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General News · 9th November 2011
Noba Anderson
OCP OCP OCP OCP
At risk of being a broken record – come out, come out, come out the next two Tuesdays at 7pm. Nov 15th at the Gorge Hall & Nov 22nd back at Manson’s. We are going through the draft as a group and editing. Those who come out have a lot of input at this stage. If you can’t come in person, please send your comments to planningstrathcoard.ca or call Beth Rees at 250-830-6711.

SRD Annual Budget
The 2012 Strathcona Regional District’s (SRD) budget process is beginning this month at the SRD board. Given that we are in an election year regionally, the budget schedule has been varied with more attention being given to it by the board in the early new year. For this reason, the community budget input session this cycle will occur in February rather than late fall as was the case last year. However, I am happy to field any questions or input at any time.

Klahoose Shellfish Gorge Application
Klahoose’s deep water aquaculture rezoning application in Gorge Harbour received first and second reading at October’s board. Prior to setting a date for a public hearing, which I anticipate will be either in December or January, staff have been given direction to negotiate an operational agreement with Klahoose Shellfish Limited Partnership. This application has received all required permissions at the Federal and Provincial levels.

Advisory Planning Commission (APC)
I am looking for a few new APC members. When I began three years ago, I inherited an excellent APC. A couple members have left and I am now looking to welcome a few new people. The APC is a body that advises me and the SRD board on formal land-use planning matters, and only meets when there is formal business from the SRD, which has been about 4 times per year. It is one of the most direct and practical ways of contributing to local land-use decisions. Interested? Have a recommendation? Call me.

Comox-Strathcona Waste Management Public Process
Last week at the Regional Solid Waste board, we received the first draft of our Solid Waste Management Plan. We are dealing with major choices in this region when it comes to our garbage. The Campbell River land fill is very close to being full and the existing permitted Comox Valley land fill is also within a few years of reaching capacity. Should we expand one or both? Should we seriously consider waste to energy (garbage incineration) as a long term option? Although we are now diverting a greater percentage of our garbage than in previous years, our average annual regional waste generation has risen from 0.67 tonnes per capita in 2000 to 1.14 in 2009! How can we further reduce our waste stream through composting and recycling programs? What facilities should we provide for household hazardous waste? Are you happy with our collection system? How can we reduce illegal dumping? This winter there will be a community input session to seek your input. Stay tuned.

North Island Hospitals Project Update
We at the Comox-Strathcona regional hospital board (CSRHD) are continually being updated by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) on the progress of the two hospital project - one new hospital each for Campbell River and the Comox Vallley. VIHA is finalizing the business case for this, their top priority project, which will then go to the Project Board in December. It is anticipated that the project board will review the business case and then forward it onto the BC government Treasury Board for financial approval at the provincial political level. There, it will compete for funding with infrastructure projects from around the province. The CSRHD proposal has three major things in its favour. First, the proposal has unanimous support from the RHD, which is a 40 percent financial contributor to the hospitals’ capital costs. Secondly, as a sign of good faith, we funded the $3 million dollar business case development to get this project moving. And finally, we already have $47 million in reserves to contribute to this project, for which we will pay 40 percent of the anticipated $600 million dollar final price tag for the completion of both new hospitals. Once the provincial government approves the project it is estimated to take five or six years for tendering, construction, moving into the new facility and beginning operation. For more info visit www.csrhd.ca/information.html.

Outreach to You…
The energy that I would otherwise be pouring into an election campaign is going into implementing long–term communications and consultation methods. Here is what it brewing…

- I am hosting a series of dinners at my home open to anyone under 50. I will feed you and in exchange am asking your advice on how to meaningfully engage the younger half of our island in local government and community politics. If you are interested, please contact me for dates. If you have already come once, you are welcome back providing you bring someone new.

- I will be hosting a monthly or bi-monthly radio show. If you are interested in coming on air with me or want to help in program development, I’d love to hear from you.

- I am working on establishing a regular e-news to reach directly into your inbox.

- I am extending an ongoing invite to meet with you and a group of your friends for dinner, lunch or tea to hear what is important to you. Please consider hosting a gathering in your home or a community space. There are many of you that I have much to hear from.

- I am strongly considering hosting a monthly ‘Speak-Easy’ forum where I can seek your input on Regional District business as well as provide an open forum to discuss issues of community interest. Are you interested in helping to hold or design such a space?

As always, feel free to contact me, 250-935-0320 or directorcortesisland.com.

In gratitude, Noba Anderson