For immediate release
Lək̓ ʷəŋən, METULIYE/Victoria, B.C. – The Province of British Columbia has responded to legislative change requests made by the Islands Trust Council. The Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act (No. 2), 2021 (Bill 26) passed 3rd reading in the B.C. Legislature and the Lieutenant Governor has signed Order in Council 597 [BC Reg. 275/2021].
Through Bill 26 the Province of British Columbia is proposing to amend the Islands Trust Act to:
Include a specific reference to First Nations in the Trust’s Object statement to recognize its ongoing relationship and reconciliation efforts with First Nations.
Enable Islands Trust to give financial support to third parties for activities that provide education about or preserve the environment and unique amenities of the Trust Area. This is an optional new power that Trust Council can use if desired.
Streamline the Islands Trust development approvals processes by transferring from Trust Council the ability to adopt and amend development approval information bylaws to local trust committees providing greater local autonomy. This change will create efficiencies in the approval processes.
BC Regulation 275/2021 provides for local trust committees to delegate, by bylaw,
issuance of development permits to staff with allowance for re-consideration of staff decisions by the local trust committee if warranted. These changes respond to Islands Trust Council requests made in 2018.
The Province of British Columbia is also proposing to amend the Community Charter to
support alternative means of providing public notices across all local governments in British Columbia. This change is consistent with a resolution Islands Trust successfully proposed at the 2021 Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention to provide more options for communicating to communities.
“We are very happy to see these proposed legislative changes,” shared Peter Luckham, Islands Trust Council Chair. “These changes will remove administrative barriers and help Islands Trust meet its unique mandate more effectively. I want to note I am especially pleased with the proposed change to add reference to First Nations in the list of parties we cooperate with. The Minister of Municipal Affairs recently noted that Islands Trust has demonstrated leadership in reconciliation efforts. We very much look forward to continuing and deepening this work as we continue with implementing Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action and build collaborative respectful relationships with First Nations.”
Islands Trust Council, local trust committees and Bowen Island Municipality will make
decisions at public meetings about whether to use any new powers granted by the Province of British Columbia before enacting local bylaws or policy.
For more information see:
Province of BC news release and information bulletin
Islands Trust 2018 letter to Minister of Municipal Affairs regarding legislative change requests
Islands Trust 2021 resolution endorsed by the Union of British Columbia Municipalities
Convention regarding electronic temporary use permit and public hearing notification