To make us love the Trust - Alcyonenews

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Islands Trust
Posted February 22, 2019

To make us love the Trust

On December 18, while people were Christmas shopping,  Peter Luckham, Chairman of the Trust, conveyed to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the Hon. Selina Robinson a Trust’s “do it-yourself” plan for reforming itself. Luckham’s letter is a thinly veiled attempt to seize the “Consensus” for Trust updating which sprang from the outcome of the 2017 SSI governance referendum. This home-made “plan” seeks to boost the Trust facility for doing us more of that which has been done to gain the disdain of so many.

On January 8, I wrote Minister Robinson suggesting a fair public process to determine the future governance of the Island, in fulfillment of the Consensus. This being counter to Paternalism, which is patent in Luckham’s attempt. Her office acknowledged receipt of my communication, however the Minister has not as yet responded.

I deemed it advisable to approach Mr Olsen and Ms Malcolmson, with a request to do their part in ensuring an open and fair process through which the people of SaltSpring would decide the future governance of the Island.  Following is the open letter I addressed to Olson and Malcolmson:

“Dear Mr Olsen and Ms Malcolmson

Re: Toward realization of the “Consensus” to upgade the Islands Trust Act, formed subsequent to  2017 SaltSpring Governance Referendum

This is an appeal to you Mr. Olsen as our MLA;

This is an appeal to you Ms Malcolmson as an MLA and as the former Chairperson for six years of “Everything Islands Trust”, including the Trust Council, the Executive Committee and the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee.

It is an appeal to bring the powers of your office to bear for the realization of the aspiration of the people of SaltSpring Island and, indeed of the whole Trust Area. It is part of a drive to ensure that the “Consensus” for reviewing the Trust structure becomes consummated in a fair and pragmatic way, to ensure the realization of the aspirations of the islanders who have endured half a century of a “local” government imposed upon us and are accordingly in need of relief.

Regrettably certain people within the Trust structure saw the quest for change as an opportunity to amass more power with which to do us more of the very things that brought us to the verge of urbanization in 2017. But the referendum debate culminated in the Consensus for changing the Trust Act with a view to eliminate or at least wane the causes of public discontent toward the Trust – it is this that must be done.

On January 8, 2019, I addressed a letter to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing the Hon. Selina Robinson asking her to cast aside the December 18 letter to her from Mr Peter Luckham, Chair of the Trust. The purpose of that letter appears being  to create a fait accompli of a Trust designed “reform” that would suppress the Consensus for meaningful reform.

But the need is for the democracy we have been denied. The need is for a local government designed by the populace, one who has the consent to govern the governed. This is the point I raised with the Minister in that open letter and published in the Marketplace on January 11, 2019. The Ministry acknowledged receipt of my letter and promised consideration. But as yet I have not heard from the Minister. Hence my appeal to you to intervene on our behalf .

I want to make it crystal clear that this request is essentially one for fair process. I am not advocating a particular solution, I am simply and plainly advocating a democratic process to facilitate taking the rough edges off the Trust and terminate the Trust paternalism. The Luckham letter manifests the Trust obsession with secrecy in governance. This is therefore a request for an open process, to elicit  public input and debate of the issues and the potential solutions that would emerge for consideration, within the full extent of the feasible.

I attach a copy of my January 8, 2019 open letter to the Minister, for your convenience, and  refreshment of memory.

I await your apprising me of your efforts to facilitate the open  and fair process we need and without which the democratization of our government that needs be done will remain pending.

Best regards,

Tom Varzeliotis
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