Tag Archives: Cortes Island Hall Tax

SRD Will Begin Negotiations WIth Cortes Community Halls & Fire Fighters

Last month, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board passed the bylaws needed to fund Cortes Island’s community halls and first responders. They followed this up, at the December 5, 2019, board meeting, with the decision that the SRD will begin negotiations with the with the Cortes Island Fire Fighters Association, Whaletown Community Club and the Southern Cortes Community Association.

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What is going on within the SRD?

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?

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Funding For Community Halls & First Responders Passes

The Strathcona Regional District passed the bylaws to provide funding for Community Halls & First Responders at their November 21, 2019 Board Meeting. This follows Cortes Island’s October 26 referendum, in which approximately 75% of votes cast favoured the halls and 83% were for first responders.  

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How (Well) Does The Regional District System Work?

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.

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Editorial: What Have We Done?

During the couple of weeks immediately surrounding our two elections (federal, and assent voting), I have not wanted to muddy the waters with discussion of any issues outside the immediate and practical ones:  evaluating and choosing our federal candidates, and determining the community will regarding Bylaws 328 and 341.  Now that both elections are over, however, I think we might want to reflect on the last year in Cortes politics and what the results of our recent referendum imply.

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