Coming To BC Ferries' Campbell River – Quadra Run

The first of BC Ferries’ new Island Class hybrid-electric vessels arrived in Victoria last Saturday. Their engines are currently powered by a combination of electric, with 800 kWh of battery energy storage capacity, and low sulphur diesel. When the cost of energy storage becomes more economical, BC ferries plans to upgrade to 2,000 kWh and go fully electric. Two of these sleek new vessels are slated for our area as one of many improvements coming to BC Ferries’ Campbell River – Quadra run. 

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Cortes Island’s Adrift Vessels

Two more abandoned derelict vessels washed up in Cortes Bay on January 15th, 2020. When Jenny Hartwick, Harbour Manager for Harbour Authority Cortes Island (HACI), reported them to the Coast Guard, she was told they were dealing with similar reports from multiple locations. Cortes Island’s adrift vessels are part of a province wide problem. 

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Cortes Island’s Community Halls Could Receive Their First Cheques By Mid March

Three months ago, an overwhelming majority of Cortes residents voted to have their property taxes increased in order to provide some assistance for the island’s community halls. The Whaletown Community Club (WCC) is about to file the funding application for Gorge Hall. The Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) has requested further information, before submitting Mansons Hall’s application. Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Chair Michele Babchuk says Cortes Island’s community halls could receive their first cheques by mid March.

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Electric Is Better – Even On A Remote Island

By Roy L Hales

British Columbia’s EV tipping point may be closer than you think. When you factor in the cost of gasoline, the average electric vehicle is already substantially less expensive that a gas car. Level three charging stations, capable of delivering an 80% charge in 30 minutes, are creeping up the east coast of Vancouver Island, BC. There are now seven stations along the coastal route between Sidney and Campbell River and sixteen in the Greater Victoria area. (In addition, there is a Tesla Fast charging station in Nanaimo and another planned for Campbell River.) Now even people in remote locations like Cortes Island are going electric. On Saturday, April 12, three of the island’s six (and counting) E-car owners explained why electric is better — even on a remote island. 

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The Big Spill

(The second in a series of articles from the 2019 Campbell River Emergency Preparedness Trade Show.)

By Roy L Hales

I was immediately drawn to Western Canada Marine Spill Response Corporation (WCMRC) booth. This company founded in 1976 and cleans about 20 spills a year. Most of these are relatively small, like the incident in Gorge Harbour, Cortes Island. I was more interested in the fact they cleaned up the big spill in Burnaby, during 2007 – which gives us some insight into what a major bitumen spill on the West Coast of British Columbia might look like.

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Whats Current on Cortes and Beyond