On December 3, the Province of British Columbia will be at the Community Centre (5 – 8PM) as part of the consultation process reviewing BC ferries and it’s operations. Many fear that we are facing cuts to our basic ferry services in the face of the review which is focussed on finding savings within the BCFS budget.
There are some on the islands who feel that there are more effective ways of operating the routes that service our islands, these options offer significant economic benefits to the island economies, better service and reduced operating costs. All are worthy of consideration as part of the review process.
The PDF documents below are a proposal from the citizens of the islands which has been endorsed by MIRRA and several other organizations that offer positive alternatives that would benefit all of the southern Gulf Islands.
Establishes the corporate bodies of the Islands Trust
Identifies the Islands Trust Area and the “object” (mandate) of the Islands Trust
Confers responsibilities and powers on the corporate bodies of the Islands Trust
Transfers land use planning powers from Regional Districts to Local Trust Committees
Prohibits a Regional District from adopting bylaws, issuing permits or undertaking work contrary to a Local Trust Committee bylaw
Establishes the relationship with Island Municipalities
Guides some governance procedures
Provides for budget and requisition of taxes
The Islands Trust ‘Object’
The object provides the ‘purpose’ for all Islands Trust corporate bodies.
The object of the Trust is to preserve and protect the Trust Area and its unique amenities and environment for the benefit of the residents of the Trust Area and of British Columbia generally, in cooperation with municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts, other persons and organizations and the government of British Columbia.
All Candidates must take a statutory declaration that the information they have presented is true and correct. The information includes eligibility criteria. This declaration is taken in front of a Commissioner for taking oaths or a statutory officer under the Local Government Act.
MIRRA would like to thank all who attended the recent all-candidates meeting. There was standing room only, and audience participation was enthusiastic and interesting, generating many excellent questions for the candidates. The purpose of the meeting was to stimulate community discussion of the many issues which face our Island now and in the future; to introduce the candidates to the public at large; and to gain a clearer understanding of the qualification or experience factors presented by each candidate and how those factors may affect the future of our community.
It became clear as the meeting progressed that there was some confusion as to the duties, responsibilities and authority of a Trustee. There was discussion of issues that clearly went beyond the scope of a Trustee’s mandate. To clarify that mandate, we have provided above, the scope and objective of the Islands Trust act, directly from the Islands Trust website.
Trustees may certainly advocate for other issues but they have no direct power or control over such things as roads, drainage, fallow deer control, etc. As an advocate, a Trustee may for example, approach the wildlife branch of our Government to protest the extreme habitat destruction being caused by an escaped foreign species. They may encourage the Government to permit or assist in ultimate solutions to resolve this issue. They cannot impose or direct solutions. Trustees have, over the years, advocated for improved roads, better drainage and many other issues which concern their constituents. Advocacy is a very important and effective tool that when combined with an in-depth working knowledge of the Trust Act, provides valuable service and stability to an Island community.
MIRRA Directors and members feel that a clear understanding of these issues by our elected officials is important to the future security and enjoyment of our Island home. Be sure to vote for the candidates of your choice, and when making your decision please consider all of the areas of duties and responsibility that your candidates will be charged with. Voters can ponder the effects of voting for a single issue as opposed to making choices that may best represent the community as a whole.
Mayne Island is facing multiple challenges during the next term of the new Trustees and voters should consider amongst other things, those candidates with the most beneficial life experience, a working knowledge of the Islands Trust Act and/or the broadest based Island experience.
Mayne Islanders roots are anchored deep in the community’s past. It is a special and honoured history and legacy to be preserved and protected equally side by side with the preserve and protect objects of the Trust Act which we inherit and covet generation to generation.
With a tradition of productive and civil discourse our community can take pride in the level of active and open participation in its governance affairs. This is not always the situation elsewhere, as we see in recent news reports of civic upheaval, but Mayne Island has always been a better alternative. The recent all-candidates meeting presented a model of civility where ideas, questions and criticisms were freely exchanged so that we might rediscover where the balance lay in our community. We trust that this attitude will carry forward into all of our future endeavours and we thank the community for the outstanding attendance at this important event.
MIRRA Board of Directors
Bill Borges, Carl Bunnin, Ian Dow, David Lindquist, Colleen Ming, Wayne Ming, Barry Wilks
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 will not be eligible for insurance savings under the superior shuttle program.
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. In addition that goal should not be obtained at any cost, 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.
Mayne Island has 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.