Regional Director’s Report April/May 2015

tofinoWell time flies when you’re busy and the last several months have been just that, with lots of good stuff on the roll.

The RDN Solid Waste Management Select Committee has been busy looking at how solid waste is managed in the RDN. We have concerns about one of the three commercial collection companies choosing to export the waste they collect to the USA for disposal. By exporting waste to the USA the collection company is avoiding the tipping fee at our landfill, and that means a shortfall in income for that service that will need to be made up somewhere else.

The RDN has taken a two prong approach to this issue. The first was to consider reducing tipping fees, which the board rejected. The second was by joining a committee newly formed by the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities (AVICC) to have a larger conversation about solid waste on Vancouver Island.

The three electoral area’s A,B, and C, are still talking with the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation (NEDC) on what value are we getting for the tax dollars we contribute to the NEDC.
In April I attended the annual AVICC convention. I attended two workshops I want to mention.

The first was by Makola Development Services who have a track record of building affordable housing. Makola has completed some projects in Nanaimo. Check their website for more on what they do.

The second workshop was on waste-to-energy. For 45 minutes I thought I was at a love-fest and no one in the room wanted to ask the questions. Finally the director from Cedar asked when the last incinerator was built in North America. (1996), why is the plasma gasification incinerator in Ottawa is being shut down (could not get the technology to work as per the agreement), and whether the presenters had read the study funded by Spain’s Health Research fund on the health of people around an incinerator sponsored by the European common market?

No was the reply.

So there are still those who think waste to energy incinerators are the way of the future.

GaLTT joined me in removing broom from Rollo McClay field. We now have all of the broom pulled we could find and with a little luck will be broom-free for a few years.

GERTIE has been doing well serving our community, but the pilot study will be coming to a close in June 2016. There are few options to replacing GERTIE – BC transit has announced no increase in service hours. What that means is there are no funds from transit to cover part of the service. That leaves us with funding from the tax base of Gabriola – something in the neighbourhood of $11.52 per 100,000 of your home’s value. This tax would raise $120,000 per year to run the service. This option still has a way to go as The BC Transit Union has not been asked about how that may affect their members.

The other choice is no service, which would be very sad to see after there has been a great number of volunteer hours put into making this service what it is, and enjoyed so many enjoy.

I also attended workshops on health partnerships, a facility of the Nanaimo pollution control center, emergency planning, a presentation by the forest council, and emergency management planning on rapid damage assessment of buildings after a flood or earth quake.

With a federal election around the corner there are grants out there that the RDN hopes to use to help fund the improvements at Huxley park. We already have two grant applications on the go as I write, one for $25,000 and the other for $100,000, so keep your fingers across and hopefully we will successful.

That is about in for now and there will be more to come.
Oh i just have one more comment: No that is not our house for sale – it’s the neighbour’s.

Still having fun,

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