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General News · 6th July 2009
Noba Anderson
Official Community Plan (OCP) Review Has Begun
I am delighted that over 90 people came out to Cortes’ OCP Blue-Sky kick-off event on a sunny Saturday afternoon in mid-June. Way to go Cortes! A special thanks to the younger generation for jumping in. This has set a very positive, proactive and solutions-oriented tone which I truly hope will be maintained. We mapped our community assets and challenges while kid’s poetry and art covered the walls. I look forward to the next phase of data gathering and community education. In this vein, until July 9th we are accepting applications for the position of OCP Education Coordinator. This will be a part-time job until December helping Cortesians become educated and inspired about the opportunities we have to shape our island’s future. For details, please visit www.cortesisland.com Regional Director’s Page or call me.

$10,000 Funding for Age-Friendly Community Planning
Cortes has been awarded funds through the Union of BC Municipalities ‘age-friendly’ grant program to augment our Official Community Plan (OCP) review to ensure that both our planning process and our final plan are inclusive and reflective of senior’s needs and ambitions. Thanks to Sandra Wood, with the Cortes Island Seniors, for your grant-writing.

Climate Action Funds
As part of the Federal gas tax funds distributed to the SRD, Cortes will have an anticipated $350,000 over the next four years to spend on the three priority areas: reduced greenhouse gas emissions, cleaner air & cleaner water. I would like to strike a small and dedicated Cortes working group to advise myself, staff and the SRD board as to local project recommendations and spending priorities. If you are interested, please contact me.

Core Funding for Manson’s and the Gorge Halls?
For years, Manson’s Hall has been calling for core funding support through Regional District taxation and the Gorge Hall is also interested. Most other community halls in the region are supported this way and I will soon be asking you to consider whether you are willing to do the same for your community centers. Over the summer, the SRD will be conducting a feasibility study to evaluate the financial need and funding possibilities for our halls. An update will follow in the fall.

Grant-In-Aid Funds
In keeping with previous years, the 2009 $14,470 ‘grant in aid’ funds from the SRD were awarded to a number of community groups. The two major recipients of this year’s funds were the Southern Cortes Community Association & the Whaletown Community Club, with additional grants being awarded to the Cortes Community Radio, Cortes Island Museum, Cortes Island Seniors, Cortes Community Health Association, Friends of Cortes Island, Cortes Island Seafood Association, Museum at Campbell River, Mountainair Avian Rescue Society, Cortes Island Potters Guild, Campbell River Beacon Club, & the Campbell River Art Gallery. Thank-you all for your excellent work!

Fish Farms
I will not often report on issues specific to other areas within the regional district, however, the recent application by Grieg Seafood for two new open-net fish farms off Sayward has raised much attention, and I think it only fair to share with you the reasoning for my supportive vote. The health of our coast and indeed of our wild salmon that bind this ecosystem together are of the utmost importance. After 5 months of reading, meeting, listening and touring, after two public hearings in Sayward with packed houses, and after reading hundreds of letters of submission, Brenda Leigh, Jim Abram and I voted, with majority, to approve rezoning for one of the two proposed sites with many conditions. The most compelling condition is that this fish farm site will move to closed containment as soon as it is commercially available, which according to Middle Bay Sustainable Aquaculture who is developing this technology, is about two years away. Early adoption of closed containment by one of the three largest players in the fish farm industry I trust will be the thin edge of the wedge of change, and it is rare that we have this kind of leverage to demand the use of closed containment. I believe that this is the best deal we could make for the wellbeing of the coast. For more details, read Jim Abram's report in the Discovery Islander at http://www.discoveryislands.ca/news/pages/6.html

In gratitude, Noba Anderson

Tel: 250-935-0320
Fax: 250-935-0321
Email: directorcortesisland.com
Box 394, Whaletown, BC, V0P 1Z0