Robin Williams – 2018 General Election Candidate Profile

It’s 2018 General Election time on Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands and over much of British Columbia. Our Election Profiles series on the Salt Spring Exchange features candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that you can learn about each of the candidates and why you might consider voting for them. This featured local election people profile is for Robin Williams. Learn more about Robin: Hello, my name is Robin Williams. I am a semi retired businessman and investor. In 1982, I graduated from the British Columbia Institute of Technology with Diplomas in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Business Management. At graduation I was received the Board of Director Award as top student. I had been the Student President and created a self funding model to complete a new Student Association Building. This project came to the attention of then premier W.R. (Bill) Bennett and he asked me to join his political staff as an Executive Ass…
Read more

The Way Forward on Affordable Housing

If elected CRD Director on October 20, my top priority will be to help address the crisis in affordable housing on Salt Spring. As CRD Director (2002─2008), I opted SSI into the CRD Housing Trust Fund that has helped create hundreds of units of affordable housing within the Capital region, and once the Croftonbrook project is completed, about 90 units here. SSI has received grants that are many times our contributions to this regional fund. As former President of the SSI Abbeyfield Society, I also worked with Island Women Against Violence to help establish the Cedars transition housing for women. My main focus will be the seven affordable housing projects already underway, all with land secured, including Croftonbrook (with $6.5 million in committed funding); Dragonfly, Community Services’ SSI Commons and the CRD itself (all in the Drake Road area); Norton Road; Meadow Lane seniors housing; and Brackett Springs. These projects, representing over 250 units, address a range…
Read more

Howard Holzapfel – 2018 General Election Candidate Profile

It’s 2018 General Election time on Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands and over much of British Columbia. Our Election Profiles series on the Salt Spring Exchange features candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that you can learn about each of the candidates and why you might consider voting for them. This featured local election people profile is for Howard Holzapfel. Learn more about Howard: I’m Howard Holzapfel and I’m running for election as Trustee of the Islands Trust. I believe that problems cannot be addressed by one agency alone, so the best way forward is for agencies and citizens to work together to find solutions for local problems. Having spent over four decades both the in real estate and the construction professions, I’m experienced in land-use and planning procedures. I currently hold both a real estate brokers license and a general contractors license. I have spent a career doing corporate turnarounds and…
Read more

Laura Patrick - 2018 General Election Candidate Profile

It's 2018 General Election time on Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands and over much of British Columbia. Our Election Profiles series on the Salt Spring Exchange features candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that you can learn about each of the candidates and why you might consider voting for them. This featured local election people profile is for Laura Patrick. Learn more about Laura: Guy and I, along with our two daughters Ellen and Gwen, moved full time to Salt Spring in 2006, after 11 years of living part time here. I am tremendously proud of my daughters and believes that their growing up on Salt Spring shaped who they have become. I had a professional career in environmental management and environmental impact assessment. Through this work, I have demonstrated my ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups and First Nations to find innovative solutions to managing a variety of environmental and community is…
Read more

Positively Forward releases its report, "Improving Capital Regional District (CRD) Service Delivery on Salt Spring Island: options for positive change"

Positively Forward is pleased to announce the release of its report, "Improving Capital Regional District(CRD) Service Delivery on Salt Spring Island: options for positive change" . A team of researchers, writers and their editor prepared the 44- page report, working for more than ten months to complete the study. Their work is based, in large part, on the evidence, analysis and observations provided by 32 people, all of whom, in different capacities, have first hand experience working with or for the CRD These include current or former CRD directors and staff members, as well as current or former CRD commissioners , local service commissioners and consultants to the CRD. Their information was collected from in depth personal interviews and through questionnaires. Lead researcher, Maxine Leichter said: " The report is the culmination of a great deal of effort and commitment on the part of many people, not least of whom are those who agreed to be interviewed about CRD serv…
Read more

Gary Holman - 2018 General Election Candidate Profile

It's 2018 General Election time on Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands and over much of British Columbia. Our Election Profiles series on the Salt Spring Exchange features candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that you can learn about each of the candidates and why you might consider voting for them. This featured local election people profile is for Gary Holman. Learn more about Gary: I bought land on SSI in 1978 and have lived in the Beaver Point area for about 30 years. Upon moving here, I was drawn to community activism, particularly support for the mandate of the Islands Trust and the land trust movement, serving on the Boards of the SSI Conservancy and The Land Conservancy of BC, which then led to community and provincial politics. I have 3 children - Eren, Amber and stepson Owen - and am married to Alicia. I'm a consulting economist by profession and was fortunate to have worked on projects like the provincial lan…
Read more

Peter Grove - 2018 General Election Candidate Profile

It's 2018 General Election time on Salt Spring Island, the Gulf Islands and over much of British Columbia. Our Election Profiles series on the Salt Spring Exchange features candidates who are running for local office. These short interviews are structured so that you can learn about each of the candidates and why you might consider voting for them. This featured local election people profile is for Peter Grove. Learn more about Peter: Mary and I came to Salt Spring from Vancouver 10 years ago, having been regular visitors for some 40 years. We become deeply involved with the community through Community Theatre, the SS Sailing Club and All Saints Anglican Church. I volunteered with the Hospital Foundation and the Economic Development Commission; Mary with SS Literacy and with the tennis community. I have served as an Islands Trust Trustee for the last 7 years. What brought you to the area? Sailing! And the desire to live in a rural community. What one thing about …
Read more

Housing in Saanich North and the Islands

As I knocked on doors leading up to the Spring 2017 election, there was no question what issue was top of mind. Housing. I heard over and over again the stories of a lack of affordable, accessible and safe housing. As the MLA, housing continues to be a top concern. The housing problems cover a wide spectrum: proximity to work or school, security of landlord/tenant rights, under-utilized housing, crowded and unsafe housing, skyrocketing prices, fear of a collapse, the impact of foreign capital and domestic capital overpowering limited local capital, fairness, housing for seniors, housing for young people and families, housing for workers. Saanich North and the Islands is a diverse riding with people across the socio-economic spectrum. Housing issues in our riding are being expressed on every street, in every neighbourhood, in every community and on every island. While the concerns are different, the unifying theme is the same - the current housing situation is not worki…
Read more

Community Alliance Releases Governance Recommendations

The Governance Working Group, one of six working groups of the Salt Spring Community Alliance, includes volunteers who supported both sides in the 2017 incorporation referendum and some who remained neutral. We came together believing there were ways we could enhance how local government works within our current unincorporated system. We believe it is important to enhance democratic participation and decision-making on Salt Spring and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery. In February 2018, we began researching and analyzing governance options in hopes of spurring an island-wide discussion of Salt Spring’s future. We identified a range of options for improvement and developed criteria to assess them. We discussed each option in depth, first testing it against three “screening criteria” to identify which options were feasible. Options that passed these criteria were scored using 17 evaluation criteria. The highest-scoring option was a Local Community…
Read more

Parting Words from Wayne McIntyre, Electoral Area Director Salt Spring Island

While I have advised those who have asked that I don’t intent to run for elected office in the forthcoming local government elections, I felt it was timely to release something more formal. First of all I want to thank the community for giving me the opportunity to represent Salt Spring as the CRD Director for the last two terms. It has been an honour. Like many decisions this was a difficult one for me. I have had decades of experience in local government matters and have always been involved in some capacity wherever I have lived, including ten years in elected capacities: three years in a municipality as a councillor and seven years as the CRD Director for Salt Spring Island. While the experiences were very different, based in part on the difference in governance, both were challenging, gratifying and at times frustrating and in both systems community volunteers were an essential element of the heart and soul of the communities. While volunteerism is certainly not uni…
Read more

The Court’s Ruling

When the Federal Court of Appeal announced its decision to quash the Justin Trudeau Liberal government approval of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion (TMX) many of us in Saanich North and the Islands celebrated!

Not only did the decision recognize that the federal government needs to respect the law with Indigenous people, but it also recognized that the project’s impacts on the critical habitat of the Salish Sea must be considered.

Those of us who live here and indeed the rest of the world got a wake up call this summer through the vivid pictures of Tahlequah (also known as J35) pushing the corpse of her baby calf for nearly three weeks. Through the tenuous and tragic situation of our friends, neighbours and relatives, the Southern Resident Killer Whales, we saw that the Salish Sea is in trouble.

When the court’s decision was made public some pe…

Read more

Island Leaders in Canada and U.S. Call on Prime Minister to Abandon Trans Mountain Expansion

In light of the Canadian Government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain Pipeline and stated commitment to expanding it despite a court ruling quashing the expansion permit, elected representatives from the islands in the Salish Sea, on both sides of the Canadian-U.S. border, have written an open letter urging Prime Minister Trudeau to abandon the expansion project.  The expansion project would result in 400 more oil tankers passing the island communities which the Islands Trust and San Juan County represent. In their open letter, signed by 22 trustees from the Islands Trust and the three San Juan County councilors, the locally elected officials describe how the Salish Sea region will be put at risk by the project, and how its protection – along with the orcas that live in the region – should be of national importance on both sides of the border.“As elected leaders in the Salish Sea we are compelled to speak out,” said Islands Trust Council Chair, Peter Luckham. “Every day we wi…
Read more

Let’s Get to Work, Salt Spring!

Despite the outcome of the referendum on incorporation, I still believe that we can improve governance on Salt Spring. I’ve been working with community groups on options like formalizing coordination among various agencies; holding public town hall and budget meetings; ensuring CRD services focus more clearly on community priorities; and establishing an elected CRD Community Commission. Affordable Housing Our Top Priority Affordable housing is Salt Spring’s most urgent issue.  There is unprecedented funding available from the CRD and senior governments, with over $6 million already committed to the Croftonbrook proposal.  My top priority as CRD Director will be to support completion of Croftonbrook and at least 6 other affordable housing proposals with land already secured, including the CRD itself, representing over 250 units.  I’ve worked on affordable housing for years on Salt Spring, as an elected official and proponent.  I know CRD can play a stronger role, including on …
Read more

Alliance Organization Hosts Events to Explore Vision for Island Future

Over the past year, an enthusiastic group of Salt Springers have met on the fourth Monday of each month at Lions Hall to share their hopes and visions for the island they so love. Building on the community engagement inspired by the referendum, as well as the need for healing the divisions it created, Salt Springers come together once a month to speak their mind, learn what is happening, and work together to find solutions in a respectful, collaborative conversation. The strong desire to address key issues while retaining treasured values was immediately apparent as overflow crowds gathered to share their opinions. Six major themes soon emerged: housing, economics, infrastructure, health, environment, and governance. For the past six months, Working Groups for each of these themes have been identifying and prioritizing complex issues as well as seeking solutions. Recent monthly meetings have focused on the work of these groups, with Infrastructure next…
Read more

Fire News: Close Call, On Alert, Lessons Learned - Uniting Community Efforts Through the Emergency POD System

(Humanity) is not imprisoned by habit. Great changes in (us) can be wrought by crisis - once that crisis can be recognized and understood. Norman Cousins Glimpsing backwards to discover patterns of adaption For those of us who have gone through hardships in the past, this week we woke up once again to the need for radical mutual care. It made me reflect on the day we moved in when a neighbour walked down the driveway with a jar of homemade plum jam. She became a life long friend. Being welcomed home by a neighbour is one of the best feelings in the world. Importantly, coming from away we were being carefully skilled on community living. Salt Spring rural life has been good that way. Twenty years later our home is filled with 26 nervous neighbours eager to discuss the recent fire and our ability to respond. Three days after the Beaver Point Rd fire threatened to turn much of what we love to ash we gathered to determine how our chapter of the Emergency Pod system worked …
Read more

Local Officials Recommend Governance Task Force

At the request of our MLA Adam Olsen, Electoral Area Director Wayne McIntyre and Local Trustees Peter Grove and George Grams attended a meeting on Thursday 26 July 2018 with the Hon. Selina Robinson, Minister for Municipal Affairs and Housing, to offer their perspective on the post referendum situation on Salt Spring Island and to make recommendations with regard to next steps to improve local governance service delivery. Also in attendance were Assistant Deputy Minister Tara Faganello, Executive Director of the ministry’s Building and Safety Standards Branch Andrew Pape-Salmon, Minister Robinson’s Ministerial Assistant Craig Ashbourne and Mr. Olsen’s chief of staff, Aldous Sperl. The four elected officials’ principal recommendation was that the ministry assemble a task force to determine what improvements were necessary and could be made to our local governance model that respected the electorate’s ruling to remain unincorporated and that honoured the mandate of the Isla…
Read more

Salt Spring Housing Crisis - Share Your Story

Salt Spring Island has a severe housing crisis that is making it very difficult for many members of our community to continue to live in this special place. Have you been homeless despite having the money to rent? Have you been forced to leave the island because you can't find a home? Is your business or farm struggling to keep great staff? Do you live in sub-standard housing at high costs and don't want to leave because there are no other options? The Salt Spring Housing Action Committee (SHAC) is a new network of concerned citizens, farmers, business owners, and affordable housing proponents working to find solutions to the crisis. Elected officials have said they want to hear stories from Salt Springers on how the affordability crisis is affecting them. By sharing your story and filling out this form we may send your story as you submitted it, to elected officials, or in public communications. If we want to use your story for public communications, the newspaper or web…
Read more

Video: Proportional Representation Town Hall

June 16, 2018, a town hall meeting on proportional representation featured guest speakers Elisabeth May, and Gary Holman. Here are two videos from the Town Hall meeting on Proportional Representation. https://youtu.be/NvcDGvvcjxk https://youtu.be/d_EgR7vRZRI
Read more

Hundreds Gather to Stand with the Salt Spring Nine

Updated: Stand Up Salt Spring, an event to raise funds for the nine Salt Spring Islanders who were arrested for protesting the Kinder Morgan pipeline expansion, was held last Saturday at Fulford Hall. A standing room only crowd heard speakers, musicians and poets -- featuring the Salt Spring Nine -- share their stories and reasons for their actions. It was an evening to remember, full of community spirit, encouraging information, warm goodwill, and generous support for each other. The recent story in the Exxhange about Stand Up Salt Spring needs clarification. The event, organized by four volunteers with a lot of help, raised $11,500 towards the arrestees’ legal expenses. The nine arrestees from Salt Spring are in various stages of working through the court process. The legal retainer of $4,000, mentioned on the Exchange, has already been paid by the generous donors to the GoFundMe campaign. The organizers are deeply appreciative of the generosity of all the donors to th…
Read more

Islands Trust Outlines Housing Crisis Initiatives

The Salt Spring Island community has been very clear: we face a housing crisis on Salt Spring. It is a crisis that the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee (SSI LTC) is keenly aware of. The chronic shortage of affordable housing impacts all us, directly or indirectly. The SSI LTC want to thank community members who’ve expressed concern about the state of affordable housing and who continue to work towards solutions for this challenging problem. We hear you and will continue to seek community input for the decisions we make to address affordable housing. For our part, the SSI LTC has taken a three-pronged approach to tackle the issue: 1. In terms of land-use planning measures, the SSI LTC has: Implemented, and subsequently expanded, a secondary suites pilot area; Drafted temporary use permit changes to allow consideration of alternative housing solutions; and Directed staff to draft a land-use bylaw amendment to consider increasing the permitte…
Read more

Islands Trust - Regarding Beachside (Island Escapades)

I have received numerous calls and e mails from islanders who are concerned about a stop work order on the renovations to the Beachside, formerly Island Escapades, property on the Ganges waterfront. It is a valued business and benefits our community. We would all like to see it succeed. However as in any jurisdiction, whether incorporated or not, there are specific by-laws and regulations which must be followed. There are many layers to this issue. Our rules and procedures stem from the Official Community Plan (OCP) developed after a great deal of time and input from the community, covering all matters relating to land use. It includes requirements for development within our villages, along our shorelines and close to streams among others. Bylaws derived from the OCP, and permit requirements within the OCP, cannot be ignored. Simply put, a landowner can do nothing significant to disturb the land within a Development Permit Area (DPA) without a permit, which will ensure that …
Read more