A quick perusal of the Agenda was sufficient. I knew I had to attend the next meeting. Chair Michele Babchuk was bringing a Cortes Island resident’s complaints before the SRD Board. On Thursday December 4, more than a half dozen Cortesians filed into the new SRD Boardroom to listen. Though seemingly humbled, Babchuk pointed to the SRD’s accomplishments and stated that Sue Ellingsen was wrong to single out Directors Jim Abram and Brenda Leigh for criticism: the SRD Board is collectively responsible.Continue reading The SRD Board Is Collectively Responsible
Cortes Island’s Regional Director, Noba Anderson, has been under attack throughout 2019. The first that many of us heard of this was probably in January, when one of the silliest lawsuits ever was filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. I almost felt sorry for the plaintiffs’ lawyer on June 10, as he sat in court listening while the random gossip that his clients brought forward as evidence was torn apart.
He did not dispute a single argument, and in fact filed a joint submission with the defendants’ lawyer admitting there was no basis for the allegations made in his clients’ legal petition. The only excuse he offered was that his clients “were put up to it.” He did not say who was the real instigator of the legal petition; but we know that something odd has been happening within the Strathcona Regional District Board for more than a year, in addition to partisan shenanigans on Cortes Island. Are the two somehow related? What is going on within the SRD Board?Continue reading What is going on within the SRD?
Most Cortes residents probably know Cortes Island’s new Alternate Director through the Community Forest, or the Food-Co-op Cafe. Given all the political shenanigans of recent months, some probably wonder why anyone would want to represent this island. So who is this mysterious young woman? I recently had an opportunity to interview Corry Dow at her home on Gunflint LakeContinue reading Cortes Island’s New Alternate Director
Rapid urbanization in the 1950’s caused development in rural areas, with residents commuting to urban centres for work. Development in the rural areas increased demand for services such as water, sewage and zoning. By 1965, the Province amended the Municipal Act to enable the creation of regional districts. Originally, the powers and services of the regional districts were quite limited; however, as regional districts became more established they were granted more power by the B.C. government. Today regional districts help achieve regional economies of scale, and provide flexible service arrangements in which residents only pay for the services they receive. – BC Government Website
Directors are only entitled to vote on matters for which the area they represent has a vested interest. Typically this will include general corporate matters as well as services for which the area contributes financially. – SRD Website
It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are. – Clive James
[EDITORIAL] When things work, at least well enough for our comfort, we don’t have to pay much attention to them. This is how I’ve felt about local government for most of my lifetime. In the course of the last couple of years, however, I’ve been forced to think a lot about how local government works — specifically, the relationship between small rural Areas like Cortes Island, and Regional Districts like SRD.Continue reading How (Well) Does The Regional District System Work?
The following story contains personal opinions which are not necessarily shared by the Cortes Radio Board, staff, volunteers or membership.
On October 30, 2019, the Strathcona Regional District published notice, the Tideline, that they had censuredCortes Island’s Regional Director. Noba Anderson is accused of releasing information which very few – if any – of us have ever seen. I have seen and reported on a heavily redacted copy of one of these documents, which you can find on the SRD website, but Chief Administrative Officer David Leitch emphatically told me that was not what they were talking about. The SRD will not state who Director Anderson is alleged to have shown these secret documents to, or how they found out about it. Mr Leitch asked me to “please respect that the Directors cannot speak any further to the details of the concluded censure process and that future emails containing speculative questions looking for answers cannot be responded to.” Last night I obtained Noba Anderson’s response to the SRD censure, which she has also published on the Tideline.Continue reading Noba Anderson Responds To SRD Censure