Peter Luckham, Chair of Islands Trust Council, made the following statement regarding the decision of the September 9, 2017 referendum with preliminary results showing 62 per cent voted against Salt Spring Island incorporating into a municipality.
“The Islands Trust Council congratulates the community of Salt Spring Island for exercising its democratic right on September 9, 2017 and choosing to remain unincorporated.
“The debates and discussions leading up to this vote demonstrated the high level of civic engagement among the residents of Salt Spring Island, a sign of a caring, resilient and healthy community.
“I am pleased to see the strong voter turnout and the clear support for the preserve and protect mandate of the Islands Trust.
“The discussions prior to the vote have highlighted both the strengths and areas of improvements desired in the present form of governance, as well as confidence in the Islands Trust to seek those improvements.
“Local governments – the Capital Regional District, the Local Trust Committee, and the improvement districts – now have an opportunity to work with Salt Spring islanders on a renewed community vision reflecting the shared goals highlighted during the process.
“Trust Council is open to ideas and will explore them over the next while as we work together to uphold the unique, necessary mandate to preserve and protect the Trust Area.”
The Islands Trust is a federation of special-purpose local government bodies representing 25,000 people living within the Islands Trust Area and another 10,000 non-resident property-owners. The Islands Trust is responsible for preserving and protecting the unique environment and amenities of the Islands Trust Area through planning and regulating land use, development management, education, co-operation with other agencies, and land conservation. The area covers the islands and waters between the British Columbia mainland and southern Vancouver Island. It includes 13 major islands and more than 450 smaller islands covering 5200 square kilometres.
Peter Luckham, Chair of Islands Trust Council, Victoria