BC Ferries calls on shipyards to bid on construction of four new vessels

BC Ferries calls on shipyards to bid on construction of four new vessels

A BC Ferries “Island Class” vessel. Image courtesy of BC Ferries. BC Ferries is building four more “Island Class” ferries, due to increased demand and current vessels aging, and a call for proposals has gone out to shipyards in British Columbia, as well as nationally and internationally. Deborah Marshall, BC Ferries spokesperson, says the new vessels will come into service by 2028 and augment the six “Island Class” vessels already in the fleet. The ships will serve inter-island routes and all are hybrid diesel/electric powered. The cost of each is approximately $50 million dollars. Marshall says one of the new boats is earmarked for the Quadra to Cortes Island route, nearly doubling local capacity. She also confirms that two of the existing ships are set to begin service on the Campbell River to Quadra island route this January, increasing capacity on that busy crossing by about 80 per cent. The introduction of two ferry services was originally slated for this past summer, but a shortage of available crew delayed implementation. Marshall says BC Ferries posted a record second quarter in vehicle traffic, helping to make the case for adding more vessels to the fleet. She provides details in the interview below with CKTZ News: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - BC Ferries calls on shipyards to bid on construction of four new vessels This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
Short term rental tax aims to help affordable housing crisis: regional director

Short term rental tax aims to help affordable housing crisis: regional director

On Nov. 9, the Strathcona Regional District passed a new tax on short term rentals on Cortes Island. Image courtesy of the Cortes Island Community Housing Society. Cortes Island is adding a three per cent tax on short term rentals as a solution to help address the affordable housing crisis on Cortes Island. Regional Director Mark Vonesch introduced the proposal as his first motion at the Strathcona Regional District Board meeting on Nov. 9. He says there is no cost to local property owners: the tax is paid solely by visitors. The motion was passed unanimously by the new board and an application for implementing the tax on Cortes Island has been submitted to the BC provincial government. Vonesch is optimistic that the tax will be in place in time for the next busy tourism season in summer 2023.   A three per cent tax is being implemented on Cortes Island in 2023. Airbnb logo courtesy of Dream Time. He adds that the money collected from the tax will go towards funding the 20-unit Rainbow Ridge affordable rental housing project. The Cortes Community Housing Society hopes to have the project shovel ready early in 2023. Mark Vonesch elaborates on the initiative in the interview below with CKTZ News: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Short term rental tax aims to help affordable housing crisis: regional director This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
Local food bank joins Food Banks BC, gains access to greater funding, resources

Local food bank joins Food Banks BC, gains access to greater funding, resources

A donation jar for the Cortes Island Food Bank sits on a counter at a local store. Photo by Greg Osoba. The Cortes Island Food Bank joined Food Banks BC on Oct. 7 and has just launched its own website. Coordinator Filipe Figueira says joining the bigger provincial network provides more resources and funding possibilities. Established 20 years ago, the Cortes Food Bank was run solely by Samantha Statton, who volunteered her time. Figueira says they can now apply to Food Banks BC for grants to help compensate Statton for her service. He also says the new local website creates another way for people to make donations, as well as for people needing help to access resources. Figueira expects demand to increase now that some COVID-19 aid is no longer available to individuals and due to pressures from the rising cost of food due to inflation. Food Banks BC also provides help with local data collection, which is useful for assessing client needs, he adds. Figueira is pleased that the Cortes Island Food Bank will be included in the annual Food Bank Day, coordinated by CBC Radio British Columbia on Dec. 2, where donors can earmark their donations to individual food banks, or Food Banks BC as a whole. Last year, nearly $3 million was donated and distributed to food banks across the province. Statton and Figueira talk about the latest developments at the Cortes Food Bank in the interview with CKTZ News below: Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Local food bank joins Food Banks BC, gains access to greater funding, resources This program was funded by a grant from the Community...
Music show on Cortes Island reunites former Montreal-based collaborators

Music show on Cortes Island reunites former Montreal-based collaborators

Nate Drobner (L) and Nick Wisdom (R) are Potatohead People, headlining music show Hall Pass Saturday Nov. 26. Image by Thomas Maxey, courtesy of Amaris Daniel. Recently settled local Amaris Daniel is organizing Hall Pass this weekend, a music show at Manson’s Hall that is bringing long-time friends and musicians together. Nate Drobner and Nick Wisdom, who are the duo in the headlining act Potatohead People, create jazz-influenced hiphop, with elements of 80s to 90s funk and modern house music. They have worked with well-known hip-hop music names like De La Soul, Phife Dawg (A Tribe Called Quest) and Illa J. Daniel will also take to the turntables, as will another local Carmanah King. The show runs from 8 p.m. to midnight on Nov. 26. To learn more, contact morningpplbeanery@gmail.com. Listen below to the CKTZ News interview with Amaris Daniel about the upcoming show: Saturday’s show features a mix of local and visiting musicians. Image courtesy of Amaris Daniel. Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Music show on Cortes Island reunites former Montreal-based collaborators This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....
Ultimate Frisbee celebrates 32 years on Cortes, fights to play on

Ultimate Frisbee celebrates 32 years on Cortes, fights to play on

Claudia Raaen has been playing ultimate for 42 years, enthusiastically leading drop-in games on Cortes since 1990. Photo by Loni Taylor. Recreational ultimate frisbee has been a regular activity on Cortes since 1990 and a local is working to keep the sport alive. Claudia Raaen has been playing ultimate frisbee for 42 years, and brought the spirit of the sport to the island, initiating games at the Cortes Island School field. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, regular players have experienced a hiatus of the gatherings. As sport leagues have re-started this past summer, so has ultimate frisbee, but the sport is struggling to revive: Raaen is now determined to increase community interest and gain new players. Currently, the turnout has not exceeded six players: Raaen says, ideally, ultimate is played with around 10-14 people. The culture of the sport encourages a high level of comradery and guidance, Raaen says, which makes it fairly approachable for newcomers. “You can have quite a multi-level, because the people that are really good cover each other and the people that are new cover each other…so you’re not feeling so intimidated by your opponent. Of course, there aren’t any opponents in ultimate: it’s all one…So when you play together, there’s a real feeling of just play and supporting each other to do our best.” Raaen will continue to host games at the school field throughout the winter; all ages and abilities are welcome to join in on Sundays at 11 a.m. To learn more, contact claudia@sacredgardening.com. To hear more about ultimate frisbee on Corte listen to the CKTZ News Update below: Cortes Radio ·...
Coffee collaboration supports local businesses, brings new products to Cortes

Coffee collaboration supports local businesses, brings new products to Cortes

Med-Man Brand has produced Chiapas coffee beans, locally-roasted by Becca’s Bean Coffee Roastery. Photo by Thaddeus Conrad. Food processing infrastructure is limited on Cortes Island. There is only one coffee roasting facility, and, up until recently, there was only one food business producing roasted coffee beans on Cortes. Thanks to a collaboration with Becca’s Beans, local business Med-Man Brand is now offering coffee made from Chiapas-sourced Mexican beans. Med-Man Brand is a college and medicinal cannabis enterprise that recently relocated to Cortes Island. Becca’s Beans also went through a major transition exactly one year ago, when Doug and Melanie McCaffry purchased the business from Becky and Scott Knudsen. Doug and Med-Man Brand owner Thaddeus Conrad began discussing the coffee collaborations this summer. Both business owners are excited about sharing the infrastructure and are open to more coffee-roasting collaborations in the future. CKTZ asked Doug if he was concerned about helping his competition through the partnership, and the local businessman said “no.” “Not at all—that would be like General Motors supplying wheels for a German automotive company or something. We can work together quite happily, I think, and maybe we can explore more possibilities down the road.” To hear more about Becca’s Beans and Med-Man Brand collaborating with coffee, listen to the CKTZ News Update below:   Cortes Radio · CKTZ News - Coffee collaboration supports local businesses, brings new products to Cortes This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative....