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This profile was last updated on 8/21/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Strathcona Regional District Dire...

Campbell River
 
Background

Employment History

Board Memberships and Affiliations

197 Total References
Web References
Strathcona Regional District Director, ...
www.gocampbellriver.com, 21 Aug 2014 [cached]
Strathcona Regional District Director, Jim Abram Address: Box 278, Quathiaski Cove BC, Canada, V0P 1N0 Phone: 250 - 285 - 3355 Fax: 250 - 285 - 3533
Protests against B
www.crnv.com, 12 Nov 2006 [cached]
"There's absolutely no accountability by this corporation to the public and the government is trying to wash its hands of the whole thing by semi-privatizing what used to be a Crown corporation," says Jim Abram, one of the main organizers of the protest at the legislature March 2 and part of an earlier one Feb. 24 on the ferry that runs between Campbell River and Quadra Island.
Abram, a longtime political activist and NDP member, also is Chair of the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona, the director of RDCS Area J (Quadra Island) and a key member of the local Ferry Advisory Committee, but he was unable to get a meeting with Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon or his aide while the protesters were in Victoria.
Abram said there should have been some respect and protocol for a government-to-government relationship but Falcon in Question Period suggested that Abram is motivated mainly by partisan politics.Abram said there should have been some respect and protocol for a government-to-government relationship but Falcon in Question Period suggested that Abram is motivated mainly by partisan politics.
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It wasn't always clear which hats Abram was wearing (mainly Area J and the Ferry committee, he says), but it is clear there is a long and apparently growing list of grievances that customers have with B.C. Ferry Services, not only the worsening clashes of monetary interests but also differences in service philosophies.
Those clashes have become particularly acute for users of the ferry to Quadra Island, which recently saw the removal of a shelter on its open-air deck that was much needed by people unable to climb steep stairs to the small ferry's only passenger area.
Abram said ferry fares have risen 38 per cent in the last three years and 17 per cent in the last five months (due partly to new surcharges to cover higher energy costs) but BCFS president David Hahn indicated in a meeting with Abram on Quadra Island on the day of the first demonstration that the shelter could be replaced in the next refit but if it is the cost would have to be covered by more fare increases.Abram said ferry fares have risen 38 per cent in the last three years and 17 per cent in the last five months (due partly to new surcharges to cover higher energy costs) but BCFS president David Hahn indicated in a meeting with Abram on Quadra Island on the day of the first demonstration that the shelter could be replaced in the next refit but if it is the cost would have to be covered by more fare increases.
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When Hahn apparently refused to cover the cost of replacing the shelter forthwith, Abram reportedly got up from their meeting (which took place in the Quadra Island Community Centre), phoned a lawyer and authorized the filing of a sort of class-action complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
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"B.C. Ferries are being asked to put the shelter back immediately, at their cost, and they're going to be asked for compensation for the people of Quadra and Cortest islands for the inconvenience and for the complete disregard for their dignity," said Abram, who also was a prominent activist for federal light-station workers in B.C. and was president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities in 2000-2001.
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But it also means that the Regional District of Comox-Strathcona will have to refund about $120,000 for the previous two years and Abram indicates that is a severe hardship on the RDCS budget, which did not have such a fund set aside.
"It basically puts us in a bind now," said Abram, explaining that RDCS directors are just now working on their new budget and will have to choose between reducing services or "redistributing" taxes and worrying that raising taxes would be very unpopular in an area that has long operated on a bare-bones basis.
He said the district also is considering appealing the assessment changes and he thinks every regional district and community on the coast should protest the changes.He also noted that when he was president of UBCM he extracted a promise from Premier Gordon Campbell that Crown corporations would be made to pay their fair share to communities.
"To add insult to injury, here's a corporation that just made $50 million last year in profit and something like $48 million the year before, and in the last five months they've increased fares throughout the system by 17 per cent, and then they turn around and tell us that they can't afford to pay their taxes," said Abram, claiming that such a public-private body should contribute to the communities they operate in.
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While it would be difficult to argue that B.C. Ferries should not be more businesslike, and we have to give grudging credit to CEO David Hahn for meeting with tough people like Abram and readily appearing on open line shows like Bill Good's, still one laments that B.C. Ferries under its new mandate has been losing its sense of public service.
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"There's absolutely no accountability by this corporation to the public and the government is trying to wash its hands of the whole thing by semi-privatizing what used to be a Crown corporation," said Abram, and we have to agree.
Subsequently a column by Mark Milke, former staffer for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation in B.C., was critical of Abram and the demonstraters for expecting subsidies to choose to live "idyllic lifestyles" but that logic fails too because many residents of the islands and coastal communities are living there not out of choice but out of necessity or happenstance, particularly for jobs in resource and tourism industries.
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I have here from my constituency Jim Abram, who is the regional director for our region, Comox-Strathcona regional district, and also the chair of Comox-Strathcona regional district; Bob Brown and Terry Hooper, both from the ferry advisory committee; Barb Van Orden and others from the constituency.
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I noted that, actually, that protest was organized by a very good friend of the members opposite, Jim Abram, who I know is a prominent NDP supporter.
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I find it interesting that Mr. Abram, a very strong NDP supporter, of course - and there's nothing wrong with that, Mr. Speaker ...
Supporters | BC Poverty Reduction
bcpovertyreduction.ca, 20 July 2014 [cached]
Jim Abram, Director, Area C, Strathcona Regional District and Former President of the Union of BC Municipalities
Abram receives long-service ...
www.campbellrivermirror.com, 27 Sept 2013 [cached]
Abram receives long-service award By Contributed - Campbell River Mirror
Published: September 26, 2013 2:00 PM Updated: September 26, 2013 2:32 PM JimAbramByPennyApplePhotography.jpg Jim Abram, chair of the Strathcona Regional District and director for Area C, was given a long-service award by the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
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Jim Abram, Regional Director for the Strathcona Regional District, has been honoured with the Union of B.C. Municipalities' (UBCM) Long-Service Recipient Award in recognition of his 25 years of service in local government office.
The award was presented during a ceremony at the organization's annual conference in Vancouver on September 19.
Abram has served continuously in his elected position since 1988, representing an extremely large Electoral Area in the Discovery Islands - Mainland Inlets, including the main population centre of Quadra Island.
He initiated one of the first shoreline zoning bylaws in B.C. for his entire electoral area so as to bring more local control to land use decisions that were then being made exclusively by the province. His belief in local control and community involvement have always been at the forefront of his actions.
He has become well-known over the years as the leader of the opposition to federal programs to de-staff Canada's staffed lightstations. He has faced four attempts by the Canadian Coast Guard bureaucracy to de-staff and has been successful each time, with the latest victory in 2011. His collaborative work with the Senate, MPs and Ministers paid off and has saved 51 staffed lightstations on both coasts of Canada.
For this, along with other community work, he was recognized as a recipient of the Canada 125 medal and the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal for making a significant contribution to Canada, to his community and to fellow Canadians.
Abram has served on many key committees at the local, regional, provincial and national levels. He has represented the Regional District on most of the planning processes that have taken place in the province over the past 25 years. He continues to represent his constituents and his region on three major marine planning processes at this time.
For 25 years, Abram has been a major voice for coastal communities regarding the BC Ferry system and the fight to keep fares affordable and service consistent. He is currently a representative on a group consisting of all of the chairs of the coastal regional districts and the Islands Trust, representing more than 70 per cent of the population of B.C.
He is the current Vice Chair of the Strathcona Regional District and served as Chair of the Comox- Strathcona Regional District for four years.
He was the electoral representative on the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities for two years, served on the UBCM executive for 10 years and was the UBCM President for one year in 2000/2001.
During his time on UBCM Executive he worked on the Environment Committee, the Aboriginal Affairs Committee and was a key player in establishing the very successful Community to Community Forums both provincially and regionally along with the First Nations Summit working group. He was a member of the Community Charter Council which wrote the current Community Charter for municipalities.
Jim Abram, the long-time ...
www.campbellrivermirror.com, 13 Mar 2014 [cached]
Jim Abram, the long-time regional district director for Quadra Island, was also at the protest and wasn't as diplomatic.
"They know they're screwing up the provincial economy! he told the Mirror. "They didn't do an economic impact study, no business assessment, nothing!"
Abram said ridership is declining and will likely continue if BC Ferries continues to cut sailings while boosting rates. He called the latest cost-saving measures as band-aid solutions and predicted that next year's cost-cuts will affect the main routes out of Nanaimo and Victoria.
"What about another $20 million next year? Where will they get that? They'll take it from other routes or eliminate more routes," he said.
Abram said the cutbacks will affect businesses on the small islands that contribute a lot to the provincial economy.
When they suffer, he added, that means less money for social programs, health care and education.
"It's a continuing downward spiral," he said.
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