August is when SCRD staff get an opportunity to do paperwork for upcoming projects and to complete those that have been ongoing. During August the board normally does not meet, and directors have time to work on local advocacy issues.
In two areas, Howe Sound and Halfmoon Bay, the respective directors, Ian Winn and myself, are working on funding support for the citizens who are diligently fund-raising to build their community halls. Both communities are looking at substantial costs to complete these projects.
Directors in each area attend the local fairs, which gives them an opportunity to meet with constituents and discuss concerns. They can then plan solutions and, in many cases, pass on the information to the responsible authority in other levels of government.
Local governments are also planning possible meetings at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) conference, which will take place in September, in Vancouver. As there is a new provincial government, it is important that local elected officials take this opportunity to meet each new minister and establish a rapport. Outstanding issues from the last government need to be brought forward to the new ministers, so that they understand the background and can then work with a new focus. In my case, I will be raising the ongoing request from the community for the 5:30pm ferry; you can help by sending me an e-mail explaining briefly why we need this ferry, and I will leave this information with the minister. I will also be seeking an opportunity to speak to the health minister about senior health care needs on the Coast.
As soon as the agenda for UBCM comes out, I will inform you of the resolutions put forward by the different local governments. SCRD board members have some queries for ministers and will be meeting in early September to discuss which of these to take forward and which directors will present them. On certain issues the SCRD will be requesting our MLA, Nicholas Simons, to help open doors for us.
It is good to see some roads being paved on the Coast, as this was one of the concerns put forward by many local governments at the Association of Vancouver and Coastal Communities (AVICC), especially in rural areas. I will be speaking to this at UBCM, as it seems that funding is not sufficient for the local Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) staff to keep up with repairing road needs.
A “well done” goes to those firefighters on the Coast who assisted in fighting the wildfires in the interior. This should make us all more diligent to prevent the same disaster from happening here.
Please contact me at 604-741-2427 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss SCRD programs or plans