On May 27th, three members of the Strathcona Regional District’s Electoral Areas Service Committee put all public hearings within the SRD on hold until sometime after September 7th. Three large projects on Quadra and Cortes Islands are being deferred. Though SRD staff told Regional Director Brenda Leigh the meeting could easily be held electronically, she was ‘not willing to put her life in jeopardy’ for the sake of a meeting on Cortes Island. Regional Director Jim Abram echoed the idea that in-person meetings were preferable and added that this would let directors and staff go on summer holidays. Now BC Ferries asks the SRD Board to reconsider delaying the public hearing for its new Quadra Island berth.Continue reading BC Ferries Asks SRD Board To Reconsider Postponement
The Strathcona Regional District Board received a lot of bad press last week, thanks to the actions of three rural directors. The headline in the Campbell River Mirror states, “Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread after SRD defers hearing.” This sentiment was shared by Canada’s National Observer, which quoted the disapproval voiced by Chair Michele Babchuk and Campbell River Director Claire Moglove. Quadra Island’s Bird’s Eye (June 3) was more diplomatic, but pointed out two major Quadra projects (a BC Ferries berth and the new Quadra Island Firehall) have been delayed by more than three months because of the director’s decision to ignore a provincial order, the advise of SRD staff and comments made by other SRD directors. The most detailed account of this meeting is in Cortes Currents. As Cortes Island Regional Director Noba Anderson observed, “there have been four newspaper articles on this, which is pretty rare and outstanding.” If any of the three directors had second thoughts, their opportunity to reopen the topic came at the June 10, 2020, SRD Board meeting. Instead, the decision to not hold public hearings for rural areas stands.Continue reading SRD Decision To Not Hold Public Hearings For Rural Areas Stands
The recommendations for Cortes Island’s Grant in Aid (GIA) funding did not originate with Regional Director Noba Anderson this year. Instead, at her invitation, thirteen of the island’s non-profits came together in a series of ZOOM meetings at the end of which they voted on how the funds should be allocated. Cortes Island’s Alternate Director, Corry Dow, presented the results at the Electoral Areas Services Committee’s Wednesday, June 10, meeting. EASC recommends Cortes GIAs be approved.Continue reading EASC Recommends Cortes GIAs Be Approved
An affordable rental housing project on Cortes Island is in peril after a trio of rural directors voted to postpone public hearings in their regions until September.
Strathcona Regional District’s rural directors Jim Abram, Brenda Leigh and Gerald Whalley voted to defer the rezoning hearing for Rainbow Ridge, a 20-unit subsidized rental home project for families, singles and seniors, at the May 27 board meeting.
They did so despite staff recommendations to proceed, dismay expressed by fellow directors, and with the knowledge the delay might jeopardize the project’s key funding opportunity.
Noba Anderson, Cortes Island’s regional director, who opposed the decision by her three electoral area colleagues, said it undermined a huge community effort and put the multi-million dollar project at risk.Continue reading Regional Directors Put Cortes Affordable Housing Project At Risk
Regional Directors Jim Abram, Brenda Leigh and Gerald Whalley would prefer to more independent of the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board. For reasons obvious to anyone who has observed the Electoral Areas Services Committee (EASC) over the past two years, Cortes Island Regional Director Noba Anderson would rather stick with the board. A proposal that staff study the feasibility of an independent EASC Grant in Aid Service was brought forward at the May 27, 2020, SRD Board Meeting.Continue reading Proposed EASC Grant in Aid Service Denied