provincial government to not institute pay parking at the new Hospitals
was unsuccessful. However, through a groundswell of community protest, some leadership by a couple of us at the Hospital Board and the two by laws that we encouraged Campbell River and Courtenay to pass to prohibit pay parking, pay parking is now prohibited at both hospitals! This is a major victory for the “little people” (us!), and I am proud to have been a part of it.
There was a public meeting with the community and Timber West (T-W) on March 1st and a packed Community Centre shared their views with T-W staff. The tone was polite but firm and has already been written about in past issues of our local media. We are having another meeting in the woods on the 28th and will hopefully convince T-W that some of their plans are not in the best interest of the community nor the ecosystem. I will fill you in after that meeting takes place at Granite Bay.
I am also very pleased to announce that through some creative thinking, I and our CAO, Dave Leitch, we have finally figured out a solution to the Evans Bay dock issue that has been plaguing us for about three years now. Solved! I have come up with Gas Tax Money for the completion of the project and am so happy for the community that depends on this facility and for the islands in general.
I noticed an article about the camping at our lakes in the Village Bay Parks area when I got home. I am absolutely opposed to the govt. using our park that so many people worked on to achieve as a political promise being kept. The Premier did say that she was going to add 50% more “campsites” on Crown Land in the near future. Operative word, “campsites”. While many of us hoped that this meant new Provincial campgrounds for more people to get out and enjoy and learn about our beautiful province, it turns out it meant stealing our traditional campsites from under our noses. A registration scheme is in place that is not a reservation scheme but will still cost people $5.00 per person per night to possibly be able to camp on the lakes. They have also announced hiring two wardens to patrol the lakes and insure fees are paid. To add insult to injury, they are hiring a second person at Rebecca Spit to help out and to “fill potholes” !!!! Give me a break. We had two gradings of the road in the contract before and now we have a person filling potholes. I sure hope all of you will be writing and calling the parks branch in Miracle Beach and in Victoria to tell them that we will not accept this nonsense. More to come!
So, I have many upcoming meetings both within the community and in other cities. I will be meeting re: the sewer this Tuesday, then going to UBCM in Vancouver for 3 days, meeting with the owner of the proposed development out by April Point and our staff on Wed. before flying to Vanc., meeting with a group that is working on the continuation of the Village Plan development, another Board meeting, a new School District Liaison Committee that I have been appointed to so as to deal with their 10 year plan from a rural perspective, the meeting I mentioned with T-W on the 28th, the new Waste to Energy Committee that is part of the Comox Valley Regional District Board, and then two days at the Marine Area Planning Partnership meetings in Campbell River. It never ends!. I’ll try to keep you filled in as we go.
I was hoping to fill you in on the connectivity issue but the Board is still dealing with it in the In-camera sessions. I can tell you that we are applying for the Federal grants that are out there. Details hopefully to follow within two weeks
OK.. That’s it.. 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!