Concerned Islands Residents Association
NEWS RELEASE November 3, 2021
Gulf Islands residents not consulted about new B.C. Municipal Act amending Islands Trust Act and regional government legislation or impact, says new community group; asks B.C. government to hold off passing legislation
CIRA opposed to removing public hearings, consultation before rezoning; financial issues
GULF ISLANDS – A new Gulf Islands community group says that B.C. Municipal Act and the Islands Trust Act legislation introduced last week was not the result of consultation with island residents.
The Concerned Island Residents Association says the B.C. government legislation amending the Islands Trust Act was apparently requested by the Islands Trust but adequate consultation on the amendments or their impact has not taken place.
And CIRA says that Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendments Act (No. 2) changes that would remove the necessity for public hearings on rezoning changes for both municipalities and regional governments will apply to the Islands Trust and again undermines the democratic principles of holding elected representatives accountable and responsible for rezoning applications that impact residents.
“Some of these amendments would reduce the accountability and transparency of Islands Trust officials and others would have an unknown impact, so we are asking the provincial government to hold off on passing these amendments until communities on the Gulf Islands have an opportunity to hear from their elected representatives and understand the consequences,” said CIRA spokesperson Bill Tieleman.
CIRA is also concerned about giving the Islands Trust the ability to: “give financial support to community groups for activities that provide education about or preserve the environment and unique amenities of the Trust Area.”
“Islands residents are already facing substantial tax increases to pay for ever-expanding Islands Trust expenditures – what controls will there be on even more free spending by staff and Trust representatives?” Tieleman asked. “Who decides how to spend island taxpayers’ money and how much?”
CIRA was formed to voice the concerns of Gulf Islanders over proposed substantial revisions to the Islands Trust Policy that have not been properly discussed or debated and amount to fundamental and negative changes.
For more information: Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, email: firstname.lastname@example.org