We endure the Trust expecting it to fight on our behalf unruly land developers and otherwise protect and preserve for future generations the ambience of the islands. The purpose of the Trust is best understood by its genesis sired by a strong aversion to Pender Island Magic Lake Estates type and size development. The Trust evolved into a Planner-o-cracy which morphed into a self-centered tribe focused on growth through identification of potential “permit regulation areas” . These they stash into their arsenal and deploy to make us, the populace, miserable.
Examples of what they do abound. They spent resources to “decide” whether to allow a woman to build a meditation room on the roof of her home; likewise contemplating the “heritage” overgrown Leylandii hedge on Rainbow Road; now they are contemplating whether to allow an apple tree of “heritage” apple variety to be cut down – in the Trust world these require Staff Planners Reports and consideration by the Local Trust Committee. In the real world, a Trust officer ought to tell the applicant, in the unlikely event that someone would go to the Trust for permission to cut an apple tree, to take a few scions of the “heritage apple tree” and graft them onto another of the countless apple trees on the island, and that would be the end of it, all free of application fees or fuss.
The Trust is also failing us by omission, and this is painful, too. The ugliest of them all is the Trust failure to prevent and, having let it happen, to reverse the demise of Booth Canal. The Canal is a beauty to behold and a treasure to uphold. Yet the Trust in its almost half century in existence has neglected it. Since 2009, I have made some 50 submissions about the Canal, all of which the Trust fought with censorship and dirty tricks.
Such is the “true believer” mentality of the Trust that they drove many of us to risk the ambience of the island that brought us here by seeking refuge in overt Mayor-o-cracy.
While pondering whether to let the “applicant” chop the old apple tree and attending to other similarly piddly matters, the Trust contemplates expanding their stubborn maligning of Booth Canal beyond the Groyne that kills the Canal. All the while, the Trust vigorously “protecting and preserving” the causes of the demise of the Canal.
Now 13.26 hectares (33 acres) of intertidal zone is threatened to be ceded to intense aqualuture entrepreneurs. This area commences at the infamous Ggroyne stuck in the mouth of Booth Canal, and stretches for a kilometer northward, clawing into the plan the intertidal zone. This enterprise would extend the Trust’s formidable stonewall against remedial measures for Booth Canal. This in addition to the other ill effects the plan would have on the ecology in general and the amenities of our Island in particular.
One of these concerns is the covering of the intertidal zone with “predator netting, anchored with concrete blocks and fastened to the sand with re-bar staples. I do not have the surveys and the other data needed for a comprehensive analysis to determine the consequences of this development, but the sparse information available is very worrisome. The netting and the other structures, stationary and mobile, ancillary to the exploitation of the resource, are bound to affect the litoral currents, disturb the sediment economy of the zone and alter the tidal regime to some extent.
The abominable Groyne has caused siltation of the Canal, resulting in destruction of most of the clam and oyster beds of the Canal. While there are remnants of the resource and clam harvesting continues to this day, the resource is vanishing fast. Removal of the Groyne would revitalize the clambeds of the Canal, which would be a boost to the fishery for the benefit of everybody. This is the way to go, screwing up a kilometer of shore is what the Trust exist to prevent.
I will return on the issue of Booth Canal after the year-change, and will pursue it persistently, as I have done in the past, since the 1970s.
But for now I am asking the Trust to take a stand. I am asking the LTC to pass a resolution declaring a resolute unwillingness to re-zone this intertidal area for the purpose of this Application; and to inform the Provincial and Federal authorities of the Trust’s determination of honour its mandate by resolutely objecting to this enterpise. Nothing less will do, but more for sure I will pursue.