When the Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association (CIBATA) was launched, it faced some tough challenges. Some believe Cortes is still stuck in the seventies and many residents would like to preserve that. Yet there is a need for the same business sectors you find everywhere else: retail, health, building and trades, tourism medical marijuana, aquaculture, learning / professional development and social profit. On February 24, CIBATA will be unveiling the draft of Cortes Island’s Local Economic Action Plan at the Klahoose Multipurpose Building, between 10 AM and 4 PM. In this morning’s program the association’s President, Colin Funk, talks about economic development while preserving Cortes’ core values.
Humpback whales were passing through our area long before the first people arrived. Whaletown is one of Cortes Island’s principle villages. Whaletown Road passes right through Squirrel Cove. There is a “Whaling Station Bay,” on Hornby and “Blubber Bay,” on Texada Island. Up until a few years ago, there have been no humpback whale sightings since 1871. This morning’s broadcast consists of a series of interviews about the humpbacks return to Cortes Island.
Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure closed a small segment of Whaletown Road on Cortes Island. The impact on the local community is minimal. However British Columbia’s threatened fish stocks greatly benefit from projects like replacing the culvert at Basil Creek.
As many as 100,000 people participated in the 1967 Summer of Love. There were 450 at the recent anniversary celebration on Cortes, which is a huge turn-out for our little island. I was there, asking what the 50 Summers of Love says to this generation.
The global phenomenon of algae blooms has reached British Columbia. The BC Northern Health issued an advisory for Prince George area last summer. Severe outbreaks have been reported at St. Mary and Cusheon Lakes on Saltspring Island, and Village Bay Lake on Quadra Island. The Friends of Cortes Island (FOCI) recently published a monitoring report. I recently interviewed the author, Rex Weyler, about responses to Cortes Island’s algae bloom problem.