The provincial election voting is over and all ballots will be counted by May 24. The total provincial MLAs for each party will then be declared. Once the ruling party or parties are declared, local politicians will have to renew relationships with each party. Our local elected MLA Nicholas Simons already knows the concerns and needs of the Sunshine Coast, so we can expect his support. But, for now, local government representatives must be prepared to speak with newly appointed ministers of the ruling party to explain SCRD needs. Until this happens, it is business as usual at the SCRD.
A goal of the SCRD strategic plan is to promote constant improvements in public consultation. This week, a program called Community Dialogues, an outreach program, will bring managers and staff to your neighborhood hall. This is a great opportunity to meet staff, discuss the functions of the SCRD, and get those “what if?” questions answered.
People new to the Coast can use these community information sessions to understand how a regional district works. The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) includes three municipalities: Gibsons, Sechelt, and Sechelt Indian Band (SIB). These are separate from the rural areas of Pender Harbour, Area A; Halfmoon Bay, Area B; Roberts Creek, Area D; Elphinstone, Area E; and Howe Sound, Area F. Each rural area has an elected director. The mayors of the municipalities do not have jurisdiction in rural areas but, like all local politicians, wish to help all citizens of the Sunshine Coast.
Although the regional district is not responsible for roads, all directors are concerned about road safety and are therefore a conduit for to the Ministry of Transportation. Not only do directors advocate for better roads but we also speak with the minister about improvements to ferry operations.
The SCRD will be doing a public consultation this spring on short-term rentals. Upon completion of this consultation, and discussion and debate by the board, a bylaw will come forward next fall, to clarify what is allowed and what is not. In some areas of the Coast this lack of clarity is causing disputes between neighbors. Please contact the SCRD bylaw department if you have concerns in your rural area.
The SCRD will be meeting this spring to discuss the solid waste management plan and what needs to be done to improve our efforts to work towards zero waste. In Halfmoon Bay, Area B, which is my area, I am being asked constantly to implement curbside recycling as part of this plan.
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.