Environmental Threat To Desolation Sound

Environmental Threat To Desolation Sound

Originally Published on Cortes Currents In the summer of 2016, a subsidiary of one of the world’s leading aggregate companies announced it was about to commence exploratory surface drilling in the Lloyd Creek Area of Desolation Sound. This is in close proximity to the region’s foremost kayak and boating area and, consequently, brings a substantial income to local businesses. Had the venture gone forward, one of the regions few remaining old growth forests would have been cut down, an important fish bearing creek would have been devastated and a number of important indigenous sites would have been threatened. Lehigh Hanson Materials abandoned its application, but local author Judith Williams talks about a new threat to Desolation Sound. Gravel Is In Short Supply “Gravel is in short supply throughout the world … and we use gravel to build all kinds of things, so people are looking for deposits,” she explains, in the podcast above.  A new company has applied to do exploration on the gravel deposit at Lloyd Creek. While they offer the local area little benefit after the initial construction phase, the potential negative impacts are significant.  Jewell Of The Mid Coast Lloyd Creek Bay clam garden area, 2016 – Courtesy Judith Williams “Desolation Sound is really the jewell of the Mid Coast of British Columbia … There are these huge marine parks,” says Williams. They spread out from Price point, just south of Lloyd Creek, to the kayak heaven better known as Mink Island. She describes the area as a magnet for boating, camping and kayaking. The stores at Lund, Refuge Cove, Squirrel Cove and the Gorge supply them...
Director Anderson’s Lawyer Filed His Response

Director Anderson’s Lawyer Filed His Response

The opinions expressed in the following article are my own and not necessarily those shared by Cortes radio, its board, staff, volunteers or members. Originally Published on Cortes Currents From the beginning, the legal petition filed against Strathcona Regional Director Noba Anderson appeared to be slipshod. Numerous factual errors were reported. The amounts of the alleged bribes are trivial, mostly ranging between $20 and $100. The suggestion that they are anything other than donations to a fire relief fund seems dubious, especially as none of these allegations are substantiated. This impression was materially strengthened when Director Anderson’s lawyer filed his response on Thursday.  The Accusation Bernie Anderson’s cabin burnt down, with almost everything he owned inside, on January 31, 2018. One of his neighbours started a GoFundme campaign called “Bernie’s Cabin Fire Rebuild” which raised $3,700 on his behalf. There is nothing unusual about this in a remote community like Cortes Island. Only Bernie’s daughter had just been re-elected as the island’s Regional Director (is this her fourth term?). As her father is no longer capable of living by himself, Anderson used these funds to add a room for him to her house. Going through a list of the fund’s twenty-eight donors, some of Anderson’s opponents noticed that a number had connections to Cortes Island non-profit organizations and these organizations subsequently received “grants in aid” from the Strathcona Regional District. (They had actually been “receiving grants” in aid for years.) On January 2, 2018, fourteen Cortes residents filed a legal petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, with the stated intention of having Director Anderson disqualified from holding office until the next...
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...