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General · 20th September 2018
Jim Abram
I would imagine that most of you have heard the news that I was not challenged for the position of Regional Director by the deadline of 4pm Sept. 14th.

So…. That means that I will be acclaimed as your Director for Area C for the next four years! I am extremely pleased and humbled by the support that all of you have shown and the confidence that you have in my ability to represent you. There is still a lot to do and I am glad to be the one to help make things happen to continue to make our area as good as it can get.

UBCM
I just returned last night from seven days at the Union of BC Municipalities annual meetings. What a week! It was extremely intense and stressful but also very productive. I managed to arrange many meetings with Ministers and with Ministries.

I met with the Ministry of Health to discuss the issues around the Quadra Island Medical Clinic and our desire to recruit doctors. We discussed the different models and they were very receptive to the ideas that we have been discussing at our local committee.

The Regional Manager for the Ministry of Transportation met with me about all of our concerns. I discussed our new contractor, my relationship with the existing Ministry staff in Courtenay, Nanaimo, Victoria and Vancouver. He was very pleased that we have formed such great relationships at those levels and will be encouraging his staff to meet with me more often in the future on the issues we need dealt with, e.g. grading of all the northern roads more regularly, dust control on same, a total rebuild of the section along Drew Harbour (including room for other users), the next round of paving, line painting, brushing, ditching, etc. He gave me a lot of time and took copious notes.

I met with Education Minister Rob Fleming regarding surplus School District land divestitures and crown grants for the same. A very positive meeting!

The meeting with the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources was one I particularly enjoyed since they had many people there to discuss a number of Crown Land Grants (and water leases) that I am applying for through the SRD. These will be wonderful additions to our area.

Following on that theme, I met with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs to follow up on my requests for the land and water leases that I am applying for to be sponsored by the Ministry so that they will be free. Very well received by her staff.

I also had the pleasure of meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs along with our Chair, Vice Chair and Mayor of CR and our staff, to discuss the next level of funding for our Connected Coast project to bring “last mile” high speed internet to your homes. Many great announcements were made during the conference about new programs to provide more funding and I have already asked staff to please get on with it asap! I later had the opportunity to meet with Minister Jinny Sims regarding the “last mile” funding also. It is from her Ministry that this money will flow.

This was all very exciting and there were many more discussions with Ministers and Ministry people at a number of social get togethers.

I’ll stop there for now. Fell free to contact me if there is anything you want me to elaborate on. I have taken up enough space for now!

TELUS update
I have had numerous conversations with the District Manager of Telus regarding the decline in cell service over the past month. He has now sent three separate crews to Quadra to investigate. They have made some changes and he and I will be testing them tomorrow afternoon on my cell and his, from my home. We should get an accurate picture if their adjustments made any difference.

Surge Narrows land purchase

It is finally final! We have managed to negotiate a settlement with the shareholders of the property right next to the area where our Wharf is at Surge Narrows on Read Island. I know I mentioned this last report, but now the deal is totally done and accepted. It has taken an incredible amount of collaboration and time to make this happen and I have not been allowed to speak about it until now since land negotiations are in camera. It is about six acres of strategically located land and will (after more time and work) include the water lease in front of the land. We will then be able to provide more moorage space for outer islanders. They are in dire need of more space. We will also be the owners of the historic Surge Narrows Store and will be restoring it with grants and a lot of community help. More to follow.

Gulf Islands Cable
Congratulations to George Barnes and Peter Booth for purchasing Gulf Islands Cable. This will be one of the likely providers of our Connected Coast high speed fibre network. It is great that it will be a local business that is going to benefit, along with the rest of us, from the Connected Coast initiative that we have worked so long to bring to fruition.

Meetings, meetings, meetings….
I am going to cut it off here, because I still have two Board agendas to study, a meeting (reception) tomorrow with brass from BC Ferries and many islanders, a full day meeting with the outer islanders at the Surge Narrows AGM, the grand opening of the Evans Bay Wharf Park and numerous other issues to deal with in the next week. The time that I saved by not needing to run a campaign is being used totally to continue working on the ongoing projects for Area C that never seem to be in short supply.

Feel free to contact me between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 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! Emails and phone messages received over the weekends or on holidays will be returned promptly in the next day or so afterward.

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Abram
Director, Discovery Islands-Mainland inlets, Area C, SRD