Thank-you SRD, But There Is Currently No One To Negotiate With You

The opinions expressed in this report are my own and not necessarily shared by any organization, or committee, I belong to.

It has been more than a year since 14 disgruntled Cortes residents attempted to change the outcome of the 2018 election with a lawsuit that the Supreme Court of British Columbia eventually dismissed as having “no basis.” Now at least one of the former plaintiffs has joined a group of anonymous Cortes residents who informed the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board of an alleged secession plot. Twenty minutes of the board’s Feb 26, 2020, meeting was consumed with this nonsense. Kudos to Chair Michele Babchuk and the other Directors who recognized it as such. However the suggestion that SRD receive a delegation, or have staff look into ways to help Cortes find a more democratic form of local government, is premature. There is currently no one to negotiate with them.

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Possible Resolution: Assured Loading For One Commercial Vehicle A Day

Every summer, Cortes Island’s four grocery stores, and the store on Refuge Cove, lose business because of long ferry waits. Truckers do not like to transport frozen goods, when they do not know how long they will wait before boarding. Every store experiences shortages of produce, dairy, and meats. As increasing numbers of Cortes residents shop in Campbell River, the ferry waits grow even longer. At last fall’s Ferry Advisory Committee meeting, the stores asked BC Ferries to provide assured loading for commercial vehicles coming to Cortes Island. It’s not official, one commercial vehicle a day may receive priority loading.

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The Next Phase: Squirrel Cove Dock Restoration

Pacific Industrial & Marine‘s work crew left Squirrel Cove yesterday morning. Both the crane barge and a barge with the old wooden pilings were towed to Campbell River. Someone purchased the old west float, which will end its days as a breakwater. The next phase of Squirrel Cove’s dock restoration has begun.

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Hornby Island’s Style Of Government

Hornby Island has roughly the same number of inhabitants as Cortes Island. They have similar problems with volunteer burn-out, partisanship on public issues, disruptive personalities, and gossip. Reina LeBaron, Hornby Island Residents and Ratepayers Association’s (HIRRA) Administrator, said this is usual in small communities. Some disgruntled Hornby residents even complained to their Regional Director, but the discontent has not festered on Hornby, like it has on Cortes. To some extent I suspect this may be because of Hornby Island’s style of government. 

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2019 Christmas Bird Count

Originally posted on Cortes Radio.ca

When you talk about Cortes Island’s population, most of us think of humans but there is an even larger avian population. The Cortes museum has been taking an annual Christmas Bird Count since 2001. There were 38 participants this year. Most were in five groups, but there were also a number of people who reported birds visiting feeders, or parts of the island not on the established routes. 

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Whats Current on Cortes and Beyond