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Friday, December 1, 2023

Shortages in the Land of Plenty – Helen Grond

Shortages in the Land of Plenty

Bombshells are dropping on Hornby Island

“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”–Vladimir Ilyich Lenin.

On Friday, September 8th, a Hornby Island regular Islands Trust meeting took place.  It should have been business as usual but it wasn’t.  In the course of that meeting, the mask dropped and the inner workings of the Islands Trust were revealed for all to see.  It wasn’t pretty.  It will take time to unravel all the details but suffice to say that the reputation of the Trust will forever be tainted by the revelations of that meeting.

First of all, the despised two minute rule for speakers was soundly smashed by Elspeth Armstrong, who challenged the arbitrary rule and calmly made a good case for abandoning it.  Thank you Grant Scott for backing her up and telling us to take all the time needed to express ourselves.  That in itself is huge.  Let’s never again allow bureaucratic controls to censor our voices.  They don’t get to shush us.

The cell tower consultation process between Rogers and Hornby Island has been a sham from the get go.  The corporate giant started communications with the Trust head office in June of 2022.  The community never heard a thing until November, 2022.  According to our local Trustees (not totally clear), they weren’t informed either.  It was a big surprise to everyone, even though the IT planners were in secret communication with Rogers for five months.  How interesting that the five month covert consultation process happened to coincide with our Trustee elections.  I wonder how the elections would have played out if this contentious issue was allowed to be an election issue?  We would have had a chance to be fully informed and the entire community would have had a voice.  Why did the Trust head office choose to take away this right?

The most uncomfortable moment in the meeting was when a staff planner tried to make the defense that the planning staff actually had no clue about the due process for cell tower placement on Hornby; a process that they themselves had developed.  In spite of creating the protocols in the first place, including them in a regular LTC meeting agenda and witnessing our Trustees pass a motion to adopt the model strategy for the cell tower approval process in September, 2022, they claim they didn’t have any idea that any of the above occurred.  The air was literally sucked out of the room at that moment and the realization that something very extraordinary had just been revealed was clear for all to see.  The feeble attempt to cover up the   situation was exposed.  The Trust was clearly in the process of selling us out to a massive corporation and it is a miracle that this came to light in the way it did.  Every man, woman and child in the Trust area contributes $300 annually to keep this monstrosity alive.  “Preserve and Protect” seems to be nothing but a farce……

There were other important revelations that came from that meeting.  We must demand accountability.  Stay tuned.

Author: TIG

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