Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Every autumn, B.C.’s Cortes Island rolls out a critical road safety campaign to protect some of the smallest and most vulnerable members of the community — rough-skinned newts.
Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI), a local conservation group, established the Newt X-ing Action Project to protect the little creatures, which face hazardous trips across roadways when they leave their wetland habitats and head into nearby forests to hibernate at the start of the rainy season.
Continue reading Cortes Island’s Newt-X-ing
Every year, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) allots Cortes Island $25,000 to be distributed to Cortes Island organizations as Grants-in-Aid. While the final decision is made by the SRD Board, the process begins locally. This year Regional Director Noba Anderson has committed to making her recommendation based on the input of Cortes not-for-profit organizations. She asked that they go beyond thinking in terms of the grant and put forward proposals that are of a “bigger minded gutsy nature.” Nine Cortes organizations subsequently submitted 20 project proposals. The most ambitious, six proposals costing a total of $362,936, came from the Friends of Cortes Island Society (FOCI). This is clearly far beyond Grants in Aid and the May 12th Cortes Virtual Community meeting was devoted to a discussion of FOCI’s larger picture vision.
Continue reading May 12th Cortes Virtual Meeting: FOCI’s Larger Picture Vision
Whaletown Post Office — much photographed by tourists — has a long and interesting story (you can find out more at the Cortes Museum). It has served the community for over 70 years.
When its tenure on private property near Whaletown Wharf could no longer be maintained, Whaletown residents banded together to “Save the Post Office” and find it a new home. After several weeks of discussion and some generous donations to “buy more time,” a solution was found: Whaletown Community Club agreed to host the Post Office in the Community Hall parking lot.
Once the destination was chosen, the ad hoc Post Office Committee (“Friends of V0P1Z0”) worked tirelessly to plan and execute the relocation. On the weekend of March 6th-8th — as the clocks changed — their plans were realised: the Whaletown Post Office moved to a new and sunnier location next to the Whaletown Community Hall.
Continue reading Spring Migration of Whaletown Post Office
Originally published on Cortes Radio.ca. This radio broadcast was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.
Opinions expressed in the article that follow are not necessarily shared by Cortes Currents, its board, or other producer/authors. Trigger warning: The following program contains graphic descriptions of serious human rights violations.
Tactical teams with assault- and sniper-rifles dropped out of black helicopters. Specially trained military-style police demonstrated snowmobile stunt skills. Indigenous heroes sang songs of love and consequences on a Mad-Max battle-bus. There appeared to be directors and cinematographers. It was a high-budget production. I had a front-row seat and played the role of Legal Observer.
Continue reading A legal Observation Of ‘The Rule Of Law’
On Friday February 28th at 2:30pm, over 40 Cortes residents gathered at Whaletown Community Hall for a meeting with Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena, to discuss the future of BC Ferries. Ms Trevena had travelled to Cortes Island to gather public input as part of Phase 2 of the Ministry’s “public engagement” project which began last Fall. (Article includes this link to an online survey for ferry users.)
Continue reading Cortes Ferry Passengers Speak To MLA Trevena