Tag Archives: Outer Islands

Approved: Area C’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan

Quadra Island’s Community Plan was drawn up in 2007 and some of the Outer Discovery have land use plans dating back to the 1990s, but Area C needed an overall comprehensive vision. The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) started the consultation process leading to an Integrated Community Sustainability Plan in 2019. Then COVID arrived, and everything was put on hold. Last year the SRD recruited a community focus group, hired a facilitator and proceeded to finish the job. On Friday, June 16, The SRD Board announced the approval of the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan for Electoral Area C (The Discovery Islands & Mainland Inlets).

“Anytime we do any sort of comprehensive planning process, one of the biggest challenges that we have is finding common ground amongst all  the disparate ideas, visions, goals and challenges of people living in different areas – and with being diverse people themselves.  In this case because it is a vision for the entire region, it was much more important that we were able to come together, find that common ground and that shared vision.  That required a lot of intense discussion and a lot of work together,” explained Meredith Starkey. SRD Manager of parks and planning.  

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CCEDA encourages Cortes to take the Survey on Rural Passenger Transportation

Cortes Community Economic Development Association

Recently, the province announced a new rural intercommunity transportation study. Cortes Islanders will be familiar with efforts over the years to explore improvements in transportation options for residents and visitors while reducing the island’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions.

This new transportation study will address rural intercommunity transportation. For residents of Cortes, Sonora and Read Islands, this is mainly about finding affordable and reliable ways to get across Quadra Island to access essential goods and services without the use of a personal vehicle.

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Cortes Island Academy has students for next semester; needs funding

The Cortes Island Academy appears to have its full quota of 20 students for 2023/24.

Manda Aufochs Gillespie, the Academy’s principle Board member, explained, “We’ve let the first 20 students know that they have a spot if they want it, and then we’ll start taking students off our wait list. This time last year, we were still like, ‘Oh no, we don’t know if anybody will sign up for this crazy new program we have.’ This year, not only is it an established program that’s going to keep continuing into the future, but we had so many applicants that we had to have a wait list.” 

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Robyn Mawhinney: A Wharf Service for Area C

More than eight years have passed since Transport Canada (TC) transferred administration of three wharves to the Strathcona Regional District (SRD). Owen Bay on Sonora Island, Surge Narrows on Read Island, and Port Neville on the northern shore of the Johnstone Strait are all within Area C. The SRD was provided with $2.9 million for maintenance and upgrades that were to be completed sometime during the next decade. These upgrades have not yet occurred. Nor has a service to carry out operations and maintenance been established for Area C. Robyn Mawhinney, the new Regional Director, hopes to have this work well underway before the November 2024 deadline. 

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DFO Decision: Discovery Island Fish Farms remain closed

According to the Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) press release of February 18, 2022, “There are multiple stressors on wild salmon, including: climate change; habitat degradation and destruction; regulated fishing as well as illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. Given the state of Wild Pacific Salmon, the Government of Canada is taking a highly precautionary approach to manage Atlantic salmon aquaculture in the Discovery Islands area.”

Licenses for the 15 remaining fish farms in this region will not be reissued.

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