Welcome, visitor!   Register   Login


Post an Ad
Menu Post an Ad

Incorporation: Business and Reality

    Editorial & Opinions, Governance & Politics    September 8, 2017

Some folks are using the history of our friend Mickey McLeod and his business, Salt Spring Coffee, to suggest that things would be very different if we had a municipality here. I won’t argue with his version of the story, nor will I take on the folks who are advocating for him.

That said, here’s an alternative view based on the genesis of “Dixons of Salt Spring”, another coffee company which aspires to be popular and successful.

Our mission statement speaks of buying only the finest organic shade-grown, ethically harvested, sustainably selected fair-trade beans from the most politically enlightened countries. We mention our carbon footprint, our world-class employee relationships and the importance of understanding our role and our responsibility in our community and in the world.

Now down to business. We know that although we will start slow and small, our corporate goal is to aggressively market our coffee so that it’s available everywhere coffee is sold. And, we want to base our business right here on Salt Spring so that it can make a meaningful contribution to our community.

So far so good – but our business mentor has some reservations. She cautions that most start-ups
don’t invest in building a state-of-the-art facility. Rather, they lease their premises and concentrate on growing their brand. She also suggests that committing to the Salt Spring location may be a poor long-term business decision considering the extra cost of shipping hundreds of tons of coffee beans here, roasting them with imported propane gas, importing all our packaging materials and finally shipping our product off island in several directions – all via the BC Ferry Corporation.

She tells me that the combined extra expenses involved in running my business from here will make it disadvantaged and less profitable in a competitive market. She suggests that growth and success will be dependent on finding another location that is well connected to shipping, warehousing, natural gas and a dependable labour pool. And she’s right, of course.

SO – when someone is encouraging you to vote for incorporation based on the saga of Mickey versus the evil monsters @ the Islands Trust office, consider that in the long term they may have done him a favour by not allowing him to invest in a fabulous building that he would likely outgrow – in a location that would clearly limit his business success.

Speaking of the Islands Trust, they have a history of basing their land-use decisions on our Official Community Plan and on input from the community members that would be most affected by commercial or industrial activity. The most credible arguments against industrial-scale coffee roasting in a rural environment are odours from the roasting process and a concentration of employee and delivery vehicle traffic.

Everyone agreed on the necessity and the importance of having a metal recycling facility on our island, but the Trust agreed with near neighbours that it should not be located inside a residential area.

A developer applied for rezoning and OCP amendments that would allow a large commercial resort to operate in an area with known water supply issues. The Trust did not proceed with the application.

Each of these cases moved slowly through the process, but ultimately in each case the Trust listened to the people who could potentially be negatively affected by the activity.

Of course not everyone involved is pleased with the outcome, but each decision served to Preserve and Protect our beautiful island environment. A municipal government would limit the ability of the Trust to moderate commercial and industrial development, and for that reason, I voted NO to incorporation.

Comments May Not Be Seen by the Author

No Tags

  

Community News

  • Maracaibo Vessel Fire

    by on August 8, 2019

    Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue responded to a boat fire off Maracaibo on Salt Spring Island on August 7th, 2019. The initial call came in at 17:38 and crews completed the scene at 01:15 10 Firefighters responded with 4 fire trucks along with assistance from the Canadian Coast Guard and Eagle Eye Vessel Assist. On […]

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

    by on August 6, 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 58 calls the month of June.   Operations We experienced a very dry June with below-normal precipitation.  Over the month […]

  • Thoughts on My Trial, Part 3: Sentencing...

    by on July 31, 2019

    On July 26th, the judge sentenced me to carry on with my volunteer work on Salt Spring — no fine, no probation officer, no jail. For six months, I’m to “keep the peace and be of good behaviour.” Apparently, this is the most lenient sentence he’s given to date for the 230+ convicted of contempt […]

  • Edit the Garden, August Planting

    by on July 30, 2019

    If your tomatoes are slow to ripen, you are not alone! Many people are wondering about it, but this cooler summer is the way our ‘normal’ summers used to be: for those that have forgotten how long it used to take tomatoes to ripen outdoors, this is a reminder. On the other hand, many other […]

  • Podcast: An Environmental Organization t...

    by on July 22, 2019

    Have you ever wondered who was behind the Electric Vehicle Recharge Stations, Car Stops, Eco Home Tours, solar panels on the high school’s roof, Rainbow Road Gardens on Salt Spring Island on the island? In this episode, I’m talking with an organization that is helping communities with reducing their dependence on fossil fuels & increasing […]

  • 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 […]

Pin It on Pinterest