Friday, December 21, 2012

Welcome to the Wild Juan de Fuca blog

My name is Tom. Thanks for stopping by. If you're new to the area, please check out my introduction post on the Juan de Fuca Trail.  After that, check out my overview of the current threat to this treasured wilderness area (which is also my home and my livelihood): Current threat to the coast

Newer posts appear first below.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Public hearing for Marine Trail Resort - Tuesday Sept. 6

Politicians move at the speed of molasses, except when they're doing something unpopular (like planning to build new resort subdivisions in forest lands). Then, they want to rush it through as quick as possible.  The one and only official public hearing on the proposed resort plan is set for the first day after labour day. Are they hoping the "UVic rent-a-crowd" is too busy with a new term to show up?

Not much to say really. We've written letters, spoke out at meetings, sent emails, signed petitions, told our friends to do the same... now, we all have to pack this public hearing and let THEM know loud and clear that this resort plan is NOT OK.

When: Tuesday, September 6; rally starts at 3:30 pm
Where: Edward Milne School in Sooke (6218 Sooke Rd.)

We will only have this one final chance to speak out, before the political process closes its doors on us.  Now is the time to put this supposed democracy to the test.  And since local politicians have started fighting dirty (see older posts below for news on this) I feel it's our duty to respond in kind. No more nice and friendly - I am to misbehave, and look forward to others joining me.

Bring signs and banners! Bring drums and noisemakers! Let our voices ring out through Sooke, while we overfill the room and flood out into the streets.  This meeting is not over until the last person has spoken, so bring some coffee and a speech (or a song), and let's make this count.  Sooke isn't that far - buses make it out there from Victoria, and stop right in front of the school. And if that's not easy enough, the Sierra Club is organizing a bus!

What are you waiting for? Get on the bus! Check out the sierra club's website for more info.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Regional Director Mike Hicks throws a hissy fit, taunts opponents

There's no good news about the proposed resort on Juan de Fuca today -just Mike Hicks randomly insulting people in the Sooke News.

Notable quote:
“The Dogwood Initiative army are at home eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches until school starts in the fall,” said Hicks. “The e-mails have stopped since school has been out. I imagine they are trying to delay this until the election in November (and a new land use committee), then the Dogwood can come out and chase me around.”

Mike Hicks: Vancouver Island's
most childish politician
This is from an elected official! I expect myself to stoop to petty insults, but not the people we elected to represent us.  Doesn't Mr. Hicks know enough to not poke his enemies with sharp sticks? He's just asking for a wake-up call. Over 700 letters on the issue apparently aren't enough to let Mr. Hicks know we're serious. We should call him!
Mike Hicks' cell phone number is 250-216-5802 (feel free to sling insults - he started it!) and his e-mail address is

Geoff Young and Graham Hill, chair and vice-chair of the Capital Regional District, met with Ida Chong, the community development minister. They were asking again that the province allow the whole board to vote on zoning decisions like in the rural resource lands between Sooke and Port Renfrew.

Ida said no, refusing again to right the wrong that was done to the park and to regional planning decisions when the province released that land for development three years ago. (More notes from Geoff Young's interview below).

The next meeting of the CRD baord is THIS WEDNESDAY JUNE 29. We will know Friday if the resort vote is on the agenda or if it needs more staff review. 

Mike Hicks is starting to crack under the pressure. It seems he's forgotten how to be professional, and has resorted to slinging insults and lies. Let's keep the pressure up and laugh as he gets even more incoherent. Who needs mommy to make their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches? Not us Mike!
Here's one more idiotic quote from Mr. Hicks:
Exposing the Juan de Fuca Trail to development may, in an ironic way, preserve the uniqueness and beauty of the trail. That’s the opinion of Juan de Fuca Electoral Area regional director Mike Hicks. He says denying the re-zoning would leave the trail and park exposed to the present zoning and inevitable development.
He states, “present zoning woud allow a clear cut fom the highway to the park boundary and opportunity for gravel extraction. It would also allow for each of the seven separate lots to have a dwelling built within 15 metres of the park boundary, outbuildings seven metres from the park boundary, and a collection of sawmills, boats, trailers, trucks, dogs and everything  great and part of rural living.”
This is his argument for approving a massive development of over 260 private homes - protect the area from development by developing it! Stop others from destroying the natural beauty by destroying the natural beauty! Because current zoning allows 7 homes and/or logging on the property, we should instead protect the land by allowing MORE development and MORE logging? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Calm before the storm?

The CRD is working hard - some directors are trying to find ways to stop this madness, while voting block "A" is trying their best to forge ahead - and the rest of us seem to be in a waiting game.  The Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee (the urban planners working closely with the developer to see this project gets its proper consideration) have published nothing new since their April 19 staff report ( where they dropped the following amazing bit of news:

There have been approximately 700 emails, letters or cards and a petition with 102 signatures submitted regarding this proposal.  The vast majority are opposed to the proposal largely based up on the perceived degradation of the JdF Provincial Park and the negative impact on the wilderness experience of the Marine Trail users.  A large segment of the respondents are opposed to the development that would potentially take land out of renewable resource use.  Based upon the large public opposition to the proposal, there is merit in not approving the rezoning of these lands.

Inexplicably, the recommendations included at the end of the staff report are to go ahead with the rezoning that the developer needs, ultimately leading to approving the project.  There's no real business case for approving the project - it's apparently just assumed that they really, really want to.

And so we wait. What will the CRD board decide? What will the JdF Land Use Committee recommend? Will Mr. Ilkay come to his senses and realize that this development is too big, too remote, and not welcome here?

One thing for sure: the game is not over when the CRD makes its decision. If they deny the project, Mr. Ilkay will likely sue someone. Or everyone.  And if they approve the project, local activists will be in an uproar. There will be public demonstrations, rallies, possibly some rowdy shenanigans, and if history is any guide there will be blockades and other direct action.  Possibly a lawsuit from some well-organized activists too, so the CRD should be prepared to go to court regardless of its decision.

This is far from over.... make your plans, bide your time, and see you all soon! Until then, enjoy a picture of Ender Ilkay destroying the Juan de Fuca Trail with his laser eyes! Curious to find out more about Ender Ilkay?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Boycott Marine Trails Resort: a creative outlet

My spoof ads for Ender Ilkay's Marine Trails Resort are already coming in, so I've decided to create a new blog devoted to more satire and artistic commentary. See what I think of Ender Ilkay and his Marine Trails Resort over at my sister site: Marine Trails Resort Review

If you find these funny, or have ideas for captions and art projects of your own, tell me in the comments! Or, use the contact form on this blog.  I will respond to all e-mail and comments, though it may take a while. There isn't internet access out in the woods yet, and I quite like it that way!

Please, send in your captioned photos or caption ideas! You can use the caption generator at roflbot!1! to caption any of Mr. Ilkay's pictures to add your thoughts (use google image search to find a good picture to caption)

CRD delays Marine Trails hearings for another month

Exciting news of today's CRD meeting has made it to me.  The CRD's "Land Use Committee A" (the 5-member committee that is somehow empowered to make decisions of enormous impact with seemingly little oversight) has recommended that the bylaw amendment hearing be delayed until the next CRD meeting in June.  This is likely because their planners are moving so fast to bend so many rules, they haven't had time to actually finalize any of their bylaws and agreements.  Its a strange game of politics they're playing, where they're using a phased development agreement to secure concessions from the developer.  This proposal is also the first strata-type development proposed in the region, so their policies and bylaws that would normally cover such things are literally nonexistant. Making up rules as they go along?

This would not normally be exciting, except for the OTHER developments from the meeting.  Councillors Phillippe Lucas and Vic Derman pushed hard to propose a new CRD policy for dealing with developments and proposals that are contrary to the CRD's Regional Growth Strategy.  Apparently, it was assumed that once all the various municipalities had agreed to the RGS, they would automatically start following it.  Hah. So there is apparently no process for the board to decide whether a community is violating the RGS, and if so, what to do about it.

This has been given a temporary fix: the CRD is now prepared to gain legal counsel and challenge proposals through the courts.  it would be better if they could just decide using their own mechanisms, or using an arbitrator, rather than going through an expensive legal process, but at least it's something.

This has laid the groundwork for the next logical step: a motion that Ender Ilkay's Marine Trail Resort proposal is in violation of the CRD's Regional Growth Strategy, and that it should be denied outright! The CRD Chair (Geoff Young) would not allow a motion to be brought forward under their newly-created procedure until the next meeting, but it seems likely that one will appear.

Now is the time to step up the pressure even more.  The CRD has heard us - hundreds of letters and emails have flowed in, and the CRD cannot ignore the massive public opposition to this proposal.  An easy way to help is to use the mailer created by the Wilderness Committee to reach the entire CRD board and encourage them to put a stop to this insane proposal.  In particular, thank and encourage Vic Derman and Philippe Lucas for their leadership on the issue.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Marine Trail Resort properties will be on sale soon!

Since it looks like the CRD is set to rubber-stamp Vancouver Island's newest sprawling subdivision, we thought we'd give a sneak-peak to the advertising that may soon be making an appearance. With an artist's creative touch, of course :)

Marine Trail Resort properties for sale

Marine Trail Resort properties for sale

Marine Trail Resort properties for sale

Marine Trail Resort properties for sale

Marine Trail Resort properties for sale

Marine Trail Resort properties for sale

Marine Trail Resort properties for sale

(Note: pictures are not of actual Marine Trails properties. They haven't been clearcut.... yet!)