From Our Regional Director:
With autumn in full swing, I hope your harvests are productive. Here are some newsworthy qRD items:
(a) Parking lot: With all the public meetings and surveys this summer (OCP forums, ferry survey, emergency evacuation public meeting, derelict vehicle survey, residual waste survey), I have hesitated in rolling out a survey on the parking lot. My apologies for any inconvenience or uncertainty that this has caused. The parking lot was well and respectfully used for day use during the market. I will be rolling out a survey in the near future, but in the mean time, please think about the main question: how do you think the parking lot should be used (e.g. day use, long-term parking, etc.).
(b) LIVFD improvements and dispatch: Although the LIVFD dispatch issue has been seemingly very quiet, I have been actively working towards resolution. After the election, I started by requesting all the in-camera (closed meeting) information on this issue. I can’t discuss info that is in-camera, but I am now fully aware of the entire process. One item that I requested be made public was the Feb 2018 direction that the previous Board made “that staff be directed to return with a report on the possible dissolution of LIVFD, with details as to the disposal of assets, and any other consideration that is pertinent.” I presented this at the Feb Town Hall. Note that, as I wrote in my “democracy corner” series, the qRD cannot withdraw a service without the agreement of the regional director or without involving the Ministry. Over the spring, I have been working on a number of steps to help improve the LIVFD, in conjunction with senior members of LIVFD. One of these included the establishment of honourariums (which was done in the March budget). In the Sept Board meeting, we rescinded a 2001 policy unique to LIVFD that limited the honourarium for the Fire Chief to $1800/year, with no provision even for
inflation. The wheels of the qRD turn slowly, but expect more on this issue over the next few months.
(c) Union of BC Municipalities convention: Sept 23-27 in Vancouver (from where I am writing), local governments meet to pass resolutions to lobby the Province for changes, share information, and discuss other things. It is also an opportunity to meet with Ministers, and qRD is meeting with Minister Trevena (MoTI) about the ferry service and issues on other qRD areas, with Minister Heyman (Min. Environment) about the Lasqueti landfill closure and recycling of Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) waste, and with the Deputy Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development about a recreation site on Texada. I’ll write a summary in the next issue, after the convention is completed.
(d) The ferry contract process: The ferry committee has posted a summary of results from the ferry service survey, which received a healthy 273 responses (view survery). BC Ferries put out a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the ferry contract in August before the survey was complete. MoTI has stated that some changes can be made to the service described in the RFP during the negotiation phase (later in the winter). I met with Minister Trevena on Sept 24, and the Executive Director of Marine Branch, who is the senior MoTI staff member in charge of BC Ferries. As promised, I made a number of requests based on items from the survey that received broad community support, and documented in the summary. Minister Trevena she said that she appreciated receiving a copy of the survey and results, and will look into the requests.
(e) Recycling Centre: The new recycling centre has now been operational for nearly ½ year, and there have been some “growing pains” with the transition from an open 24/7 system to a monitored and staffed system with limited open hours. I hope you have been able to adapt. I appreciate the efforts of Mark B, Aigul and others to help keep our recycling and recycling depot clean.
(f) Landfill Closure: The qRD has hired Tetra Tech to develop a closure plan for the landfill as the next step in the Lasqueti Solid Waste Management Sub-Plan submitted to, and accepted by, the Ministry of Environment in 2017. An assessment will be made of the volume of waste at the landfill, number and location of monitoring wells, etc. More on this once we receive a report.
(g) Residual waste RFP: By the time of publication, the Request for Proposals for a trial service to remove residual waste from Laqueti will be closed. I hope to be able to announce a successful bid and we can start the transition from the landfill closure. The Waste Mgmt Advisory committee provided a mailout with detailed information.
(h) Invasive Species Committee: I attended the AGM of the committee, which focuses on the most noxious and toxic invasive species in south coastal BC, including the Provincial list of regulated noxious invasive plant species (https://bcinvasives.ca/invasive-species/about/regulated-invasive-species-in-bc/list-of-regulated-invasive-plants-in-bc/).
(i) Vancouver Island Regional Library: I attended the autumn library board meeting, at which we received a “story on the 2020-2024 financial plan”, which you can read here:
Please feel free to contact me. I am honoured to be your regional representative.
Director Andrew Fall, qathet Regional District
Contact: Tel: 250-333-8595
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ISLANDS TRUST POLICY REVIEW
An opportunity for community input
You're invited to join the Islands 2050 conversation on Lasqueti Island! Islands 2050 is a trust-wide engagement process to help plan for the challenges and opportunities the Islands Trust Area will face in the next 30 years. We want to understand your priorities as we face this critical time in preserving and protecting this unique region, particularly as we prepare for the realities of climate change.
Your comments will guide future planning and updates to the Islands Trust Policy Statement, the foundational document that guides the preserve and protect mandate of this special-purpose government. The Policy Statement guides decisions about island landscapes and the waters surrounding them. It includes recommendations to other levels of government and informs how local official community plans (OCPs) and land use bylaws are developed.
COMMUNITY OPEN HOUSE | ROTATING GROUP DISCUSSIONS
Thursday, November 21st, 2019 6:30pm-8:30pm Lasqueti Island Community Hall