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?
(EDITORIAL) – The Board of Directors is committed to performing its functions of office truthfully, faithfully and impartially to the best of its knowledge and ability based on the following values:
(a) to work as a committed team in a spirit of collaboration and community;
(b) to be caring and respectful in all interactions and relationships;
(c) to be open and honest, and to adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct;
(d) to deliver effective public service through professionalism and creativity; and
(e) to be accountable to constituents and to the region as a whole.
— From the Strathcona Regional District Code of Conduct
On October 30th, just a few days after the decisive referendum on Area B Bylaws 328 and 341, the Cortes community received quite a shock: SRD (Strathcona Regional District) published on Tideline a press release detailing a motion of censure against Regional Director Noba Anderson. This censure rests on a claim that Director Anderson inappropriately released confidential in camera information (namely, the Craig Peterson report and two legal opinions whose significance is not explained). Our community’s assessment of this charge against her depends on how we understand in camera privilege and SRD’s use of it.
Continue reading Confidentiality or Secrecy? A Slippery Slope
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.
Continue reading Editorial: What Have We Done?
By Roy L Hales
There has been a lot of talk about lobbyists lately. Much of it centres around two Cortes residents who attend Strathcona Regional District regularly board meetings on a fairly regular basis. Are there others? What is a lobbyist?
Continue reading What Is A Lobbyist?
By Roy L Hales
The Southern Cortes Community Association presentation was next. Though we have exchanged emails, Julian Ayers and I have never met and I didn’t think to have someone point him out to me. Nor I did not tell him that the little black device on the lectern, that looks virtually identical to a remote, was actually my recorder. Consequently, you will hear a lot of paper shuffling throughout this presentation.
Continue reading Cortes Delegations Address The Strathcona Regional District Board (Part 2)