Within earshot of the Trust - Alcyonenews

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Islands Trust
Posted March 22, 2019

Within earshot of the Trust

On March 4, 2019, an- ad appeared on the Trust’s Website.  It is titled “Have your Say” and it is framed in a textbox with its top part being a quadriptych of panels in vivid colour. The first Panel is the logo of the Trust; next is a shot of a plunging rear décollete of a person against the background of the Saturday Market; the third  is a portrait of an adorable goat;  the last depicts a deciduous tree on a seascape.  The row symbolically heralds the Trust, the Populace, the Fauna and the Flora.

The ad reads:

“The Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee invites you to help shape its strategic priorities.
At this event, you can share your ideas on what land use planning issues should be top priorities for the 2018 to 2022 term.
The meeting will include a short town hall session, table discussions, and an opportunity for written feedback to identify possible LTC priorities.
Friday, March 15, 2019   | 2:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Please arrive at 2:30 pm to allow for an engaging conversation.
Crofton Room, Harbour House Hotel, 121 Upper Ganges Road”

I found it perplexing and on March 8, I emailed Chairman  Luckham, with copies to Trustees Patrick and Grove asking:       

“1.  Will you facilitate Citizens bringing written submissions and making them   available to their fellow participants on the customary table with a sign “Please Take One”?

2.   Is there any “third party” (“third” to the Trust and the Public) involved or to be involved in the staging of that event, or any facet of it? If so, please identify the “third party”, or “parties”, and their role(s) in this event.”

Grove “reacted” instantaneously and “resolutely”:

“Am forwarding this to staff who are organizing the event”.

Thus he emailed me with copies to the other Trustees and to trusted Staff. That he did not instruct the Staff what to do with my request certifies Grove’s response as a Pontius Pilate show rerun.

After Grove, Luckham emailed me endorsing Grove’s “no-solution” and adding:

“This is still in the final stages of planning and details will be out soon.

I see that Peter Grove has copied staff. Keep an eye on the website.”

Trustee Patrick wrote a Letter to Editor exaulting the Trust dedication to democracy:  “At the March 15 special meeting, we want to identify areas of key priorities, or ‘themes’, such as ‘affordable housing’,” she wrote – yes, cross my heart, she did!

Well, they accelerated “the final stage of planning” and quickly posted a sad agenda for the event on the Website which, “Form-alities aside, I found  funny.

For starters “they” scheduled an “Introduction”, ostensibly to teach us participants, all about the Trust,  for “they” had astutely determined that our ignorance or “misconceptions” could handicap our capacity to plan the course  of the Trust and shoulder the burden of drilling into us the “True Trust Truth”. This they did with a video starring several Trustees.

A game of “Town Hall” was next. We would deploy our newly acquired knowledge which  the Trust purveyed by that video,  to “Identify Key Priorities” for the Trust to so that the Trust would govern us like we want to be governed in the next four years.

Then comes a Break before the event organizers Marshall us to “Distill Policy Priorities”. I presume these are the “Priorities” we identified in the Town Hole, by deploying the knowledge the Trust drilled on us at the start of the event.

The distillation done,  there was another break to let the distilled stuff cool, I presume. Upon resumption we would do “Reporting Back [‘back’ ?] and Next Steps”.  This done, we would be dismissed to go drown our sorrows for a wasted afternoon.

There was a Form designed to convey what in the Agenda had billed as “written feedback to identify possible LTC priorities.”  The form is a key part of the “manufacturing consent” objective of the event.

The real purpose of that pow-pow, I will argue, was to prevent meaningful Public discourse in respect to reforming the Trust, as per the “consensus” reached in the aftermath by the September 9, 2017 “municipalization” referendum. This midMarch meeting, the first of its kind (I think) in the history of the Trust,  was meant to shore up the “Cosmetic Reform by Stealth”, that was enveloped in Chairman Luckham’s missive to the Minister, that which he sneaked in on December 18, 2018 while we were all out Christmas shopping.

Characteristically, they did the event on a Friday, instead of a Saturday, for the same reason for which they did the RAR  21 November 2012 meeting in the Fritz cinema at 06:00 pm, on “a dark and stormy midweek night”. This way they reduced the attendance from the hundreds who could not be accommodated at ArtsSpring, the HHH or the School gym, down to 23 souls who braved the elements to be fed popcorn and poppycock at the Fritz.

No, you cannot fool all the people all the time as Abe  Lincoln  observed. This Trust is beyond repair, certainly beyond self-recovery. We, the people, must change it for unless we do nobody will and what must be done will remain undone.

Tom V.
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