August means no committee and board meetings for staff and directors of the Sunshine Regional District (SCRD), so during the month of July there are constant meetings to complete many of the initiatives planned earlier in the year. These include: the Agricultural Plan; a report on BC Ferries, which indicates the economic effect on coastal communities of higher ferry fares and the reduction of sailings; meetings with local First Nations to discuss protocol agreements and mutual concerns; public hearings on coal barging in the Salish Sea; and information sessions on transporting of liquid natural gas (LNG) by tankers in Howe Sound.
This month, the SCRD board will be going to the upper Sunshine Coast to discuss mutual concerns with the Powell River Regional District. Both boards always find an initiative that they can work together on. Discussions this year will be recycling under MMBC (Multi- Material British Columbia) and BC Ferries concerns.
The board is preparing a resolution to present at UBCM about funding for eradication of invasive plants, especially Japanese knotweed. There are many groups on the Sunshine Coast trying to be proactive in removal of the invasive species and the SCRD board is trying to see how these volunteers can be effectively supported.
Many constituents are inquiring about the changes in recycling. Salish Soils is the new resource recovery depot in Sechelt, and they are in the process of working their way through startup concerns, which they hope to have resolved by the end of July. Hopefully, there will be good news shortly on the contracts for the depots in Gibsons and Pender Harbour. You might have heard many points of view on the new MMBC program, but the aim of the SCRD board is to ensure that the provincial program works efficiently for the people of the Sunshine Coast. Sechelt has a curbside recycling (blue box) program in place and will soon be joined by the regional areas of Roberts Creek and Halfmoon Bay.
This is the month where all local government officials will be attending community events such as fairs and parades, and some set up booths or make themselves available to answer queries from constituents on many issues.
In my interviews with constituents, many of the queries are outside the mandate of the SCRD and in the jurisdiction of other governments. Issues that are not the responsibility of SCRD in regional areas are roads, cleaning of bike lanes, fixing pot holes, cutting grass along the roads, and painting of white and yellow lines on the highway and secondary roads. All of these are the responsibility of the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure (MOTI), which contracts out to Capilano Highways.
Please contact me about any of these items or other concerns at 604-741-2427 or email@example.com. I am available for discussions at SCRD or in Halfmoon Bay at Welcome Beach Market on Tuesdays at 9:15 or the Halfmoon Bay store at 10 to 12 on Fridays.
Garry Nohr, Chair Sunshine Coast Regional District and Repesentative for Halfmoon Bay, Area B