Things are moving right along.
First is the economic and tourism planning that the Gabriola Chamber of Commerce is doing with the $65,000 per year that has been allocated for the next two years. Over the last year the Chamber has done a number of studies that assess and reflect our economic health and vision of the future. Now comes the hard part working, of working our way toward a constitution and bylaws, and hiring our own economic development officer. The steering committee lead by Gloria Hatfield has done a wonderful job bring this all together, there will be a call to join the committee in the next few months.
I attended Vancouver Island University (VIU) for a talk on Métis history and culture. George and Terry Goulet gave a very informative presentation. The depth of their knowledge was evident by the number of books the two have authored on the subject. They will be coming to Gabriola on September 20th for a presentation.
GERTIE is undergoing a fleet renewal and I was happy to help out with $10, 000 from the community works fund to purchase newer buses. The service keeps rolling along with the dedication of supporters and fans alike.
The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) is undergoing a envisioning in an effort to streamline the whole system. The RDN participated in the hearings held in Nanaimo where we covered a lot of points, and I believe we were listened to.
My thanks to the Surf and the Haven for sponsoring reconciliation events being held on Gabriola the last year. VIU just finished two Kairos Blanket exercises at no cost to the community. If you have never participated before watch for more sessions in the fall.
Doug White III came to Gabriola for a talk at the Haven and it was a day to remember. Doug spoke about his long deep connection to Gabriola Island, as he went to school with a number of Gabriolans and spent his summers here. The Snuneymuxw people have a very long history on Gabriola and would like to continue that relationship. Kinder Morgan and anchorages were also mentioned and are not supported by the First Nations.
The B.C. realty speculation tax caused a lot of concern from area B. Both Decourcey and Mudge islands have very few full time residents and would have been subject to a tax of $10,000 per year plus their regular taxes. The RDN jumped in to action and had a face to face with the Minister to exclude the rural areas and teamed up with Parksville and Qualicum beach.We were successful in having the tax removed, Nanaimo and Lantzville are still working on being exclude.
The Gabriola Skatepark at Huxley Park is moving forward we still have to finish the construction drawings, apply for a variance on the side yard, dig some test holes, and look for grants and fund raising. There is a fundraising group called Keep on Pushin Gabriola! who are hoping to raise $72,000 towards the cost of building the skate park. We are having the official opening of the new park on April 21 at 2 pm and hope to see you there to celebrate the accomplishments so far.
Still having fun,