Tag Archives: Chair Michele Babchuk

Cortes Island’s Grants in Aid Approved

Cortes Island’s Grants in Aid were approved yesterday. 

There was no discussion. 

“Seeing no discussion, I’ll call the question: is there anyone in opposition?” said Strathcona Regional District Chair Michele Babchuk

When no one spoke up, she added, “Seeing no opposition, I will call all those Grant in Aids carried.”

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BC Ferries Asks SRD Board To Reconsider Postponement

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.

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Regional Directors Put Cortes Affordable Housing Project At Risk

National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

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.

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Public Hearing For Rainbow Ridge Postponed Until September – Or Later

The political maneuvering began as the agenda, for the Strathcona Regional District Board’s May 27th meeting, was adopted. Regional Director Jim Abram added a “subsequent,’ which he said was way down the agenda. A number of comments, scattered throughout the video below, show that the other rural directors knew what was coming. Regional Director Brenda Leigh alluded to Abram having “something better to propose.” Cortes Island Regional Director Noba Anderson expressed disappointment that one of her colleagues “is trying to put forward a motion ahead of time to not even allow this discussion.” Two major Quadra Island projects – the proposed BC Ferries passenger service and new firehall – have also been delayed because of the Electoral Areas Services Committee’s (EASC) prearranged decision. The public hearing for Rainbow Ridge is postponed until sometime after September 7th, 2020. 

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Some Items of Interest At the May 13th SRD Board Meeting

The Strathcona Regional District finally posted the recording of their May 13th SRD Board Meeting late in the afternoon of the 21st. Given the lack of interest most of their constituents show for local politics, this is understandable. However the minutes of their meeting are little more than a record of votes and links to (far more valuable) attachments. There were several items of interest to Cortes, Read and Quadra Island residents.

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