Hello! This Director Report discusses climate resilience, informs about our regional hospital district and has an update on the Strathcona Gardens question.

Climate Resilience
It was lovely to see a diversity of residents engaged in brainstorming at ICAN’s recent Community Climate Resilience workshop. I appreciated the animated conversations and learning from islanders about their climate priorities. Kudos to ICAN for their work and to all who spent their Sunday participating in the process.

The SRD Board has been working on defining our strategic priorities and Climate Resiliency is one of three priorities identified. Areas of the Board’s focus for Climate Resiliency include ‘supporting climate resiliency efforts and mitigation through local and subregional initiatives’ and ‘proactively preparing communities & residents to adapt & respond to emergency events and climate change impacts’. This alignment seems a great fit for finding ways to work with ICAN and islanders in building a climate resilient future.

forest ferns and trees

Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District (CSRHD)
Have you ever wondered about the Regional Hospital District? The CSRHD Board is comprised of all Directors of the Comox Valley and Strathcona Regional Districts. The CSRHD doesn’t operate facilities — it does provide funding to Island Health for equipment and capital projects. This includes building infrastructure, which is cost-shared: the Province pays 60 percent and the CSRHD contributes 40 percent.

In 2022 the CSRHD’s strategic planning added improving community health care through collaboration with health service partners. As a result, the CSRHD Board expanded its mandate to include support for long-term care, a community health services hub and increased grants to support to rural and remote named health facilities.

In July 2023 the Province announced construction of a new three-storey long-term care facility at the Campbell River-North Island Hospital. The cost of the project is estimated to be $134 million, including a $53.6-million contribution from the Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District. This project plans to build 153 new beds. It is currently in the design & procurement phase and is slated for completion in 2027.

Last week I was honoured to be acclaimed as Vice Chair of the Comox-Strathcona Regional Hospital District. This is sure to be an interesting learning experience and likely will provide further opportunities to advocate for rural community healthcare.

Q Cove ferry dock

Strathcona Gardens
Folks have been asking if there’s an update on including Area C in the requisition for Strathcona Gardens. The news is that the requested staff report has not yet come to the Board.

On the January 24 Board agenda were 136 letters about Strathcona Gardens, mainly from residents of Area C. The letters all stated no support for Area C’s inclusion in the Strathcona Gardens Service. I used the opportunity of receiving this correspondence to highlight that residents believe they should be formally asked if they would like to be included in the service (such as by AAP) rather than have the decision made by a subset of the Board. The next Board meeting is February 28, the agenda will be available online by end-of-day February 23rd.

Due to unfortunate technical challenges, the usual print distribution of the Discovery Islander to the mailboxes of Area C couldn’t happen. If you have a neighbour or friend who might like to read this Report, please forward it to them. 😊

Thank you for reading & being engaged in local government happenings. You’re welcome to connect with me with questions or concerns. Email RMawhinney@srd.ca or call 250.203.2468. If you’d like to chat in person, you can book a meeting at calendly.com/robynmawhinney.

Until next time,
Respectfully and sincerely,
Robyn Mawhinney