Regional Director’s Report August 2012

Well, August was not as quiet as I thought it may be.

707 park sign 1 Gabriola
707 park sign Gabriola

The directional signs for the 707 acre park are coming along with a few more post to go. There will be a map on the top of the post with a red dot and the words “You Are Here”. That should give you a sense of where you can go from where you are.

There is concern that the pond liner at the Rollo McClay Park may not get done before the rains start. We have the design etc. and are waiting for an installation date.

Dogs have been an issue this month with several people being bitten or harassed by dogs who are not leashed. I would remind dog owners that when you’re in the parks on Gabriola that there are young deer and, most recently, a bear around. If your dog chases deer it is a $100 fine, and if your dog runs into a bear the bear may not run away, and your dog could be seriously injured or killed. If your dog wounded the bear then we would all be in danger. So please leash your dog, for their safety and ours.

I was able to attend a Gabriola Lands and Trails Trust meeting this month. There is lots going on there – new trails and improvement galore. A round of applause for all the good work this group does.

The Stream-keeper’s group on Gabriola have some exciting work coming up, with stream inventories and specie counting in some of our creeks with the hope of restoring fish habitat. You can contact Jethro Baker for more information on that.

Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) Chair Richard Bullock addressed the RDN board on the review of the ALC. I can say I support some of what was presented, but I have not had the time to fully read the 117 page review. The question of the unrestricted pumping of groundwater for commercial sale on Gabriola was not on the list for discussion, but when one has the chair to speak with, how could I not give a page or so of history, then ask “will you review the two water licenses on Agricultural Land Reserve land in consultation with the Islands Trust”? “Yes”, was the reply. My hope is it will be more than a paper review.

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) board meeting of Aug. 28 had a presentation by Erik Andersen asking to close the entrance to Rollo McClay Park off of Ritchie Road. The board passed my motion “that staff prepares a report for the Electoral Area B Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee and the regional board on the short and long term parking improvements to Rollo McClay Community Park”.

The RDN board also approved my motion to develop a service area establishment bylaw for the creation of a taxi-saver service for Gabriola. Although this service is small in size, it will help people who need some compassion from Gabriolans and it can be done at a very minimal cost to the taxpayer.

As you may have heard, Gabriola could be getting a level two electric vehicle charging station. The federal government has funded seven of the charging stations for the electoral areas and we are trying for one.

I attended my first meeting of the Progress Nanaimo Board, and reviewed an Ipsos Reed report on tourism and satisfaction with local government services. All interesting but a bit dry.

Still having fun,
Howard Houle
Regional Director
Electoral Area B

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