Hello, More community input on planning decisions was a campaign promise I’m pleased to share is here: Area C officially has an Advisory Planning Commission (APC). The APC will provide recommendations to the Regional Board on matters that are referred to the Commission, including zoning, land use, official community plans and temporary use permits within Area C.

The APC is intended to provide a local perspective on matters that may come before it. There were a great number of folks who put themselves forward, thank you to all who applied. Islanders representing a variety of demographics and geographies have been appointed by the SRD Board for a two-year term.

The newly named members of Area C’s Advisory Planning Commission are Paul Nimmon, Pamela Goijberg, Sheldon Etheridge, Sheila Hollanders, Tina Oswald, Nick Robinson, Sonya McLaren, Heather Jansen, and Carol-Ann Terreberry. Community representation in considering land use applications will benefit our community and the SRD Board: a warm thank you to these islanders for volunteering.

Surge Narrrows store

Surge Narrows Revitalization Project
There was a great turnout for the recent meeting at the Bunkhouse regarding the Surge Narrows Revitalization project. Staff explained the high-level application, asked questions, and listened to the ideas, concerns & perspectives of how the project could best serve the Read Island community within the scope outlined.

At the meeting, nominations were sought for those willing to be part of a committee to facilitate communication pertaining to the Revitalization project between SRD staff and the Read Island community. Thank you to Jim Mallis, Rosie Steeves, Lannie Keller, Bruce Keeling and Sheila Hollanders/Rockford Royko for saying Yes. It is important to note the committee is not a decision-making body, however they will be invaluable in assisting with information sharing and coordination.

Learn more about the project, see an artist’s conceptual rendition and more here: srd.ca/snmr. This webpage also offers the option to subscribe for Revitalization email updates direct to your inbox.

forest frog

Wharves
October 11 the Board voted to begin the process of moving the responsibility for the Surge Narrows, Owen Bay and Port Neville wharves into the Area C Parks Service. The Board also supported investigating the divestiture of the Port Neville wharf with interested parties. The first step in this process is seeking approval from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, which means when it comes to wharves… the tale continues.

CityWest high speed internet
When will CityWest be installing Last Mile infrastructure? Islanders have been asking me and I’ve been making inquiries. Telecoms are a very competitive business and details of infrastructure construction must be relatively guarded to preserve business interests and financial viability. Being fully transparent in the early days of the Connected Coast project may have cost SRD communities several million dollars in Last Mile government grants.

That being said, on Quadra there are live fibre optic landings that can deliver high speed internet: the delay is around receiving approvals to install the land-based infrastructure to deliver internet to homes. These delays include acquiring pole-routing permissions… perhaps because pole-routing is managed by Telus.

I know there are many folks experiencing challenges and I wish there was a more definitive answer on when we’ll be able to connect. Incidentally, if you’ve received a letter from Mascon (or other provider) advising service will no longer be available, I’m interested in receiving a copy if you’re willing to share; my email address is below.

Quadra Island beach

It’s been a year
A year ago, I was sworn in as Director. What a great year packed with learning it’s been. I continue being grateful for the opportunity to advocate for islanders and speak up for Area C residents.

Community engagement is growing: there is now an Advisory Planning Commission for Area C, providing opinions on land use applications. And in the Outer Discovery Islands, there’s a Fire Brigade Steering Committee and a Surge Narrows Revitalization Committee communicating with SRD staff.

My role as Electoral Area Director includes membership on the Comox Strathcona Waste Management Committee and the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District – each board includes Directors of the Strathcona and Comox Valley Regional Districts, working together on these shared regional issues.

As well, the SRD Board appointed me to the AVICC Special Committee on Solid Waste and the Circular Economy, and the Marine Planning Partnership Advisory Committee, and I’m honoured to Chair the SRD’s First Nations Relations Committee. My days are full.

You’re welcome to connect with me with questions or concerns. Twice monthly I offer meetings in the Cove: if you’d like to chat in person, you can book a meeting at calendly.com/robynmawhinney. Alternatively, you can email RMawhinney@srd.ca, or call 250.203.2468. These are the best ways to connect; I kindly request to refrain from visiting my home.

Until next time,
Respectfully and sincerely,
Robyn Mawhinney

Photos in this Report:
an illuminated Big Leaf Maple in Ligwilda’xw Territory;
the old Surge Narrrows store, focus of the Revitalization project;
forest walk friend; looking south, after a storm.