Why elect politicians when consultants do the governing? - Alcyonenews

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Islands Trust
Posted January 17, 2020

Why elect politicians when consultants do the governing?

Islands 2050! is a farce staged as a diversionary tactic to make us the people love the iTrust by dressing it in flattering fake images. It is a plan drawn up by consultants hired  to shore up the sagging image of the Trust and make it look cute, democratic and trustworthy. The hidden intent is to relieve the pressure for a thorough review of the Trust which was universally supported after the 2017 SSI referendum on urbanization.

Part of the sham plan are the grandiosely named “Vision Booths”  through which the Trust pretends harvesting public “vision” on plotting the course the Trust would travel  through the 30 years to come.  To attract visitors to Vision Booths, they promised handouts, albeit lesser than the chance to win an iPad which they offered at the inaugural survey  where the consultants asked esoteric questions such as “Does the iTrust offer banking services?”   The “incentive” I was given is a Loonie-sized white button carrying the message: “You have to be more careful with an island” – I presume it is to insinuate that we let the Trust steward our island, lest we fall overboard or sink the Island – they do not say which. Anyway, now that button adorns my cap of pins and buttons.

Recently they pitched Vision Booths in the foyer of the Swimming Pool, on November 29 and December 13 of last year, both being a Friday during children swimming hours. In both events I chatted  with Trustee Laura Patrick who was in charge of the Booth. But, as it turned out, Patrick had only answers to questions the Trust wanted me to ask, and drew blanks to the questions to which I wanted answers. Patrick took a copy of my questions promising to email me the answers.  (See  Questions in December 3 Marketplace)

On December 20, three whole weeks after the answers were due, I receive an email from the Trust’s Gillian Nicol whose post-nominal letters read:

“I am humbly thankful that I live and work in the territory of the BO EĆEN, Cowichan, Halalt, Homalco, K’ómok, Klahoose, Lake Cowichan, Lekwungen, Lyackson, MÁLEXE , Penelakut, Qualicum, Scia’new, sel̓íl̓witulh, SEMYOME, Shíshálh, Snaw-naw-as, Snuneymuxw, S wx wú7mesh, S ÁUTW , Stz’uminus, SXIME E , T’Sou-ke, Tla’amin, Tsawwassen, We Wai Kai, Wei Wai Kum, W JO E P, W SI EM, and x məθk əy̓əm.

Disclaimer: Territorial acknowledgements are just one small part of reconcililation [sic].

Please take a moment to think of other ways you can enact [sic] reconciliation.”

This does not  manifest dexterity to answer questions on Islands 2050! And Nicol does not explain how it fell on her to “answer” these questions. No wonder it took her 21 days to manufacture “clever answers”.

But there are  more “entrails” to read. One is that  Nicol does not copy her answers to any “internal stakeholder”, not even to Patrick. Lest complicity mar their stature, they let  Nicol diseminate the nonsense, all by herself.

Recently, delegating to a junior person the handling of “hot potato issues” happens increasingly frequently and is worrisome. Its thinly veiled purpose is to leave the junior’s  “superiors” with clean hands.  The tactic dates back to Pontius Pilate and has been resurrected to accommodate current corporate brass cowardice.

Significantly, Trust Chairman Luckham has stated that I pose “difficult” questions – evidently I do and I will not repent for that. While Nicol may not have known the answers to my questions, she was aware that her role was to deny me the answers I had sought. And that is what she did. “Cleverly” ...

There is no space to relate here the whole exchange. Since I have published the question I posed, I will spare space by simply sampling the Trust’s “answers”.

Question 2: “Identify the instrument(s), such as Council or ExCom decision, empowering the Islands 2050!, c/w the record of the process that lead to that decision.   

Answer: “Islands 2050 is a Trust Council initiative and they started talking about updating the Policy Statement as early as the summer of 2017. I would highly recommend reviewing Trust Council meeting minutes from Trust Council meetings. Click here to get started.”

In the “summer of 2017", the Trust was “talking”, aiming to skew the SSI Fall referendum on urbanization. Nicol identifies no “instrument”. As for the remaining of her  answer to this question,  it has a parallel in asking a judge on which law based sending me to jail and the judge “highly recommending” I look for it in Hansard.

Typically, Nicol answers my several queries about the identity of the consultants who advised the Trust on Islands 2050!  with the line: “Islands Trust staff developed the Islands 2050 project.   Staff have hired some additional support, such as, graphic designer, white board animated video contractor, and a communication-engagement specialist.”

No wonder then that Patrick “did not read” Nicol’s response ... But Patrick answered herself the questions I posed in the December 13 Vision Booth. Well, the difference from Nicol’s response is confined to verbosity. Her answers are voluminous and vacuous; Nicol’s answers were short and irrelevant. In a word, all were off the point. (See the Questions Patrick answered in the December 17 Marketplace)

Questions serve various purposes, one being to expose a situation. In cross-examination Lawyers never ask questions they do not know the answer to. I knew the answers to the questions I posed. I was hoping that the Trust after been caught redhanded would feel remorse and seek to ameliorate the consequences of their malfeasance. Alternatively that they would realize the futility in their attempt to fool the people and let the chips fall where they may. But the Trust  went the coward’s way.

And that is where it has brought them.

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