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General News · 22nd November 2012
Noba Anderson
November 19, 2012

Thank-you to the Klahoose Nation, to Chief James Delorme and his council, for welcoming the Strathcona Regional District board and senior staff into your territory, community and grand new multi-purpose building for a government to government meeting last month. This ‘community-to-community forum,’ funded by the Province, provided a first opportunity for our two governments to meet face to face and begin discussing issues of mutual interest. We were honoured by a warm welcome and gifts, and humbled by a very frank conversation about the need for improved communications and protocols. I truly look forward to working on that relationship and finding places of mutual understanding. Again – thank-you.

Regional District Budget Public Input Meeting
Every year we spend your taxes!! Want input?? Come on out. Tuesday, November 27th at 7:30 in Manson’s Hall. If you can’t make it that evening, contact me. This is democracy at work. I am the only SRD director that has requested a public budget meeting this fall as I want your early input for consideration as we move through next year’s budget process. Strathcona Regional District senior staff and I will be hosting this meeting to provide information and obtain input on the Proposed 2013 - 2017 Financial Plan. Discussions will be on proposed work plans and related funding in the five year financial plan. Some of the services included in this plan are: Emergency Program, Cortes Island Fire Protection, Land Use Planning, Community Parks, Refuse Collection and Waste Management, Administration and Grants in Aid. Are there any services we should get out of? Any new ones that we should consider? Further information regarding the Proposed 2013 - 2017 Financial Plan may be obtained by contacting the Strathcona Regional District 250-830-6700 or on line at www.strathconard.ca.

Gas Tax Funds
There are funds available through the Regional District for community planning and infrastructure initiatives that will lead to increased air and water quality and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Two years ago the Cortes Climate Action team conducted a series of community consultative meetings and generated a series of recommendations for action. Some of these projects and others will be discussed during a meeting that I and SRD staff are hosting for Cortes not-for-profit organizations next week. We will be going over the specifics of the program criteria and how the SRD might partner with island non-profits to accomplish community work. I very much look forward to the projects that will come from this major opportunity. Also last week, I hosted a meeting of residents, land owners and community associations in the Manson’s area to discuss waste water quality issues that might be addressed with some of these same funds. In general I heard that although some residents have concerns they are generally not interested in funds being spent to study their neighbourhood, and that community groups that own land in the area do have water quality concerns that may need further consideration. Look for meeting notes at www.cortesisland.com Special Sections tab – Regional Director’s Reports.

Official Community Plan
After the public hearing in October, the new Cortes Official Community Plan passed third reading at the Regional District board and has been sent to the Provincial government for approval. Assuming all goes well there, we should have a final document before too long. Thanks again to those of you who plodded through so many meetings. Collectively you generated a plan that most of us can be quite proud of. The trick now will be finding the energy to make so many of the visions captured therein come to fruition.

Webcasting SRD meetings
A few months ago, I and another director raised the issue of webcasting our Regional District meetings for added transparency and accessibility to residents of the region. The matter was turned down due to the anticipated cost as well as the fact that much of the region is not serviced by high-speed internet which would be required for viewing the webcasts. I then moved that we investigate audio recording which would be both less expensive and require less bandwidth to access. The issue was not supported at this time by the board.

As always, I work at your pleasure. Please contact me about any Regional District or Cortes-related matters. If you have any ideas for my bi-monthly radio show ‘People’s Place in Politics’ which airs every other Tuesday at 11am on Cortes Community Radio 89.5 FM, give me a shout.
250-935-0320 or directorcortesisland.com. Also, all my past articles can be found at www.cortesisland.com Special Sections tab – Regional Director’s Reports.

May your fires burn warm this November.
In Gratitude, Noba Anderson