An open letter to the Hon. Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs - Alcyonenews

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Islands Trust
Posted July 15, 2022

An open letter to the Hon. Nathan Cullen,
Minister of Municipal Affairs


Dear Minister Cullen

Re: “They” curse the tide to protect “their” Trust SandCastle

The “highlights” (as contrasted to “minutes”) of the June 2022 Islands Trust Council (“TC”)  meeting,  inform that the TC:

“... directed that the Islands Trust Chair write to the Lieutenant Governor in Council to request a review of Islands Trust’s mandate, governance and structure. This action is in parallel to the recent governance review process initiated by Trust Council”

One of the “parallel reviews” is the Trust struggle to suppress the Great Northern Consultants report which exposes a sad Trust performance.

The other is the Review the TC directs Chair Luckham to act on, and which he did with his letter to you, dated July 8, 2022. It is this I am commenting on following.

Chair Luckham states that their Review Request is based on Section 8(2)(e) of the Islands Trust Act, which reads:

“8(2)(e) [the TC may] make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor in Council respecting the determination, implementation and carrying out of policies for the preservation and protection of the trust area and its unique amenities and environment”

For reasons no hard to guess Chair Luckham bring “Review” into the purview of “Section 8(2)(e)” and guides the Ministry to do what he wants it to do by exemplifying the Review Request with six items as follows:

“The requested review could include, but need not be limited to, an assessment of:

a)     the optimum governance model to preserve and protect the Trust Area pursuant to the Province’s vision for the future of the Trust Area;”

The Trust was tailored to prevent the spread of “Magic Lake Estates”.  This was 50 years ago and in the intervening period the Trust has not  endeared itself to us enough to justify keeping this relic on the scene.

For example, look at the Trust’s machinations to evade preventing the demise of  Booth Canal. Look at the dirty tricks they did dishonouring  their duty to protect the Canal ...

“b)     the object of the Islands Trust Act and clarification of the mandate of the organization;”

For the “object” see comment on item (a). As for “clarification of the mandate”,  I will remark  that it is 50 years overdue. The Trust has “governed” us in such majestic ignorance through that period, and now it should account to us for that.

“c)     the governance structure of the organization;”

 When pressed to reconsider its Colonial structure, the Trust unabashedly declared that they would keep on governing us from afar.

“d)     the alignment of decision-making processes and structures with the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act;”

The Indigenous Peoples Act covers the whole of BC. That the Trust postures as a custodian for the Indigenous manifests to the Trust trying to pull itself out of the hot pot by pulling on its own boot-strings.

“e)     the geographic scope of the organization and, in particular, authority over marine areas;”

This run at ruling-the-waves is another instance in the Trust’s perpetual quest for human activities “to regulate by permit”.

“f)      the funding mechanisms provided to the organization in light of a clarified mandate.”

The Trust has been wasting public funds on consultants to shore up its sagging image; and on travelling expenses for colonial overseers to the “local trustees”; and other such things. Asking for more manifests excessive callousness.

The way the Trust operatives reacted to the TC decision to have the Trust reviewed, was to turn it into a Trojan Horse in which to sneak past the people an elixir for the derelict Trust. To draw a parallel, if the rat-trap fails to catch the rat,  one tosses the trap and gets a cat – or concludes that there is no rat to catch. This “request” depicts the Trust madly seeking a rat to justify itself remaining the trap.

The chaperoning of us by the Trust amounts to overt discrimination. We have the right to be treated equally with our fellow British Columbians entrusted to be stewards of the other immensely beautiful areas of our Province.

The Chair’s  paragraph before the last is an affront to the Indigenous people, a form of neo-colonialism,  because, succinctly stated, it is a thinly veiled attempt to exploit the Indigenous people for the “protection and preservation” of a bureaucracy whose time has long expired.

The deliberate nature of this abuse of the Indigenous is further manifested by the Trust copying the Request Epistle  to 47 entities 37 of whom are Indigenous organizations.

I left the worst for last. This is the Trust blanket disregard for the people. Us, the Demos of Democracy ...  This alone should cause the bells to toll for the Trust.


Dr. A. N. T. Varzeliotis P.Eng. (Ret’d)


Patrick Watson bows out

Journalists like him do not happen often. He did “This Hour Has Seven Days”, likely the most esteemed series CBC ever had and, sad to say, was abruptly terminated for that. But he returned with “Democracy”, a 10 one-hour long series with a companion book.  In his memory I will quote the second paragraph from his  Introduction to his book:

“And then, 20 years ago, one particular incident helped to galvanize me: Armed with extraordinary powers, in the early predawn of October 16, 1970, police fanned out across a sleeping city. Armed with extraordinary powers, they broke into houses, ransacked apartments, confiscated what they wanted and seized people at will; over 450 were arrested. The police holding them without charge or bail and refusing to provide reasons for their arrest.”

(The city was Montreal; the powers were the War Measures Act, invoked by Pierre Trudeau)

RIP Patrick

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