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

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

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

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: ) 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

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.