Tag Archives: Michele Babchuk

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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Mixed Reactions to Emergency Program Act

BC’s current Emergency Program Act descends from the 1914 War Measures Act. It proved painfull inadequate during the wildfires and floods of 2017-18. The provincial government wants to modernize it, but there were mixed reactions to proposed changes at the January 29, 2020, SRD Board Meeting.

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Cortes Island’s Community Halls Could Receive Their First Cheques By Mid March

Three months ago, an overwhelming majority of Cortes residents voted to have their property taxes increased in order to provide some assistance for the island’s community halls. The Whaletown Community Club (WCC) is about to file the funding application for Gorge Hall. The Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) has requested further information, before submitting Mansons Hall’s application. Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Chair Michele Babchuk says Cortes Island’s community halls could receive their first cheques by mid March.

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SRD Will Begin Negotiations WIth Cortes Community Halls & Fire Fighters

Last month, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board passed the bylaws needed to fund Cortes Island’s community halls and first responders. They followed this up, at the December 5, 2019, board meeting, with the decision that the SRD will begin negotiations with the with the Cortes Island Fire Fighters Association, Whaletown Community Club and the Southern Cortes Community Association.

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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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