Islands Trust to hold information session around proposed Policy Statement changes

Sounder News

Wednesday, June 30 2021

A short information session will be offered prior to the Islands Trust Council’s July 7, 2021 town hall session. 

The information session will start at 6:30pm.

The Town Hall will begin at 7pm.

In a statement issued this past week, the Islands Trust The intent is to provide an overview of the current Policy Statement amendment process and share information about the next public review and engagement process, which will go on for a number of months and involve the public, First Nations, agencies, and organizations.

Peter Luckham, Islands Trust Council Chair said, “It’s inspiring to see so many people talking about the Policy Statement, and we are thrilled with the level of interest.

“Still, we’re concerned about misinformation, and we are deeply discouraged by the antagonistic and blaming dialogue we have witnessed.”

While Luckham did not speak specifically about it, an insert was distributed thru Canada Post on June 26 to various mailboxes on Gabriola, containing statements around the Policy Statement. The insert was not signed or provide any information on who the information was coming from.

Luckham said, “in the 26 years since the Policy Statement was last updated, the world has changed, and our priorities have shifted. As we consider updating and strengthening the Islands Trust’s policies to address reconciliation, climate change, and affordable housing it is invaluable that so many community members have shared their values, concerns and ideas over the last 18 months, and that so many are keen to join the process.”

The Islands Trust statement says that despite rumours circulating, the draft new Policy Statement doesn’t centralize governance, cause the Islands Trust to work outside its jurisdiction, result in less support for healthy and inclusive communities, or cause anyone to take out existing infrastructure such as docks and seawalls. Reading the draft new Policy Statement cover-to-cover is essential to understanding how everything is interconnected.

At the July 8 Trust Council meeting, first reading of the draft new Policy Statement will be considered and a multi-month public engagement process will begin.

Contrary to what has been published in the insert, a first reading does not end the public input portion of the process - rather, it is required so that the Trust Council can take public input specific to what is being proposed.

Links to the live July 7 sessions can be found at www.islandstrust.bc.ca

On the same site, the public can read about the Policy Statement amendment process, read the draft new Policy Statement that Trust Council will consider for first reading on July 8, read answers to frequently asked questions, and learn how to provide input.

The Trust is also encouraging the public to sign up for notifications about the new Policy Statement amendment process, to get advised of review and engagement opportunities.

 Select “Islands 2050 Updates” at https://islandstrust.bc.ca/subscribe/