Grace Islet owner Barry N. Slawsky has responded to current protests and criticisms on the development of the Salt Spring Island property he owns. Curiously, Mr. Slawsky choose an off island publication to provide his first public comments on the matter rather than through local Salt Spring Island based media.
As published in the Times Colonist, Mr. Slawsky states he is the owner of the islet and has taken all the necessary procedural and legal steps to comply with the development of the islet and the that extent of human remains found on the islet isn’t as extensive as has been reported.
He writes – “Throughout this comprehensive process, I have been guided by professional environmental and archeological consultants in my determination to be respectful of First Nations. The provincial Archaeology Branch carried out extensive consultation efforts with First Nations, as recently explained by Lands and Forests Minister Steve Thomson in the Times Colonist. My site-alteration permit from the province includes numerous conditions that respect First Nations concerns.”
He asserts that after 24 years of owning the property that he isn’t building a home on a known first nations burial site and nothing could be further from the truth regarding this claim.
He suggests that in heated rhetoric around the story, key facts have been lost and only human bone fragments have been found at the site, not full burial sites as has been reported.
He writes – “There have been no findings at any time of any trace of human remains anywhere near the location of my home. In stating this, I am taking into account professional archeological studies in 2007 and 2013 and the on-site supervision by a professional archeologist of all ground-altering activities in 2014 for the purpose of building my home.”
In closing he states he is confident that, over time, people of goodwill will see past the rhetoric and consider the facts for themselves. Barry N. Slawsky owns Grace Islet in Ganges Harbour at Salt Spring Island and is building a retirement home there.
Read Mr. Slawsky’s full opinion piece on the timescolonist.com