report on Trust Council meeting

While in Nanaimo for the Trust Council meeting, the Lasqueti Trust Committee held an extremely brief meeting and decided to appoint Susan Morrison and Shoshonaha to the Lasqueti Island Advisory Planning Commission (APC). Later that morning a Gabriola office staff member found Jason Barton’s expression of interest (which Jason had told me about), and we are in the process of also appointing Jason to the APC by resolution without meeting (usually referred to as RWM).

 

Much orientation information was presented, some of it very interesting and important. These included ecological information from the Islands Trust Conservancy, and an extensive report for each Local Trust Committee on First Nations with interests  (Aboriginal rights, Aboriginal title and Treaty rights) in and around each Local Trust Area. We also had our first look at the proposed budget for 2019-20, which will soon go out for public consultation and response, and will come back to Trust Council for adoption at our March 12 – 24 meeting on Gabriola Island.

 

I’ll post reports on each of these topics, and probably others, in coming days. Meanwhile, here are some tidbits:

 

Eelgrass beds are nature’s nursery for forage fish, which are the base of the food chain for larger fish, birds, mammals and other marine and land-based life. About 17% of Lasqueti’s foreshore has eelgrass beds. About 4% of our foreshore is suitable spawning habitat for forage fish.

 

It is accepted that ecosystems can remain healthy as long as less than 30-40% of the land is “converted” and no longer available for nature. These converted lands can be for agriculture, roads & utilities, village, rural, industrial and golf course developments. So far, Lasqueti has about 6% of its land converted, 2% by agriculture and 4% by rural development.

 

Lasqueti Trust Area has 16 First Nations with asserted rights, title and treaty rights in land and/or marine areas, and have been reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in 2018, with whom the final fiduciary obligation of the Crown’s responsibility to consult indigenous peoples rests. These are: Tla’amin (Sliammon) Nation, shishálh (Sechelt) Nation, K’omoks First Nation, Qualicum First Nation, Snaw-naw-as (Nanoose) First Nation, Homalco First Nation, Klahoose First Nation, Wei Wai Kum (Campbell River) Nation, Wi Wai Kai (Cape Mudge) Nation, Snuneymuxw (Nanaimo) First Nation, Stz’uminus (Chemainus) Nation, Penalakut Tribe, Cowichan Tribes, Halalt First Nation, Lyackson First Nation, Lake Cowichan First Nation.   Other Local Trust Areas have from 8 to 15 Indigenous Peoples, 30 in total for the Trust Area.

 

The proposed budget for 2019-20 calls for a projected 2% property tax increase overall for the Islands Trust Area (excluding Bowen Island Municipality), but it will vary with varying assessed value of properties in each Local Trust Area. The Budget Consultation Process will begin in early February. Lots of budget information is available in the Agenda Package for this week’s Trust Council meeting, on pages 7 through 78, located at  http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/347018/tc-2019-01-15_agd_pkg_final.pdf

 

Four of the PowerPoint presentations made to us by staff at the meeting this week are posted on the Trust web site. They are on

Local Planning Services   http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/347041/lps-session.pdf 

Trust Area Services  http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/347045/tas-session.pdf   

Islands Trust Conservancy   http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/347053/itc_2019-01-15_itc-orientation_prs.pdf  

First Nations   http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/347057/4-first-nations-session.pdf  .

They can also be accessed through the meetings section on the Trust website, by clicking on the Trust Council Nanaimo meeting dates January 15 or 16 at http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/trust-council/council-meetings.aspx 

I particularly recommend the Conservancy and the First Nations presentations as being of more general interest and importance.

If you have questions or would like more information, let me know.

You are also encourage to contact our planner, Sonja Zupanec  250-247-2211  szupaned [at] islandstrust [dot] bc [dot] ca  or call the northern Trust office, where there is a planner on duty from 8:30 to 4, Monday to Friday  250-247-2063 (call 1-800-663-7867 to be connected toll-free) 

 

 

 

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