Tag Archives: Community governance models

The Cortes Island Free Store

What is it? When Will it return? And What would it take to make the Free Store more Resilient for the Future?

Are you thinking and wondering about the Free Store? If you live on Cortes island, the answer is probably yes. Are you drowning in stuff, or down to two bowls in a household of four people? Every week, there are new theories as to what happened to the Free Store: where it went, what will take to get it back, and also exciting possibilities to use the Free Store model to grow Cortes Island: for keeping resources local, making better use of what the island has and reducing the amount of stuff shipped off Island. 

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Comparative Analysis Of Cambridge, Hornby & Cortes MOdels Of Local Governance

A lot of Cortesians were talking about local governance earlier this year. My colleague De Clarke wrote that more than 40 people were at the public meeting held in Mansons Hall. I submitted the attached comparative analysis of Cambridge, Hornby & Cortes local governance models to a subsequent research committee meeting on February 22, 2020. 

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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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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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