I have a few relevant regional district news items to report:
Emergency Dispatch: At its Dec 21, 2020 meeting, the qRD Board made the following public announcement:
"The Board adopted the Amended Option C dispatch system as an interim system for Lasqueti Island, while more information is gathered on current cost comparison analysis and public engagement on both the Amended Option C and the North Island 911 dispatch systems."
It took a lot of effort to find a way out of the 6-year impasse that tries to address the interests/concerns of the community, LIVFD and qRD. Hopefully this decision will help move forward in a constructive and cooperative manner.
There are two parts to this decision:
PART 1: Adopting Amended Option C as an interim dispatch system for LIVFD
Amended Option C was defined by the dispatch expert C. Kellett to consist of the call answer/transfer and fire dispatch service of Northern911 (in Ontario; not to be confused with North Island 911/NI911 in Campbell River), plus associated training and community consultation.
It is essentially the core of the "Option C" recommended by the Emergency Dispatch Advisory Committee (E-DAC) and supported by the community in 2016, but with a specific call centre that can be contracted for a non-911 service (per the Option C proposal), and that also handles 911 calls in Ontario (so has fast call answering).
The Northern911 call centre service will:
Provide a single 10-digit emergency call number for all emergencies.
Medical calls: will be transferred to BC Ambulance dispatchers using their emergency line (our current system uses the non-emergency number).
Fire calls: will be transferred to an in-house fire dispatcher who will take steps to contact the LIVFD response coordinator (local dispatcher) using an agreed-upon protocol. This will allow callers to talk immediately with a person, not an answering machine, and to convey relevant information without having to wait for a callback. It will also allow our local response coordinators to receive incident information quickly.
This will reduce pressure on our LIVFD volunteers, improve emergency call handling, and reduce liability risk for the qRD. An improvement for all parties.
This service can be set up quickly for a reasonable cost (about $200/month plus some costs to update our emergency number cards). There is already funding allocated in the budget for this.
What to expect: Once the service is set up, and LIVFD has integrated it into their procedures, new emergency number cards will be provided to the community.
PART 2: Public consultation and updating cost comparison
The last public consultation on the LIVFD dispatch system was by the E-DAC in 2016 on Option C. In my view, the choice should be driven by the community of whether or not to commit to Amended Option C, to reconsider the alternative option of NI911 (North Island 9-1-1 in Campbell River), or to seek other solutions. The updated cost information is because the costing done by E-DAC and C. Kellett are out of date after so many years ...
If the community supports continuing with Amended Option C, its functionality will be monitored over time, with opportunities for future changes as our community sees fit (e.g. following improvements to communications over high-speed internet). The option to adopt the NI911 system in the future will remain, if the community so wishes (but recall that once a 911 system is adopted, it cannot be removed by Provincial regulation, so assessing other options first seems appropriate). As does the option to move towards a locally-administered fire department (as done on Hornby), but that would require a lot of up-front planning and a referendum.
What to expect: Opportunities for your views and preferences to be heard regarding dispatch, including your views on the interim Amended Option C system as well as alternatives, including NI911 and local administration.
Broadband Internet Survey: The qRD has hired Driftwood Communications Ltd. to explore options for high-speed internet in all areas of the regional district:
This project will result in a report on options, opportunities, costs, etc. It is meant to look at locally-viable and supported options (and not a one-size fits all – the qRD would prefer to avoid becoming an internet service provider).
As part of this project, Driftwood Communications is doing a short public survey (15 questions). There are three options to take the survey:
Paper copies: available at the post office or ask me
Filled forms can be mailed to: Driftwood Communications Ltd. at 6800 Veyaness Rd, Saanichton, BC, V8M 2A8..Scanned filled forms can be emailed to:
Coastal Flood Risk Mapping: The qRD received funding from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Community Preparedness Fund for coastal flood mapping on Lasqueti, Savary and Texada Islands (the mainland portion of the qRD was done in the first round). This project will produce a map that identifies areas with higher risk of coastal flooding.
2021 Budget Draft 1: At the Dec 16, 2020 Financial Committee meeting, the qRD Board discussed the first draft of the 2021 budget. This will be revised at least twice prior to adoption before the end of March. If you are interested, the budget is on pages 79-233 in the agenda available at:
Joint Islands Trust/qRD Meeting: On Dec 11, I attended a joint meeting with our local Islands Trustees (Tim and Peter), chair of the Local Trust Committee (P. Luckham), chair of the qRD (P. Brabazon), and the CAOs and senior planners of the Islands Trust and qRD. There was good discussion of areas of overlapping interest. For example, the results from the flood risk mapping project being undertaken by the qRD could be useful in land-use planning by the Islands Trust.
I plan on holding a virtual town hall early in 2021 to discuss these and other regional issues. Please feel free to contact me. I am honoured to be your regional representative.
Director Andrew Fall, qathet Regional District
Contact: Tel: 250-333-8595
Since our last Lasqueti Trust Committee meeting was in early October, and the next one is scheduled for February 1, this is likely to be a somewhat brief report.
Main thing to be aware of is that we gave first reading to the proposed new Official Community Plan (OCP) for Lasqueti. This is the first formal opportunity for everyone to read and study it, and to give us your comments. We especially want to know if we’ve got things wrong, or left anything out that should be included. All of it can easily be changed, and this is the time to suggest changes, whatever they are. Or if you think it captures and summarizes the wishes of the community, please let us know that.
Anyone who wants a printed copy of the proposed OCP can get one by requesting it from the Trust’s Gabriola Island office, or 250-247-2063. (You can call 1-800-663-7867 and ask to be connected.) A copy will be mailed to you.
Opinions and suggestions about the proposed OCP (or about any other Trust topic) can be sent to all three LTC trustees and our planner at It would also be helpful if you sent a copy to Feedback on paper can be mailed to the Islands Trust Northern Office, 700 North Road, Gabriola Island, BC V0R 1X3 or faxed to 250-247-7514. You could give it to one of your local trustees, and he will share it with the others.
We will also be happy to have people give their input to us at our February 1,meeting, which you will be able to join via computer or telephone. Details will come close to the end of January.
There is lots of background information posted on the OCP Review web page:
Other news: the LTC and senior staff met with qathet Regional District chair Brabazon and our Area E director, Andrew, and senior staff. It was a useful protocol meeting, in which we shared what we’re doing and interested in, and learned about each other’s work, and shared information. It was useful and interesting.
Recent electronic Lasqueti Trust Committee (LTC) meetings have been recorded and are posted on the web site and available for viewing. Go to the meeting calendar
Find the meeting date and click on it, and then click on “Live Stream Recording”.
The Trust held three stewardship webinars this fall, and the recordings are available for you to watch, and some extra information is posted, too. The topics were Rainwater Harvesting, Ecosystem-based Adaptation, and Eelgrass: a climate hero. They are available through
There are likely to be more webinars on stewardship topics in the future. I’ll keep you posted.
Reminder about community safety: Islands Trust urges islanders and visitors to follow BC Public Health Officer guidance With British Columbia, and the world, facing alarming growth in COVID-19 cases, provincial leaders have once again advised against non-essential travel and required everyone to minimize community interactions, even close to home. For Islands Trust Council Chair Peter Luckham's comments on this subject, as he implores community members to put safety first, go to
I have just under two years left in this, my final term. Please consider standing to be one of our two local trustees, or who you think would make a good one. I’m happy to answer questions and share my experience. If you have general questions, concerns or comments, please contact me by email or by telephone (which is now working, and we hope will continue to work).
Greetings all, and best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.
Peter has mentioned the business of the Local Trust Committee, and I will echo his call for public input on the draft OCP. The hard work and diligence of the LCA’s OCP Steering Committee has not only streamlined the official process, saving both time and money, but has likely been the most “grassroots” process of its kind in the entire Trust Area, if not the Province.
Trust Council in December made a number of decisions, reaffirming its position on freighter anchorages, approved the development of a heritage mapping overlay project for protection of heritage and cultural sites, and agreed to prepare a submission on the development of Canada’s first-ever aquaculture act, amongst other business. Most significant was the decision to approve an external review of the Trust’s governance, management, and operations, “to determine how the Islands Trust may better deliver on its mandate in the face of ecological, development and other challenges of today.” For more on December’s Trust Council, go to the website and click on “decision highlights”.
Out next Local Trust Committee meeting will be February 1st, to be held electronically for the foreseeable future.
As always, feel free to contact your trustees with your questions, comments, or concerns. Tim Peterson