Interesting discussion in Trust Council on March 9, 2021. Trustee Wright proposed 3 motions:
Be it resolved that, as the Local Government Act instructs Local Trust Committees to include policies for a variety of housing in their Official Community Plans, housing policies not be included in the Policy Statement of the Islands Trust.
Be it resolved that Trust Council remove from the Strategic Plan, item 16, part i,
ii, iii, iv, and v, associated with housing and that these items be referred to Local Trust Committees and their local planning staff for consideration to include these matters in their local planning projects.
Be it resolved that Trust Council remove Part V, Sustainable Communities, from
the Policy Statement and request the Trust Programs Committee to develop additional policies to ensure the sustainability and preservation of the natural and rural character of the Trust Area, including policies to restore biodiverse ecosystems.
All 3 motions were defeated, but what was interesting to me (and many observers) was Trustee Dan Rogers’ discussion memo in response that brought up a lot of the legislation that framed the Trust object, and its purpose, originally:
p. 93 "In 1972 the Provincial Government established a Select Committee to study the Islands Trust areas and the issues that existed and to make recommendations on how to address those issues. That Committee reported out on September 25, 1973. Here is the Hansard Record of the “report”. Hansard — Tuesday, September 25, 1973 — Afternoon Sitting (Go the very end of the page – noted as page 255).
I suggest everyone read the whole report. It makes it clear that those who suggested the Trust as an entity (and this Report was the foundation of the Trust), understood that the unique nature of the Trust was not just defined by the environment and ecosystem but also by the history of the communities on the islands. That the Trust should be interested in and invested in the residents and commercial activity and the community generally. (I recognize the report was woefully inadequate in recognizing the important Indigenous history and heritage in the Trust Area.) Read the words in recommendation #2 which is:
- The Committee also recommends that the Provincial Government establish an “Islands Trust” (or commission), as the most appropriate body to be responsible for and to co-ordinate the future of each island within our terms of reference. It must be emphasized most strongly that the trust is to assume the primary responsibility for all Gulf Islands’ affairs within Government jurisdiction, including land use, future growth patterns, control of development, industrial, recreational and commercial activity, as well as parks and open space designations. It is essential that the trust be fully representative of all interests, not only on the islands, but throughout the Province as a whole. While recognizing the rights of the islanders, the Committee suggests that this section of British Columbia is dramatically affected by private and public activity which does not have the same impact in other parts of the Province. The Committee again refers to the fragile nature of these coastal units. Because it is recognized that a variety of Government departments and agencies: Highways, Health, Ferries, Lands and Forests, Parks, etc., as well as regional districts and citizen groups on the islands, all have an important role to play in this respect, we emphasize that the proposed trust or commission must not be a separate and (or) remote agency, but rather a fully representative co-coordinating body, whose task it is to bring together each group, agency or department of Government and to act in the best interests of the islands and their residents with due regard for the broader and Province-wide interest.
The point is that from the outset of the concept of the Trust, it was envisaged that the Trust would not deliver services but would have an interest in all aspects of life on the islands PLUS a specific mandate to protect the environment. While not exactly the same type of documents as the Trust Policy Statement, the Trust did adopt a Policy Document in 1975, another one in 1983 and another one in 1990. They are attached to this document." (p. 93-94).
Read Dan Rogers’ whole argument here: http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/351065/tc_2021_03_09-11_agd_pkg_final.pdf