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General News · 5th October 2018
George Sirk
One of the major tenets of My Platform is:
Return Trust to the Political Process

In response to my platform, I was asked by a Tideline reader to elaborate on how trust has been lost.

Because this matter is of paramount importance to the manner in which the island is represented, and is absolutely a cornerstone to doing the job of Regional Director, I decided to have my response to the reader republished here for greater visibility.

Return Trust to the Political Process

I would encourage you to carefully read the discourse on Tideline regarding Bylaw 309. Bylaw 309 is a recent example of a current political process where I believe trust was lost. As such, I have included direct quotes from Director Anderson’s August newsletter and her articles on Tideline regarding Bylaw 309, over the course of two weeks, Aug27/18 to Sept9/18. I encourage you to read the articles I reference in full if you have not done so already, including the one I mention which I wrote.

In Director Anderson’s Summer Greetings August 27 2018 posting and August newsletter on Tidelines, she writes:

“The new Cortes Zoning Bylaw has been reviewed over the past year ... and of course my and staff’s thorough review. It has been given first and second reading by the SRD Board and will be brought to a public hearing. I do anticipate wrapping up this key piece of planning work before the October election.”

On August 29, my article: Public Hearing Sept. 5th - Your Interests are at Stake!, went up on Tideline, an article I wrote after careful study of Bylaw 309 to alert the island about the importance of attending and speaking out on Bylaw 309.

On Sept 3 2018, two days before the Public Hearing, Director Anderson’s article appeared on Tideline: Needs your constructive input - Zoning Bylaw Review. She has now rebranded the Public Hearing a Zoning Bylaw Review. She says:
“There is no doubt that the bylaw before you has deficiencies and indeed needs your input.
I fully anticipate a second public hearing.”

It is the role of a Regional Director (RD) to fully and carefully vet a Bylaw that SRD staff has prepared. Staff’s role is to present to the RD their efforts and for the RD to support the work or send it back for revision. That is why we elect a Regional Director, to be the representative of the whole island and bring to the island a Bylaw that has had his or her own careful and complete analysis. Staff provides the Bylaw and the RD reads it, directs all changes back to Staff, and once deems it appropriate, moves it forward. The RD makes a motion asking the Committee, and in turn the Board, to support the RD’s decision to move the Bylaw forward to the Public Hearing. Going to a Public Hearing means you’ve done ALL the groundwork: sending it back to Staff for revision as many times as needed to get it right and you are NOT anticipating a second Public Hearing because you have actually done the work thoroughly in the first place.

It is not correct to pass it off as an SRD responsibility and say, as Director Anderson did on Tideline on Sept 9 2018, four days after the Public Hearing, in her article: Thank you & Clarity:
“As your elected official I offer input, but in the end can only respond to the language staff gives me.”

Give input, yes. Respond, yes. But then you keep on responding until Staff gets it where you as Regional Director - in full consultation with the Island and the APC - want it so as to be ready for the Public Hearing stage. Staff takes direction from the Regional Director. Not the other way around. That is foundational to Democracy.

Nor is it correct to rebrand a Bylaw that has come to Public Hearing a Draft, as Director Anderson also does in her Sept 9/18 article. Once a Bylaw comes to Public Hearing it is no longer a Draft.

With the example of the Bylaw 309 process, I do hope I’ve clarified my position on the need to return trust to the political process. If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

On the Sirk Campaign Trail

Exciting News


Adam Schick has come forward and expressed interest in being my Alternate Director. If elected, I will be thrilled to have Adam as my Alternate.
Adam has lived on Linnaea Farm for 18 years, raising his two daughters and teaching many people how to grow food, save seed and increase Cortes Island’s food security.  As a market gardener, Adam is committed to Cortes’ local economy and has valuable insights to share.  
In his own words: “I hope to share my passion for this place I call home and help foster a conversation that ensures other young families have the opportunities this community has provided me. I support George’s positive, open-minded approach and desire to listen and represent Cortes as Regional Director.

Upcoming Events

Tune in to CKTZ for my Radio Appearances:
with Roy Hales, on ECOreport at 9:00 am, Wednesday October 10
with Greg Osoba on Lunchtime Locomotion at Noon, Friday October 12

All Candidates Meeting
at Manson’s Hall
October 11th at 7:00 pm

As we hit the mid-point of the campaign there is still much work to do. I need your help to make this change happen. The importance of your vote cannot be underestimated.

I would love to hear from you.

You can reach me:
by phone at 250-935-0337
by email at natureboytwincomm.ca

Only Together can we make the change we need!
On putting the cart before the horse
Comment by Carol Lewis on 9th October 2018
However, a Director is supposed to ensure that adequate community consultation occurs PRIOR to a bylaw being drafted or receiving 1st and 2nd reading by the SRD board. It is also supposed to be reviewed and amended PRIOR to a formal public hearing which apparently costs thousands of dollars in staff time, travel expenses, hall rental fees and advertising.
Another interpretation
Comment by Max thaysen on 9th October 2018
the way the bylaw story is told here sounds like some democracy — Noba brought the bylaws that she thought would go through, then she responded to the will of the community by thoroughly changing her approach and position. That gives me a lot of trust in a person. What a rare thing to see.
Are we upset that the bylaws didn’t come back in good enough shape? Sure. But the people have spoken and it sounds like they’ve been heard and we’re getting back on track, and the RD is still on our side.
Just imagine if we could have that kind of response from provincial or federal politicians... what kind of faith that would restore. They never seem to change their minds after presenting an idea. Even after the courts tell them no, they still can’t alter their plans.
Well... it is negative.
Comment by Jon Knowles on 8th October 2018
You suggest that the current director has been fiscally irresponsible. How?

That she has dishonoured the bylaws and process. Strong word, dishonoured. How?

Exclusive decision making? we could check the record.

Get Cortes back? Has it been taken from us? Clarify, please! And who is "us"?

End divisiveness ... on this island ???

I could go on but the statement that got to me was "returning trust to the political process." Clearly, you are saying that Noba is untrustworthy. Are you saying that she is incompetent, is dishonest, or just doesn't do what some people want her to do? I would like some evidence, please.

It's important, it might not be just Noba's reputation at stake here. You might win but you could lose.

And yes I would welcome an " open and honest discussion " on the record from both parties. I would also like to include all the volunteer work that has been done.

---

When this campaign started I was seriously considering voting for George because of the 309 mess, but after considering what was being offered, the insinuations and the tone on his campaign... well.

I have never said that George is a bad person, having never met him. I understand that he is generally well liked by many and for many good reasons. I might like him too. To be fair, there are some things he mentions that I would support but they are similar to Noba's platform.

I've been to some of the hall tax meetings and have witnessed, in my opinion, the bad behaviour of some of his current supporters. Does he speak for them or me?
Come on George? Come on Jon.
Comment by Ron Kroeker on 8th October 2018
If Noba chooses to run for re-election on her record, why can we not have an open and honest discussion of that record?
And why can that discussion not happen without anyone trying to brow-beat and shame those who participate in this discussion as “negative” and somehow paint them as bad people?
Hi Jon
Comment by Patricia L on 7th October 2018
You sound like you think Bylaw 309 is one issue. It is FULL of issues including how it was processed and presented. There is an 800 page posting on the SRD website with feedback from islanders and there you will find numerous issues. (Yes, 800 pages this is not a typo) And allegedly, this bylaw took two years of work!
One issue campaign?
Comment by Jon Knowles on 6th October 2018
This is the second time you have brought up the 309 issue, is that all? Surely you could go through Noba's long list of what she feels were accomplishments and find other examples of mistrust to justify your "reform" platform.

You have given us a short list of your accomplishments over three terms, how about a longer list.

On the whole, your campaign sounds like negativity and accusation with mainly vague language and tiresome political buzzwords. Give us something more, George.
On Loss of Trust in the Political Process
Comment by Carol Lewis on 6th October 2018
Thank you, George for pointing out just a few of the many discrepancies in the current regional director's communications and for clearly spelling out the responsibilities of the regional director with regard to Bylaw 309. Addressing the loss of trust in the political process from a different perspective, my personal experience with our regional director has been both shocking and distressing which has certainly not been conducive to fostering trust.