Rural Housing Survey 3: The key to addressing rural housing needs

Rural Housing Survey 3: The key to addressing rural housing needs

Sandy MacKay, of M’akola Development Services, presented the Electoral Areas Housing needs Report to the SRD Board on Wednesday. See: Rural Housing Survey 1: unaffordable rents, vacant houses, Airbnbs “Collectively working with federal provincial entities and advocating for more non-market housing, will be key to reducing the gap between what people can afford and what is available in your markets.  Non-market housing tends to be dedicated, affordable, and appropriate.  It usually takes on the form of something called secured affordable housing, which is secured at an affordable rate in perpetuity, typically funded by senior government and operated by a non-profit,” he explained. Preparing the ground for a foundation – Photo by Roy L Hales “There’s not a ton you can do to support those uses at a local level, but what you can do is make it easier to develop them when the opportunities do come.” He pointed to the need to educate communities, to lessen the stigma that is often connected to affordable housing. Partnerships need to be forged between the various levels of government and First Nations. Priority should be given to development by non-profits when land becomes available. Director Claire Moglove responded, “In Campbell River we had a report from our planning department about a month ago, indicating that based on our housing needs reports, we’re building way more housing than theoretically we need. It’s because we’re not building the right kind of housing!  The housing needs report identifies the kind of housing that is required or needed in the community based on the demographics, based on the research.  so the question is how do you get developers...
Property Sales: Getting Rainbow Ridge ‘Shovel Ready’ for the next phase

Property Sales: Getting Rainbow Ridge ‘Shovel Ready’ for the next phase

Many of you have probably seen the real estate ads on the Tideline. Two significant parcels of land are being sold as part of a much larger vision.  Cortes Community Housing intends to have the Rainbow Ridge project ‘shovel ready’ for funding by 2023. Sandra Wood, Executive Director of the Cortes Community Housing Society They had previously applied for funding from BC Housing three times. “Twice for Rainbow Ridge and once for the Senior Society expansion. What we’re doing now is getting ready for our third attempt to win funding from BC Housing for Rainbow Ridge,” explained Sandra Wood, Executive Director of the Cortes Community Housing Society. “We’re also working with Vancity Credit Union. They are helping right now with pre-construction expense.” “So we have an opportunity to partner with Vancity Credit Union. We have an opportunity to partner with BC housing. Once one of them says, ‘Yes, your business case for Rainbow Ridge makes sense based on what it’s going to cost to build and the income that’s going to come in once it’s fully occupied,’ then we can also get CMHC, which is the federal government’s Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, to be a co-investment partner. They will only join the project once we’ve been selected by a bank or by BC Housing.” She explained that all of the communities on Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands are competing for the same pool of funding from BC Housing. “The next intake from BC Housing has not been announced, as far as when they will accept grant applications, but we believe it will be sometime in 2023. We hope it will be the spring...
SOUTHERN RESIDENT KILLER WHALES ARE NOT GETTING ENOUGH TO EAT, STUDY SAYS

SOUTHERN RESIDENT KILLER WHALES ARE NOT GETTING ENOUGH TO EAT, STUDY SAYS

A new UBC study found that the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale population isn’t getting enough to eat. As lead author Fanny Couture explained, “The study goes from 1979 to 2020. We were trying to understand whether the Southern Resident Killer Whale population had enough food to eat to sustain their energy needs. So a human needs 2,000 calories a day, a killer whale will need about 170,000 calories a day. What we found is that they were in energy deficits for six of the last 40 years. Some of them are spread out throughout the study period, but three of the last years (in the study), 2018 to 2020, they were in full energy deficits. They did not have enough food in the spring, the summer and the fall.” L121 with fish – Photo courtesy NOAA, Ocean Wise This study is important to the Discovery Islands because we are close to the boundry between Northern and Southern Resident Killer Whales, which is just south of Cortes Island. Many Southern resident killer whales swim through our area, as does one of the major Chinook salmon runs they feed on. Couture added that they would like to apply the same methodology to the Northern Resident Killer Whale population. L85, a robust male – Photo courtesy NOAA, Ocean Wise L94, mother of L1212 – Photo courtesy NOAA, Ocean Wise “There are evidences that they are also getting skinnier,  that they are also potentially lacking food. It’s possible that the different population trends that we observe for the Northern Residents and Southern Residents come from other seasons that we know less about, such as the...
ONE YEAR AFTER THE MARINE DIE-OFF

ONE YEAR AFTER THE MARINE DIE-OFF

It has been twelve months since billions of marine animals along the West Coast of British Columbia perished during a record breaking heat wave. Temperatures of between 35°C and 40°C were recorded at the Cortes Island School during the last five days of June. Dr Chris Harley examining some of the die offs in Vancouver – submitted photo The initial die-off reports from Cortes were relatively small in scale. There were several hundred dead cockles in front of Hollyhock; perhaps over 100 juvenile Dungeness Crabs at Smelt Bay; a ‘persistent stench’ lasting for days from the dead oysters in Squirrel Cove. Cortes Radio broadcast two accounts of the die-offs on July 8. One consisted of accounts gleaned around the island. The other was an interview with Dr Chris Harley, a marine biologist at the University of British Columbia. “We had some of the hottest weather we’ve ever had and it happened to be on days with very low tides and that combination was pretty lethal for a lot of things,” he explained. Close up of snails feasting on dead mussels on the large boulder at Smelt Bay on July 10, 2021 – Photo by Roy L Hales I subsequently emailed Harley several photos of dead mussels from Smelt Bay. There appeared to have been thousands. Snails were attached to some of the mussel shells. Harley responded, “Yes, you do have some snails in your photo. Those guys are apparently pretty tough. I’ve seen them on other beaches, where other species didn’t make it through the heat wave. One of them in the upper-middle part of the second photo has glued itself onto the edge of a mussel shell with a...
BRINGING ‘ORDINARY MAGIC’ TO THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE ART GALLERY

BRINGING ‘ORDINARY MAGIC’ TO THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE ART GALLERY

Jane Newman calls her exhibition ‘Ordinary Magic.” It will be coming to the Old Schoolhouse Art Gallery on Friday July 1. “What I find that I’m trying to do, since I’ve been living on Cortes for the last five years, is express the energy of the land, or the energy of nature. I’m very much connected to the leaves and the birds and the ocean and even the underworld of the ocean. I’m trying to see it, feel it, hear it, sense it — in every way. I really try to re-express that. It’s  very challenging. I don’t feel like I’d ever express it as beautifully as it is,” she began. “I’m trying to breathe new life into forgotten, overlooked and discarded items. I’ve got a vast collection of rusty metal and wire and some natural objects from the land like shells and tree branches and stones and  all manner of detritus that I found in junk stores or at dump sites and things like that.  With that work, I really feel like I’m just trying to sort of resurface the magic of these ordinary things that have been overlooked and discarded and give them a new life.” Newman has been working on this current exhibition for the past two or three years. It was originally scheduled for the gallery’s 2020 season, then cancelled because of the pandemic. She and her partner Brian live on a two acre property, where Newman has been collecting rusty metal for years. Brian helped her rehandle some of the garden tools used in this exhibit. Images of artwork in ‘Ordinary Magic’ All photo courtesy Jane...