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General · 27th March 2019
Jim Abram
Happy Spring, everyone! (belated!). As usual, an incredibly busy month of meetings and issues. I am going to try and just list items that have an update. Otherwise, I’ll just assume that you will understand that some things just take time and that no news is good news! Hopefully that is not going to turn out to be a rash assumption!

BC Ferries issues
I started off my last report with the good news about getting our old schedule back, getting two ferries, and a number of other positive things that WE won back as a community (province wide community!).

So now I will tell you that we are obviously getting two ferries because I got a Crown Land referral a few days ago for a spot to tie up the new second ferry in Q. Cove, not Campbell River, as they had intended to do at one point. There will be ads in the papers soon I am sure but here is the “early edition”!. The spot they are applying for is next to the old BC Packers land, next to the Harbour Authority docks. It will be strictly for the tie up of the ferry overnight when it is not in use. So we will have two ferries on the Quadra side!.

I spoke with our planners and asked them to confirm that the Old Ferry Road site was not available and it isn’t as far as they can tell.

I insisted that if they were going to go for this new site there had to be some conditions. First of all the community would need to be consulted in public forums and mega advertising in all of our local media and all neighbours within 500 meters would need to receive written notice of the plan. I also insisted and was assured that there will be no generators at night (they would be on shore power) and that very minimal, low level lighting only would be used as necessary. All they need for a tie up is a minimal ramp for the crew to walk on and some pilings to tie up to. Nothing else.

So there you have it. Comments?

In other ferry news, I just got off the phone from a very long and not-very-nice conference call with two BC Ferries managers regarding our Ferry Advisory Committee. They want to do an arbitrary two-term limit to our stint on the committee so they can “refresh it” now and then! Well, it was quite the call. We have never been able to get anyone to sign up except for the people that are on it now (myself included). After much discussion, we suggested that they advertise and see if anyone wants on and if they do, that they come to at least two meetings and if they decide to stay, maybe someone else would decide to leave. We left it at that. They weren’t happy, but so be it. The best laid plans, etc….

Community Pathway (Harper Road)
I have been in discussion with our staff and with a number of local contractors regarding this long time project. I have commitment for the rough in of the path, the necessary fill and the top finishing work. I am also happy to report that we have secured a BC Hydro Re-greening grant for almost $5,000.00 to help with the landscaping and planting of suitable trees (to them, that means ones that won’t grow into the Hydro lines!).

I am very appreciative of the people that have come forward and offered to help out. What great community spirit to help create something that we planned for in the Q. Cove Village Plan. It will create a beautiful, safe, walkable link between the Library and the school area.

Other issues
I have continued to meet with and help out the people that are trying to bring our Q. Cove Plan to life by adding more small lots to the Cove area, hopefully at a more affordable price, so we can realize that “multi-generational” community we spent five years trying to develop. I have met with agencies and planners and property owners to help speed the process along. Community input will come also as plans develop.

I have met with the Cemetery Board, the Ministry of Forests and Lands (FLNRORD, too long to type out fully), and attended three days of meetings with DFO, First Nations and stakeholders regarding the creation of Marine Protected Areas and other issues of concern to us on the coast.

The SRD meetings as well as the Comox Valley and the Hospital Board meetings are being held more often as well as the Waste Management Advanced Technologies Committee.

Please refer to my last report for any of the issues that are still ongoing but not being mentioned here today.

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… You can read occasional updates on issues that i will post on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JimAbram, but please do not use this medium as a way to communicate regarding SRD business. 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 weekend or on holidays will be returned promptly on the next regular work day.

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