Reasons to Reason
May 31, 2011 2 Comments
Islands Trust dismisses Booth’s ‘RARguments’ was the headline in the Driftwood on May 18, 2011.
“The Islands Trust’s director of local planning services has dismissed a former local Trust committee member’s argument that suggests no action to implement the controversial Riparian Areas Regulation on Salt Spring is needed.
Former trustee Eric Booth argues that the island’s local Trust committee need not incorporate the Riparian Areas Regulation because he and fellow trustee Kimberly Lineger formed an opinion, in 2005, that local bylaws met and exceeded the RAR requirements.
Booth’s view that no more work is required to comply with RAR is based on Section 12 of the provincial Fish Protection Act.
“The Islands Trust’s director of local planning, David Marlor, has carefully reviewed Mr. Booth’s opinion indicating that no further work is required to comply with the provincial Riparian Areas Regulation,” wrote Linda Adams, the Islands Trust’s chief administrative officer, in response to a question about the Trust’s position on Booth’s argument. “Mr. Marlor does not believe Salt Spring’s current bylaws comply with the Riparian Areas Regulation or that Mr. Booth’s arguments are supported by provincial legislation.”
Adams said the Trust would write a letter to Booth outlining the reasons behind its opinion and may obtain a legal opinion on the matter.”
So, here we are, May 31st, over two weeks after Ms. Adams told the Driftwood (a) I would receive a letter from the Trust “outlining the reasons behind its opinion,” and/or, (b) the Trust “may” obtain a legal opinion on the matter.
To date, I have not received any explanation from the Trust, I am not aware of any legal opinion contradicting my opinion, and, I have not been contacted by the Trust.
It’s easy to “dismiss” anything without reason. However, one has to question “dismissal” without rationale.
As I alluded to in my article on May 25th, the public record (in the form of all adopted minutes of the LTC from March 2005 to June 2006) supports my position (a) the LTC had considered it was compliant with the RAR, (b) there have been no resolutions made by the LTC to date to request any extension of time (beyond March 31, 2006) from MoE to be compliant with the RAR, and (c) there were no staff reports made to the LTC during that period which suggested the LTC was not already in compliance with the RAR.
According to the public record, it appears Islands Trust Staff, including senior management, (a) may have made a number of erroneous recommendations to Trustees, (b) improperly exercised authority beyond their legislative abilities, (c) failed to understand the FPA and the RAR do not apply to the “Islands Trust,” or the “Islands Trust Council,” (d) failed to properly inform “Local Trust Committees” that only the LTC’s have the authority (under the FPA and RAR) to decide whether their existing bylaws meet FPA and RAR requirements, (d) consistently misled LTC’s regarding options available to them, (e) have misled riparian area development applicants since 2006, (f) have been aware of major riparian are mapping irregularities for a number of years, but failed to bring to the LTC’s attention the magnitude of the irregularities, (g) forwarded inaccurate and/or improper mapping to one or more Qualified Environmental Professionals in the past 5 years, and (h) continue to mislead the public during the current proposed OCP amendments.
Further, the government biologist whom Trust staff have relied on for RAR information, Ms. Marlene Caskey, Ministry of Environment, misled Island Trust Staff, starting in September 2007, by telling them the RAR applied to certain island projects, when in fact it did not. She did this in spite of having previously told Ms. Kathy Reimer that while the Islands Trust had a policy which said developers should do a Riparian Area Assessment, the Trust could not force someone to comply. For two and half years Ms. Caskey continued to falsely pretend to the Trust that she/MOE had the authority to require that development on Salt Spring comply with the Riparian Area Regulation. Her efforts were only brought to a swift halt after I lodged a complaint with the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Environment.
As I stated in my May 25th article, and as senior MoE staff members confirmed, Ms. Caskey has no authority in this matter.
It is now nearly two months since I challenged the LTC with my opinion that Salt Spring does not have to change its riparian protection. During that time Ms. Adams, and evidently Mr. Marlor, have made statements which they have no authority to make. They cannot retroactively change the opinion held by the local government of 2002-2005. They cannot disagree with an opinion formed at that time without providing at least a logical rationale.
They can however use diversionary tactics and spin-doctoring in an effort to “dismiss” valid opinions without reason. Stay tuned.
UPDATE – JUNE 15th – I have still not received anything in writing from David Marlor or Linda Adams. Given the Public Hearing is now less than a week away……