Anyone Can Use Gorge Hall

Anyone Can Use Gorge Hall

Gorge Hall Christmas Market – Roy L Hales photo Originally Published on Cortes Currents In the segment of the March 13, 2019, Strathcona Regional District board meeting devoted to correspondence, Campbell River Mayor Andy Adams asked staff for clarification about a phrase used by one of Cortes Island’s better known anti-hall tax advocates. She described the proposed hall tax as using “public funds for private organizations.” It is good to see this kind of communication in the public record, where inaccuracies can be dealt with. The answers he received were adequate, but one of the island’s two hall managers was actually sitting in the spectator section directly behind Mayor Adams. Had he been given the opportunity to speak, Howie Roman would probably have told the SRD Board that anyone can use Gorge Hall. ” … No One Has Ever Been Denied Use Of The Hall For Anything Other Than Scheduling Problems.” The hall was built for the community to use. “In the seven years I have been Gorge Hall’s manager for the Whaletown Community Club, no one has ever been denied use of the hall for anything other than scheduling problems.  The hall is open to anybody that wants to rent it and it’s not very expensive rental. We try to keep it reasonable so people can use it.” – Howie Roman In The Podcast Above: What is Gorge Hall used for?How often is the hall used?Who oversees the way the Gorge Hall is used ?Do they look after any other facilities? Rates & Membership You can find a full list of rental rates on the Whaletown Community Club website. It says,...
Alleged Voter Fraud On Cortes Island

Alleged Voter Fraud On Cortes Island

Screenshot from RCMP Report Originally Published on Cortes Currents Rumours of an investigation have been circulating for some time. Now the results of the RCMP investigation into alleged voter fraud in Cortes Island’s October 20, 2018 election have been made public. RCMP Investigation Screenshot from Strathcona Regional District Report The police received complaints that 43 voters did not qualify as residents of Cortes Island, but found no evidence to substantiate these claims.  Resident In More Than One Jurisdiction Screenshot of Cortes Marketer, March 15, 2019 page 3, A new detail is mentioned in the March 15 Cortes Marketer, where the alleged fraudulent voters appear to have been accused of having their “usual place of residence” in another jurisdiction. The precise nature of the allegations are not mentioned in either the RCMP or SRD reports, though the following sentence does occur in the latter: “Given the current definition of ‘residence’ used in local government elections (‘the area where a person lives and to which, whenever absent, the person intends to return’) it is extremely challenging to prove election fraud on the basis of residential status unless it can be shown that the person has voted as a resident in more than one voting jurisdiction. “ “30 Days Immediately Before You Register” However in the VOTER’S GUIDE TO LOCAL ELECTIONS IN B.C . (2018), cited by the Marketer, it says: “You are eligible to vote as a non-resident property elector when you:• are 18 years of age or older when you register to vote or will be 18 years of age or older on general voting day;• are a Canadian citizen;• have been a resident...
Cortes Community Forest: Five Years Of Operations

Cortes Community Forest: Five Years Of Operations

Originally Published on the ECOreport (now Cortes Currents) British Columbia’s old growth forests fertilize themselves as efficiently as a farmer looking after his fields. The tree plantations that are fast replacing them lack this ability. If this trend continues, the province’s vast forests may be a memory in the next two or three centuries. The inhabitants of one tiny island are trying to change this. In this morning’s program one of the directors, Bruce Ellingsen, tells me about Cortes Community Forest’s five years of operations. Cortes Community Forest After Five Years Mapping James Creek which flows into Carrington Bay, Cortes Island, in 2009, with Project Watershed biologists from Courtenay. (Island Timberlands still owns the land. - David Shipway photo] We were sitting around his kitchen table, overlooking the ocean at Smelt Bay. If you listen to the podcast above carefully, you can hear Bruce’s wife trying to be quiet in the background or the hum of the Ellingsen’s refrigerator when it came on. Our interview started with freshly brewed coffee. Cortes community forest was allotted an annual cut rate of 13,600 cubic metres (CM). In their most productive years, they only take out about 4,000 CM. Ellingsen says that so far the community forest is averaging about 16% of its quota. “We got the tenure in 2013, so we’re at the end of our first five year cut control, is the way the Ministry of Forests describes it. They came over and had a meeting with us a few months ago and did an assessment of what we are doing and found we are doing a lot less than what we...
Cortes Delegations Address SDR Board (Part 2)

Cortes Delegations Address SDR Board (Part 2)

Julian Ayres, President of the Southern Cortes Community Association (SCCA) Originally Published on Cortes Currents The Southern Cortes Community Association presentation was next. Though we have exchanged emails, Julian Ayers and I have never met and I didn’t think to have someone point him out to me. Nor I did not tell him that the little black device on the lectern, that looks virtually identical to a remote, was actually my recorder. Consequently, you will hear a lot of paper shuffling throughout this presentation. (Audio above is shared by two posts: Cec & Christine Robinson’s presentation starts 3:37; Julian Ayers’ presentation starts 13:55; Theme song “Old Stone Walls” by Rick Bockner.) Julian Ayers’ Presentation “To the Board of Directors of the Strathcona Regional District:“ “As the president of the Southern Cortes Community Association, I am here today on behalf of the SCCA membership and also speak for the 70% of Area B electors who voted last October in favour of a final referendum on funding for Manson’s Hall and the Whaletown Community Club’s Gorge Hall.” The Parents & Tots program – Courtesy Mansons Hall “I would like to thank the Board for voting at your last meeting to respond publicly to a number of the questions in the 32 individual letters submitted by Cortes Islanders before that meeting. I would especially like to thank your Chair, Michele Babchuk, for taking the time to go to Heriot Bay and be interviewed by Cortes Radio and for working with your Chief Administrative Officer David Leitch to provide written answers to some of the questions raised about what you have done and not done...
Cortes Delegations Address The SRD Board (Part 1)

Cortes Delegations Address The SRD Board (Part 1)

Cec & Christine Robinson at the SRD - Roy L Hales photo The Strathcona Regional District Boardroom was not large enough to contain us. We spilled out into the hallway. The final count was 36 Cortes residents, all but six of whom are known to support a hall tax to supply core funding for the island’s two community halls. The trip to Campbell River consumed the better part of our days. Collectively speaking, we spent about $1,000 in gas and ferry charges to get there. It was worth it. We came to hear two Cortes delegations address the SRD Board on Feb 28, 2019. (Audio above is shared by two posts: Cec & Christine Robinson’s presentation starts 3:37; Julian Ayers’ presentation starts 13:55; Theme song “Old Stone Walls” by Rick Bockner.) The “Open Letter” Delegation The first speakers were Christine and Cec Robinson, whose presentation was connected to an “Open Letter” regarding governance issues on Cortes Island. The names of 320 Cortes residents were displayed on a screen behind them.  Our Regional Director, Noba Anderson, had to recuse herself because the Robinsons were going to mention the infamous legal petition designed to remove her from office.  Chair Michele Babchuk maintained eye contact with the Robinsons throughout their presentation. For much of it she nodded her head in acknowledgement, if not agreement.   Cec & Christine Robinson’s Presentation Good Afternoon: Board Chair Babchuk,  Mr. Leitch, Mr. Yates, the SRD Board & Associate Member, and members of the public, Thank you for the opportunity to make a presentation on behalf of Cortes Island constituents. We ask that the presentation be recorded...