Who Is IT? IT is US…

On Salt Spring we commonly refer to the “Islands Trust” (IT) as being the land use planning authority.

That is not quite technically true.

Our land use planning bylaws are not created by the “Islands Trust.”

They are in fact created by US, through OUR representatives TO the Trust.

The corporate entity used to create the bylaws is the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee.

A “Local Trust committee” is defined in Part 4 of the Islands Trust Act:

Part 4 — Local Trust Committees

Local trust committees

23   (1) For each local trust area there is a local trust committee.

(2) Each local trust committee is comprised of

(a) the local trustees for the local trust area, and

(b) the person appointed under subsection (3) (a).

(3) For each local trust committee, the chair of the trust council must appoint,

(a) as a member of the local trust committee, a member of the executive committee who is not a local trustee for that local trust area, and

(b) if possible, as an alternate member of the local trust committee, another member of the executive committee who is not a local trustee for that local trust area.

So, a “local trust committee” is partially comprised of two “local trustees for the local trust area.”

But what are “local trustees”?

“Local Trustees” are also defined in the Act, under Section 6:

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

So, given that local trustees are elected to represent “WE” the voters, and NOT the Trust, it is clear that when local trustees act, they must act on OUR behalf NOT the Trust’s, for, sensibly, they cannot serve two masters.

But, but, but you may be sputtering…”You’re telling me the trustees represent US, NOT the Trust, but what/who IS the Trust then?”

The Islands Trust is an “Act”….it is a piece of paper with writing on it. It is legislation created by the Provincial Government in 1974. That legislation must be adhered to under certain circumstances.

However, you won’t find OUR local bylaws in the Islands Trust Act. You find them in OUR Official Community Plan, and OUR Land Use Bylaw.

Both of those documents were brought into being by OUR local trust committee – the corporation known as the “Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee.”

So, while OUR bylaws must be in line with Islands Trust policies (as created by Islands Trust Council), they are, in fact, YOUR bylaws created by YOUR representatives.

Which means if you disagree with a bylaw, you aren’t disagreeing with the Islands Trust, you are disagreeing with whichever of YOUR past/present politician(s) who brought that bylaw into being.

The good news is, if you disagree with a decision made by YOUR elected representative(s), you get to fire them every four years and “hire” someone else…if you are in the majority of voters.

And, if YOU don’t like OUR bylaws, YOU can elect YOUR/NEW representatives to make the necessary changes.

Like Smoky the Bear once said – “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”…or tree cutting regulations, or dock prohibitions, or lack of employee housing (and all the ramifications), etc..

So, this October 15th get out and vote for the two people who will best serve YOU and YOUR COMMUNITY’s best interests.

In the meantime start talking to your friends about the issues. Get informed. Get active.

2 Responses to Who Is IT? IT is US…

  1. John Cade says:

    Again, not technically true. The Trust council has to approve of changes made by the LTC of each island. That means 14 out of 16 are not elected by “we the people”.

  2. John – Yes, our OCP must fit through the filter of Islands Trust Policy, and our land use bylaws must comply with our OCP.

    The gatekeepers on all bylaw changes are the Executive Committee. However, there is a good amount of wiggle room in Trust Policy.

    In ALL of Islands Trust history there has only been one instance where “Trust Council” itself actually turned down a local bylaw (Galiano) on a narrow vote, after the bylaw was rejected by the Executive Committee.

    That having been said, OUR representatives create OUR bylaws.

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