How the Islands Trust iis Organized

from pages 34 & 35 of Protecting the Coastal Douglas-fir Zone & Associated Ecosystems – An Islands Trust Toolkit

Appendix 1:  Legislative and  Governance Context

The Islands Trust is governed by the Islands Trust Act (ITA) which:

  • Establishes and confers responsibilities and powers on the corporate bodies of the Islands Trust: 
    • trust council
    • the executive committee
    • a local trust committee and the
    • Islands Trust Conservancy.
  • Identifies the Islands Trust Area and the mandate of the Islands Trust
  • Transfers land use planning powers from Regional Districts to Local Trust Committees
  • Prohibits a Regional District from adopting bylaws, issuing permits or undertaking work contrary to a Local Trust Committee bylaw
  • Establishes the relationship with Island Municipalities
  • Guides some governance procedures
  • Provides for budget and requisition of taxes

The Islands Trust ‘Object’

The object is spelled out in the Islands Trust Act and provides the ‘purpose’ for all Islands Trust corporate bodies.

The object of the Trust is to preserve and protect the Trust Area and its unique amenities and environment for the benefit of the residents of the Trust Area and of British Columbia generally, in cooperation with municipalities, regional districts, improvement districts, other persons and organizations and the government of British Columbia.

Trust Council

The electors of each Local Trust Area elect two local trustees to form each local trust committee and to sit on Trust Council. Two municipal trustees are elected to represent Bowen Island Municipality. The 26 elected trustees of the Islands Trust Council are charged with conducting the financial management of Islands Trust (with the exception of the Islands Trust Conservancy) and with carrying out the provincial mandate to preserve and protect the Islands Trust Area. Section 8(2) of the ITA confers Trust Council with the powers to:

  • acquire and dispose of land,
  • coordinate and assist in the determination, implementation and carrying out of municipal, regional and improvement district and government of British Columbia policies for the preservation and protection of the trust area and its unique amenities and environment,
  • make recommendations to the Islands Trust Conservancy respecting priorities for the acquisition, use and disposition of property by the Islands Trust Conservancy,
  • make recommendations to the Lieutenant Governor in Council respecting the acquisition, use and disposition by the government of land located in the trust area,
  • unique amenities and environment,
  • engage in activities to gain knowledge about the history and heritage of the trust area and to increase public awareness, understanding and appreciation of that history and heritage,
  • conserve heritage property,
  • support and give financial assistance to activities referred to in paragraphs (f) and (g) that are undertaken by others,
  • recommend to a regional district board that it exercise its tax exemp­tion authority under section 392 of the Local Government Act in relation to heritage property in the trust area, and
  • assign duties to the executive committee and to the local trust committees.

The Executive Committee

Executive Committee (EC) is comprised of the Trust Council chair and the vice chairs (who chair each local trust committee) and are elected by Trust Council at the beginning of each term. The duties of EC are to:

  • consider land use bylaw amendments and official community plan amendments submitted to it for approval. Bylaw approval by EC involves consideration of whether the bylaws are consistent with the Islands Trust Policy Statement, as required under the ITA.
  • act as a local trust committee for that part of the trust area that is not in a local trust area or a municipality (The Ballenas-Winchelsea Islands Local Trust Area is the only area of Islands Trust that falls into this category).
  • carry out other duties that the trust council directs.


Local Trust Committees

Local trust committees (LTCs) are responsible for land use planning and regulation in each local trust area. The local trust committees’ authority to enforce bylaws and regulate development and the use land comes from the Islands Trust Act and the Local Government Act (LGA). Part 14 of the LGA, “Planning and Land Use Management,” establishes the land use planning tools and procedures available to local governments in BC. LTC responsibil­ities include preparation and adoption of official community plans, land use bylaws, which include zoning and subdivision regulations, soil removal and deposit bylaws, and authorization of other permits, such as siting and use permits or development permits in development permit areas.

Islands Trust Conservancy

Governed by the Islands Trust Conservancy Board, the Islands Trust Conservancy (formerly the Islands Trust Fund) is a regional land trust and is legally independent from the Islands Trust. Its vision is to create a network of protected areas in the islands so that Canada’s Salish Sea is a vibrant tapestry of culture and ecology, and where viable ecosystems flourish alongside healthy island communities. The Islands Trust Conservancy is a qualified donee as defined by the Income Tax Act and can issue tax receipts for income tax purposes to individuals who donate land or cash to be used for conservation. The Islands Trust Conservancy achieves its mission by:

  • Working with landowners to protect ecosystems on private property
  • Building a strong conservation alliance in the islands by supporting local island conservancies, and
  • Demonstrating the highest standards of land stewardship in its nature reserves.


Islands Trust Act

Local Government Act




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