Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login


Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

Incorporation: Forward, Not Backward: Trusting Cooperation over Conflict

    Editorial & Opinions, Governance & Politics    September 6, 2017

Having run in the 2011 Islands Trust election as a clear opponent of yet another referen- dum on incorporation, I have been asked my position this time around. Has my view changed? First, I would like to thank those on both sides of this debate for the substance and tone

of their appeals. Unfortunately, I once again find that those seeking incorporation offering ar- guments that are ill-timed, misplaced and taking us backward just at a time when we should be seeking out and moving forward with innovative and trail-blazing forms of governance able to deal with pressing local, regional and global issues such as climate change, housing and refugees. In our context, we have had the innovative Islands Trust leading the way since 1974. It deserves our continuing support. Undermining its scope and purpose would be a step back- ward.

Incorporation is not the only option. We all know what the many nearby municipalities look like. Many of us have chosen to live here precisely because we have experienced what municipalities do and how they are run and we don’t like what we see. We have concluded that there must be a better way and the better way we have found in the BC’s Gulf Islands takes the form of the Islands Trust. We did not come here to create and run a municipality. Many of us who have come to Salt Spring since the founding of the Islands Trust were aware that we were coming to somewhere different, somewhere nonconformist, somewhere the governance struc- ture relied on cooperation, not conflict. That’s why we came.

It has been argued that incorporation and self-rule will give us the necessary tools to de- termine our future ourselves. It will make us more democratic we are told. “Salt Spring for Salt Springers” – with decisions being made by Salt Springers alone – is the dangerously nationalis- tic, eerily exclusive (tell me again why this referendum falls on Gay Pride Day?!) and unfortu- nately backward call to arms. It soft pedals the need for Salt Springers to work with our neigh- bours on nearby islands to preserve and protect our lands and resources. Cooperation is given lip service, with the current governance structure said to hold us back and undermine our sov- ereignty. Our roles as stewards, managing these beautiful islands cooperatively on behalf of all British Columbians and indeed all Canadians and citizens of the world, are quietly down played by the incorporationists. Yet, we, together with our neighbours on other Gulf Islands, are on the same team and for good reason, especially when you consider that we are living in an integrat- ed regional ecosystem.

So just because you may not have gotten your way in dealing with the Islands Trust at one time or another in the past does not mean we should go backward, in the process under- mining the Trust’s viability by undercutting the participation of its largest member and throwing our inspiringly innovative, impressively successful and admittedly not yet perfect baby out with the bath water. If the Trust hadn’t turned down some development proposals over the years, it would not have been doing its “preserve, protect and sometimes piss off” job. Salt Spring does not need a mayor and council. No new toys for boys, thank you very much. Remember what happened 1883, the last time we were a municipality. We got rid of them then and I for one hope we don’t invite them back. Incorporation is a thing of the past. Incorporate in 2017? Posi- tively, no! Forward, not backward, please.

The author is a retired university professor turned cheesemaker who ran for office in Salt Spring’s 2011 Islands Trust election.

Comments May Not Be Seen by the Author

No Tags

  

Community News

  • Salt Spring National Art Prize Announces...

    by on July 18, 2019

    Five Salt Spring artists have been named as finalists for the Salt Spring National Art Prize (SSNAP). They are among the fifty or so artists from across Canada to have their work eligible to win one of nine awards, six selected by jurors and three selected by public vote. Local artists are also in the […]

  • Notice to Bus Riders – Detours on ...

    by on July 18, 2019

    Effective July 22 to August 30, 2019 – Please be advised that Walker’s Hook Road will be closed for repairs between Fort Street and Hedger Road beginning July 22 until August 30, 2019. This closure will be in effect 24 hours a day during these dates. During this time period please note that routes 5 Fernwood and 6 […]

  • Podcast: The Tiny Home on Wheel’s ...

    by on July 8, 2019

    I’m on the Salt Spring Gulf Island Community Radio interviewing people near and far who are making good news on the planet by helping to shift the outcome of our future. These people and companies have created solutions to local and global issues we’re facing at the moment. Sharing the good news that’s happening on […]

  • Carrot Day

    by on July 5, 2019

    It is time for my annual reminder to sow lots of carrots for winter harvests in the next week or two. For me, July 1 is always Carrot Day as well as Canada Day (US readers: think 4th of July). As long as you sow before July 10, your carrots should have time to grow […]

  • Minister Seeking Input on Private Manage...

    by on July 3, 2019

    Minister wants your input on future of British Columbia forests – On May 28, 2019, the provincial government announced a review of the Private Managed Forest Land Program. They have invited British Columbians to add your voice to the program review. The province is accepting public comments until July 22, 2019. Over the past few […]

  • 2019 Eco Living and Home Tour: Ideas, In...

    by on July 3, 2019

    Headlines announcing biodiversity collapse and climate catastrophe can feel paralyzing. Even the most committed environmentalists may not know where to turn for solid information on the kinds of innovative — and dramatic — lifestyle changes that experts say will be need to weather the coming changes. Salt Spring’s Eco Living and Home Tour highlights what […]

  • BC’s Rural Islands Launch Economic Forum...

    by on June 27, 2019

    For the first time BC’s rural islands have launched an initiative to cultivate rural island economic partnerships. The Rural Islands Economic Forum (RIEF), a two day event, will bring together leaders from rural island communities to focus on advancing local and regional, sustainable, economic capacity building. The Forum gets underway on Pender Island on November 7 […]

  • Survey: Should British Columbia Adopt Ye...

    by on June 24, 2019

    British Columbians are invited to share their views on how we should observe time in our province. Most areas of B.C. currently “spring forward” into Daylight Saving Time during summer months and “fall back” to Standard Time in the winter. The following choices are being considered: 1) B.C. continues the practice of changing our clocks […]

  • Podcast: Adam Olsen speaks with Raffi – ...

    by on June 20, 2019

    When I first thought of transitioning my weekly Public Circle LIVE! broadcasts from Facebook to a weekly podcast, I had it in my mind to invite Raffi as a guest. We have run into each other a few times now at the Salt Spring Island Saturday Market and I appreciate his forthright political commentary on Twitter. It all […]

  • Fire News: Chief’s Response Report – 201...

    by on June 20, 2019

    Vision: A responsive and sustainable fire-rescue service, effectively meeting community needs and valued by those we serve. Mission: Always learning, engaging and adapting to be response ready. Response Report Salt Spring Island Firefighters responded to 61 calls for assistance in May.  (Calls to Date:  291) Operations To be proactive regarding wildfire prevention a recommendation was […]

  • Salt Spring Foundation Announces 2019 Ne...

    by on June 18, 2019

    The Salt Spring Island Foundation, in partnership with Salt Spring Island Community Services, is pleased to announce the recipients of our 2019 Neighbourhood Small Grants. The Neighbourhood Small Grants program offers grants of $50 to $500 to support projects that bring people together, share skills and knowledge, build a sense of community belonging and responsibility, […]

Pin It on Pinterest