Northern Development Initiative Trust
There were three applications to the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) on the agenda. All three of them were passed, and will support the following: the 2020 Business Facade Improvement Program, the 2020 Grant Writing Support Program and the 2020 Economic Development Capacity Building Program.
The council has been working on getting in touch with David Mills of Solar Network for more information about the B.C. Community Solar Network. An update was expected at the Oct. 7 meeting, but there was no communication from Mills. Chief administrative officer Lori Wiedeman has since reached out to Mills again with the hopes of receiving a response before the next council meeting.
Council resolved the issue of filling vacant roles with the Haida Gwaii Animal Welfare Working Group. Councillor Lisa Pineault was named as the representative for the organization, while Wiedeman was chosen as an alternate.
Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw 123 was passed after successfully going through the first three readings. It was sent for adoption at the next council meeting.
Next on the agenda
A Committee of the Whole meeting was held on Oct. 16. Items of interest included a follow-up on correspondence between Queen Charlotte mayor Kris Olsen and Rick Hansen. Hansen sent Olsen a message outlining three of the main programs run by the Rick Hansen Foundation, and asked him to see if Queen Charlotte would be interested in enacting them. If so, Hansen said the foundation would send a representative to the village to explore further collaboration.
The village also received a message from Alanah Mountifield, economic development manager with Go Haida Gwaii, regarding the future of internet service on the islands. She mentioned the availability of $750 million in funding available from the CRTC through the Connected Communities Project that could go toward establishing an undersea fibre optic cable project. In addition, Mountifield said there is $50 million available through the NDIT that could fund “last mile” connections and infrastructure upgrades, as well as funding for telecommunications consultants. Mountifield explained that purusing these options could reduce costs while also improving internet service, and asked the communities of Haida Gwaii to explore whether they would be interested.
Alex Kurial | Journalist
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