Tag Archives: David Leitch

Jan 2024: Cortes Island Matters At The SRD Board

There have been a number of Cortes Island matters at the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) this month. Mark Vonesch, the Regional Director for Cortes Island, is now the Vice Chair of the Electoral Areas Services Committee (EASC). The Cortes Island Dog Control Service Bylaw is on its way to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval. Linnaea Education Centre and Mansons Hall both applied for Federal Gas Tax funding to purchase a heat pump and were denied. Director Vonesch is looking for ways to support them.

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SRD Approved all but one of Cortes Island’s Grants in Aid

Editor’s note: The following report consists of highlights from a segment of the SRD Board Meeting of Nov 22, 2023. 

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board approved all but one of Cortes Island’s 2023 Grant-in Aid applications. It was a long, often confusing, debate. The SRD Board denied the Cortes Island Academy’s application because, as Chief Administration Officer (CAO) David Leitch explained “this Grant in Aid is in contradiction to our policy in terms of awarding money to other senior levels of government.” The Board initially granted the other Cortes applications, then seemed on the verge of rescinding them. Their decision to pass most of the applications was followed by a motion to change the manner in which Grants-in-Aid are processed.

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The future of 3 wharves within Area C

It has been nine years Transport Canada (TC) transferred administration of three wharves in Discovery Islands-Mainland Inlets (Area C) to the Strathcona Regional District (SRD). The SRD was also given $2.9 Million for maintenance and upgrades that were to be completed before November 2024. The work was not done and now the cost of upgrading the wharves Owen Bay on Sonora Island, Surge Narrows on Read Island, and Port Neville on the northern shore of the Johnstone Strait, has risen.  

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What’s happening with the Cortes Island Open Burning Bylaw?

There was a great deal of anger on Cortes Island when the province lifted the open campfire ban on June 21.  As Nancy Kendel wrote in the Tideline, “We have had basically NO RAIN since beginning of May, and our forests are tinder dry!” The ban was reimposed days later, but the underlying problem persists today. Cortes Island is part of the Coastal Fire Centre, and the regulations governing it are drawn up in a wetter climate.

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Possible Dog control Bylaws for Cortes (and Quadra?) Islands

The Director of Cortes Island is considering the idea of having a dog control bylaw drawn up for his area, and the Director of Quadra Island has expressed some interest.

The idea was discussed at the Wednesday July 19 Electoral Areas Services Committee (EASC) Meeting

Mark Vonesch, Regional Director for Area B (Cortes Island), explained, “This request for a bylaw came out of a situation where a dog was out of control multiple times, scaring people and ultimately ended up killing another dog on the island. The dog owners approached the RCMP and said, ‘this dog killed our dog.’ The RCMP told them that they weren’t able to do anything about it because there were no bylaws.”

Robyn Mawhinney, Regional Director for Area C, added, “On Quadra, I’m curious about this proposal.”   

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