Area B Director Noba Anderson asked for the First Nations Relations Committee members to be reviewed. File photo/Campbell River Mirror

Strathcona Regional District picks committees for 2019

Some questions around First Nations committee membership

The Strathcona Regional District board confirmed its committee representatives for the coming year.

At their last meeting in December, the board members confirmed the appointments to committees and external organizations brought forward by chair Michele Babchuk.

“These were not taken lightly, there was a lot of thought process put in,” she told the board.

Most of the committee appointments were approved without discussion, but there were a few items discussed separately.

Area B Director Noba Anderson brought up the First Nations Relations Committee, saying she was not “attached to being on the committee,” although she had suggested its creation and served as first chair.

“I really do care that the committee does good work,” she said.

She asked for the matter to be referred back to the chair in order to reconsider the membership, saying a couple of proposed members, Area C Director Jim Abram and Ron Kerr, one of the Campbell River directors, had voted against the creation of the committee.

“I just have some concern around committee members there who in principle don’t support the committee,” she said.

Area A Director Gerald Whalley spoke in favour of all those named, which included Abram, Kerr, Julie Colborne from Zeballos, Charlie Cornfield from Campbell River and John MacDonald from Sayward, along with associate member Kevin Jules, who sits as the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/ Che:k’tles7et’h (Kyuquot/Checlesaht) First Nations representative to the SRD board.

Anderson’s motion to refer failed to gain support, with only Martin Davis of Tahsis and Claire Moglove of Campbell River as the other votes for referral. The board subsequently approved the proposed appointments.

There was also some question around various treaty advisory committees with regional First Nations – specifically the Tlowitsis, Homalco, We Wai Kai and We Wai Kum. Area D Director Brenda Leigh asked whether there had been any meetings of these treaty committees.

“My impression is that the First Nations don’t want outside influences on their treaty,” she said.

Leigh said there had been no discussion in the times she had served on these committees, with nothing to report back to the SRD board.

In response, Abram said the SRD is part of the provincial discussion around treaties as “respected advisors” and would be invited to meetings.

Babchuk also said she and Kerr had been invited to take part in phone conferences for the treaty process, though not with the committee itself but with a government representative.

“They do happen occasionally,” she said.

The motion to accept the committee members passed. MacDonald will serve as the Tlowitsis Treaty Advisory Committee representative with Leigh as the alternate representative; Kerr will be Homalco representative, with Colborne as alternate; Abram will be We Wai Kai representative, with Cornfield as alternate; and Cornfield will be We Wai Kum representative, with Claire Moglove of Campbell River as alternate.


For other committees, the SRD board accepted the following appointments:

Electoral Areas Services Committee – Abram, Anderson, Leigh and Whalley

Municipal Services Committee – Andy Adams, Babchuk, Colborne, Cornfield, Davis, Kerr, Moglove, MacDonald and Brad Unger

School District 72 Liaison Committee – Adams, Babchuk, Leigh and MacDonald

Governance Select Committee – Chair and vice-chair of SRD board with the chair of the Electoral Areas Services Committee

Strathcona Gardens Commission – Adams, Colleen Evans and Babchuk, with Kerr as alternate for Adams and Evans

Municipal Finance Authority – Adams, with Davis as alternate

Municipal Insurance Association – Cornfield, with Colborne as alternate

BC Ferries Coastal Regional District Chair Group – Abram, with MacDonald as alternate

Marine areas Planning Partnership (MaPP) Committee, the Integrated Ocean Advisory Committee, Marine Protected Areas Committee and Oceans Protection Plan Committee – Abram

North Island 9-1-1 Corporation – Moglove, with Adams as alternate

Strathcona Connected Coast Network Corporation – Whalley

Community Health Network Reference Group – Anderson, Davis and Kerr

AVICC Regional Solid Waste Committee – Unger, with Cornfield as alternate