Campbell River Disaster Preparedness Trade Show

Campbell River Disaster Preparedness Trade Show

Originally Published on Cortes Currents This mornings program is the beginning of a series about the 2019 Disaster Preparedness Trade Show, held in Campbell River’s Thunderbird Hall on Friday , Oct 18, 2019. The room is filled with a smorgasbord of stories, ranging from oil spill clean-ups, to a First Nations helicopter rescue initiative and much more. You can find them in in the halls 21 booths and four free public education sessions. One of the organizers told me this is Shaun Koopman’s day. Shaun is the Strahcona Regional District’s Protective Services Coordinator and he is behind this public introduction to the emergency response community.  Photo from 2019 Disaster Preparedness Trade Show; podcast was part of Cortes Currents Oct 23, 2019 broadcast on Cortes Radio. Disaster Preparedness Trade Shows The tradeshow is the public component of a three day event and Shaun suggested I contact Judy Hagen, Quadra Island’s Director of Emergency  Emergency SupportServices, to get a more complete picture of what is going on this weekend.   She traces the origins or this event back ten years, to an annual meeting on Quadra Island. This will be the third year that Strathcona Regional District is hosting the tradeshow. “We’re really targeting getting Campbell River residents ready for an emergency because it is better to prepare than be part of a disaster,” says Hagen. Beginnings of the ESS on Quadra & Cortes Twelve years ago, when Hagen was setting up an ESS program on Quadra, she contacted her friend Bertha Jeffrey on Cortes. “Bertha and I knew each other from the [Discovery Island] Chamber of Commerce and from working with Speed Watch. I used to go to Cortes and do Speed...

Drones in Emergency Situations

Originally published on Cortes Currents All photos courtesy Suavair There were a number of educational sessions at Campbell River’s 2019 Disaster Preparedness Trade Show. One of the most exciting was aabout using drones in emergency situations.   Colin Filliter, Operations Manager of Suavair,  agreed to record his presentation for Cortes Currents. “I have been using drones since 2014. When they technology first came out, I thought there would be an application for them in forestry and in mining – not just making cool Youtube videos. My goal was to make a career out of using drones.” “Most of my work has been within forestry and mining. We do work for environmental local and provincial government. 90% of my flights have been related to natural resources, bit I have done a bit of search and rescue and trying to apply stuff to emergencies as they come up.”  “I’m based in Campbell River on Vancouver Island and its a good spot, I like living there, but I have also got to travel all over the province using the drone.” – Colin Filliter, Environmental Monitoring Drones can make fast accurate assessments of situations Using a Drone to plot out evacuation routes Drones In Emergency Situations A good drone costs about the same amount as renting a helicopter for a dayDrones allow you to see wide areas very fast and very accurately. Examples: when two men disagreed as to whether there were 15 or 17 elk ahead, they sent the drone up to take a picture and found out there were 21 elk. Three examples of drones finding lost people, using heat signature technology, are mentioned...
Why Support Mansons Hall?

Why Support Mansons Hall?

photo: Julian Ayres, President of the Southern Cortes Community Association The interview that follows contains opinions not necessarily shared by the Cortes Radio Society, its board, staff, volunteers or membership. Originally Published on Cortes Currents On October 26 Cortes Islanders will be having a referendum to decide two important tax issues. While there is little doubt that the proposal to fund first responders will pass, the debate about public funding of Cortes Island’s community halls has been going on for the past decade. For a house like mine, sitting on a one acre lot in Squirrel Cove, this will cost about $60 a year. Yet while a large number of Cortesians regard their halls as the heart of the community, where you go for public meetings, entertainment and a variety of ongoing services, another segment of the community does not believe they are worth the extra money. I asked my guest this morning, Julian Ayres, President of the Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA), why support Mansons Hall?  What Changed in 2017? Up until 2017, the BC Government provided funding for facilities like Mansons Hall to carry out their daily operations (core funding) through the Gaming Grant program. The decision to stop doing this resulted in an immediate $15,500 per year drop in Manson’s Hall revenues. “Programming was unaffected. What we lost was the funding for operating expenses, the core expenses that we have been putting into things like insurance, hydro, utilities, telephone. We are not in debt, but we are operating our cash flow very carefully to make sure we have enough funds at all times, in the bank, to cover our expenses as...
Alexander and Jane Dudley

Alexander and Jane Dudley

Originally published on Cortes Currents Coming to Cortes Island was Jane Dudley’s idea. She had woofed at Blue Jay Farm before and talked about the experience ever since. To her zoologist husband, Alexander, this was a challenge. His special passion is weird and wonderful creatures. Alexander simply has to have his “lizard fix” every day. Canada isn’t especially famous for its reptiles, yet he could see how important this was to Jane. For the first week after their arrival, he didn’t know what to do. Then he saw an alligator lizard. (He didn’t know there were any in Canada!) Since then the couple made an important observation about the lives of red legged frogs. (They will leave the photographs and GPS locations with FOCI.) The Dudleys have been blown away by the beauty of our forest – and are embraced by Cortesians everywhere they go. For good reason, Alexander & Jane Dudley introduce us to a whole new world of ecological wisdom through songs,  deep ecological knowledge, quirky poetry &  stunning photography of the Australian bush Telling People About Wildlife “I was five when I started telling people about wildlife and I haven’t really stopped. When I left school, I worked in various clerical positions that definitely were not where my passion lies. I ended up moving down to Tasmania and was employed as a technical officer with the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. I was involved in rafting down the glorious Franklin River collecting invertebrates and working on archaeological digs. From that, I ended up working as a Discovery Ranger, which is basically interpreting the natural and cultural heritage of the national parks.” – Alexander Dudley...
Rachel Blaney, NDP Candidate For Powell River – North Island

Rachel Blaney, NDP Candidate For Powell River – North Island

A dedicated YouTube channel testifies to some of the questions she raised during Question Period in the House of Commons. Prior to becoming our member of parliament in 2015, Rachel was the Executive Director of Campbell River’s Immigrant Welcome Centre. Her husband, Derek Blaney, is a former Chief and council member of the Homalco First Nation. In the second of my interviews with the candidates, I skyped with  Rachel Blaney, NDP candidate for Powell River - North Island. What Is The Most Important Issue?  “In this riding, I’ve heard two things: … First: addressing climate change; looking at a future that is not so scary and wanting to see some real action. The second thing that I’ve heard from people is about housing. It is across the board, from some of our smallest communities to the bigger communities that I represent. People are looking for a place to live. They are looking for places to rent; they are looking for homes to purchase. It seems that housing is becoming less and less affordable and so either renting or buying is becoming more of a challenge.” From NDP Candidate Rachel Blaney’s YouTube Channel Emissions: Canada vs Europe In 2017, European emissions were 23.5% below 1990 levels – European Environment Agency Canada’s emissions have substantially risen during this same period – Chart adapted from Environment Canada by Roy L Hales Climate Change Q/ At a time when most of Europe’s emissions are more than 20% below 1990 levels, Canada’s emissions are still 20% above that benchmark. Do you care to comment on this? ” … Canada is falling farther and farther behind in these areas. You know, when I am in the...