Thursday, 9 August 2018

October 2018 election: Nomination packages available on the CRD website

The 2018 CRD General Local Election is Saturday, October 20, 2018.

The Capital Regional District will be conducting elections for the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director (East Sooke, Malahat, Otter Point, Port Renfrew, Shirley/Jordan River, Willis Point)


Nomination packages are now available. Completed packages must be submitted between September 4, 2018at 9:00 am and September 14, 2018, at 4:00 pm.

Nomination packages are available for pickup at 625 Fisgard Street. Note that these packages must be returned to 625 Fisgard Street. We further recommend that you set up an appointment by email (email link in the following website) with the Deputy Chief Election Officers to review your documentation.

https://www.crd.bc.ca/about/how-we-are-governed/elections-other-voting/candidate-information

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

Volunteer Request for Welcome Signs Maintenance




OPSRRA needs volunteers as part of a subcommittee to do some maintenance on our Welcome to Otter Point and Shirley signs.
These signs were made possible through fundraising by OPSRRA in 2011 and with the help of volunteer labour by OPSRRA members. They are a real asset to our communities.

The signs have been inspected and need cleaning and some touch-up painting, possibly structural shoring-up of one post on one of the signs.

We have received a small amount of grant money from the CRD to carry-out repairs, so OPSRRA will cover the costs of materials needed.

Ideally, this work should be carried out before the end of September 2018, and before the rains start. Depending on the number of member volunteers, 1 or 2 teams could form and do the work quickly.

Timeline: August to September 2018

If you can help, please contact:


Brenda Mark
director1@opsrra.ca 
phone 250 646 2598

Fiona McDannold
secretary@opsrra.ca
phone 250 646 2730

Diane Foster
treasurer@opsrra.ca  






Call for Volunteers for the OPSRRA Booth at Shirley Day

Sunday, August 19, 2018
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM 
(followed by BBQ Salmon Dinner)

We are looking for volunteers to help staff our OPSRRA Booth again this year as part of our membership drive.

It’s a great way to meet and chat with local residents and talk about issues that matter in our community.
OPSRRA enrolled a number of new members at this event last year and our booth was well attended. 

If you can help out by staffing a shift at the booth, please contact:

Diane Foster - treasurer@opsrra.ca  
or
Brenda Mark - director1@opsrra.ca

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Structure protection sprinkler kits now available at Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department

Posted by the Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department on Facebook



W.A.S.P. Structure protection sprinkler kits now available at Otter Point Volunteer Fire Dept. Fits every home. Everything you need is in the kit. Stop by the hall and we’ll show you how it works. 
$155.00 per kit. One kit includes 2 sprinklers which will cover most homes.


Contact them: http://otterpointfire.bc.ca/contact_us/contact_info.shtml

Monday, 2 July 2018

Highway 14 Corridor Improvements: Community Engagement

As you may be aware, the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and its consultants held a Public Open House at Edward Milne on June 19 to present the work so far on improvements to the highway.  There were a series of information poster boards set up in the school's concourse which included announced projects as well as future priorities. 

The $10 million in immediate upgrades will kick off the first of multiple phases of announced safety, transit and congestion improvement projects including the following (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-infrastructure/projects/highway-14) :

  • three bus pullouts on both sides of Highway 14 at the West Shore Parkway, Laidlaw Road, and Harbourview Road;
  • a bus-queue jump lane at Jacklin Road;
  • new safety signs at three locations (Kangaroo Road, Gillespie Road, and Parkland Road);
  • a slow-moving vehicle pullout east of Muir Creek, between Sooke and French Beach;
  • a new rest area at the Sombrio lookout; and
  • a new two-lane bridge on Gillespie Road, which is an important alternative route to Highway 14.

Design work for the Sooke River Road intersection upgrade is also getting underway immediately.

MOTI is also looking at reducing the speed limit around Gordon’s Beach from 80 to 60 km. A speed checker would also be ideal here, but they would need to work out an AC connection with BC Hydro (as they don’t use the solar powered ones that municipalities do).

Future priorities include transit upgrades for Hwy 14, upgrades to the Hwy (passing opportunities, high collision areas, active transportation, aging infrastructure and amenities), and realignment (where economically, technically and environmentally feasible, and as supported by the community, for example the winding 6 km stretch from Kangaroo to Ludlow Roads). 

MOTI is soliciting feedback until July 15, 2018, which can be provided using an online form (gov.bc.ca/highway14), by email (highway14@gov.bc.ca), completing and leaving a feedback form at one of the Public Open Houses, or mailing it to MOTI.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

June Quarterly Director’s Report 2018

Hi Everyone!

Summer’s here and the warm sunny weather is finally more than a weather channel promise. We hope you’re enjoying all that our beautiful part of the Island has to offer!

2018 AGM


Our Annual General meeting on April 15, 2018, was a resounding success with over 30 members in attendance. We had the honour of hosting guest speakers: Jeff McArthur (RCMP policing issues); Ryan Evanoff (Ministry of Transport upgrades to Hwy 14); Arnie Campbell (presenting a new Interactive History of Otter Point website); and excitingly an announcement by Mike Hicks (CRD Director) on major provincial funding of $2-3 million for safety upgrades on Otter Point Road.

Our membership drive has been successful, increasing our fold by over 20 residents since the last AGM for a total of 462 (full and associate) members. A copy of the Annual President’s Report for the 2018 AGM is also available. We are also pleased to announce the appointment of the following directors (and contact emails) to the OPSRRA board:
Barbara Soley is a newcomer to the JDR area. She and her husband have recently retired and are looking forward to being active participants in their community. Diane Foster and her husband Michael lived in Otter Point for 12 years before relocating to Shirley in 2015. Intending to stay there permanently, they look forward to contributing to and becoming involved in the community.

Board Retreat (May 13, 2018)


OPSRRA directors held their annual retreat, in the beautiful sunshine of Mother’s Day, to do both board development work and planning for the coming year. Some of the community issues we will be addressing include the following:
  • continuing work on Hwy 14 safety improvement and access issues in collaboration with other agencies (e.g., Ministry of Transport, CRD, RCMP, Fire, Search and Rescue, Ambulances);
  • resources to establish “Welcome to Jordan River” signage at the CRD boundaries;
  • funding to upgrade/maintain community notice boards and existing community “welcome” signage;
  • working with federal and other authorities to address improved cell tower coverage and placement;
  • continuing our membership drive through OPSRRA booths at community events (e.g., Shirley Days, Food Chi Events, Sooke Music Festival, etc.) including engaging volunteers to assist, using social media to target younger residents and updating brochures;
  • building stronger relationships and dialogue with local industry (e.g., Timberwest) and other groups (e.g., Pacheedaht and T’Souke First Nations) to address environmental and other issues of mutual interest/concern such as logging in Muir Creek watershed;
  • fundraising to support meeting costs and other unique projects for our members; and
  • advocating for provincial groundwater aquifer studies in our communities in the longer term, in support of regional water resource sustainability.

This list is not exclusive/exhaustive and we encourage our OPSRRA members to bring any other important community issues to our attention by contacting president@opsrra.ca.

If you would like to become involved in any of these projects or initiatives, please don’t hesitate to contact us – we’re always looking for volunteers and ways of better engaging our members!

Community Notice Boards and Existing Community Welcome Signs


OPSRRA has submitted a Grant in Aid application to CRD in the amount of $700 for the maintenance and refurbishing of 27 notice boards in Otter Point, eight notice boards in Shirley and one notice board in Jordan River, which are nearing 15 years old; in addition to the maintenance and refurbishing of the four large “Welcome” signs in Otter Point and Shirley which are now seven years old. All are exposed to weather conditions and require periodic maintenance and repairs. As OPSRRA members volunteer their time and labour where possible, the funds are proposed for expenses including paint, fittings, posts, lumber and other material as needed. If you would like to help us out with this project in any way, please contact president@opsrra.ca.

Shirley Adopt-a-Highway and Clean-up Project


A proposal is being prepared by the Shirley Community Association (SCA) to organize an Adopt-a-Highway Program along a 14 km stretch of West Coast Road within Shirley limits. This would include the designation of litter pickup zones to be cleaned up monthly, installation of accompanying signage to deter illegal dumping, organizing community pickups twice yearly to clean dump sites, and litter pickup in danger zones along the highway (i.e. glens of Muir, Kirby and Sandcut; hazardous curves) that require safety gear for volunteers. In addition to involving local residents and businesses, it's hoped that volunteers who participate in this initiative will be supported by multiple agencies including the SCA as lead sponsor, Capital Regional District (CRD), highway contractor (i.e. Mainroad), and B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s Adopt a Highway Program. If you would like to find out more about this initiative, please contact president@opsrra.ca.

Internet Speed Update in Jordan River (JR)

Hard to fathom that high speed internet will be accessible in our region in under 5 years. In a wide sweeping infrastructure project, over 3,400 km of subsea fibre-optic cable will be stretched from Prince Rupert to Vancouver and then around Vancouver Island. The cable, once laid, will connect nearly 200,000 BC residents to reliable high-speed internet and cell phone services that will allow local residents to work, learn and play online with ease from their homes.

The project has received $45.4 million in funding from both the federal and provincial governments and will be managed by the Strathcona Regional District and CityWest. The first step in the project is community consultation and OPSRRA has reached out to the Connected Coast (link for Connected Coast: https://connectedcoast.ca ) project to help ensure our region’s needs are looked after.

Pacheedaht First Nation Celebration in Jordan River (JR)


OPSRRA’s president participated in the Pacheedaht celebration on Thursday June 21 (National Aboriginal Day and summer solstice) along with a few other members. It was a well attended event and the First Nation, along with their brothers, the Ditidaht, expressed their deep pride and joy in having diitiida (their ancestral point of origin) being returned to them. In addition to an hour and half of warm, heartfelt speeches from Chief Jeff Jones, Chief Robert Joseph (of the Ditidaht), elders and councillors, as well as officials from BC. Hydro, CRD and site archeologist, we were treated to songs from elder and drummer Jimmy Chester and his warm humour, along with a group of dancers from the community. This was followed by a delicious lunch of halibut and salmon steamed for three hours in a traditional fire pit along with BBQ'ed dogs and burgers, concluding with a tour of the site. We look forward to building strong relationships with our First Nation communities.





As always, we’re striving to improve the quality of life our members enjoy in our communities, but we can’t do it without your help and involvement. If you wish to volunteer your time and assistance in any way, again, please don’t hesitate to contact us at president@opsrra.ca.


In the meantime, have an enjoyable and safe summer everyone!

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Annual President’s Report for 2018 AGM

  • New board—including new president and vice-president, six directors appointed at the April 23,2017 AGM.
  • Annual Board Retreat—held June 4, 2017, to do some development work and planning for the coming year including Hwy 14 safety, JR community signage, water sustainability, new newsletter (blog) format.
  • Membership Drive—including new brochure design and booth at Shirley Day on August 18, 2017, with 20 new members added to our ranks since the 2017 AGM, with many thanks to all who volunteered.
  • Proposed Cell Towers—request to CRD regional director, that OPSRRA be consulted on these proposed locations to more effectively support community members and collaborate with agencies to find optimal solutions for all, and an opportunity to air member concerns.
  • Hwy 14 Safety/Access Letter—sent to MLA, John Horgan on September 21, 2017, expressing concerns including the lack of safe pullouts and signage, unsafe shoulders for pedestrians and cyclists, the need for more traffic and speed enforcement, and the increased number of accidents.
  • Jordan River (JR) Rezoning—concerns and inputs to the Shirley/Jordan River Advisory Planning Commission (APC), on August 2, 2017, around a proposed rezoning bylaw (Bylaw # 4188) for the hamlet to a new Restricted Development—Flood Hazard Area (RD-1) zone. OPSRRA director attended an Information Session held on September 22, 2017, a public hearing on Jan. 24, 2018, and plans to attend a LUC meeting on April 17, 2018.
  • November 5, 2017, Panel Discussion on Hwy 14 Safety and Access—including representatives from the RCMP, Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement, Timberwest, Forest Safety Council, first responders, and CRD, as well as a representative attending from the office of our MLA and Premier John Horgan—joined over 50 members in attendance to discuss safety, speed and noise on West Coast (segment of Highway 14) and Otter Point Roads.
  • Meeting with Ministry of Transport—including CRD and representatives from the Ministry on November 29, 2017, to discuss immediate safety issues along West Coast Road, as well as ongoing discussions on upgrades to Otter Point Road being engaged in by CRD and the Premier’s Office.
  • Letters to Editor on Hwy 14 Issues—submitted to newspapers in the region on December 5, 2017, emphasizing safety issues, OPSRRA’s efforts, and lauding B.C. Premier’s announcement on the province expanding its study and review of Highway 14 (Sooke and West Coast Roads) past Sooke and extending to Port Renfrew.
  • Board Member Change—temporary board appointment to replace director resignation in December 2017.
  • Logging in Muir Creek—communication in December 2017, with members and CRD Director regarding TimberWest resuming active logging in the sensitive old-growth watershed ecosystem, and support for T’Sou-ke Nation’s and community groups’ desire to protect the valley with regional and provincial governments and negotiate purchase/return to Nation stewardship.
  • Call for New Directors—in March newsletter and OPSRRA emails to fill vacancies and support Board activities.
  • Freedom Mobile Cell Tower—New Invitation for Public Input— a new proposal to CRD received for a 50 m cell tower at 2620 Kemp Lake Road on Rural Zone A property. CRD notice to be sent to neighbouring property owners and occupants within 500 m of the proposed property for public comment, and proposal to be brought forward to May 15, 2018, Land Use Committee meeting for recommendation to CRD Board.
  • Shirley and Jordan River Official Community Plan (OCP)—soon to be finalized and OPSRRA trusts it will retain community content and intent that was determined through an intensive and public process, recognizing minor changes as things have evolved since its drafting in 2016, with opportunities to provide potential modifications at Public Hearing.
  • 2018 AGM—April 15, 2018, with guest speakers from MOTI, RCMP, and the local community to discuss the Hwy 14 review, community policing, and Otter Point history, respectively, as well as a member’s forum and appointment of (new) OPSRRA directors.