Tag Archives: Tamara McPhail

A Remote Island Prepares: Can Cortes Self Isolate?

Regional Director Noba Anderson invited many of Cortes Island’s key businesses and community groups to a Zoom conference call to explore responses to COVID-19. Thirty-nine people connected by phone or computer and a second person appeared on several computer screens. Many embraced the idea that we should act as if the virus is already here. In-so-far as is practical, most attendees appeared to want to see Cortes self isolate.

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Cortes Going Into Slowdown

As of yesterday’s press conference, there were 16 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Vancouver Island Health Region. The closest known case is two ferry rides away in Campbell River. The Province of British Columbia declared a state of emergency for the next 14 days, which may be extended or rescinded as necessary. There are many reports of Cortes going into slowdown.

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EASC Turned Down Linnaea’s Application For Funds To Purchase A Heat Pump

In theory, Cortes Island receives a portion of the Provincial Gas Tax. A recent Strathcona Regional District report states, “as of January 1, 2020, the balance of Electoral Area B’s Gas Tax Reserve is approximately $565,325 and (this year) is expected to receive a 2020 transfer of $58,155 in addition to any interest earned on the balance.” According to Regional Director Noba Anderson, the amount keeps growing because Cortes has not been able to access these funds. “The SRD has still not developed any kind of application guide or internal policy around Gas Tax spending, although it has been on the CFO’s work plan I believe for at least five years.” On March 11, 2020, EASC turned down Linnaea’s application for $44,520 in Gas Tax dollars to purchase a heat pump.

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