General · 21st July 2018
This is quite the heat wave we seem to be stuck in. I hope you are able to enjoy it and are not being adversely effected by it. With the fire danger at extreme, I sincerely hope everyone will take all precautions to avoid fires of any kind. I think we are probably breaking records. I know we are having to do a lot more watering than usual to keep plants alive! Now if the wind would just let up enough so I could possibly get a day to go fishing sometime between meetings. I will try to keep this to the main issues that are taking place at the moment.
We have full agendas on Wednesday the 18th at the Board and I will report on the outcomes in a future report. There will be many important issues, but I feel it best left until the Board has actually met and made decisions other than to just give you the items from the agenda, not knowing how the Board dealt with them.
Stuart Island land acquisition
The first piece of good news is that after many years of trying to acquire the property on Stuart Island that the School District was no longer using we have finally been successful in our bid to accept the divestiture of the land from them, through the Province. This is at no cost, except minor survey, etc., and is great news to the Stuart Island Community Association. They currently have their structures on that property under long term licence with the Province. So the property is being transferred to the SRD and the water lease in front of the property that provides access is also being looked at for a Sponsored Free Crown Grant. I am very pleased with the cooperation of the School District, the Minister of Education, the Ministry of Forest and Lands (FLNRORD) and our Ministry of Municipal Affairs, for all of their help in making this happen. My thanks also go out to the Stuart island Community Association for all of their cooperation and patience. This has taken an incredible amount of lobbying to Ministers over the past couple of years and I am very pleased to see it coming to fruition. (See attachment 1)
Meeting with Ministry of Transportation
And now for some more exciting news! Last Friday I had a long meeting with our two top Highways officials. It was great! They are both such “real” people and understand our rural needs and issues very well. We have gone back and forth on the road issues for so many years with our contractor telling us that they were underfunded and understaffed. They were right and I have used that argument continuously in my conversations with the Province. The Highways officials in Courtenay have been very receptive to our needs and ongoing problems and they have come through for us.
We are getting major paving done at the end of August / beginning of September. Some of it will be real pavement and some will be “double chip seal": they come through and prepare the road, chip seal it and then wait for a short time and then come through and chip seal it a second time! It is very important to note that after thad initial chip seal the roads must be treated with respect if we want a good final product. This means no driving along the aprons, breaking of the edges, and keeping your speed down. After the road work is done, all the main roads will get new lines painted (and they promised they will do it before it starts raining!). Cross walks and stop lines will be done as possible.
They are totally re-doing the Hope Spring Road area, so I hope the residents there will be pleased. The intersection at Cape Mudge Rd. and Joyce Rd. is also being looked at for realignment for safety reasons. Their engineers are assessing it and seeing if it is feasible. This should take care of some of the very close calls at that corner.
As you can imagine, I am very pleased that Quadra Island is finally getting its turn at major work.
You should also know that Emcon was unsuccessful in its bid to get the contract for our roads and it was awarded to Mainroad Contracting. I do not have any details on any possible personnel changes, if any.
Quadra Medical Clinic meetings
I have been sitting in on the meetings of the group that has formed to try and keep the Quadra Medical Clinic open (not to be confused with Harbourside Medical). We have had numerous meetings, numerous phone calls and endless emails. You have an incredible group of individuals working very hard on your behalf to carry out the mandate given by the community to “retain our existing services”. They are also looking at creative ways to provide even more services and have Island Health and the Ministry fund them.
I was appointed by the Ministry and Island Health to be the “point person” to talk with the main contact at Island Health, Dr. Tom Gornall, after I had presented motions to both the SRD Board and the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District Board, which were supported unanimously. The Chairs of those Boards wrote to the Minister and other top officials at Island Health and we received immediate attention since out crisis is urgent.
A proposal has been presented by the group to Island Health and we are negotiating with them over how those items can be accomplished. We should hear back soon. In the mean time Dr. Boegel has been actively recruiting so that there will be new professionals to take her place when she leaves. She is going above and beyond what anyone could be expected to do to insure that her departure does not leave us short staffed at the Quadra Medical Clinic.
Updates will be published by the group regularly. Stay tuned! I am sure there will be a successful conclusion to this crisis due to the volunteers’ commitment.
Editor's Note: Due to technical difficulties, web references and attachments from Jim's article were not able to upload onto the site, despite our best efforts. Please see the Discovery Islander (July 20) for his full report. We hope to have the issue sorted by the time Jim's next article is submitted! We appreciate your understanding.