This is Roy Hales with a Cortes radio news update from the Strathcona Regional District Board meeting of June 12, 2019. The Board has reversed its decision regarding the Cortes Island Grants in Aid that were turned down on May 24. The Cortes Grants-in-Aid are approved.

The Cortes Museum, FOCI. Southern Cortes Community Association, Whaletown Community Club and Cortes Island Women’s resource Centre will each receive grants that range between $600 and close to $2,400.

One of the bizarre twists of this story arises from the fact the Strathcona Regional District has not processed the notice of Regional Director Anderson’s legal victory in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. While they are vaguely aware of this, they want their information to come official sources. So when I told Chair Babchuk the court ruled “There is no basis for the declarations sought by the petition,” she abruptly shushed me. She could not listen to this.

There is an intense struggle going on within the Board right now. Three of the four members of the Electoral Area Services committee, or EASC, have been actively blocking all Cortes Island matters. Yesterday morning they voted not to refer a FOCI application for funding to hire a co-ordinator for the community bus coalition to the board. When the other Cortes grants were voted on yesterday, Directors Jim Abram and Brenda Leigh recused themselves for legal reasons - which clearly do not have anything to do with the legal petition. When I asked Director, Gerald Whalley what was going on, at the May 24th Board meeting, he said it was in camera and could not be discussed.

At yesterday’s EASC committee meeting Director Anderson made an impassioned plea that this matter be discussed in openly, where the public could see it. This has not happened.

The larger Strathcona Regional District Board has ordered that staff prepare a report on all Cortes matters that are currently on hold. It should be ready by the next Board Meeting, on June 27, 2019.

A more detailed version of this story will be broadcast on next Wednesday’s Cortes Currents at 9 AM.