As the leaves turn colour and fall, here are some regional district news bits that may interest you:
LIVFD Radio Coverage Analysis: The report on the Radio Coverage Analysis to explore options for an on-island VHF communications system so that LIVFD is not reliant on commercial paging services is scheduled to be received in early Nov. 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, based on the 2017 recommendations from dispatch expert Chris Kellett (see the January newsletter). The project is being undertaken by 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: I have also continued to work toward other 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. This would eliminate the need for an answering machine for fire calls. There is funding in the 2020 LIVFD budget ($3,000) for the option of a call answer/transfer and fire dispatch service, based on an updated service quote.
Waste management: A new barge operator was contracted by the qRD to remove garbage. This is a trial service, and it seemed to work well. Please only bring garbage to the ramp during the monthly dump times. Please DO NOT drop garbage off at the recycling centre – this will only increase costs (i.e. taxes) and lead to enforcement efforts. Our recycling and waste management service relies on cooperation and mutual respect.
Wood Stove Exchange Program Grant: The qRD applied for Provincial funding for the Wood Stove Exchange Program. If successful, there will be some advertising about the rebates that may be available under the program to exchange older stoves for new ones. If you are considering replacing your stove, more information can be found at:
Coastal Flood Mapping: a grant was received to carry out Coastal Flood Risk Mapping on Texada and Lasqueti Islands (phase 2, after doing similar mapping on the mainland).
Strategic Planning: The qRD Board and senior staff held a two-day strategic planning session in Powell River in late October at which we discussed priorities for the upcoming year. The following remain the general strategic priority categories and some key strategic goals:
Climate change: continue to implement greenhouse gas emission reduction strategy, develop climate action plans, continue with hazard mapping, drinking water management planning
Parks, Recreation and Culture: regional park acquisition strategy, regional trails planning
Social Planning: regional housing needs assessment, improve rural transportation access
Public Safety: compete Occupational Health & Safety Program, FireSmart/Wildfire protection strategies
Economic Environment: clarify goals for supporting the regional economic environment
Communication/Engagement: communication strategy, communication education/awareness
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
I understand that the Lasqueti Trust Committee will do first reading of our OCP Bylaw by Meeting Without Resolution. This is a special ability of the Islands Trust corporate bodies (12 Local Trust Committees, Bowen Island Municipality, Trust Council and the Islands Trust Conservancy) to make decisions that do not require discussion, because they don’t meet as regularly and often as other local governments.
First Reading permits referral of the proposed new Official Community Plan to other agencies, whose feedback will be considered, along with continuing input from community members. Changes can still be made to it, and before Third Reading, there will be at least one Community Information Meeting and a required formal Public Hearing. After it is reviewed and approved by the province, Fourth Reading will make it officially our new OCP. Then we will revise our Land Use Bylaw to make sure it complies with our new OCP.
I encourage everyone to check out the proposed OCP and give us your feedback about it. Is anything missing? Should anything be changed, or dropped from it? All opinions will be seriously considered, and most issues will probably be discussed at LTC and community meetings, so we are as certain as possible that the community agrees with and supports our new Official Community Plan when it is adopted and becomes official.
There are probably copies of the wording left from the Community Information Meetings we held in late September. They should be at the Community Hall, the post office, Provisions, Blue Roof and (maybe) on the ferry. If you’d like to read it and can’t find a copy, please ask Tim or me. It’s on-line, starting on page 50, at
Printed copies of the bylaw that will be given First Reading will be available widely around the time we vote on First Reading. It’ll be on-line, too.
October 5 LTC meeting
The video and audio recording of our live-streamed October 5 LTC electronic meeting is on-line, available through http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/350057/la-ltc_2020-10-05_vod-link.pdf It’s over 4 hours long, so you might want to save it for a rainy day. I think the minutes of the meeting will not be available until the agenda package for our next meeting, scheduled for February 8. I am planning to request that they be posted, in draft form, as soon after each meeting as possible, as minutes are a much quicker, easier way of finding out what the LTC discussed and decided.
There was some kind of screw-up around the Town Hall session, as no attendees “raised their digital hand” to indicate that they wanted to speak. I’ll make sure that instructions on how to raise your hand are available widely, and especially for attendees, both over the internet and by phone.
Private docks are strongly discouraged in our Official Community Plan and not permitted in the M2 zone (except when there is no public road access to and from a parcel of land) in our Land Use Bylaw, and the weight of the correspondence received did not favour approval of the docks. Some of the correspondence in favour of the already built dock was not factually accurate.
The LTC and other local governments are required to pay attention to Official Community Plans, and must respect what they say. (Provincial and federal governments don’t have to, as they are senior governments.) If we want to change this, or any other provision of our OCP, this is a very appropriate time to consider changes.
The recently constructed private dock will be dealt with by the Trust’s Bylaw Compliance and Enforcement department.
It is my hope that interested community members will be able to do some thinking and planning about the future development of Scottie Bay, as it is our most protected bay, and very heavily used and crowded. Hopefully the community can work toward a public dock and/or float from the public access at the end of Scottie Bay Road. We need public access to the water, and from the water to Lasqueti. We might be able to organize moorage, anchorage areas, and other uses, so that more boats and people can be accommodated safely and conveniently.
Another thing we can do is to identify other places around Lasqueti where public access to the water might be usefully provided, and especially where a public dock could be located, and include them in a schedule of our OCP, so that when, in future, when there is an application for subdivision, we can ask MOTI (the approving agency for rural area subdivision) to provide public access to that area of the Lasqueti foreshore.
These are things that are unlikely to be accomplished by the LTC and Trust staff, because of lack of time and planners, but it can be accomplished by community members, working with the Trust, and incorporated into LTC bylaws much sooner, if the community reaches agreement – as has happened with our draft OCP, thanks to the organizing and dedicated work of the LCA OCP steering committee members, and the community members who have engaged in the process.
From being involved with Scottie Bay area issues, I have learned that a number of people have been cleaning up derelict boats and other large stuff, and a huge variety of junk, trash and garbage from the water and the shore of Scottie Bay individually and together. I would like to acknowledge and thank them for their public-spirited good work. They are from a multi-generation Lasqueti family, a newcomer and a part-timer. When I have a complete list, and their permission, I’ll name them, and I’ll also look for some funds to offset their expenses and recruit some help when they can use it. Let’s all continue to deal with things that are on our shores that shouldn’t be, and take care not to increase the problem.
Thank you for reading all of this, and for your feedback. Please contact me or Tim if you have questions, and especially me if you disagree or doubt anything I’ve written. I’m now half-way through my final term as your trustee.
At our October 5th meeting, the Local Trust Committee voted not to approve the two applications for private docks in Scottie Bay. From my perspective, approval would have contrary to our Official Community Plan, and there is a reasonable likelihood that they would have been rejected by Executive Committee, who has the final say, for that reason. The OCP is currently under review, and I have been hearing a desire from community members to examine both the docks and home enterprise provisions. This discussion, at the LTC level, will take place at a later stage of the review. The review project is broken up into four phases, with the first phase likely to be completed in October of 2021. This was done in order to incorporate the recommendations from the LCA OCP Steering Committee’s report and staff technical review without waiting for the entire project to be completed, which would likely have extended beyond our term of office expires in 2022. Due to constraints regarding staff time, these long timelines, while not desirable, are inevitable.
Staff and Committees are preparing for the next Trust Council meeting December 1-3, which will be the third Council meeting to held electronically. While these electronic meetings have many limitations, especially in terms of public participation, there are the only way to avoid all business grinding to a halt. I have heard that several people who wished to speak at the Townhall section of our October 5th meeting were unable to do so, and I have requested that the Chair and staff work on a better protocol to ensure that people attending our electronic LTC meetings in the future are given clear instructions on how to request to speak, and more time to figure out the mechanisms, whether by internet or phone. Since we cannot hold in-person meetings, it is even more important that we ensure that the public has the opportunity to address the LTC at these electronic meetings.
Our next meeting is February 1st, 2021. In the meantime, please feel free to contact your Trustees or staff with you questions, comments, or concerns.