Regional Director’s Report August 2013

August proved to be great, the weather cooperated with sunny days and cool nights. The first Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) meeting was not until the 27th, but there were several public events to attend.

The DeCourcy Island Community Association held their annual meeting and pot luck lunch at their fire hall. DeCourcy Islanders built the fire hall thanks to community fundraising, and used local materials wherever possible. The hall houses one fire  truck, fire equipment, a kitchen, and a storage area, has a rainwater collection system and uses and solar power. Truly a hall the  whole community can be proud of.

I was treated to a good tour of the island including “The Farm”( Brother Twelve’s old farm). Thanks to both Tom and John for  that.

Brother XII's Farm

The potluck lunch was great with lots of interesting things to eat, followed  by the community meeting at which island issues and what to do  about them were discussed. The meeting allowed me to hear DeCourcy Island resident views on loading of logs into ships  for export  next to the  island. When this is going on, it’s a 24/7 operation and sleeping is a real problem. Fire protection and Official Community Plan (OCP) reviews were also on the agenda .

Brother XII's FarmThe annual Gabriola Community Hall Salmon Barbeque when off without a hitch. The rain held off, and  the sun was not too hot  There were lots of old friends and neighbours to chat  with about the goings on here on Gabriola while listening to great local artists.

The wind-up party for the summer reading program at the library was a hoot! I mean a real hoot, with a owl, and a hawk coming too. The talk about these two birds was fun, and when the owl tried to take flight we all had fun. After than I had the pleasure of drawing book prizes for all the kids that attended the summer reading program. A big thank you to the Friends of the Library for their funding to make this all possible.

The only RDN board meeting this month was a long one, with both the Island Corridor Foundation (ICF) and the incinerator on the agenda.

I do not see how the railway on Vancouver island is viable, because of the condition of the whole system. With ICF not bringing the rail bed and track up to safety standards then VIA Rail will not reinstate service to Vancouver island. So we have two groups pointing fingers and doing nothing. In my opinion if rail is to have a future on Vancouver Island both the federal and provincial government need to step up and rebuild the system from one end to the other.

Do not let your guard down on that incinerator. The City of Nanaimo has right-of-way issues regarding the Wellcox property they bought earlier this year and Seaspan could help them on that one. Seaspan is  also one of the players in the land at Duke Point that is being proposed for an incinerator. Seaspan Ferries vice-president Steve Roth has been quoted as saying the two projects are not “tied at the hip,” but who knows what will happen?

Still having fun,
Howard  Houle
Regional District Director
Area B

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