From Our Regional Director:
A lot has changed since Feb, and will continue change as we face the global pandemic and Provincial state of emergency.
Most of my efforts have been directed towards local response and preparedness. Information directly relevant to Lasqueti, including local mitigation efforts, service information, Provincial public health officer orders, food growing, etc. is available at:
Please check this out. I am grateful to Darcy and others for their efforts. If you are planning on staying on Lasqueti, please be prepared, be safe, and be ready to help if/when the need arises. But qRD business must continue (even if I will be doing all my meetings by phone for awhile):
Budget: The budget has pretty much been finalized, and the Board will have adopted it on March 30, as required by the Province. I will put a link to the final budget in the next issue.
Regional response to COVID-19: The regional district has been doing a number of actions to respond to the pandemic, including:
Town Hall: Thank you to everyone to came out to the Town Hall on March 10. We had a good discussion on:
Director Andrew Fall, qathet Regional District
Contact: Tel: 250-333-8595
Peter Johnston, Islands Trustee: Notes from Peter: Trust offices are closed to the public, and many of the staff are working from their homes. Trust committee meetings have been cancelled, at least through the end of March, and are likely to only occur in the near future if really necessary and we can hold them safely.
Most normal Trust business (applications, permits, inquiries, etc.) is proceeding fairly normally, I am told. Contact staff by telephone or email. If you don't get them immediately, they will respond to you quickly.
Relations with Tla'amin Nation: I wrote, as an individual Lasqueti Island trustee, to the Hegus (Chief)and Legislators of the Tla'amin Nation, located just north of Powell River, who have traditional ties with and usage (and now Treaty rights) on and around Lasqueti. My main desire is to begin establish a relationship between our community and theirs.
Hegus Clint Williams replied to me, kindly and wisely suggesting that a visit to them of a (small, I presume) delegation from Lasqueti would be a good way to begin. Unfortunately, this is not a good time to go visiting, no matter how important it is, so we'll have to wait until the current pandemic situation settles down.
I will post Hegus Williams' letter on the Lasqueti web site, and send a link to the email list.
Bylaw issues: There are a few bylaw matters current on Lasqueti, outlined in the Bylaw Compliance and Enforcement Report on pages 92-98 of the March Trust Council agenda package:
At the end of 2019 there were six files open on the Lasqueti Trust Area, one concerning an unlawful dwelling, 5 about other land use issues. One has been open for more than five years, one for more than one year, and four for less than a year.
The Trust Bylaw Compliance and Enforcement Department handles complaints and bylaw compliance and enforcement issues, and the Local Trust Committee and trustees do not, except as the LTC receive reports (often in camera) as they are made, make policy decisions. We are not involved in individual complaints.
Lasqueti people decided strongly, years ago, to not have a Bylaw Enforcement Notification Bylaw and process. The goal of the Trust and the Bylaw department is compliance, and every effort is made to achieve compliance cooperatively. When this isn't possible, other options are available, but they can be slow and expensive. I have not yet, in this or my previous term as a trustee, been involved in a bylaw case.
One of these bylaw issues is a structure recently constructed in an area where it is not permitted. The owner tells me that he will apply for a zoning change, and has never alleged that he has a permit for the construction. There will be public process, and lots of opportunity for public comment and input into the proposed change to our Land Use Bylaw, which is where our zoning is set out.
OCP/LUB review: With the drastic decline of public and private social and cultural events, this would be a good time to do some reading and thinking about our Official Community Plan and Land Use Bylaw. Our current versions is available on-line through this webpage:
and there were printed copies at the usual places - Provisions, Blue Roof, ferry, Post Office and Community Hall. I know the one at the hall was there still very recently. Let me know if I should get more printed copies and re-post them. All the work that the LCA OCP/LUB Review Committee did is available on-line at https://lasqueti.ca/lca/ocp-review
Tim Peterson, Islands Trustee: Peter has done a good job of covering what is going on with LTC business, so I’ll briefly delve into some items from Trust Council in March.
Trust Council voted in favor of a statement calling on senior governments to “uphold the guiding principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples signed by the Government of Canada in 2010, and the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act adopted by the Government of British Columbia in 2020” and “to look to the guiding principles of the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action 2012 and the Calls for Justice tabled by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in 2019 as a way forward.” This resolution passed after much discussion and amending. The originally proposed wording can be viewed on the Islands Trust Website in the agenda package for March 2020; the adopted version will be available on the website soon.
Council voted to make the position of Senior Freshwater Specialist a permanent position, which gives opportunity for continuity in the ongoing freshwater projects which are of such importance throughout the Islands Trust Area, especially in the context of climate change. The Northern Islands portion of the project to map and develop water budgets for groundwater aquifers, which was voted out of the budget at December Trust Council, has been reinstated with the proviso that it will not launch until the Southern Islands portion of the project has been assessed for the utility of the data collected. I think most, if not all Northern Trustees were pleased that this work is now budgeted to take place in our region.
On March 22, Islands Trust issued a press release requesting visitors to reschedule proposed visits to the islands, due to the Covid-19 situation and the limited resources on our islands. Lasqueti elected officials and community groups issued a Joint Statement requesting all non-essential traffic to Lasqueti cease, and at the time of writing, B.C. Ferries has issued a travel advisory to avoid all non-essential travel as well. With awareness and diligence, we can all do our part to limit the spread of this virus and avoid overwhelming our health system and our dedicated health care professionals. I am very grateful to all of the people working to help us all through these times, and would like to express my thanks to Darcy, our ferry crew, and the folks delivering supplies both to the ferry and on island. Stay safe, enjoy the beautiful place we live in, and wash your hands!
ISLANDS TRUST CONTACT INFORMATION:
To email all 3 Representatives:
Powell River, B.C. - The qathet Regional District is pleased to announce the return of the Regional FireSmart Program for 2020.
This is the fourth consecutive year of the Regional FireSmart Program. With funding support from the Province of BC and Union of BC Municipalities’ Community Resiliency Investment Fund, the qRD is able to continue to offer education, training, and planning toward mitigating the negative impacts from wildfire to public and private properties across the region.
Regional FireSmart Coordinator Marc Albert noted that 2019 saw a significant increase in the number of residents contacting the program for FireSmart advice. This year the Program will continue to offer free home and property wildfire hazard assessments. Property owners may also qualify for rebates up to $500 for completing eligible FireSmart improvements around their homes.
Residents interested in information on how to make FireSmart improvements to their homes and properties are encouraged to contact the qRD office or Regional FireSmart Coordinator Marc Albert directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan Thoms, Manager of Emergency Services
qathet Regional District
#202 - 4675 Marine Avenue
Powell River, BC V8A 2L2
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