Human beings are perhaps one of the most destructive creatures ever to inhabit our planet; we have created horrible, lasting impacts for centuries. However human beings also have the wonderful ability to adapt, evolve and prosper with each challenge. We have dealt with climate change for thousands of years, survived floods and drought, world wars, the atomic age and BC Ferries. With each impossible situation we learn and move forward.
In recent months our island has seen several events that have both divided us and brought us closer together. It is important that we put each event into perspective and work together to find solutions. As in any small commu- nity, there are rumours, half-truths and sometimes outright disinformation that emanates resulting in conflict and negative feelings that do nothing to enhance our island home. Many of us tend to be reactionary, jumping into the debate in an effort to protect us from what we consider to be the ‘enemy’.
Communication can solve many problems; we strongly encourage each individual islander to attend public meet- ings, talk with your neighbors and get both sides of any issue prior to passing judgment. In the coming months we anticipate some critical items to be on the collective islands agenda. It is of utmost im- portance that each of us embraces the process and support what we believe to be in the best interest of the is- land as a whole. At times this means setting aside a personal concern in order to advance the greater good, At times this means challenging what your peers endorse. At times it means simply getting involved and working with others to build a ‘better mousetrap’.
The primary message is each of us should work at taking the high road and take any negative energy and turn it into positive energy. Please put forward your concern, opinion or suggestion in a positive manner. This is too good and too small of a community to survive endless bouts of finger pointing, threats and raised voices.
We anticipate BC Ferries will be holding a community forum on island shortly to address some upcoming changes to service to and from the island. The main proposal is to restrict traffic off Mayne on the 11:05am sailing to Swartz Bay to 24 passenger vehicles and not allowing some types of commercial vehicles on this trip. There is also an ill-conceived initiative from B C Ferries to eliminate the printed schedule in 2011, we are hoping this will be reviewed and seen as being not in the best interest of users. There are also some minor adjustments being made to the morning and afternoon sailings of the Cumberland as the vessel is struggling to keep the current schedule.
A grassroots initiative from Hornby Island has gained much momentum in recent weeks. Over 1000 people have signed an online petition (Complete with eye-opening comments) requesting the Provincial Government review the Islands Trust Act. The strong sentiment amongst many is each major island becomes an ‘Island Municipality’, following the lead of Bowen Island 11 years ago. Currently each island is subjected to governance by the Islands Trust, local Improvement Districts, Regional Districts, Provincial and Federal Governments with many gaps be- tween jurisdictions leaving residents no place to turn for guidance or support. Naturally each level of Government has their hands out for tax dollars that leave our island economies never to return. The coming months could see a review underway and potential (positive) critical changes to our governance structure and enabling local deci- sions to be made on a local level.
You can find the online petition at: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/review_islands_trust_act/ Or simply type in ‘Islands Trust Petition’ into your internet search engine and look for ‘Review the 35 year old Is- lands Trust Act’.
Submitted by the MIRRA executive on behalf of its members. firstname.lastname@example.org