An overwhelming majority of the 50 or so people that turned out (in person or via ZOOM) to the Cortes Island Firefighting Association (CIFFA) AGM on Thursday, Mar 30, were supportive of the fire department.
CIFFA has a contract to provide fire fighting services, with the Strathcona Regional District (SRD).
A number of attendees questioned the Strathcona Regional District’s current idea of setting up of a regional system, with a Fire Chief in Campbell River.
Continue reading Challenges: The 2023 Cortes Island Firefighting Association AGM →
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board passed a resolution to write a letter instructing Sadhu Johnston, President of the Cortes Island Fire Fighting Association (CIFFA), that his communications with them should come through Chief Administration Officer David Leitch.
The SRD has not renewed the Cortes Fire Department’s 5 year contract, and instead has them on a month to month basis.
Johnston requested a meeting with Leitch last month but, as he explained to Cortes Currents earlier this week, still has not had the opportunity.
“We’re not wedded to the way it is, but we don’t really want decisions to be made behind closed doors without the community being able to know about them and have a say. If governance is going to be taken away from Cortes and the decision making for firefighting service is going to be taken away from Cortes, it would be really nice to know that and to be able to be a part of that dialogue,” he said.
Continue reading Cortes Island Fire Department instructed all communication with the SRD must come through CAO David Leitch →
The new President of the Cortes Island Fire Fighter’s Association (CIFFA) is not opposed to having a shared fire fighting service in the SRD. When he was Deputy Manager of Vancouver, Sadhu Johnston led the charge in creating a shared water fire service for the Lower Mainland.
“We had very extensive consultations with other municipalities that needed services, that had structures along the shoreline. I personally went to those city halls, met with those fire chiefs and the city managers. We created a steering committee that got to shape the service and then we chose which boats to purchase based on that input. It was a multiple year effort and it was done really collaboratively. I think that’s the really important part.”
In regard to the current SRD initiative, he said, “Perhaps what’s missing right now is just being able to all be on the same page about what kind of shared services are needed.”
Continue reading CIFFA: Will Cortes Island lose its volunteer Fire Department? →
Two assessments of the Cortes Island Fire Department were released last week.
Shaun Koopman, Protective Services Coordinator for the Strathcona Regional District (SRD), emailed,“While both reports covered operational aspects, the SRD’s audit was more focused on the governance model. The concerns expressed in the consultant’s report specifically pertained to the liability exposure that the Regional District incurs from the current governance model.”
Cortes Island’s Interim Fire Chief, Eli McKenty, describes them differently.
Continue reading Cortes Island Fire Department: Two Opposing Risk Assessments →
The Strathcona Regional District recognizes ten First Nations as communities within their boundaries, but the Tla’amin are not one of them. This topic arose during last month’s First Nation’s Committee Meeting and again when the committee met on February 22. Most of the Tla’amin lands are within qathet Regional District, but they have a shared history with the Klahoose in southern Cortes Island and were given a large parcel of Mansons Landing by treaty. However Klahoose is one of the nations recognized by the SRD and Cortes Island is within their traditional boundaries. Azalea Milwood, the First Nations Liaison, explained, “I don’t believe, at this point, we should add the Tla’amin Nation, due to not knowing how the Klahoose Nation feels about that.”
Continue reading Why Tla’amin will not be in the SRD’s territorial acknowledgement (yet) →