Poll: Your Government - Your Choice

More than a year ago—October, 2012—the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development agreed to fund a governance study for Salt Spring Island. All three elected officials’ platforms included supporting such a study. Following the minister’s agreement that a study “to review the current state of governance and identify the general implications of a change in structure for citizens and service providers,” a committee of volunteers was named and work began on developing terms of reference for a consultant to undertake research and public engagement.

Now, in November, the process will be complete when the committee receives the final report from the consultants and makes a recommendation to the minister as to whether there is public support to proceed with a full municipal incorporation study. The committee will gauge the level of public interest based on data and input presented in the consultants’ final report. In addition, the committee will review and consider the results of a variety of activities undertaken to measure public awareness of the current system and to discuss issues and potential change facing the island.

The first public notification came in the May/June tax notice sent to all homeowners. When the committee began meeting, the public and media were invited to attend and notices were posted throughout the process on the Exchange and in the Driftwood. Since then, the committee has listened and responded to numerous questions while continuing to provide factual information about rural and municipal governance in a variety of public activities. These include four public forums, a regularly updated interactive website, facebook, twitter, a booth at the Fall Fair, two surveys, media updates, letters to the editor, flyers, four fact sheets and presentations to local groups.

The consultants presented a draft report to the committee in October and discussed its contents and survey results with the community at two open forums. The two surveys netted more than 1,300 responses and survey two showed 63 per cent of respondents favoured proceeding to a “formal incorporation study.”

Moving forward, the consultants are now completing the final report that will be officially received by the committee on November 29 at a public meeting beginning at 5 pm in the Portlock Park portable on Vesuvius Bay Road. The committee, at that meeting, will determine, by consensus, the recommendation it will forward to the minister. Details relating to all of the committee’s activities are available on the website:

www.ssigovernancestudy.ca


Author's Note: This Salt Spring Exchange poll has not been issued by the Governance Study Committee. Its results will not be factored in to the study that has already concluded. The committee sought public input in many ways including two surveys, four forums, website questions, and interviews the results of which have been shared with the public and will be included in the final report.

Avatar of Pat Preston

By Pat Preston

I am a recent transplant from Vancouver. Prior to coming to Salt Spring, I had many lives: journalist, freelance writer, communications executive, journalism instructor, volunteer and advocate for women's issues. I love Salt Spring--its people, its beauty, its cultural activities and the opportunity it provides for stimulating and provocative discussion. Currently I serve on the Board of the Salt Spring Arts Council and am writing about the lives behind the faces of Salt Springers you see every day.

November 18, 2013 8:33 AM