Regional District business has been picking up heading into autumn. The following items may be of interest:
Vancouver Island Regional Library: The annual report is a nice magazine-style report that describes different aspects of the library (https://virl.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Annual-Report-2019.pdf), including its award-winning Indigenous Voices program. In Sept, the library board adopted the 2021 budget (https://virl.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/2021-Budget-Breakdown-System-Wide.pdf). For details on service at the Parksville Branch, see
LIFVD Radio Coverage Analysis: A Radio Coverage Analysis is exploring options for an on-island VHF communications system so that LIVFD is not reliant on commercial paging services. This project was based on a request from me in response to the ending of the Rogers pager service, and the switch to Radioworks pagers (see the January newsletter). The project bid was awarded to Planetworks Consulting, and included a visit to Lasqueti to see the terrain in person, and to meet with senior members of LIVFD and myself.
LIVFD Emergency Call Answering: The 2017 report by dispatch expert Chris Kellett “recommended that the radio coverage and future VHF paging be considered as a separate project to the Emergency Dispatch Service”. I have continued to work toward the recommendations made by Mr. Kellett, which included use of a “call answer/transfer service” to answer emergency calls from Lasqueti by a qualified emergency call taker, and then to transfer them to the appropriate agency: BC Ambulance for medical, and LIVFD response coordinators (local dispatchers) for fire. In March, I made a motion to the qRD Board (which passed unanimously) to ensure that the 2020 LIVFD budget included $3,000 for the option of a call answer/transfer and fire dispatch service.
Waste management: There are a number of issues and community discussions regarding the recycling and residual waste removal (garbage). Work is being done, and I will report once there is more clarity.
Landfill closure and inter-generational equity: The closure of the Lasqueti landfill is proceeding on track. The goal will be to cap it to prevent leaching of toxins downstream. Water quality monitoring from the wells that have been installed (above and below the landfill) will continue for at least 25 years.
The high cost of the landfill closure raises an inter-generational equity concern. The total cost is estimated at nearly $460,000 for closure and post-closure monitoring (closure costs are estimated at about $184,000, while post-closure monitoring costs until 2045 are estimated at about $276,000). The costs of post-closure monitoring will be paid incrementally from future property taxes. While this means the short-term tax burden will be low, it also means that the costs will mostly be borne not by the people who used the landfill (mostly for free), but by following generations.
In this situation, the impact for Lasqueti will be low, as these costs are part of the Regional Waste Management service, and so shared by everyone in the qRD.
However, it seems to represent inter-generational inequity, in which a debt created by one generation must be paid by a following generation who did not receive the benefit. For th next 25 years, residents will be paying for both the long-term landfill monitoring costs as well as the costs of removing their garbage by barge. I believe that full cost accounting can help to ensure all costs are considered in decisions, including indirect and future costs.
The Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conference was held virtually in Sept (https://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/convention/2020-convention.html). Some interesting items:
The panel “Reimagining Leadership: Lessons from the Pandemic” included the Lieutenant Governor of BC (Janet Austin), the Provincial Health Officer (Dr. Bonnie Henry) and the former Chief of the Tsawassen First Nation (Kim Baird). Bonnie Henry had a nice quote “we’re all in the same storm, but we’re not all in the same boat”.
The panel “Confronting Systemic Racism in Canada” included the Ambassador of Reconciliation Canada (Chief Robert Joseph), a professor from the University of Toronto (Dr. Akwasi Osusu-Bempah) and the Executive Director of the BC Civil Liberties Association (Harsha Walla), and discussed some ways systemic racism is built into our system, and different forms of racism: individual, structural (e.g. in laws) and systemic (i.e. resulting interacting effects).
A qRD Director (Mark Gisborne) was elected to the executive board of the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC).
The presentation by the new leader of the BC Green Party, Sonia Fursteneau, and the interview with Premier Horgan helped lay out some of the dynamics in the upcoming election.
Via an interview, Margaret Atwood provided entertaining comments on the state of the world, Canadian politics and Canadian literature.
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
September 17 Community Information Meeting about the Official Community Plan (OCP) at the community hall was useful and interesting. There didn’t seem to be enough participants in the on-line meeting the next day to generate discussion. Communicating on-line is so different than face-to-face, but we’re getting slowly better at it.
There are multiple printed copies of the draft text of the proposed Official Community Plan on the island, posted in the usual places. If you can’t find one, ask one of the local trustees or our minute-taker, Dave Olsen.
It’s very useful for us to receive feedback on the draft text, especially if you think we’ve got something wrong, or left something out. At this point, it’s still simple and easy to change it. The draft text is available on-line in the agenda package for our October 5 Lasqueti Trust Committee meeting starting on page 48.
Trust Council met September 15-16. The agenda package is posted at and a video recording of the meeting will be posted there soon, I expect. A number of trustees voiced strong request to not have two day-long meetings, especially on consecutive days, but to look for better ways to meet and share information. In the agenda package for the meeting are many of the presentations of the seven delegations, many of which contain interesting and useful information. They start on page 212 of the 281 page agenda package. Next Trust Council meeting is scheduled, on-line, for December 1-2. One of the many things we will do is to seriously begin to work on developing the budget for our next fiscal year (1 April 2021 through 31 March 2022.
Our next Lasqueti Trust Committee meeting is Monday, October 5. The agenda package is available through:
Information about connecting to the meeting will be posted there soon. Town Hall session, where anyone can speak to or ask questions of the LTC on issues that concern them, will begin shortly after the start of the meeting, 9:30am.
We will be continuing to discuss the applications for two private docks in Scottie Bay. There are staff reports on the applications in the agenda package for this meeting and in our August 10 meeting agenda package. There is further information on applications, and the public correspondence received, at
There is a Staff Report on the OCP Review process, including the draft text, starting on page 39 of the agenda package:
We will also be receiving a briefing in camera about recent Lasqueti bylaw infraction complaints and investigations. This part of the meeting is not public, but we will decide whether or what to report to the public about bylaw issues.
Thank you for your involvement and participation in our community. Talk to me or to Tim if you have questions or concerns.
Peter has ably reported on a number of locals issues, so I will try to avoid duplicating the same information. I would mention that I thought the discussions at the Community Information Meeting of September 17 were both lively and thought provoking. It seems clear than further community discussion is desirable on the more controversial issues, although given staff resources, such discussions and any desired changes to the OCP may have to wait until a later stage of the review process to be incorporated.
At Trust Council in September, the Trust Programs Committee announced the launch of the Climate Change stewardship Education Program. Sept. 24th was the session of Rainwater Harvesting; Oct. 27th will be on Ecosystem Based Climate adaptation; and Nov. 24th will be on Eelgrass. These are all free and open to the public, check out the website for details. TPC continues with the Policy Statement review, and submissions from the public are welcome.
Islands Trust Conservancy announced funding of $597,000 from the Federal Ministry of Environment for a Species At Risk program. Find out more on their website.
The Local Planning Committee is changing its name to the Regional Planning Committee, to better reflect the actual scope of its work. Among the top priorities of this committee is a restructuring of the Model Fees Bylaw, to suggest that Local Trust Committees adopt changes that would mean that applicants fees cover a larger portion of the cost of processing applications. See page 211 of the Trust Council Agenda of Sept. 16, or ask me for more information.
Our next electronic meeting is Oct. 5. We realize that the electronic format is not ideal, and makes it difficult for some people to participate, and we do look forward to having in-person meetings again, when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, take care, and feel free to contact your Trustees with your comments, questions, or concerns.