SRD resumes public hearings

As Regional Director Jim Abram put it, “It is not the best way to do things, but these are extraordinary times and I do think we need to adapt for now.” The required bylaws were passed at the August 19th board meeting. Next month, the SRD resumes public hearings.  

Chief Administrative Officer David Leitch explained that people who wish to attend in person, with all safety protocols in place, can do so. Alternately, they can log into meetings virtually. (More details will be posted.)

Rainbow Ridge Hearing Scheduled

The rezoning hearing for the Rainbow Ridge affordable housing development on Cortes Island will be at 2 PM on Oct 15, 2020. Anyone wishing to attend in person can do so at Manson’s Community Hall 983 Beasley Road, Cortes Island. Cortes Island’s Regional Director, Noba Anderson, will be Chair and and Regional Director Gerald Whalley is to be Vice Chair.

Cortes Island Director excluded from Quadra Island meetings

There are also impending hearings on Quadra Island, which Cortes Island’s Regional Director is not to participate in.

Director Anderson responded that she does not support this, and “I would appreciate being informed so I can still attend as a member of the public and be informed when I come back to the board.”

Senior Manager Thomas Yates said this exclusion was because of, “the board’s previous decision regarding Area B’s participation in public hearings not connected to Cortes Island business. The board decided Area B will not be involved.”

Noba Anderson vs the SRD

On July 13, 2020, Director Anderson filed a petition with the Supreme Court of British Columbia seeking full repayment of her legal costs from a 2019 lawsuit. Though the court found there was no basis for the allegations that 14 constituents brought against her, the SRD refuses to cover Anderson’s costs. 

She also seeks to have two SRD censure motions (May 8 and October 24, 2019) quashed. Anderson states these motions were passed after she showed her lawyer confidential SRD documents, in order to obtain his legal advice.

The board’s reasons for these censure motions are partially described in the minutes of the Oct 24, 2019, SRD Board meeting:

“THAT the Board disapproves of Director Anderson’s conduct in revealing confidential and privileged information, specifically the February 18, 2019 report by Creative Solutions Risk Management Consulting and the February 19, 2019 and March 14, 2019 legal opinions prepared for the Regional District by Kathryn Stuart of Stuart, McDannold and Stewart, contrary to the Community Charter and the Director Code of Conduct Bylaw 2018 …”

The SRD Board has not disclosed who Director Anderson allegedly showed these documents to, or how they came to know about this.

Aside from a heavily redacted copy of the Creative Solutions Risk Management report published on the SRD website, none of this material is accessible to the public.

Upcoming Quadra Island Rezoning Meetings

Bylaws for the following Quadra Island rezoning meetings were discussed at the Aug 19th SRD Board meeting: 

  • a hearing for the proposed BC Ferries berth on Quadra Island will be held virtually and at the Quadra Community Hall, 970 West Road, at PM on Wednesday, Sept 9, 2020. Directors Abram and Leigh are to act as Chair and Vice Chair, respectively.
  • a meet8ing regarding the proposed rezoning for new Quadra Island Firehall will follow immediately after this

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THAT a further report regarding a public hearing will be prepared for the Board’s consideration.

Electoral Areas Services Committee

Only the four members of the Electoral Areas Services Committee were permitted to vote on these matters. These are:

  • Electoral Area A ( Kyuquot/Nootka-Sayward) – Gerald Whalley
  • Electoral Area B (Cortes Island) – Noba Anderson
  • Electoral Area C (Discovery Islands-Mainland Inlets) – Jim Abram
  • Electoral Area C (Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake) – Brenda Leigh