ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
March 31, 2011

The meeting took place at Cordova Bay Elementary School and commenced at 7:10 PM.

1. Bill Dancer of the Victoria Natural History Society gave a presentation entitled “The Importance of the Blenkinsop Valley to Birds”.

The Blenkinsop Valley provides a wide diversity of habitat for birds which Bill described as “great habitat”. This includes woodlands, fields, ponds, a lake, swamps, shrubs and barnyards. Over the years 135 species of birds have been identified in the valley.

Bill enthusiastically described some of the birds and their habits which he identified on a recent walk along the Lochside Trail. He described local birds which have plumage similar to tropical species, mating behaviours, nest building and nest protection.

Bill encouraged the preservation of present habitat within the Blenkinsop Valley.

Bill’s style of presentation stimulated audience participation throughout his presentation.

2. Nathalie Chambers, who is a BVCA founding member, gave a presentation on pollinators. There has been a 90% loss of honey bee populations on Vancouver Island from Colony Collapse Disorder. Honey bees are an imported species but there are 400 native bee species in BC.

Native bees are as good as honey bees in pollinating but they do not produce honey. They also do not sting.

The role of pesticides in the honey bee decline was discussed. Nathalie mentioned a web site named XERCES which lists organic insecticides which are not lethal to bees.

Methods to help bee populations include setting aside areas for ground nesting, encourage flowering nectar by methods such as planting flowering cover crops and stagger planting.

Nathalie mentioned that 35% of food production and 70% of seed production is dependent upon pollination.

Nathalie’s passion for her subject was evident. This helped to bring out several questions from and participation by the audience.

3. A directors’ report was given. The BVCA volunteers were thanked. A summary of the various topics covered by the BVCA this past year were presented including meetings with the Saanich Planning department about recognizing the special nature of Blenkinsop Road, meetings with Saanich Police about police services, the fire department about rural wildfires, several groups about predation control and the use of propane cannons, Ed Polinsky about his volunteer work in Africa, and Saanich Parks about their plans for a new park entrance and Mt Doug Park addition just North of Lobrunner Rd.

4. Earl Hannan gave a treasurer’s report. A motion was passed to accept the 2010 Financial Statement as circulated. A motion was also passed to accept the proposed 2011 budget as circulated.

5. An election of the directors was undertaken. Thanks was extended to Nathalie Chambers and Annette Barclay for the service they have provided to the BVCA members over several years. They are not seeking re-election this year.

All of the following positions were filled by acclamation:
President: Barry Loucks
Vice President: John Lawler
Treasurer: Earl Hannan
Secretary: Dawn Loucks
Members at large:  David Chambers, Duncan Chiu, John Emes, Alex Hoole, and Dale Leeuw
New Business
6. Ray Galey outlined the need for on-farm accommodation for workers. He is proposing an on-site attractive single bungalow which would be on skids and considered temporary in order to house up to 6 workers. Waste water would be stored and removed by truck. The bungalow would not be visible from the road. He has spoken with neighbours who do not object. Permission from Saanich would be required. By comments and by a show of hands, there was general support for this proposal. This will be taken to the next directors’ meeting.
7. Nabhraj Spogliarich spoke about his concern over the proposed installation of “smart meters” by BC Hydro. These are wireless devices which communicate with a central neighbourhood transmitter and in-house appliances by using microwave energy. These are to be installed on all homes without the need for homeowner permission at a cost of one billion dollars. Nabhraj is concerned about the potential for health risks to people (particularly children) and animals. He provided a handout so people could obtain more information.
The meeting adjourned at 9PM.