General News · 10th May 2011
Official Community Plan
The second draft of the Cortes Official Community Plan has recently been forwarded by Felice (Focus consulting team) to the Regional District staff for review. This draft will be made public within the next few weeks (both on line and in written form) and a public meeting will follow shortly thereafter.
I have recently heard from Emcon that Cortes is going to get another 24 km of roads resurfaced in June, for which road shoulder grading preparations have already started. Last year, the Ministry of Highways submitted a request for special funds to be directed this year to Cortes, their highest priority in this region. That request has been granted and most of the remaining Cortes roads in poor condition will be repaired. Emcon will present more details of the upcoming work at the first Safety Committee meeting in many years scheduled for later this week. More details will be forthcoming and I have requested that they communicate directly with the community on this matter.
2011 Grant-In-Aid Allocations
A broad and well publicized call was made for 2011 Grant-In-Aid applications for Cortes (Area B) funds. After receiving many applications, I used four general criteria for evaluation and selection: financial need, broad community benefit, additionality (an initiative that may not otherwise happen), and preference given to ‘core funding.’ Earlier in the spring, two grants were awarded, $5,950 for a Cortes-wide non-profit fundraising coordination effort, and $1,500 to Cortes Carbon Solutions to undertake a public consultation process regarding funding allocation for greenhouse has reduction initiatives.
At the April SRD board meeting, I recommend the following grant allocations, all of which were awarded with the exception of the $1,000 to FOCI’s Youth Project which was deferred pending more information.
• $3,000 to the Friends of Cortes Island Society: $2,000 for core operations & $1,000 for their Youth Initiative project.
• $1,700 to the Cortes Island Museum and Archives Society for their Public Education and Archives Programs,
• $2,000 to the Southern Cortes Community Association for space renovations,
• $4,000 to the Whaletown Community Club - $1,000 for the Schoolhouse Gallery upgrades and $3,000 for the Gorge Hall accessibility renovations,
• $400 to the Stewards of Gorge Harbour Society for Gorge Harbour clean-up and signage,
• $1,200 to the Cortes Community Radio Society for equipment and space upgrades,
• $1,000 to the Wild We Stands Society for their Land Conservancy working group mapping project,
• $1,650 to the Cortes Community Health Association for Youth Programming,
• $300 to the Museum at Campbell River for general programming, &
• $300 to the Campbell River Art Gallery for general programming.
After the above allocations, $3,776 remains for 2011 grants which I anticipate will be allocated to an inter-organizational application. I have helped to convene representatives from many Cortes non-profits who have met three times since late last year and will meet again next week. They have been exploring projects that will serve many Cortes organizations in a way that no one individual organization could or would do individually. The three needs that have risen to the top of their discussion are: 1. board training, 2. facilitation training and funding, and 3. an inter-organization print publication.
Aquaculture Applications Update
Klahoose Squirrel Cove Geoduck Application
In 2006, Argosy Sea Farms applied to the Province for a sub-tidal Geoduck license between Squirrel Cove and Seaford. At that time, the Province and Argosy held a public information session on Cortes to share information and answer questions about the application. There were many questions and much concern about the application at that time reflected in the many letters written to the Province as part of their public input process. Director Jenny Hiebert wrote in an article published November 17, 2008 “This particular application generated the most significant opposition and associated letters and emails during my term in office. The degree of opposition was one of many reasons the applications were placed on hold.” Since that time, the Klahoose Shellfish Limited Partnership bought into Argosy and has essentially become the applicant. The Provincial license was granted in February 2009 and Klahoose/Argosy began geoduck seeding the site in 2010. Klahoose has applied to the Regional District to rezone the site in order to permit geoduck cultivation. At its April meeting the SRD board gave 1st and 2nd reading of this zoning bylaw and now we are seeking public input. There will be a formal public hearing to gather your thoughts on this issue Saturday May 28th, 1pm at the Gorge Hall. If you are not able to attend in person but want to submit written comment, please write to planningstrathconard.ca or to Strathcona Regional District, 301-990 Cedar St, Campbell Rive , BC, V9W 7Z8.
Klahoose Gorge Harbour Application
In 2009, Klahoose Shellfish Limited Partnership applied to the Province for a deep water aquaculture license in the Gorge Harbour. Since that time, there have been three proposed locations within the Gorge Harbour and many letters written to the Province in response to this application. The Province has now approved the issuance of a License of Occupation for this site. I have in writing from the Statutory Decision maker on this file that since this tenure results from a Memorandum of Understanding between the Province and Klahoose First Nation, the tenure is not transferable if the Klahoose wishes to divest itself of it. The Klahoose is currently applying for an aquaculture license through Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The Klahoose Shellfish Limited Partnership has also applied to the Strathcona Regional District for the required rezoning of the site. We are still waiting for the results of the biophysical study of the Gorge Harbour conducted by the Province before proceeding with this application, but I trust that it will come before the public for comment within the next few months.
In Gratitude, Noba Anderson