Posted in UBID

Policy on Union Bay “Executive Meetings” coming later in 2018

So the Chair claims the use of profanity is the reason the board can’t get “any kind of business done”?  He’s referring to me saying jesus christ when the chair’s wife during question period at the Mar. 22 meeting decided she could question me and that other landowners could question me.  How is that preventing them from getting business done?

They just don’t want the public to witness the decisions made.  How’s that for transparency?  Another example of ignoring bylaws and policies with the excuse they will be changed.  Well, they’re not changed yet and are still in effect – they can’t be ignored.  How about past trustee David Godfrey calling me a bitch at the same meeting?

He also re-stated that the board found it hard to get “any kind of business done”, making a reference to the use of profanity during meetings from landowners.

Here’s the clip including the ignorant way Godfrey spoke to Trustee Kaljur but the chair has no problem with that or with the fact his wife interrupts whenever the mood strikes her.


UNION BAY, B.C- An official policy on public closed-door meetings in Union Bay will be coming later on this year.

That’s according to the chairperson of the Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) board of trustee’s, Peter Jacques.

Earlier in April, Jacques spoke with 98.9 The Goat on the trustee board’s practice of “executive meetings”, which had come to public attention after residents of the area were physically blocked from attending a gathering of the trustees at the UBID office.

“Our Bylaws and closed meeting policy makes reference to separate meetings and special Board meetings but not always include “In Camera” sessions,” said Jacques, in a previous written statement.

“It is the Boards intention to clarify and add to the intention of this policy by rarifying our Bylaw to reflect the term “Executive Meeting”. It is also the Boards intention to not impose “In Camera” sessions in these meetings except only when necessary.”

Jacques said the board was considering the decision due to difficulties in getting business done while the public is present at their meetings, and indicated that the UBID is now considering regularly holding “executive meetings” of the board, where the public will not be invited.

The rough plan for the meetings was for them to be held the first Monday of every month, closed to the public. However, they would have public agendas and minutes would be taken. Those minutes will then be shared with the public at the next meeting of the board.

British Columbia’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs has said that “executive meetings” are not a legislated term, though there were certain circumstances in which the public would not be invited to a meeting.

Speaking last Thursday, Jacques said that policy on the meetings would be addressed in the next few months, and stated that he believed it would be approved. It would take a majority of the board to send it over to Municipal Affairs for final approval.

At the time, he said the pending election for now-former trustee Jim Elliot’s spot would need to be finished before a policy was considered. That election is now done, with Elliot losing to Ted Haraldson, with 242 votes to Haraldson’s 274.

A swearing-in date for Haraldson has not yet been determined. Gordon Mason, the administrator for Union Bay, indicated it would take place before the board’s next regular meeting.

As for the concern of the public being shut out from regular meetings, Jacques indicated that wouldn’t take place.

“It’ll never come to that,” said Jacques.

He also re-stated that the board found it hard to get “any kind of business done”, making a reference to the use of profanity during meetings from landowners.

“I’ll leave it at that. There is no big conspiracy here to hide anything from the public.”

The next meeting of the board will be on May 24, 2018.

Posted in coal hill, Kensington Coastal Pointe, Kensington Island Properties, Kensington Island Properties aka KIP Costanza, 34083 Yukon Inc., The Union Bay Community

Draft plan for Union Bay coal hills remediation to be submitted this spring

Another accurate article from the Comox Valley Record reporter Scott Strasser.
Photo courtesy JET Productions.

Draft plan for Union Bay coal hills remediation to be submitted this spring

West Fraser Mills is paying for the installation of an engineered membrane

  • Apr. 25, 2018 3:00 p.m.
  • NEWS

A draft plan for the remediation of the contaminated Union Bay coal hills should be submitted to the province this June, and the information could be public by the fall, according to a representative from West Fraser Mills.

Although most of the information contained in the agreement between West Fraser and the provincial government over the coal hills’ clean-up is still confidential, representatives from the two bodies presented an update on the issue at the Comox Valley Regional District’s April 24 board meeting.

Read More: West Fraser Timber to supply engineered cover for Union Bay coal hills

Duncan Williams, the executive director of crown land opportunities for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, (FLNRORD) said his department will review West Fraser’s draft plan when it is submitted later this spring. If happy with it, he said they will send the plan to the Ministry of Environment — the regulator — for further scrutiny.

“It’s not until [Ministry of Environment] signs off on it and improves on it that we’ll know what the final design is,” he said.

West Fraser leases a portion of the Union Bay coal hills from the Crown. Pending the regulator’s approval, the forestry company plans to supply an engineered membrane that will cover the entire contaminated site. The membrane will include a layer of soil on top of it, about a metre or two deep.

The engineered cover is hoped to impede water access to the coal pile, reducing acid rock drainage and the release of metals to the environment.

Now that the provincial government owns the land, it will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the coal hills following its remediation.

“Over time, our experience with remediated sites is that they self-remediate,” said Williams. “That’s part of the monitoring [we’ll do] to make sure it’s in effect. We’re going to monitor the foreshore as well to make sure it’s working. If it’s not working, we’ll [install] a water treatment plant.”

“Our long-term goal is to keep it vacant crown land,” added Williams. “Make sure there are no trees on it, and minimal use from the public on it. We don’t want motorbikes riding over the top of it.”

Design phase

According to West Fraser environmental affairs manager Cindy MacDonald, the forestry company is currently in the design phase. She said capping the contaminated area is the standard practice for remediating contaminated sites such as the one in Union Bay.

“You couldn’t move that pile because you’d open it up and potentially have a significant environmental problem once you open it up to the water and the air,” she said.

MacDonald and Williams said the likely plan is to apply a membrane similar to the one used at Yanks Peak in the Kootenays — an engineered cap with a lifespan between 50 and 100 years.

MacDonald said the forestry company is paying for the design and installation of the cover and said remediation could take two or three years to be completed.

“Depending on when we get approval to go ahead with the remediation plan, it will probably be the following year,” she said.

After the membrane is installed, West Fraser will surrender its portion of the coal hills to the province.

Remediation years in the making:

The B.C. government has recognized the Union Bay coal hills as a “priority contaminated site” since 2012. Negotiations over the need for its remediation have gone on for over a decade.

Read More: Union Bay coal hills on priority contaminated site list

Much of the coal hills was previously owned by development company Kensington Union Bay Properties. The developer sold the land to the province last year for $1, to the surprise of some Union Bay landowners.

Read More: Kensington Island Properties sells 28 acres of contaminated Union Bay land to the province

The Union Bay coal hills were originally used by Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir) Ltd. as a washing and load-out facility for coal coming from the Cumberland mines. The hills’ contamination is due to residue from the industrial operations undertaken there.

Posted in UBID

Some facts for new Union Bay Improvement District Trustee who has been spreading false information

This excerpt is the CAO of the Comox Valley Regional District presenting the Annual Report Apr. 24, 2018, and specifically mentioning the funds for each area are kept in that area which should put the matter to rest and stop the misinformation that this new trustee keeps spewing as a reason to oppose becoming a service area of the CVRD.

This is a real CAO presenting the Annual Report.  Big difference from the Union Bay Annual General meeting.  When we had a professional Admin, we received professional reports/responses/questions answered.  Ah, the good old days.


Posted in coal hill

Union Bay Coal Hills Remediation Update to the CVRD

Attended the CVRD meeting Apr. 24, 2018, with an update by Duncan Williams, Executive Director, Crown Land Opportunities and Restoration Branch.

Thanks to Mr. Williams and the West Fraser rep for answering questions after the presentation.

For some reason, the UBID Admin was at the meeting which commenced just before 4 pm.  As usual, no pen, no paper.  Was he there on behalf of UBID?  Guess he’ll have to use my video to prepare his report.

(Lightened the video as it was too dark.)

I don’t see how this is progress.  It’s the same three parties involved.  If West Fraser is paying for the remediation, why is there an agreement not to speak about it publicly?

If this is the same ‘prescription’ arrived at years ago and the only thing that was holding up the remediation was who was going to pay what portion – then why is this plan being offered under the condition that a Regulator must approve it?  Shouldn’t this have already been approved since it has gone on for years?

Apparently, toxic sites like the coal hills remediate themselves over the years (surprise) and cadmium is not a problem.  This Seacor report seems to indicate cadmium at a number of spots.

This is the email I refer to in the video where it is stated in June 2015, that The Ministry has approved the remediation plan for the site (Oct. 2012).  So what happened since Oct. 2012?  Why does it feel like we’re starting all over again?

Here’s a letter to Cindy McDonald (answers questions in video of Apr. 24) in 2014.  So what has happened since Sept. 2014 when the final remedial plan design and revised schedule for implementation was to be submitted to the Ministry?

I note KIP was again the one keeping departments waiting for a report.  Remember, timelines don’t matter when you’re dealing with government, according to KIP VP, McMahon.


Posted in UBID

Union Bay Improvement District can’t answer financial questions at the Annual General Meeting – here’s the signed financials from 2017

An Annual General Meeting April 19, 2018, with the finances presented to the landowners but the Admin is unable to answer financial questions as he wasn’t prepared and didn’t have figures with him.  Shouldn’t this have been the very meeting with the Admin prepared for these questions?

The information package at the meeting for landowners contained a one page agenda and the financial statements.  No copy of the Chair’s report as he read it from handwritten notes on paper.  No copy of the minutes from the 2017 AGM provided which were approved at the meeting.

Reports read out for Public Works and the Firehall – as far as I can tell there is still no committees – just a chair for each so no input from the community.

See #3 on page 9 of the financials to see how much is outstanding in water tolls and parcel taxes.  This was discussed over a year ago with the Admin wanting to hire a collection agency as he didn’t want to deal with this issue.  The Admin was advised the previous Admin had a policy in place to recover those outstanding accounts.  A year later and now the outstanding tolls have increased almost $20,000. from $54,171 in 2016 to $74,363 in 2017.  When asked, the Admin claims he hasn’t had time!  Why am I paying my bills on time if paying is optional?

This Admin is not qualified for the position he presently holds.

Posted in UBID

What is preventing the Union Bay Improvement District board from functioning or improving? The Administrator with zero government experience.

Election is over for another year.  Time to get back to the problems with the Union Bay Improvement District.

Improvement Districts are set up with staggered elections so there will always been experienced Trustees on the board at any given time.  The new trustees benefit from the knowledge of those trustees.  That didn’t happen here and no matter how good the intentions are of these trustees – they are not going to learn anything until there is qualified advice provided to them.

The Administrator is the one constant and is depended on for information regarding government guidelines and procedures so that there is consistency and accuracy in all the decisions made by this governing body on behalf of the landowners.  An experienced  Administrator is essential for the Improvement District to function efficiently.

The Administrator’s job is to ensure the Improvement District is run according to the guidelines/rules/regulations/bylaws set out by the Provincial Government.  How can anyone (no matter how great they were at another job) run an Improvement District as an open and accountable government body when they have no idea what that involves?

The Chair now defines questions directed at the Admin as harassment.  There is no where to go but down with this attitude.

Why don’t they attempt to follow the suggestions from Tara Faganello?  Notice they haven’t posted her letter on the UBID website.  It is a great letter – all landowners should read it to know what to expect from those we elect.

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