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General News · 22nd February 2011
Noba Anderson
Cortes Regional Director’s Report

Official Community Plan – First Draft Attached
As a community, we have now spent over a year and half collecting public input into the redrafting of the Cortes Official Community Plan (OCP). Through numerous meetings, surveys, and events, hundreds of islanders have given input in various forms. From this collective input, the first draft policies were presented to you on January 29th at Manson’s Hall. This is the first time in this process that your input has been reflected back to you. We have now entered the last leg of the review. Throughout the spring there will be a number of drafts presented for your consideration. With each draft we will be asking for your input, and each successive draft will change based on that feedback. Another few months of your attention is needed to make this plan yours!

Today - The first full draft is released and available on line at www.cortescommunityplan.ca and www.cortesisland.com (attached to this article) and a limited number of printed copies will be available soon for pick-up at the post offices. If you have access to the web please review it there, leaving printed copies for those who are not on-line. We simply cannot print 1,000 copies three or four times as the drafts mature. Please read it through and come with comments.

March 8th – evening at Manson’s – Public presentation of the 1st draft. Your input wanted!

Mid March – public release on-line of the 2nd draft.

Early April – details TBA (evening) – Public presentation of the 2nd draft. Your input wanted again.

Mid April - Final draft presentation

June? – formal Regional District public hearing where you give your input to the SRD board directors for their consideration and final decision.

2011 Budget
We are in the final stages of budget preparations which will determine the SRD’s portion of your property taxes for the 2011 year. In March, I will give a breakdown and summary of the finalized budget and some rationale behind its crafting. Overall, it is my aim to keep SRD taxation stable while directing funds to Cortes’ greatest benefit and most direct return – as subjective as that is. For the first time in years – if not ever - we held a public meeting last fall (at the very beginning of the annual budget process) to gather your input on the upcoming budget. Since then, the full SRD board has gone through three draft budgets – all of which are available at www.strathconard.ca.

Grant-In-Aid
Although Grant-In-Aid (GIA) is a relatively small part of the overall Cortes budget, it directly supports so much Cortes not-for-profit community activity that serves so many of you. It is the only tax services where almost all the funds come right back to Cortes. This year’s spring deadline for GIA submissions is April 2nd. Please mail or email your submissions by then and I will take recommendations on allocations to the April SRD board meeting. The form is attached to this article. Every year I am open to early requests for time-sensitive projects only, of which there have been two this year. $5,950 was allocated to FOCI for the 2nd year of the Cortes Fund Raising Coordinator, Sandra Wood, who works with Cortes non-profits to assist in their fundraising efforts and planning. This grant was given early so that the spring grant cycle could be captured. Although under FOCI’s umbrella, this is really an inter-organizational initiative supported almost unanimously by previous GIA recipient organizations. Inspired by the success of this collaborative effort, representatives from these groups met again in February and will so again in March to further discuss other opportunities for inter-organizational collaboration. The second early GIA of $1,500 went to Cortes Carbon Solutions who will develop a assessment criteria filter for Cortes greenhouse gas reduction projects and gather community input this spring to evaluate projects which are eligible for Federal ‘gas tax’ funds currently held by the SRD for Cortes.

SRD Contracts with Klahoose & the Cortes Fire Dept
In December, the SRD board signed a contract with the Cortes Fire Department for fire service delivery. Although the fire department continued to provide service on a year-to-year basis we had been without a formal contract for years. This is a very important piece that again formalizes the two respective roles. In January, the SRD signed a contract with the Klahoose First Nation for fire service delivery. This gives the reserve in Squirrel Cove formalized and guaranteed service by the fire department where all parties’ liabilities are covered. I am very grateful to all involved for their months of dedication to finalize these agreements which are crucial to continued good service.
First Nations Relationship Building
On March 1st in Vancouver, I will be attending the 5th Province Wide ‘Community to Community Forum’ in Vancouver where First Nations and local government reps share a day of dialogue that focuses of building relations and exploring ways to work together. The SRD has also extended a standing invitation to the Klahoose First Nation for such a ‘community to community forum’ at a local level.

On March 19th I will be attending an all-day community ‘It Takes a Village, and Community Dialogue’ hosted by First Nations and the Multicultural Association in Campbell River. This day is open to anyone and intended to share culture and ideas with First Nations and all local residents. If interested, call 830-0171 or email infocrmisa.ca to register ASAP.

Aquaculture Resolution sent to AVICC
Each year, local governments take resolutions regarding regional, provincial and national issues of importance to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities in the Spring and then to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) in the fall. If passed at these bodies, resolutions then become official policy of the UBCM who lobby senior levels of government on our collective behalf. This year, the Strathcona Regional District has sponsored the following resolution concerning the aquaculture regulatory regime announced by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

"WHEREAS THE Federal government has developed Pacific Aquaculture Regulations under the Fisheries Act which have established a new regulatory regime with respect to commercial aquaculture operations on the British Columbia coast;

AND WHEREAS it is critical that operational compliance standards under the regulations include provisions to mitigate the potential for negative impacts on adjacent land uses;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED,
a) that Fisheries and Oceans Canada be requested to expand the current license templates for marine finfish, shellfish and freshwater aquaculture to include specific operational compliance standards that serve to mitigate the potential for negative impact of aquaculture operations on adjacent land uses;
b) that Fisheries and Oceans Canada be requested to defer approval of new aquaculture operations pending written confirmation from local governments that such operations are in compliance with local government regulations; and
c) that Fisheries and Oceans Canada be requested to convene a meeting of British Columbia coastal communities, regional districts, local governments and First Nations to provide more clarity on the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations."

Removing Cortes from Unnecessary Services
When I took office, there were two Cortes tax services that had been essentially dormant for years for which I saw no reasonable future use. Last year we dissolved the ‘Pesticide Awareness Service’ as it had not been serving Cortes in any way. In January, we asked for a staff report and bylaw to remove Cortes from the ‘Soil Deposit and Removal Control Service.’ This service has not been used on Cortes and is an Agricultural Land Commission jurisdiction.

I extend my best wishes to all involved in the April Klahoose elections for Chief and Council.

250-935-0320, directorcortesisland.com
All Regional District committee and board agendas and minutes are available at www.strathconard.ca

In Gratitude, Noba Anderson