Sunrise rising over the mountains, rocks sticking oup through the waters in the foreground

SRD Board votes against funding local community climate action planning

How our local government worksLast in a series of 5 articles from the Feb 9 SRD Board Meetings

At their February 9th meeting, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board voted against setting aside $50,000 to support community climate action planning initiatives

The motion was brought forward by Cortes Island Regional Director Noba Anderson, who suggested the project fit into their strategic objectives for 2022. (See page 43 of linked budget document)

“When I compare the budget commentary and service goals here to our strategic priorities,  this was the one that really stood out to me as a strategic priority that could be very specifically budgeted for in support of existing initiatives that are happening in our communities either that are undertaken by a municipality or social profit sector or some combination thereof that are struggling to find funds to do these climate action plans,” she explained.

“If we were able to put aside a very modest amount for a regional district of our size, communities could reach out for some collaborative matching funds to support their already ongoing work. I think that would be a very small way of leveraging excellent work that’s already underway.” 

Regional Director Brenda Leigh spoke against the motion, “ I think that if we are committed to climate action, then we should have established a climate action committee that would oversee how any initiatives are implemented in our regional district. I’m not in favour of what Director Anderson is proposing, which is to just cast $50,000 out into the air for non-profit groups to access funding. To me that’s just like Grants in Aid.  There’s no real control over how the funds are spent.”

What would stop Cortes residents from applying for  ‘$20,000 to support the old growth flying squad or whatever it’s called.’

“Will they get that money? How will they spend it? And how will it be accounted for?” asked Leigh.

She reiterated the need for the SRD to have serious policy,  goals and objectives for a program like this. They need to prioritize the initiative and control the funds and prioritize the initiatives.

When the wording of the motion was discussed, Anderson repeated the fact this money was to be for planning initiatives.

Since they started holding meetings online, the board found the quickest method of tallying votes is to start by counting people who are opposed. 

The minutes of this meeting list 8 directors voting against the motion (Andy Adams, Mark Baker, Colleen Evans, Ron Kerr, Brenda Leigh, Sean Smyth Brad Unger and Gerald Whalley). 

If you listen carefully, you can hear one more opposing vote in the audio: Claire Moglove. 

That leaves five directors who were presumably in favour of the motion: Noba Anderson, Jim Abram (who seconded the motion), Julie Colborne, Martin Davis and Kevin Jules.

The motion was defeated, by a 9 to 5 vote.

This story was originally broadcast on Friday Feb 18 and rebroadcast as part of the Saturday Round-up on Feb 19th, 2022.

Top image credit: Web of Change Canada at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, B.C. May 25, 2016. Photo credit: Stephen Hui. Copyright (c) 2016 Stephen Hui. on Instagram:

Sign-up for Cortes Currents email-out:

To receive an emailed catalogue of articles on Cortes Currents, send a (blank) email to subscribe to your desired frequency: