Incorporation will not solve issues in the Trust

Editorial

Tuesday, September 12 2017

Take a vote on incorporation - find out what the province thinks you should be spending on services.

That’s one of the take away messages from the Salt Spring Island vote this past weekend. 

Among many others - many of which both Salt Spring and Gabriola have had numerous attempts at over the years. 

Both islands have now voted No to incorporation as municipalities.

But the silver lining, at least with this particular vote, is Salt Spring residents have a fairly good idea what the BC Government (or at least the Ministry of Transportation) considers to be a fair budget for roadways and other services for a five-year period.

In Salt Spring’s case - $11.8 million for road maintenance and rehabilitation over five years. Or perhaps the Transportation Ministry came up with that number because that’s what it is currently spending on roads on Salt Spring.

The pressures on Salt Spring and Gabriola are not going to go away. The Islands Trust has methods and tools it uses to slow the pace of development to where it can attempt to preserve and protect the communities it represents.

Most times, those tools work. Other times, we see there is a difference between slow and controlled - and stagnation.

Incorporation votes are costly, and in the moment, divisive in some of the worst ways for islanders.

Provincial Transportation Minister Clair Trevena has said the solution to BC Ferries issues needs to be found in fixing BC Ferries.

Rather than trying to ‘leave’ the Trust, those involved should be working within the tools of the Trust, or seeking to add to some new tools to the box.