Tag Archives: Electoral Areas Services Committee

EASC Turned Down Linnaea’s Application For Funds To Purchase A Heat Pump

In theory, Cortes Island receives a portion of the Provincial Gas Tax. A recent Strathcona Regional District report states, “as of January 1, 2020, the balance of Electoral Area B’s Gas Tax Reserve is approximately $565,325 and (this year) is expected to receive a 2020 transfer of $58,155 in addition to any interest earned on the balance.” According to Regional Director Noba Anderson, the amount keeps growing because Cortes has not been able to access these funds. “The SRD has still not developed any kind of application guide or internal policy around Gas Tax spending, although it has been on the CFO’s work plan I believe for at least five years.” On March 11, 2020, EASC turned down Linnaea’s application for $44,520 in Gas Tax dollars to purchase a heat pump.

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Cortes Island Has Three Directors

When Noba Anderson was re-elected, on October 20, 2018, most of Cortes Island thought she was our representative to the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board. Since then, we have discovered there is a sense in which Cortes Island has three directors. 

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Thank-you SRD, But There Is Currently No One To Negotiate With You

The opinions expressed in this report are my own and not necessarily shared by any organization, or committee, I belong to.

It has been more than a year since 14 disgruntled Cortes residents attempted to change the outcome of the 2018 election with a lawsuit that the Supreme Court of British Columbia eventually dismissed as having “no basis.” Now at least one of the former plaintiffs has joined a group of anonymous Cortes residents who informed the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board of an alleged secession plot. Twenty minutes of the board’s Feb 26, 2020, meeting was consumed with this nonsense. Kudos to Chair Michele Babchuk and the other Directors who recognized it as such. However the suggestion that SRD receive a delegation, or have staff look into ways to help Cortes find a more democratic form of local government, is premature. There is currently no one to negotiate with them.

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Tiber Bay: Outside the Protected Zone

Twenty years ago, Bill Friedel was embroiled in a night-long-battle to save a neighbouring Cortes Island property from fire. As they were in Tiber Bay, outside the protected area, the Cortes Island Fire Department did not intervene. One night last Spring, a downed power line “remained live for over 20 minutes and started several intense, small fires …” Luckily, these blazes were spotted before they spread. Tiber Bay is still outside the protected zone today and many residents are asking to be included in the Fire District. 

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The SRD Board Is Collectively Responsible

A quick perusal of the Agenda was sufficient. I knew I had to attend the next meeting. Chair Michele Babchuk was bringing a Cortes Island resident’s complaints before the SRD Board. On Thursday December 4, more than a half dozen Cortesians filed into the new SRD Boardroom to listen. Though seemingly humbled, Babchuk pointed to the SRD’s accomplishments and stated that Sue Ellingsen was wrong to single out Directors Jim Abram and Brenda Leigh for criticism: the SRD Board is collectively responsible. 

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