Our Islands Trustee, Laura Patrick, Answers ASK Salt Spring Questions

What is the scope, timing, and expected outcomes of the proposed Ganges Village Plan?

It is a desire of mine to see work advanced on Ganges Village planning and on harbour planning. (Better yet, I support planning for all of our villages.) This work needs to be scoped and funded in collaboration with other agencies and organizations. I would like to see pre-planning happening now, which could result in a business case and budget request for the 2021/22 fiscal year.

In 2007, as part of the Official Community Plan update project, a Ganges Village and Harbour focus group issued an excellent report. Little has changed in the 13 years since that report was issued. In a few weeks, the Climate Action Plan 2.0 will be made public. It will include maps showing that rising sea levels will submerge some of our village core – let’s plan for this. The Fire Protection District is pursuing a new fire hall which will leave the old fire hall vacant – let’s plan what should come in its place. A marina in our village core wants rezoning to allow floating homes – this decision should be made in the context of a village and harbour plan.

How are the virtual Islands Trust meetings working for you? What are their advantages and disadvantages? Do you see them continuing as part of our “new normal?“

First of all, rather than a “new normal,” I prefer to aim for a “better normal” when this pandemic passes. Virtual meetings make it possible for the Local Trust Committee (LTC) to take care of some business, but this format is not ideal as it is not accessible to all. It is important to me to obtain meaningful public input that represents a diverse community perspective. In the future, I hope we can stream our in-person meetings to a wider audience. But for now, I am happy to attend meetings in pajamas!

Please tell us about the Farm and Business Economic Recovery Task Force including who is involved, what is being addressed, expected outcomes and timing of these outcomes.

The objectives of this Task Force are to coordinate a comprehensive business and farm response and recovery plan for Salt Spring Island that will: 1. Preserve business and farm viability during and after the COVID-19; and 2. Identify and address food security issues as they may arise as a result of supply chain constraints.

Because the Salt Spring Island Agricultural Alliance had just updated the Area Farm Plan, they were in a good position to quickly prepare an agriculture response and recovery plan. Their plan, as well as minutes from their coordination meetings, is available on plantofarm.org. Leading this work stream are Tony Beck and Anne Macey.

The food security work stream is being led by Elizabeth Zook and Tine Rossing. They are collaborating with various organizations to develop a plan.

The Salt Spring Chamber of Commerce and the Community Economic Development Commission are working together on business response and recovery under the leadership of Jessica Harkema, Francine Carlin and Jeremy Milson. We will post links to these plans soon.

Can you give us details about the newly-formed Housing Committee, including its purpose, membership and goals?

A December 17, 2019 LTC resolution established a housing working group to advise the LTC on matters related to the development and implementation of a Salt Spring housing planning project to address needs across the housing continuum. This informal group currently consists of Laura Patrick, Dave Secord, Meror Krayenhoff, Daniel Wood, Jessica Harkema and Rhonan Heitzmann. We were seeking to expand representation when COVID struck. However, we have managed to meet a few times and have developed a general outline and process for a housing planning project. Working virtually, we hope to complete a report that can be presented to the LTC in June or July.

What’s next for ASK Salt Spring? Would you like to be part of the conversation about Salt Spring’s business recovery?

Please join our Zoom discussion with Jessica Harkema, Executive Director of our Chamber, and Francine Carlin, Chair of the Community Economic Development Commission, Friday, May 22 from 11-1 by clicking: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82678886165

May 21, 2020 7:00 AM

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