Interesting Conflicting Interests

A “local trustee” is elected to represent the electors of the Trust Area they represent. As a local trustee they are one of three members of a corporation – e.g. the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee.

Sitting on that corporation, their duty is to represent their electors.

When the local trustees from all 13 Trust Areas meet together, they form another corporate body – Islands Trust Council. At Islands Trust Council their duty is to represent their electors.

And this is where the train starts to go off the tracks.

Four of the elected local trustees are elected to sit as “persons” on the Executive Committee. As soon as they do, IMO, the first of a couple of conflicts of interests are created.

How can someone who is a representative of the electors of a Trust Area also be a representative of a corporate body that is at once comprised of 26 people sitting in their capacity as Trustees, also sit as one of 4 Executive Committee members? This is a dual capacity situation.

Example – When the Chair of the Islands Trust Council speaks, is he representing his constituents, or the corporate body, Islands Trust Council? This duality does not occur in any other local government, or any provincial or federal government level. An MLA who is elected to be part of the provincial government, can be a minister in the government, because it is the same corporate body – “His Majesty the King, in right of the Province of British Columbia.”

Now, we move into the second conflict. When an Executive Committee member sits on a local trust committee, in what capacity are they acting? Technically it is in the capacity as a member of the Islands Trust Council corporate body. Thus, the Local Trust Committee is comprised of a corporate member from Islands Trust Council, and the two locally elected trustees.

However, how can an Executive Committee member put aside their Local Trustee viewpoints, which they were arguably elected to represent, when they sit at the Local Trust table?

Example – Executive Committee Vice Chair “A” is from “Island X” and thinks all short term vacation rentals should be outlawed on Island X. When they sit as a Chair on Island Y, how do they put aside their settled opinion when faced with being a tie breaker on Island Y? In this example, the very fact that the question of STVR’s is before Vice Chair A, should be enough to have them declare their biased opinion, which may affect the electorate of Island Y.

Once again, this situation never arises in any other local, provincial or federal government level.

Simoultaneous roles in two, separate, government corporations which are interconnected should not be allowed.

These are inherent flaws in the current Islands Trust “unique” system of governance which should be examined, and corrected, in a Provincial review of the governance.

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