There has been friction between some of the Strathcona Regional Districts rural areas and municipalities in the past. This was thought to have ended with the new board, but there have been a couple of recent occasions when the electoral areas felt their wishes were being overridden. In both cases, this pertained to research rather than policy. Electoral Areas A and D were not allowed to withdraw from the feasibility studies for a proposed transit system from Campbell River to the West Coast of Vancouver Island. None of the Electoral Areas were interested in having their Fire Departments come under the administration of a proposed Fire Chief for the SRD.
Thus at the Board’s Feb 2 meeting, Regional Director Gerald Whalley of Area A announced, “The electoral areas have come to the unanimous conclusion that we are being unfairly treated by the Board. Therefore, I move that the Board convene an open mediated service review as soon as possible. And if I have a second for this motion, I will speak to it .”
Continue reading SRD Board: How can electoral areas opt out of services? →
At their February 8th meeting, the SRD Board voted to continue examining the feasibility of a transit service from Campbell River to the West Coast of Vancouver Island.
It has been a year since staff was first instructed to pursue the matter.
Senior Manager Thomas Yates explained, “We’ve got two alternatives recommended for the board’s consideration. Option A is to look at one or more of the service levels that we’ve identified in the report, and they range from everything from twice a day to once a month in terms of the frequency of service. Option B would be, of course, that we drop this whole matter and not look into it further.”
Continue reading SRD Board: Proposed Campbell River to West Vancouver Island Transit Service →
The high cost of housing is one of the most visible symptoms. Close to a third of the households on Cortes Island and a quarter of those on Quadra pay more than they can afford for rent or mortgages. The most visible segment of Campbell River’s house challenged population are the 130 people who do not own or rent a home, but 2021 census data shows another 3,450 residents are ‘spending 30% or more of income on shelter costs.’
According to Stats Canada, the nation’s median hourly wage was 36 cents lower in 2021 than 2020, but costs are rising. The average family of four is expected to pay $1,000 more for groceries this year. In a recent nationwide Angus Reid poll, 45% of the respondents said they are worse off this year than at the same time last year.
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is applying for a $150,000 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) grant to develop a plan for reducing poverty throughout the District.
Continue reading SRD applying for $150,000 poverty reduction planning grant →
A number of Cortes Island matters were discussed at the new Electoral Areas Service Committee’s (EASC) Inaugural meeting. This is a special committee made up of the four Strathcona Regional District rural directors and the first stop before their concerns are brought before the full board. The initial discussion of Cortes Island’s proposed Grants in Aid; a Whaletown Community Club request for funding to install a wheelchair ramp at the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery; and a proposed staff report about liveaboards: were all on the agenda today. As expected Gerald Whalley, the only director to have previously served on the Board, was elected Chair. The big news is that Cortes Island Director Mark Vonesch has been elected Vice Chair.
Continue reading Cortes Island matters at EASC’s Inaugural Meeting →
When temperatures plummeted to −20° last year, SRD Emergency Coordinator Shaun Koopman stepped in to make arrangements for Campbell River’s homeless population to be sheltered in the city’s community centre. The SRD intervened again last week, but at their November 9 meeting the Board decided this was a Campbell River problem.
Continue reading Who will look after Campbell River’s homeless population when temperatures plummet? →