Regional Director’s Report May/July 2016

Well, I just noticed I have not reported to the community in a few months, but you can be assured I was busy. The RDN mapping department has been busy as well in both Cox community Park and the 707 park with their GPS equipment mapping the parks.

If you go to the RDN website mapping section you can download an app to get the map for 707 on your mobile device. That electronic map and help from the GALTT map and the sign posts you should be good to go. The RDN map will have more details added as we get all the GPS information for the sign posts that are now in the park.
The Islands trustees and I met with the RCMP to discuss community priorities; it’s always a good discussion as it is a change to air community concerns. We will be losing two of our long term officers Delong and Muntener, thanks for your years of service to the community.

It was good to see the Gabriola museum up and running for another season. If you have not seen the latest upgrades this may be a good time to do so.

Do not give up on the Village Way (VW) the RDN is still working on the B.C. government to approve changes to our parks by law. Those changes would allow the RDN to construct and maintain a trail in the MOTI right of way under licences. We have requested a meeting with the minister at the upcoming Union of B.C municipalities (UBCM) conference in Victoria this September and hope to encourage the minister to act.

I have been to several meetings of the Gabriola Community Fund: see the Nanaimo Foundation website for more details. I believe this is a great way to leave a legacy to the community that will outlast any of us as the principle is never used for grants; only the interest is given out in the form of grants to community groups. The Gabriola community hall and Huxley park both received grants from the Nanaimo Foundation.

RDN staff is looking at the possibility of building a barge and boat landing on Mudge Island. We were over on Mudge Island and the most likely place is flat fish. Once we have a better idea of what we could do we will need to meet with the people of Mudge to see what we need to change to meet the needs of islanders.

The Federal government, after some 20 years of talks with the RDN have divested them self’s of Green’s landing, or Greens wharf. The dock was rebuilt a few years ago so it is in good shape and the fed’s gave us $200,000 which we will put into a reserve account which should allow to plan for future repairs and replacement.
Gail Lund won for the second time in two year an award from the Lieutenant General for her most recent song. The kid’s school choir sang several songs that challenged the resident choir member to up their game. There was tea, coffee and baked goods with Lieutenant General staying until the last person that wish to speak with her were done.

The Gabriola museum received $5000 from the community works fund to help build a new walkway into the museum. The Rollo Center received $25,000 for renovations to the building and the community hall received $17,364 for repairs to the roof. All these projects show the federal government that the local government knows what small infrastructure renewal is needed in our communities.

After all of this there where several RDN Agriculture Advisor Committee meetings (AAC),Gabriola ferry advisory (FAC)and a trip to Pender island to support the no anchorage on the cost of Gabriola at a islands trust council meeting.

There was also a meeting with Brain Henning for the Potlatch development and the RDN parks staff about the density transfer. We had a good open discussion on what may or may not work for each side. In the end, we will need to wait for the RDN staff report to identify any possible concerns. That report will come before the Parks and open space advisory committee (POSAC) meeting in late September. At that meeting, the committee will make a recommendation to the RDN board who will approve it or not and forward recommendations to the islands trust for consideration.

I recently met with VIU staff about the witness blanket coming to the art gallery at VIU in September. Without the VIU team this would have never been possible, and it is so great to work with an organization that is so positively focused. I believe the coming of the witness blanket to be a game changer for us all. Make the time to see the witness blanket and learn more about what happened to residential schools survivors.

On July 26th the RDN and the Qualicum First Nation (QFN) signed at cooperation protocol agreement, this is both an exciting and historic event. With this agreement, the QFN will be taking a non-voting member seat on the RDN board. This signing is the first step into a new future for QFN and the RDN and it is my hope that the other two first nations in the RDN will join us on this new path.

Still having fun,

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