“Who” is the “Islands Trust?”

I often hear people saying something like, “The Islands Trust is proposing to downzone 400 properties and disallow the use of seasonal cottages as part of a B&B operation.”

The purpose of this article is to reveal/explain a couple of facts.

“The Islands Trust” does not exist as a corporate body. The Islands Trust is an Act.

As such, the only way that anything happens under the Act must be done by one two corporate bodies – “Islands Trust Council” or the “Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee.”(SSILTC)

Islands Trust Council establishes, by bylaw, the policies, required under the Islands Trust Act to ensure its preserve and protect mandate is respected by the SSILTC when it prepares its OCP and Land Use Bylaws.

Now, what exactly is the SSILTC? It is a corporation which is comprised, essentially, of three directors (called trustees, which is, IMO, a misnomer), who are tasked with making land use decisions for Salt Spring.

The three “directors” consist of two, locally elected representatives, “local trustees,” who….and this is important….REPRESENT THE ELECTORS…NOT ISLANDS TRUST COUNCIL.

The third “director” is the Chairperson, who is elected by Islands Trust Council, and, who represents Island Trust Council to the SSILTC. The Chairperson DOES NOT represent Salt Spring, because they weren’t elected by Salt Spring Islanders.

The reality is therefore this – When a bylaw is proposed to be enacted, or amended, it is NOT the Islands Trust who is proposing the changes – IT IS YOUR ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES.

The oath of office which each director (trustee) takes makes no mention whatsoever of being a Trustee who must represent the best interests of the Islands Trust Act.

The definition of a local trustee is as follows:

local trustee means a trustee elected under section 6 from a local trust area;

6   (1) For each local trust area, 2 trustees are to be elected to represent the electors of the area.

trustee means a local trustee, a municipal trustee and a trustee of the trust fund, or any of them, as the context requires.

In other words, the term “trustee,” as it pertains to a “local trustee” means…and this gives you an idea of the circular ridiculousness of the definitions in the Act –

“local trustee means a local trustee who was elected to represent the electors of the area.”

Do you see anything in there which suggests a local trustee represents the Islands Trust?


So, the next time you hear someone say “The Islands Trust is going to do xyz…” please correct them and say, “You mean our elected representatives are proposing to do xyz…”


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