January 8, 2019
via email: MAH.firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hon. Selina Robinson
Dear Minister Robinson
Re: The December 18, 2018 letter to you, signed by Mr. Peter Luckham, Chair of the Islands Trust.
This matter has sprung from the universal consensus generated by the September 9, 2017 Salt Spring Island incorporation referendum. The populace; the “three elected officials”; the Ministry; and the Trust, joined in a concerted quest for reforming the Trust in general and addressing the governance needs of SSI in particular .
In the 15 month interim, nothing has happened towards delineating the issues of concern so as to affect their analysis and the synthesis of solutions. But Mr Luckham’s letter manifests that the calm was only on the surface. Under it, true to its corporate credo, the Trust had been plotting to seize control of the quest for reform, as if the Trust was itself not “the problem”.
Mr Luckham’s letter reveals that the Trust is seeking to exploit the opportunity for its own ends. I have read through it attentively and it appears pregnant with intentions to boost the muscle of the Trust to do the very things which elicited the widespread public resentment that fueled the past incorporation referenda.
It is pertinent that the Islands Trust did not spring from the people of SaltSpring – it was imposed from above, some half century ago. Over the years, the Trust failed to win widespread affection of the people, but its demeanor elicited substantial public resentment which the Trust has been answering by operating increasingly in secrecy. The time is now overripe for us, the people, to assert our right to define our local governance. We managed to avert incorporation and must not let our win become capitulation to those who caused to so many of us so much desperation as to seek refuse in urbanization.
Mr Luckham seeks to supplant Trust paternalism for democratic recourse – the Trust knows what is good for us and rises to its “burden” to save us from our folly – Hell no, we had enough of that ... We want no more Consultants, Committees and Peers (“CC&P”) which have become second nature to the Trust.
We, for I speak not only for myself, would like a big say in this matter. We want to shape our Local Government ourselves, as is our right, within the parameters of local governance. We seek our Right to Open Government recognized and secured; and we want to do what need be done, ourselves, through a thoroughly transparent process, for we are, and determined to remain, a free community with a right to govern ourselves.
This is an appeal to you, Madame Minister, to side with reason and to ensure a fair and therefore essentially, transparent process through which we can determine the future of our society. We abhor the thought of the Trust secretly creating a fait accompli and hiring CC&Ps to manufacture consent around it.
You may help make this happen by fostering an Ideas Bank for us through which to expose out aspirations and thrash out our ideas to evolve and mature, all unfolding, in front of the public eye and mind. Only thus may we transform the Trust to a fair government for our society.
We are appealing to you Madame Minister, to deny the Trust’s attempt to paternalize us, conveyed to you by Mr Luckham. We ask respect for our right to decide the governance of our society, it being a right all the people of British Columbia should enjoy.
Dr. A. N.T Varzeliotis, P.Eng. (Ret’d)