Tag Archives: Dave Nikleva

Seafest – Coming to Squirrel Cove Saturday, May 18

Seafest will be returning to Squirrel Cove this Saturday, May 18, with delicious platefuls of locally grown and prepared seafood. with live music.  

“ I think the first one was back in 1990 or 92. It was down in Smelt Bay with Redonda Sea Farms  and the rest of the community and it was a huge event. I think they had walk-on overloads on the ferry. That was really when the Seafood Association was formed.  Its primary mandate being water quality and it was formed in response to new technology that could assess dioxin pollution from the pulp mills,” explained Dave Nikleva.

Julia Rendall added, “I think in the  late eighties, it was to fight the pulp mills.  ‘Water quality’ was our mandate. Then there was a time when some people were a little bit reluctant about  us oyster farmers. They thought maybe we were getting in the way of their pristine scenery. We decided to  show them that we did have a good product for everybody to enjoy and that it is a viable industry on the island and it is necessary.”

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Neighbourhood Concerns about the ‘Cortes Airport’

Editor’s note: On Feb 1, roughly two weeks after Cortes Currents left the first message on her answering machine, Judy Kemchand posted the following update on the Tideline: “Our scope of work includes increasing the safety of the runway by grading the existing gravel surface and chipsealing the airstrip. This runway is currently used by smaller aircraft only as it is not long enough to accommodate jets or larger planes and there are no plans to lengthen or widen this surface so it will continue to only accommodate those types of aircraft that have landed here before. Jets will still not be able to land on Cortes. Additionally, all pilots will still be required to gain permission from the land owner to land on this private runway. We are also contracted to build a small wooden 56′ x 64′ storage hangar at the north end of the runway, which will be used to house a small plane or helicopter if desired. There will not be any aircraft fuel storage onsite as has been speculated.”

In June 1999, James and Diane Hansen built an air strip in the southern tip of Cortes Island. According to the deposition that John Woolley later made to the Supreme Court of British Columbia, “the majority of the neighbouring property owners, including himself, have strongly objected to the development and operation of the airstrip.” They were concerned about ‘excessive noise,’ potential accidents, ‘environmental hazards resulting from the storage of fuel and the impact of the operation of the airstrip on water quality and bird habitats.’ The most serious opposition came from the Comox-Strathcona Regional District, which stated the airstrip contravened its zoning laws. However Transport Canada approved the strip and after a long legal battle, in 2005 the courts decided that the Hansens ‘shall be entitled to maintain and operate their airport.’ 

That was 18 years ago, but a number of Cortes residents are concerned about the work currently underway on the airstrip. 


Oyster & Clam sectors burned during heat wave

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Dave Nikleva walks the shoreline of a Cortes Island beach nudging oysters with the toe of his boot.

“Dead. Dead. Dead,” Nikleva mutters as he goes along.

The shellfish farmer stoops over to pick up one bigger specimen for inspection before tossing it back on the beach.

The stench along this stretch of Gorge Harbour at low tide is tremendous. But it was even worse two weeks ago when a record-breaking heat wave cooked thousands upon thousands of oysters in their shells in the final days of June.

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Economic Development While Preserving Cortes’ Core Values

By Roy L Hales

When the Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association (CIBATA) was launched, it faced some tough challenges. Some believe Cortes is still stuck in the seventies and many residents would like to preserve that. Yet there is a need for the same business sectors you find everywhere else: retail, health, building and trades, tourism medical marijuana, aquaculture, learning / professional development and social profit. On February 24, CIBATA will be unveiling the draft of Cortes Island’s Local Economic Action Plan at the Klahoose Multipurpose Building, between 10 AM and 4 PM. In this morning’s program the association’s President, Colin Funk, talks about economic development while preserving Cortes’ core values.

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