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General News · 5th October 2010
Noba Anderson
To be printed in the upcoming Discover Islander

Since learning a few months ago that the Discovery Islander only reaches about 30% of Cortes mail boxes, I have been using direct mail-outs to reach Cortes residents which compliment my on-line page at www.cortesisland.com. However, I have had requests to resume publishing here as well, and per chance Quadra folk and the outer islanders are curious for some Cortes news.

Official Community Plan Update
There will be an OCP ‘work book’ session October 16th and 17th at Manson’s Hall. The OCP workbook and planned workshops are intended to offer residents an active role in co-creating policy direction. Look for information from the FOCUS team within the next few days. This is the moment to REALLY get into clear and detailed policy. This fall is the last leg of the OCP review - now is the moment! For information, contact Sarah Downey, OCP liason at 935-6778 or sairadowneygmail.com.

Klahoose Aquaculture Application in Gorge Harbour
The third version of the Klahoose First Nation’s aquaculture application in the Gorge Harbour has been received by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands and is now proposed for one 11 hectare site to accommodate 90 shellfish rafts to the North side of Ring Island on Gorge’s east end. The Klahoose have also formally applied for the first time to the Strathcona Regional District for re-zoning on this site. I am in conversation with all parties about community information sessions and consultation and will share more shortly as I am able.

Fire Protection Boundary Extended to Include Klahoose
At the September 23rd SRD Board meeting, the Cortes fire protection boundary was increased in size to include the Klahoose village and reserve. This was in response to requests from both the Klahoose First Nation and the Cortes Island Fire Department to improve the security of fire service delivery and to better cover issues of liability. Although this is a relatively simple administrative matter, I trust that it serves to open lines of communication and ultimately serves all involved.

Hall Tax Issue Voted Down at SRD Board
On September 23rd, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) board, against my strong urging to the contrary, voted in majority AGAINST 1st and 2nd reading of proposed bylaw #75 – Cortes Community Hall Service Establishment Bylaw. My request of the board was that we give these two readings now and delay 3rd reading until January, giving the community time to again come together in a facilitated ‘open space format’ to listen respectfully to each other’s perspective and try to find some possible commonly shared solutions. If those discussions were not able to reach a good alternative, I was requesting the SRD board give the bylaw 3rd reading in January and proceed to a spring referendum. However, Cortes residents and property owners in opposition to the proposed community hall tax waged a multi-month and ultimately successful campaign directed at the SRD board to drop the issue rather than have a community-wide vote through a referendum. So, the funding of your community halls is back solely in your hands to either find locally based financial solutions to the existing funding challenges, and/or petition the SRD board for service.

Union of BC Municipalities Convention
I have just returned from the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Whistler, the annual gathering of local governments from around the province, where we participate in workshops, share best practices and pass resolutions stating our provincial position on issues of provincial significance and request action from other levels of government. The 150+ resolutions discussed included many issues such as a call for an expansion of BC’s community forest program, and greener transportation options. Of particular significance, we solidly passed three resolutions that called to 1. implement a legislated ban on off-shore oil and gas exploration, 2. oppose any expansion of bulk crude oil tanker traffic off BC’s north coast, and 3. oppose tar sands oil being shipped in pipelines across northern BC for loading onto crude oil tankers. The convention was a chance for me to meet with ministers, re-charge my optimism, and to be reminded of larger provincial issues.

Thanks to all of you who are involved in pro-active ways of making this corner of the world a better place.

In Gratitude, Noba Anderson
250-935-0320, directorcortesisland.com