I hope you are all enjoying 2015. I’m pleased to be able to represent the Gulf Islands again as well as starting a term as Vice-Chair of the CRD Board of Directors. In addition I am representing the Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) as Chair.
I have also been elected as Chair of the Finance Committee which is a standing committee established by the CRD Board. The mandate of the Committee includes providing advice and making recommendations to the Board regarding the following functions:
Corporate budget process
Departmental Service Plan
Corporate financial management and audit
Risk, property and facility management
I really do appreciate the opportunity to serve the full region in my new roles.
To provide some background, the CRHD Board is the governing body fiscally responsible for the Region’s health facilities and hospital equipment. The focus of the Board has shifted; previously we simply provided capital grants to Island Health for acute care projects, whereas we now acquire land and create partnership opportunities to develop projects that may not otherwise have happened. Moving forward, we will be expanding the role of the Board even further by financing and leading the development of other innovative capital projects.
One such example is the Summit at Quadra Village, a 320-unit residential and dementia care project to replace Oak Bay Lodge and Mt. Tolmie Hospital that is expected to be complete in 2018. This past year, the CRHD purchased 3.5 acres on Hillside Avenue in Victoria. This site was just recently designated as a healthcare facility by the Minister of Health under the provisions of the Hospital District Act, enabling the CRHD to proceed with development. I am really excited to see these new initiatives underway.
In local news, the CRD is working with the Galiano Health Care Society to help the Society secure a predictable source of revenue to help cover the cost of operating the Galiano Health Care Centre. The CRD proposes to establish a new contribution service whereby the CRD levies a property tax to provide secure and predictable funding which the GHCS can use to help cover the overhead and capital renewal costs of the Centre facility. For this new service to proceed, the CRD needed to obtain the electorate’s approval through an assent process (referendum) to adopt Bylaw 3955 to establish this new service and to set a maximum annual requisition for the service. The referendum passed and the bylaw was adopted at the December Board meeting. (Link to CRD)
This past November a group of conservation minded Islanders from Pender met with me to discuss conservation challenges for Pender in the year ahead.
Paul Petrie writes, as follows:
“Protecting the marine environment and promoting a sustainable economy in the context of the “preserve and protect” mandate under the Islands Trust were common concerns. The impact of a possible oil spill from the proposed increase in oil tanker traffic from the Kinder-Morgan proposed pipeline expansion on the island’s environment and economy provided a focal point for these converging challenges. The group initiated a plan to engage all segments of our community in a dialogue to examine how we are all directly affected by these issues. Together Raincoast Conservation Foundation, the Pender Islands Conservancy, the Friends of Brooks Point and the Pender Chamber of Commerce supported the January 15, 2015 event, “Directly Affected,” that brought together well over a 100 islanders to explore and discuss these issues. An article on Page 6 in the Feb. 5th issue of Island Tides (Link to Island Tides) provides a review of this event. The Friends of Brooks Point have received a grant-in-aid to continue this initiative and provide a submission to the NEB to convey the concerns of Islanders on the potential impacts of increased oil tanker traffic along our coastline”.
Paul Petrie, co-chair, Friends of Brooks Point
On Mayne Island the baseline and topographical survey for the Demonstration Trail from Village Bay to Miners Bay was completed and delivered to the CRD in January and the Mayne Island Pathways and Trails Association has just received the final survey maps for their perusal and revision as necessary. They will need to talk to some of the landowners at certain portions of the road allowance. Once the survey is completed it can be determined if there is adequate room to place a multi-use trail within the road right of way and what the next steps will be.
Regional Parks will meet with the Mayne Island trail coordinating group to discuss the results of the survey and the preferred course of action regarding trail development.
CRD will begin considering options for how ongoing trail operation and maintenance will be conducted once the trail is completed.
Pender Parks & Rec are moving forward re Gardom Pond. Recently, divers were sent down to prepare a report on any issues surrounding the lower pond pipe. That report will be ready for the Province Dam Safety Review later this month.
Magic Lake Sewer Committee is moving towards a referendum for sometime within the next 12 months.
I look forward to working with you as Director in my second term. We have many exciting things on the horizon.
Want to get a project off the ground? Have questions about the grants-in-aid process? Send me an email or give Melody, my assistant, a call at 250.629.3475 to get more information on grant applications and process.
CRD Director, Southern Gulf Islands