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General · 6th September 2018
Jim Abram
At the end of a sunny Labour Day weekend, I wish you a Happy Belated Labour Day! I hope that those that attended the events over the weekend enjoyed them thoroughly and please don’t forget that the Fall Fair is coming up next weekend! I am well past deadline for this report so will keep it as short as possible.

I say that because I just went through my list of emails and phone messages since the last report to jog my memory on the issues that I have had to deal with and let’s just say, that I will not be reporting on all of them, unless you have a whole lot of reading time on your hands! The issues just keep on coming!

I will try to just list a few of the more important ones below.

Property donation
A very generous Meiling Alps has donated her family property (about 13 acres) at Hyacinthe Bay, as a land conservancy. The property is one of those rare jewels that has basically had nothing done to it since the turn of the century and it is located along the shoreline with beautiful mature forests and natural settings throughout. This will be held by the SRD and a land conservancy will hold a third party covenant to insure that it remains in its current natural state. I cannot thank Meiling enough for this generous donation to our beautiful island. We all owe her a debt of gratitude for this selfless donation.

Surge Narrows property acquisition
Well, the “t’s" are crossed and the “i’s” have been dotted and the property at Surge Narrows next to the existing Wharf and upland has been officially sold to the SRD at an extremely reasonable price. This land is key to the expansion and continuation of the thriving community that is Surge Narrows. It will allow for growth and preserve the historic site of the original Surge Narrows store and allow for its evolution. In addition to this as soon as we have the title registered we will receive the foreshore water lease from the Province as an area to expand our overgrown Surge Narrows wharf facility. A very long time fight and lobby effort has paid off. The recipients will be our entire community of the Discovery Islands and mainland Inlets. The best part is that it will be paid for out of Park Reserve funds that I have been saving for a “rainy day” such as this. The money came from previous subdivisions in Area C that paid cash in lieu of park dedication. (It’s complicated). This is an incredible time for celebration by all.

Stuart Island water lot lease
Since we acquired the long unused School District upland piece of property at Stuart island, which is used by the Stuart Island Community Association as their home, we now have another issue on the go. I have been working with the Ministry of Forests to have the water lease that fronts the property removed from its expensive commercial designation. So I am now asking them to classify it as “Community / Nominal fee” since it will now be ours. They are actively pursuing this at this time and I am hoping for a positive outcome. I will be meeting with the Minister next week on this issue.

Seismic upgrade to Quadra Island Community Centre
It has been a long time since I received the grant from the province for $500,000.00 to do the upgrade. The Request for Proposals closed last Friday and I am hoping that a Quadra contractor gets the work. It is a requirement that it be upgraded, so fingers crossed! I’ll let you know of he outcome in the next report, I hope!

Telus reception issues
I have noticed, and others have confirmed, that Telus cell service has gone downhill over the past month. I contacted the head supervisor in Victoria and explained our issue. He has assigned three, yes three separate crews, to come to the island to go through the issue with a fine toothed comb. They have found a reduction in signal strength and are working on finding out why after numerous personal contacts with me. I intend to speak to the man in charge of our area next Friday. Hopefully they will find the problem.

Surge Narrows AGM
I will be attending the Surge narrows Annual General meeting on Sept. 21st to discuss anything and everything to do with issues that concern the outer islands. I will also be attending the opening of the Evans Bay dock that we spent two years bringing to completion in spite of one problem after another. This was all paid for out of the Community Works Fund, administered through the Union of BC Municipalities.

Road issues, etc.
In addition to the dozens of complaints I have received from people questioning why their road is not being done this year (mine isn’t either!), I have been working with the ministry officials to look at new signage that is needed on the island for various reasons. I have also been lobbying for new thermoplastic cross walk line painting for the school and line painting for the entire island. Never a dull moment even though road issues are not the responsibility of the SRD. They are Provincial. So please contact your MLA when you have a concern or the Highways office in Courtenay: Anne Maloney at 250-334-6969.

UBCM meetings
I will be at UBCM for their annual meetings from Monday the 10th until Sat. the 15th. I have meetings set up with many Ministers to deal with our issues including some of the issues mentioned above and to deal with our Medical Clinic issues also. It is going to be an intense and jam-packed week and I am looking forward to it.

Fire ban signage and notices
I have been working with BC Ferries CEO, Mark Collins, and his staff to provide notice to the traveling public of the extreme fire danger in our area. I have asked for signage on the face of the ferry, announcements on Board and handouts at the ticket booth to every customer. The following is what I have received from staff:

Hi Jim
Thank you for your response.
Starting Saturday morning I requested the announcements on the vessel were conducted once the vessel had completed departure and was sailing. I also requested that the announcement clarified the “fire ban” similar to the sign below.
The terminals started PA announcements on Saturday as well using the clarified message of the “fire ban”.
I requested that our twitter account provided a link to the provincial fire ban.
Marketing has ordered window decals which display the following information. They have been in contact with a print shop and they will be sent out tomorrow morning.
I wanted to make sure I had all the pieces of information before responding to you even though some of your requests were acted on immediately.
Thanks again,
Debbie


I think they are really trying to help make our islands safe from fires and sincerely thank them.

Ferries
The Ferry corp. is doing a meet and greet to be held on Quadra – see the attached image. I think they are making an effort to reach out to us. So our activism for a better relationship over the years has paid off. We are trying to collaborate and will hopefully see many positive changes.

I am stopping here!!! 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
Director, Discovery Islands-Mainland inlets, Area C, SRD