Tag Archives: SRD Board

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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Strathcona Regional District Reopens Its Corporate office Today

The public is encouraged to contact them through telephone, email or other electronic means. “Persons exhibiting COVID-like symptoms are strictly prohibited from entering” the building.  “Where in-person business cannot be avoided, appointments are required with physical distancing in place.” People “are required to wash or sanitize their hands before and after entry … Floor markings are provided identifying traffic flow and directing visitors where to stand when approaching front desk(s).” The Strathcona Regional District reopens its corporate office today.

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SRD Decision To Not Hold Public Hearings For Rural Areas Stands

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. 

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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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