All Candidates Meeting




Dear Members and Candidates,

As a follow up to our invitation to the All Candidates Meeting Sunday October 26 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm,
I am pleased to provide the following information:

Meeting Format:
All seven Candidates will be given 3 minutes each to introduce themselves (Order will be by draw).
The meeting will then be opened to questions from the floor.

Question Format:
We will provide question forms for the audience to ask questions for a category of Trustees, Director
or School Board.
The question sequence will be determined by a draw. Candidates have 1 minute for their answers.
The form will be handed to and the question will be asked by the individual that submitted the question.
All questions will be directed to respective candidates (for Trustee, Director or School Board) and each
candidate will be given 1 minute to respond.
Questions to be brief and precise and must deal with specific Policy, Issues or Procedure, Not Individuals.
If a question is deemed inappropriate it will be disallowed
Each candidate will be given 3 minutes for closing comments (Order will be reverse of introductions).

Agricultural Hall, 530 Fernhill Road (Miners Bay Village)
Sunday October 26th
Time: 1 – 3pm

Moderator: Jon Hoff

Candidates: There will be space inside for candidate information brochures, etc. You are welcome to greet people outside of the door prior to the meeting or have a representative hand out brochures. The meeting will end
approximately at 3:00 – please be prepared to extend your schedule if the meeting runs long or voters want to chat with you after the meeting.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or need further details.
Thank you,
Colleen Ming,
Forum Coordinator

Fallow Deer Update


As most Mayne Islanders are aware, there are two species of Deer on the island: Black Tail – the local native species and Fallow – an introduced European species that is classified as an ‘invasive species’ by the Province.


The Fallow Deer have their origins from a Deer Farm that operated on island during the 1990’s. An escape of approximately 50 animals into our ecosystem has resulted in untold damage to local plant species and their aggressive nature has affected the native Black Tail traditional territory as well as competing for limited food sources. Many landowners note the lack of juvenile Arbutus, Fir, Balsam, Gary Oak and Cedar Trees as well as wildflowers and other native vegetation that is being browsed out by the expanding deer populations.


Fallow Deer are from the Cervinae part of the Deer family, Black Tail Deer are part of the Odocoileinae branch. The two distinct subspecies do not breed together.


Last year over 200 Fallow Deer were hunted on Mayne. However the population is estimated to be over 500 Fallow Deer at this time and increasing each year.


Since 1996 the Province has issued a limited number of permits to local hunters for the end goal of culling all of the invasive Fallow Deer. At this time there are five permitted hunters on Mayne Island, all are well trained, respectful and donate their time and out of pocket expenses to provide a valued service to the community. None of the meat is wasted or sold. There is no permitted hunting of Black Tail Deer on Mayne Island.


All hunting is conducted on private land with the permission of the landowner during daylight hours only. Night hunting or ‘pit lamping’ is illegal and should be reported to the RCMP immediately.


In recognition of the seriousness of the Fallow Deer issue, a majority of private landowners have permitted access to their property  for the purpose of hunting or recovering Fallow Deer. However there is a need for further access to insure the hunters have the ability to locate and safely hunt
the Fallow Deer.  If you own an acerage that you suspect is being used by the Fallow Deer and would be willing to allow access to your land, it would be appreciated if you contacted the Deer Committee at with your address and contact information. The hunters will respect landowners restrictions on access (ie: hunting on weekdays only or only during certain months) and operate under restrictive guidelines provided by the Province to insure the hunt is conducted in a professional manner.


We do recognize there is also a serious overpopulation problem with the native Black Tail due to a lack of predators. However the hunt program is only permitted by the Provincial Government to deal with the invasive Fallow Deer.


Further information can be found on this website – click on ‘Deer on Mayne’ which has a series of articles and links to information about deer overpopulation and the effect that it has on local ecosystems.


Mayne Island Deer Committee


October 2011 Newsletter

Island Trust All Candidates Meeting Oct 29th

Sponsored by MIRRA

October 29th, 1 PM, Ag Hall


It’s hiring time at the old sausage factory again. Despite repeated warnings to the squeamish about witnessing the gory processes that sustain the body, physical and politic, candidates are lining up once more. As lovers of good government (and sausages), we must applaud their stalwart commitment to community service. Much depends on the people who are willing to accept difficult, sometimes unpleasant tasks. As connoisseurs of political hope and change, we the electors must determine which candidates will best serve Mayne Island.

Voters are notoriously picky, even down-right cynical sometimes, and manage to find fault with the limited spectrum of choices between the veteran’s experienced aplomb and the fresh idealism of a first-timer. Truly, we are the employers from hell, and those who would serve will definitely earn their pay. And to be fair, those of us who will never offer ourselves for the position of Island Trustee should remember to thank those who do.


As mentioned in last month’s column, there are new tensions in the air this election cycle. Gulf Islanders are beginning to look for more directly democratic governance than the trustee/ward model. Despite putting on the bureaucratic pounds, the Trust is really hitting its stride, and expanding into new areas. Permanent staff naturally network with peers in other jurisdictions within and without Canada, with the result that agendas tend to arrive at, rather than arise within our communities. Do you suppose that most Gulf Islanders are aware of impending policy developments such as “Smart Development” and “Green Shores”? This is starting to look like technocratic government by policy module. Is this what we want? Is it necessary? And when and where was it discussed? The Trust pays lip service to preserving and protecting rural ambience, but this looks more like urban-centered remote-management of rural assets — subtly incremented so as not to panic the livestock. As a mature community, Mayne Island does not need externally imposed mandates; we should be represented by people who understand where the community’s vision comes from, and how best to preserve it from metastasizing bureaucracy. Please. Thank you.


  • Nominations open Oct 4th and close the 14th.
  • Nov 9th advance polling day
  • Nov 19th General Voting Day
  • You do not have to live in the jurisdiction in which you are running for office. (Dalai Lama? Lady Gaga?)


MIRRA AGM Resheduled!

Due to late-breaking circumstances, the MIRRA AGM originally planned for October 8th has been rescheduled to SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22, 1 pm at the Community Centre.

Our apologies for any inconvience. We look forward to seeing you then.

If governance and local politics didn’t interest you, you wouldn’t have read this far. Might be time to admit you care deeply about how these things affect the quality of life in our community, and come out to MIRRA’s AGM. Issues of importance considered in an atmosphere of amiable civility, accompanied by refreshments. Memberships are $10, available at the door, and from MIRRA directors. Your support keeps MIRRA supporting good government.

 PS Any cartoonists out there that would like to work with MIRRA on political commentary?

 Respectfully submitted by the MIRRA Executive:

Barry Wilks, Colleen Ming, Dave Lindquist, Bill Borges, Wayne Ming

September 2011 Newsletter

Governance and the Gulf Islands


Islands Trust

November 19th, we vote for Island Trustees, 26 people who will then elect a four-person Executive Committee.  Members of the Executive chair Local Trust Committee meetings, and approve, or refuse approval, for bylaws passed by the LTCs.

For 38 years, the Trust has been shaped by forces ranging from hard-environmentalist activism to passive cynicism and dismissal, with occasional flashes of community involvement around specific proposals. These events have played out mostly in isolation – each community struggling alone with its governance dynamics in what the Trust refers to as “…a unique federation of independent local governments…” The Big Picture, including plans for expanding the Trust’s role in the life of all these communities, is largely concentrated in the Executive and administrative and planning staff located inVictoria.

This election cycle, things are changing. Isolation between communities is being overcome at the grass-roots level. Islanders seeking better alternatives are reaching out to each other across the “federation” and finding common cause outside official Trust information channels. Wider sharing of information and concerns will lead to a more mature relationship with the Trust than the present one of being under the appointed guardianship and administrative program of forces too-often based outside our communities.

Which leads back to the question: What have we learned, and what shall we do about it? What questions should be put to them to help us make up our minds? Some suggestions:

  • When Islands Trust Mandates, Policy Statements, various ‘global warming’ and anti-vehicle agendas conflict with needs and desires of your community, where will your loyalty lie?
  • What is your position on recent Trust budgets and their impact on taxes? Would you support rolling back any budget items, leave them as they are, or expand any?
  • Can you reference an action or policy of theLTCor Trust Council you support or don’t support that would give voters a clue of how you might behave in office?

Readers will no doubt have their own lists. Some may have moved to Mayne to be part of an ongoing experiment in eco-activism, and appreciate strenuous efforts of the Trust to protect us from our baser humanity. Others came here hoping for a less intrusively regulatory, authoritarian environment. Public-spirited candidates will all have their fine qualities, but how will their philosophies, assumptions, tendencies and agendas affect ability to live as we want in this chosen place? Don’t be shy about asking candidates where they stand; you have the power, until you hand it to them.



Aside from funding support for local Parks and Recreation, a volunteer-run organization that Mayne Islanders are deeply grateful to, theCRDcontrol’s ourMinersBaywharf, and has a growing involvement in our groundwater issues.

MIRRA was frustrated in its efforts to get better vehicle access to the wharf, unable to convince theCRDthat their vehicle barrier policy was not structurally necessary and was a chronic inconvenience to some Mayne Islanders.

RegardingCRDtakeover of water districts, what are impacts on users and other taxpayers likely to be when this infrastructure is controlled by a non-community bureaucracy? Can we get more local perspective incorporated intoCRDdecision making? Are there candidates for whom this might be a priority?


Upcoming Events


Ferry Commissioner

September 17 at the Community Centre: an important meeting with the BC Ferries Commissioner, who is reviewing the impact of BC Ferries on island communities.  All are encouraged to attend and participate in the discussion. Small business owners in particular have a unique opportunity to voice their concerns to the commissioner. The review will look into the current price cap model and assess its impact on the affordability and sustainability of ferry service to communities depending on it.



Members of MIRRA’s executive met recently with Mark Traverso, Operations Manager, Ministry of Transportation and Highways, V.I. District, Saanich Area Office, and Leon Bohmer, Manager of Mainroad Contracting,South Island. Sympathy was offered for the condition of our roads, but budget constraints only allow for keeping up with worst cases of pavement failure. $2,000,000 in paving commitments by previous managers were in fact undocumented and are not in force. Figures were cited to show Mayne is not being short-changed for its share of available budget.

After being toured around Mayne’s crumbling infrastructure, they came away with an impression that some roads need serious work (HortonBayand Gallagher Bay Roads in the area of MacKay’s farm, andWaugh Road). Concerns with the undermining ofGeorgina Point Roadat Garrick hit home and they assured us this was a priority. They say we are likely to see about the same amount of paving each year, and they will try to focus on the bad sections. They suggested undertaking some polling on island to ensure they were addressing community concerns. We shall see, but at least the lines of communication are open.



October 8th,1 PM at the Community Centre. Memberships, $10 at the door. The Ratepayers are not a one-trick pony: issues critical to the community abound. MIRRA can always use more help from members and encourages candidates to stand for directorships on the board. Membership fees cover basic expenses, but donations are always welcome to help with costs of special community meetings and projects, etc.


Municipal Incorporation Discussion Meeting

MIRRA is intending to host a meeting discussing pros and cons of the municipal option. We’re hoping for a date in October, before the Islands Trustee All-Candidates Meeting, intending that it will add some depth of consideration to governance issues.


Heads up!


Canada Post plans to implement a new addressing policy for community organizations, namely, free numbers at group boxes will cease, and we’ll have to pay $120 a year at the Post Office, or have mail sent to an individual’s address. Sound like good service? Didn’t think so. Can we get together to register our dissatisfaction and need for a better solution?



MIRRA Executive



August 2011 Newsletter

A Summer Salad Bar of Community-Related Issues


Ferries: As BC Ferries contemplates options for the maintenance or reorganization of Route 9 (the Queen of Nanaimo run,) the Salt Spring Island Ferry Advisory Committee hosted a recent meeting with FAC members from Mayne, Pender and Saturna. This ferry is approaching retirement age, and her loss will threaten established expectations of service in the Southern Gulf Islands. As the ultimate owner of the system, the Province will have to review its ‘user pay’ agenda of incremental withdrawal of subsidy. User Pay might result in ‘user don’t use’, ‘user stay home’, and ‘user watch coastal communities shrivel’; all while inland ferries are operated as part of the highway network. Maintaining adequate subsidy of ferry access may be the most efficient tool for ensuring the survival of many BC coastal communities.


Roads: MIRRA’s Transportation Subcommittee expects to meet with officials from the Ministry of Highways in late July. We were given verbal assurances of substantial paving work to be completed on Mayne this summer, but doubts are beginning to outnumber the potholes. You may be a driver who is making the connection between deteriorating roads and increased damage to your vehicle. The Highways bureaucracy moves in mysterious ways, but we are attempting to interact with it.


Riparian Issues: AffectedMayneIsland property owners, having paid for a requested scientific study and providing information that there is no evidence of fish habituating our lakes, rivers, swamps and ditches, are now encountering a hardening agenda from Provincial authorities. At issue is the prospect of losing use of significant areas of one’s property – for no demonstrable reason beyond the usual that certain quarters prefer to establish and maintain rigid controls on what we carelessly refer to as ‘private property’. Mayne’s Island Trustees are the souls of reasonableness, compared to the shenanigans promoted by the Salt Spring Island Trustees, where they attempted to blanket most of the island with development permit regulations. Those plans were eventually put on hold after an aroused populace made their displeasure known. However, though activist bureaucracy may frequently under-perform, it seldom sleeps. Those inclined to vigilance can find more information in the ‘Links’ below.


Sensitive Ecosystem bylaws: Still pending are potential bylaws that categorize Mayne down to individual ecosystem ‘polygons’, the resulting database then to result in blanket DPA (development permit areas) regulations. We question whether this is all in response to an identified problem, or in fact is becoming a problem in itself. Long-time observers of Mayne’s flora and fauna can attest to Man’s ineffectual strategies for exploiting or limiting trees and deer, for instance. We might better expend our efforts on ‘preserving and protecting’ to affirming the mundane processes of ordinary owners taking care of their property.


Parks Canada Plans: ParksCanada recently presented stage 1 of their Gulf Islands National Parks Preserve Management Plan at the Ag Hall. As this expansive agenda enfolds us, we should take the opportunity to provide input to plans that will determine how we live in the islands.Ottawa is far away; speak clearly so they can hear you. Updates at:


SSI Superior Shuttle info: As discussed during the fire hall referendum, gaining Superior Shuttle accreditation does not guarantee reduced insurance rates to property owners island-wide. Such accreditation makes it so islanders are eligible to apply for reduced insurance rates. A clear example of this comes from Saltspring, with three fire halls, many hydrants over the entire island and seven full time firefighters on staff; a significant part of the island is not eligible for these insurance savings. The bottom line is if you live at the end of a long driveway, in a remote part of the island or on the top of a hill your property may not be eligible for insurance savings under the superior shuttle program. The links to the maps showing the Saltspring properties eligible are posted on the MIRRA website.

We believe the long term goal of obtaining Superior Shuttle accreditation is honorable and worthy of support, but it must not be tied to inflammatory generalized statements at the time of referendum. If it can be done as part of a reasonable updating and upgrading of our firefighting services it deserves endorsement from all quarters. If such efforts result in substantial increases in taxation to all islanders when not all islanders would benefit from insurance savings, it must be questioned.

MayneIslandhas a well funded, well staffed fire department that, at times, is under appreciated. The service provided and countless hours put in by the members needs to be acknowledged by all members of our community.


Links: The days of Gulf Island communities coping with governance issues in isolation from each other are coming to an end. If the topics that MIRRA monitors interest you, you’ll probably find some cause for excitement at the following websites. These links and others can be found on our website


All-Candidates Meeting: In the May Mayneliner, we announced two All-Candidates meetings for the November 19th municipal elections: October 29th for Islands Trust and November 14th forCRD. After further consideration, we’ve decided to swap these dates around.

Islands Trust All-Candidates Meeting: October 29th

CRDAll-Candidates Meeting: November 14th

Both meetings will be at the Ag Hall at 1:00PM.

This timing should give voters better candidate information sooner, and allow more time to consult and compare notes with each other before voting for Trustees.

We’re all pretty engrossed with normal summer activities right now, but in upcoming issues, MIRRA will examine specific questions regarding the relationship between the Islands Trust, candidates, and the community.

Enjoy your zucchinis!



MIRRA Executive



May 2011 Newsletter

Living in Interesting Times

Politics: it seems like nobody’s talking about it, then suddenly everyone is. We swing from cynical disinterest to partisan fever. Too little attention, and things stagnate; too much and they threaten to fly apart. We tsk and tut over lapses into incivility and hope to still have our friends after heated debate. Good luck to us!

At the April 15th All-Candidates Meeting, Gary Lunn, Edith Loring-Kuhanga, Elizabeth May and Renee Hetherington provided Mayne Islanders with a glimpse of their respective substance and style. The political positions of the candidates and their parties were no mystery to most of the audience, who appeared to already possess a map of who fit where on the spectrum. Do you suppose anyone changed their voting intention based on anything they heard in the Ag Hall that day?
Event sponsor MIRRA would like to thank Elma Maund for stepping into the role of Moderator and keeping things on track, Dave Maude for corralling all the candidates into the same place on the same day, and Bob McKinnon for making sure the shared microphone’s cord didn’t get wrapped around anyone’s neck. And thanks to the people of Mayne for welcoming the candidates with obviously keen interest and many sharp questions.

The next day, the community assembled again for the AGM of the M.I. Improvement District, curious no doubt to see how things would shake out after the recent fire hall referendum. What occurred was a bit of a crash course in the mysteries of improvement district finances. Salaries reported in aggregate caused some surprise amongst the audience when one courageous fellow read out the breakdown, comparing them critically to similar-sized communities and pointing out that the recent trend was increasing alarmingly, and the situation was “out of control…” Other questioners reinforced the point that costs were becoming too high and needed to be controlled, and that the Improvement District should look into providing financial statements that were more comprehensible to average islanders. The Board agreed this was desirable and would likely be pursued by a future Board. Deputy-Chair John Hoff presided over a sometimes-tense meeting with an adroit combination of flexibility and firmness.
MIRRA congratulates the newly-elected Trustees and supports the Board in its goal of forwarding the fire hall project and addressing the concerns of the community for fiscal responsibility.

Keeping with the theme of Politics:
• October 29th: CRD All-Candidates Meeting
• November 14th: Islands Trust All-Candidates Meeting
After that, we may be ready for a break…

MIRRA Executive

April 2011 Newsletter

What’s Next?

The directors of MIRRA would like to thank all those who worked on the recent referendum.
Particularly, we would like to thank the folks who contributed their time and support to our campaign: the 16 enthusiastic scrutineers, those who wrote letters and spoke publicly, and those who made donations to ensure the community received the information it needed to make an informed decision.

As most of you are aware, the referendum to borrow up to $3.4 million to construct a new fire hall was soundly defeated. Our interpretation of this vote is that most residents want the fire hall issue solved; they just don’t want to pay $3.4 million, plus 20 years of interest. Mayne Islanders are now asking “What is the next step?” MIRRA would like input from our members and the general public on any future fire hall debate. As opponents of the last proposal, we must be prepared to support or suggest recommendations.

The funding and management of the fire hall is the responsibility of the Mayne Island Improvement District. MIID has an AGM scheduled for Saturday, April 16th, where four Trustee positions will be filled by election of qualified property owners. This new board will have the task of moving forward with a new plan for the fire hall that meets the needs of the community, while respecting financial constraints that voters so emphatically demanded. It is important that voters follow through on their intentions by attending this meeting and supporting candidates who respect their demonstrated will. This project needs to be retrieved as soon as possible by new Trustees who will need to bring refreshed competence and commitment. Candidates will soon become apparent; make sure you take the opportunity at the AGM to review the abilities and vision they offer.

Once again, we thank the community for its ongoing support, and we will continue to keep you updated as the “what’s next” unfolds. MIRRA will strive to continue being a community voice through:
Scrutinizing taxation;
Lobbying government and officials;
Monitoring governing processes;
Communicating with residents and ratepayers.

MIRRA Executive
Wayne Ming, Bill Borges, Barry Wilks, Colleen Ming, Bob McKinnon, Dave Lindquist

March 2011 Newsletter

Mayne Island Residents and Ratepayers Association
March 2011 Newsletter

MIRRA Maintains “VOTE NO” Position on Fire Hall Referendum

Sound Reasons to Vote No:

$3.4 million for this project is too expensive and puts us in heavy debt for too long.
• We face other upcoming infrastructure costs (health centre expansion) and our small tax base will soon need to meet these demands as well.
• MIID needs to heed all the tax payers concerns and adopt an attitude of fiscal restraint in a time of economic uncertainty.
• Parcel tax is the usual form of levy for such projects and is the fairest way to share the cost among property owners in the community.
• Mayne Island’s fire hall problem can be solved for much less than $3.4 million; our neighbors on Saturna have shown this.
• Superior Shuttle Service certification remains a possibility with a more economical fire hall design; it is not dependent on this more costly version.

MIRRA recommends a NO vote to send this project back to the drawing board for a more affordable solution.

How a Community Makes Decisions

Of all the levels of government that impact our lives, the Mayne Island Improvement District is the one closest to us, and most within our reach to influence. There’s no shame or offense in daring to question this body that is here to serve us. It is the right of citizens to hold their government accountable and freely communicate their opinions, especially on complex and controversial proposed projects they (and their descendants) will have to pay for. So, take a chance – talk to your friends and neighbors about the referendum question. Share your views and questions. Then vote – for the solution that solves the problem with the least possible financial hardship for the community.

MIID AGM: April 16th

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Improvement District posted the financial report on their website ahead of the AGM to allow for meaningful examination by the community? And how about allowing some time for candidates for the three available Trustee positions to introduce themselves and their reasons for running? Candidates and electors deserve it.

Memberships and donations are what cover expenses.

MIRRA sent out over 1,000 letters to off-island property owners February 1st, to make sure they received information they would not hear from the Mayne Island Improvement District, and recommending a No vote on the fire hall referendum.

If you would like to support the work of MIRRA, individual memberships are $10 and donations are gratefully accepted.
MIRRA S1-C55, Mayne Island, BC, V0N2J0

MIRRA’s purposes are:

To scrutinize the taxation and levies imposed on our residents from the five levels of government;

To lobby elected, appointed and other officials to obtain the best possible services for the community;

To monitor the processes being used to impose taxes and recommend changes to improve transparency and accountability of the organizations imposing the levies;

Communicate with our residents and the broader public through articles and electronic media.

Respectfully submitted by the MIRRA Executive
Bob McKinnon, Colleen Ming, Barry Wilks, Dave Lindquist, Wayne Ming