Incorporation: Key Reasons to Vote NO

There are many reasons to oppose incorporation. Click on this Top Ten list. Salt Spring is again facing a referendum on Saturday, September 9 as to whether the island should incorporate. It is the issue that won't go away. A previous referendum about whether to incorporate, in 2002, failed; 70% of voters opposed it. The Many Islanders Opposed to Incorporation are campaigning under the banner of ‘Positively NO’. We are proud of Salt Spring’s many accomplishments and the fact that we have an engaged community without the over-development associated with so many other tourist destinations. Positively NO believes that a municipality is not an appropriate fit for Salt Spring’s rural island community. We recognize that Salt Spring is a very special place which has remained that way precisely because of the visionary all-party legislation introduced in 1974 to create the Islands Trust Act. Here are our Top Ten Reasons to Vote NO on September 9.
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Incorporation: Municipal Engineer's Perspective in One Image

Peter Brouwer, Salt Springer and Retired Municipal Engineer has spent 30 years providing planning and engineering services to small cities, towns, villages, rural counties and municipal districts in western Canada. More specifically he provided guidance to Councils relative to existing infrastructure rehabilitation and new infrastructure spending. He wrote one of the most insightful analysis of the current government options. It is long but worth the read. click here. We also condensed some of the salient points here in this info graphic. Please click on the image below to start the short animated image.
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Incorporation: Tiffany Wightman on Voting No

Tiffany Wightman is an educator, counsellor and a circus director. She has called Salt Spring home for 17 years. She explains the many reasons for voting NO, adding " I think that what we've got is pretty I'm voting NO with the idea that it is a radical move".
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Incorporation: Islands Trust Trustee George Grams Weighs In

"In considering whether to respond to the many requests I’ve received from members of the local community to make public my position on incorporation I have at all times been guided by Islands Trust policy. Two policies give direction on the subject. The policy on Standards of Conduct, clause 2.7, directs that elected officials shall: “ . . . respect local autonomy and avoid becoming publicly involved in the local politics or controversial local issues in an area outside a local trust area or island municipality that he or she represents unless the elected official first consults with the local trustees or municipal trustees. “ In addition, the Islands Trust Policy Statement states: “Trust Council holds that island communities within the Trust Area are themselves best able to determine the most effective local government structure to support their local autonomy and specific community needs within the Object of the Islands Trust.” These policies explicitly discourag…
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Incorporation: CRD Director Wayne McIntyre Weighs In

The Salt Spring Island governance referendum vote will be held on September 9th. The two options will be to remain with the status quo or to move to a municipal model. Many have asked for my opinion, which I believe is appropriate to share. My experience in local government is extensive and I believe as a politician on Salt Spring is unique. I have had first- hand experience as an elected local politician in both systems of local governance, first as a municipal councillor in the Village of Lions Bay and second as a two term Electoral Area Director for Salt Spring Island. I also have had decades of experience in various capacities in both provincial and municipal governance matters. I will be voting yes and will give a few very specific examples of why. Most will agree that the most effective governance models have a structure appropriate for their community and elected officials who support moving their community priorities forward .In addition, crucial to effective local g…
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Incorporation: Impact on the Trust

The "Yes" campaign's ads would have us believe the Islands Trust will remain unchanged under a municipality. Setting aside the obvious question — then why go to all the trouble of a referendum? — this is simply not true. Much about the Trust would change; none of it for the better. Unlike today, Salt Spring would have no dedicated Islands Trust local trustees. Two municipal councillors would be elected as dual councilors/trustees, a minority on the seven-person council. The other five councilors could range from indifferent to the Trust to actively hostile; they would still form the majority. Our Local Trust Committee itself would be dissolved. We would have no Trust planners trained in the Trust's unique approach to land-use planning. We would have no Trust office. The Trust's capacity and visibility would be greatly diminished. Unlike today, the degree to which the new municipality will realize the mandate of the Trust would depend on the municipal council. It coul…
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Incorporation: Retired CRD Senior Building Inspector on Voting Yes

I grew up on Salt Spring Island, and aside from a few years off picking up bits of education and experience, have lived, raised a family and worked here, retiring as the CRD Senior Building Inspector for Salt Spring Island at the end of 2011. I volunteered to be a member of the 2015 Salt Spring Incorporation Study Committee, and since its dissolution have followed much of the public discussion leading up to our September 9 referendum to choose between continuing with our current form of local governance, or incorporation as an island municipality. I suppose it’s gratifying to observe the level of passion aroused by a relatively straightforward albeit multifaceted proposal to shift the responsibility for the provision of a set of local services now provided by the Provincial Government, the Islands Trust, the Capital Regional District and Improvement Districts to a council elected on Salt Spring Island, with an administration located and focused on Salt Spring Island, plannin…
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Incorporation: Linda Adams Reviews Comparisons to Metchosin

I have seen Metchosin raised fairly frequently as a comparison and potential model for a Salt Spring Island Municipality, perhaps because it is one (or maybe the only?) municipality in BC that has managed to keep taxes low and resist development pressures, in order to finance the costs of municipal services. I think the reasons for this bear closer examination, to determine if their example is indeed one we could follow. As a planner, I have looked at Metchosin a fair amount over the years. While there are things of interest, it is a very different community from Salt Spring in many ways, based on information found in its Official Community Plan. Not only does Metchosin have less than half our population and about 40 % of our land area - more importantly, it has specifically chosen NOT to provide its citizens with many of the services that require funding through municipal taxation. It is this that has kept taxes and staff levels low. But very significantly, Metchosin …
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Incorporation: Less Government Please

Since becoming a permanent resident on Salt Spring in 1998 I have been active in this community both politically and as a volunteer. As such, I have had dealings with many of our “governing bodies” such as the CRD Board of Directors, the PARC Commission, the CRD Building Inspectors, the Fire and Rescue Board of Directors, the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation Board and a few others. I have run for elected office and am president of the Salt Spring Pool Association and needless to say have seen our political process from a number of sides. Everyone says we are an Island surrounded by an argument and I would like to add to that, “and confusion”. We have so much “government” we are literally drowning in it. Nothing gets done easily on our Island because there are too many fingers in every pie. Every decision needs to work its way up or as I prefer to see it, down the chain of government officials. Everything seems to spiral down. As an example, think of the affordable housing pro…
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Incorporation: Nothing Will Change

I’m another one of the 30 percent who voted yes in 2010, but plan to vote no this time round. By the time you read this, I will have voted no to incorporation in the advance poll. Why have I changed my mind? The last time round I felt that we could take greater control over what happens on Salt Spring if we ran everything ourselves. Today, I’m not convinced that this would happen. First, we already make most of our own decisions right here on the island. Most important to me, the major land use decisions are currently made by our two elected Islands Trust trustees. We could increase their number to four if people agreed to that. However, even the two we have can make the same land-use decisions that a council of six plus a mayor could make. A municipal setup would just replace the Local Trust Committee and do the same work. I’ve heard people complain about the official community plan (OCP) and the Islands Trust planners. However, nothing would change under a municipal…
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Incorporation: Positively No Campaign Calls on Public Officials to Correct Misleading Ads

The Positively No referendum campaign is calling on our locally-elected Islands Trust Trustees, George Grams and Peter Grove, and our CRD Director, Wayne McIntyre, to correct misleading statements made by the pro-incorporation Yes campaign about a municipality’s legal obligation to the Islands Trust. In a letter sent to them today, the Positively No campaign called their attention to recent advertisements in which the Yes side stated: "The council will be legally bound to support Trust aims" (Driftwood, August 23) "A municipality is LEGALLY BOUND to support the aims of the Trust” (Driftwood, August 23 and august 16) "Our local council would be bound by ‘preserve and protect’" (Fishbowl, July) The Islands Trust has responded to this issue on its website (repeated on the Salt Spring Exchange August 24). The relevant excerpt from their response is as follows: "In summary, direct land use control on Salt Spring Island would be under the authority of the new municip…
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