Sending Brinkworthy to ALC - Alcyonenews

Go to content

Main menu:

Posted July 23, 2016

The July 21, 2016 LTC Meeting - Sending Brinkworthy to ALC

The SSI LTC was scheduled to consider two Staff Reports at the July 21 meeting:

One was about sending the PARC Application to the ALC ostensibly for permission to to use the 181 Brinkworthy Road 15 Acre property for “other than Agricultural purposes”. This is entirely misleading, for once PARC get hold of land, it it less  likely to ever be  farmed than is  for Hell to freeze over.

The other PARC application was to change the OCP and other Policies of the LTC and to rezone the Brinkworthy Land for the sport multiplex PARC wants to build. The OCP, the Policies and the other such documents exist to exclude certain things like the constitution does at the national level.

These Staff Reports are seriously short of the minimal attributes one would expect, given their purpose.  I churned the issues in my cranium and decided that someone would have to bring this out in the hope of making the LTC stop the PARC nonsense. To that end I addressed the LTC and Cermak to make them aware that the Reports were too poor for the professed intend.

My intent was to prompt them to drop it as quietly as they could. But power corrupts those in position to escape Reason. They had made up their mind to do the sportsplex by October 1, 2015, when they started at it behind closed doors and they would have  done the whole thing by stealth, if not exposed.

The efforts of many people to reason out matters were suppressed by the Trust.  It took almost a year at it, until finally Trustee Peter Grove, an accountant, popped the question about the cost of buying, maintaining and operating the the sportplex – it took until the July 21 meeting to get the LTC to pretend concern for costs. And when it happened, Cermak who had authored or consented to all Staff Reports on the matter, confessed ignorance of costs and he was not alone – Dan Ovington, PARC Manager and the named “Applicant”, did not have the answer, either!

Whether ignorance of costs was  fake or genuine, does not detract from the fact that this  is bad, very bad ...   Worse yet, I suggest, is that Trustee Grove and the LTC remained unfazed on the face of cost ignorance.  The  Trustees proceeded with speeches focusing on that old “it could be worse” than what they were about to do, i.e., advance the sportsplex.

Arguably, the ugliest part of their plan was what they did to protect  the Staff Reports. They had  “Legislative Secretary” Clair Olivier confiscate the copies of the Placard, through which I had brought to the LTC meeting my review of the Staff Reports.  They knew how ugly this was and proceeded to do it by stealth.

Following is the message I emailed to the Trustees and Cermak in advance of the meeting. It was the second part of that message that I turned into the article  for the Placard, (shown as such)  they consficated for the glory of Trust “Democracy”


June 20 2015: To Peter Luckham; George Grams ; Peter Grove; Stefan Cermak.

RE: Staff Reports SS-ALR-2015.2, and  SS – RZ – 2015.3.

This is a synopsis of my impressions from a review of the two Staff Reports scheduled for  presentation to the LTC and the people of SaltSpring and  showcased in the  Agenda Package tor the July 21,  2016 LTC.  The Staff reports  raise serious issues, some of which I outline next:

NB: Please note that the document at hand is a “Draft”:  If I publish it, I may edit it for clarity, relevance to purpose, and update it to reflect further developments .

1. It is of paramount importance that Trustees and Staff understand that the AAPC and the APC are parts of the “elected” component of the Trust system, akin to a “parliamentary committee”. Due appreciation of this fact and corresponding respect, has being not apparent in the conduct of Trustees and Staff.

2.   The LTC has created the AAPC, in addition to the APC, due to the paramount importance of Agriculture to the people of SSI.

Decisions of the APC are often ephemeral and reversible while those of the AAPC are frequently irreversible.  This being the case in this instance.

3.  We now have a decision made by the APC split about the middle (4/3) for rezoning the land and changing the “constituion” of the Trust to make room for  the PARC  to expand.  We also have two decisions, unanimously made by “two” AAPCs expressing strong objection to that PARC plan.   (l say “two” AAPC because the LTC became furious  by the AAPC voting on December 3, 2015 against the sportplex, moved on to “fix” up the AAPC. They rescinded a referral to the AAPC and fired three AAPC members, but the APPAPC they thought they had fixed, voted again, unanimuously, against the sportplex! )

4.  Staff may inform the “elected” about  technical errors the AAPC, the APC and the LTC, and even the Council may make, but they must do so objectively and fairly. Staff must administer the decisions the “elected” make - that is their calling

5. On the other side of the equation, the “elected” must shed the mentality loudly exemplified by occurrences such as the June 20,  2013  spectacle of the Trustees (Peter Luckham substituting for Sheila Malcolmson)  asking then RPM Leah Hartley permission to take a tour of Booth Canal, so that they may understand the problems choking the Canal to its death with the connivance of the Trust ...

6. The two Staff Reports at issue omit important facts, such as the cost of the Sportplex, they are bare of reasoning,  rife with biases and offending the direction of command  within the Trust.  They are accordingly entirely unfit to serve as a foundation for a decision to slam that sports multiplex upon the people of the island in general and to harm seriously and irrevocably the well-being of the Brinkworthy community in particular.

7.  Paying “consultants” to attack common sense, to justify the unjustifiable,  to intimidate critics; and to shelter offenders against accountability,  make nothing “right”.

Retaining consultants to stage PRofessional PResentations to the LTC and its advisory commissions may only harm the cause of fair process, especially so if left un-counterbalanced.

Were the LTC to match the PARC and waste another $100,000 of public money on PRofessional Persuaders to ply their trade for “the other side”,  although it  has hues of being “fair” would be foolish; but surely the ensuing horn-locking would be very entertaining, guaranteed!

8.  The two reports at issue, both by the same author, share a lot and are similarly bad.  I have “annotated” my copies with review comments and I am ready to discuss them with their author and the LTC,  if they so wish.

For convenience I have included a couple of samples from  the Staff Reports, this being sufficient I suggest to demonstrate conclusively that the Reports are detrimental to the cause of democratic governance. Please contact me if after you read the samples you still have appetite for more of the nitty gritty of this matter.

9.  This Brinkworthy thing has got out of control. In desperation to prevail against the people, PARC is spending public money like a drunken sailor on a binge, on an  expense  account. This divides the society and sucks the energy that should be directed to issues more substantive than deciding whether sparing a few “advanced” ball players ferry trips to Duncan, tramples the well-being  of the Brinkworthy community and the need to preserve precious agricultural land and prevent taxing all the islanders, forever after.

10.  Please lower the flood gate to stop the outpouring of PRofessional nonsense and so that we clean up and move forward ... Please halt this charade


NB:  Following are the “samples” in my  July 20. email to Luchkham, Grove, Grams and Cermak – I show it as I do because I took these Report samples to the July 21, LTC meeting via the Placard.

Tom’s TownHall Placard

For July 21, 2016


The 4th and 5th Staff Reports on the PARC Brinkworthy pursuit are toxic to democratic procees as were the earlier three. This is evidenced by the following examples:

Sample 1: The 61 Letters!


“Communications received since LTC’s last consideration of the application are included in Appendix 1.  Communications include suggestions for alternative site locations such as at Portlock Park or Fernwood Elementary School, concerns about Brinkworthy Road, environmental references to support food security, 61 support letters for developing the playing fields, and a support letter from Softball Canada.”


Wow!  “61 support letters” crowned with one more from Softball Canada! But ...

But ... The “61" are really one,  photocopied 60 times, signed by ball players  and associates, appropriately coached, one presumes.

But ...  What about communications “received before the last LTC” ? ...

But ... The Staff unabashedly hides the 200 or more submissions for protecting and preserving agriculture, the amenities and the pocketbooks of the Brinkworthy community and for averting taxing in perpetuity the people of SaltSpring to pay for a grandiose sport multiplex.

But ... The Staff entirely ignores submissions via the media, such as Letters to the Editor, Viewpoint articles etc. These vastly outnumber the dear to Staff “61".

But ... The Staff has “evaporated” out of sight some 20 submissions on the subject which I have made myself.  While I am flattered by the Trust’s tacit recognition of the potency of my submissions, I am concerned about the effects from that.  And, of course,  I am dismayed at being “governed” by petty  censors.

But ... What about the submission I brought to the June 29 LTC meeting and of which the Staff confiscated all the copies I had brought for the attendees?

I challenge them to show the people the “support letters” for  protecting the prime agricultural land at issue;  the tranquility and the other amenities of the Brinkworthy community; the averting of unnecessarily taxing the people of the island to build the multiplex and thereafter to operate and maintain it  ...  

Sample 2:  Trust Writes “IF”

All Staff Reports on this matter are void of analysis and comparative evaluation of the PARC sport multiplex and the cost of it to society. Instead of struggling to counterweight the $100, 000 or so, PARC budget for “PRofessional PResentations”, the Trust Staff has aligned with the PARC PRropaganda Brigade.

Look at the IF (after Kipling), the has substituted for  a cost / benefit analysis:


# 1:  “If the LTC considers that the application is not a situation where local farming or the greater community would benefit and would like to proceed no further, the following resolution has been provided:”

#2:  “If the LTC considers the application a situation where the greater community would benefit and supports the application by the Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission for the non-farm use of limited amounts of land in the ALR to provide the stated recreation needs, the following resolution has been provided:”

#3: “If the LTC considers the application a situation where the greater community would benefit but would like to see more benefit to local farming, the following resolution has been provided;”


IF you are a fellow traveler with the Devil, or if you want to deny society the benefits to the “local farming or the greater community” that paving over Brinkworthy will produce; and if you are a fan of Genghis Khan; then kill the PARC’s lovely sports multiplex!

But IF you are fond of Motherhood, lover of King & Country and God-fearing  ...  Your choice is clear, vote for the Multiplex! Or so the Staff goad the LTC.

Tom Varzeliotis

Back to content | Back to main menu