Quadra Island Organizations Explore Possibilities For Working Together

Representatives from at least 56 Quadra Island organizations came together at the Quadra Community Centre on Saturday, February 24. Close to 30 more were invited. Jennifer Banks-Doll, who facilitated the meeting, estimates there were about 80 attendees. They were asked two questions: 

  1. “What are some ways Quadra groups and organizations could work together to combine our strengths and address our challenges?”
  2. And “What would help create or build stronger community connections?” 
Continue reading Quadra Island Organizations Explore Possibilities For Working Together

Plans for new coal mine show the need for water pollution probe

Editor’s note:  In terms of emissions, coal is believed to be the dirtiest form of energy on our planet. In addition a recent study in Science found that about 460,000 of the deaths in the United States, between 1999 and 2020, can be attributed to the particulate matter in coal. This is separate from emissions, but global usage of coal is increasing. According to the International Energy Agency, global coal demand reached a record high in 2022. That was passed the following year: 

“Worldwide electricity generation from coal hit record highs in 2023, while thermal coal exports surpassed 1 billion metric tons for the first time as coal’s use in power systems continues to grow despite widespread efforts to cut back on fossil fuels.” – Reuters 

Coal was an economic driver on Vancouver Island during the late 1800s. There were mines in Nanaimo, Cumberland, Union Bay and Ladysmith. Premier Christy Clark promised to open 8 new coal mines by 2015, and failed. Coal is still a major industry in British Columbia, but the last coal mine on Vancouver Island has not been operational since 2017. That was the Quinsam mine, approximately 24 km southwest of Campbell River,

By Natasha Bulowski, Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

A new coal mine proposed in B.C.’s Elk River Valley highlights the need for a long-overdue cross-border investigation into water quality and an end to coal mining in the region, some environmental groups argue.

Continue reading Plans for new coal mine show the need for water pollution probe

Housing Society To Offer Event Series

From March through July of this year, Cortes Housing Society — in partnership with FolkU — is presenting a series of monthly forums featuring guest speakers and community discussion. These forums will address the vexed issue of housing — both price and availability — which remains a serious problem for the island.

The invited speakers have expertise in various aspects of this problem, and some will be sharing results from successful projects in other communities. Cortes Currents interviewed Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, executive director of the Housing Society, to find out more about this event series.

Continue reading Housing Society To Offer Event Series

Youth face barriers to overdose harm reduction, say front-line workers

Editor’s note: There were 47 drug related deaths in the Greater Campbell River Health Area during 2023. This is the third worst drug related death rate on Vancouver Island, only surpassed by Victoria (145) and Nanaimo (116). There were 31 drug related deaths in Greater Campbell River during 2022 and 26 in 2021

Greater Campbell River is a health area that stretches from the Oyster River to Sayward on the east coast of Vancouver Island, and includes Discovery Island communities like Cortes, Quadra and Read, but the epicentre of this public health emergency is the city of Campbell River.  According to BC emergency Health Services, paramedics responded to 681 drug overdose calls in Campbell River last year. The numbers have kept increasing every year since COVID arrived in March 2020 and did not decrease after the period of self distancing ended. There were 525 callouts in 2022, 404 in 2021 and 249 in 2020. In the four years prior to that, the call numbers fluctuated from a low of 152 in 2016 to a high of 230 in 2018.

By Alexandra Mehl, Ha-Shilth-Sa, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

With the toxic drug crisis as the leading cause of death for British Columbians aged 10 though 59, nearly 170 youth, aged 18 and under, have lost their lives since 2017. According to experts, not enough research and monitoring has been done to assess the impacts of the crisis on young people, who also face barriers when accessing harm reduction services.

Continue reading Youth face barriers to overdose harm reduction, say front-line workers

2024 Village Commons Update

From the Cortes Island Community Foundation

Several big announcements were made and a robust list of collaborators were present on February 1st, for an update on the development of the land that is known as the ‘Village Commons’ in Mansons Landing. The meeting had about 36 attendants, including 6 people that virtually attended via zoom. The evening of presentations had a strong theme of collaboration and neighborhood togetherness.

Continue reading 2024 Village Commons Update

As Broadcast over CKTZ, Whats Current on Cortes and Beyond