Safe Island Land Alliance | An Open Letter to Lasqueti Island Residents

Michael Ruge, Community Coordinator
Safe Island Land Alliance, Oben Road
Lasqueti Island, BC,   V0R 2J0
Email: community [at] safeisland [dot] ca

March 6, 2021

Re: An open letter to the residents of Lasqueti Island

Dear Neighbours:

It has come to the attention of my wife Elly and me, that there are some concerns within the Lasqueti Island community regarding the Safe Island Land Alliance.  In addition to valid concerns being raise, there is also a considerable degree of misinformation circulating and we wish to address both.

My wife Elly has entered into a purchase agreement with Lasqueti Island resident, Sue Taylor.  Sue’s late husband, Randy, had previously invested time, thoughtfully building roadways throughout the property and obtaining an unrestricted right-of-way access road.  Randy’s plan was to co-op and subdivide the 168 acres of land into smaller parcels, in much the same fashion Elly is now doing – with support from me on the marketing and sales side.

Following the long-established co-operative model of Magic Mountain, Boat Cove and West Lasqueti Holdings (among others), SILA is offering thirteen 10-acre parcels by way of selling shares.  Prospective buyers are pre-screened and only those looking to embrace Lasqueti’s off-grid, community-centric lifestyle will be invited to proceed.  To date, all qualified inquiries have come from those with a passion for homesteading and nearly half are current Lasqueti Island residents.  It is worth noting that Islanders can take advantage of preferential purchase terms, including a reduced price on available lots.

Elly is set to close on the acreage, and the property transfer is scheduled to take place, mid-March.  As is common (and perfectly legal) practice with co-operative, share-based real estate, and as per the agreed upon terms of purchase, land shares are being offered for sale in anticipation of completion.  It is important to clarify that any deposits submitted by approved buyers will be held in trust by the buyers’ lawyers until the property transfer is complete.  Elly intends to complete the purchase as scheduled, regardless the number of lots that may or may not be spoken for in advance of completion.

As part-time residents of Lasqueti Island ourselves, we are committed to environmental stewardship and ensuring that the integrity of the land and the values of the Island community are at the forefront of SILA.  We are designating over 35 acres as a wetland nature preserve, which will help protect the ecosystems and waterways that run through the 168 acres.  SILA members will, of course, be required to comply with all land use parameters as specified by Islands Trust, as well as additional considerations laid out by the SILA co-operative.

CBC, CTV and Global News have featured Lasqueti Island on public television.  There have also been countless articles, travel blogs and YouTube videos about Lasqueti published on the internet.  This coverage, in addition to the exposure from numerous real estate listings over the years, has generated millions of views world-wide.  Lasqueti Island is not the well-kept secret some of its residents believe it to be.  Still, Elly and I respect the community’s desire to stay under the radar, so we are taking care to minimize Lasqueti’s exposure in relation to SILA.  Lasqueti Island is not mentioned on the public pages of our website, nor is it represented by name in any of our social media.  For our part, location specific details are only shared with interested buyers who have first been screened.

We appreciate that residents of Lasqueti Island are simply trying to safeguard their Island community.  Elly and I also wish to do our part to preserve the Lasqueti way of life that we, too, have grown to love.  We are disheartened by the misinformation that is circulating about SILA.  It is our hope that this letter provides clarity and helps lay to rest some of the concerns and unfounded rumours.

Elly and I are planning to set aside some time to host a casual open house once the property sale has officially completed.  We encourage anyone who has questions or concerns about SILA to join us for a drink and a face-to-face conversation.  We will confirm and post the specific location, date and time for the open house in due course.

Thank you to those of have reached out to Elly and me directly.  We are always happy to discuss the Safe Island Land Alliance and respond to any respectful inquiries. 
 

Peace,

 

Michael Ruge
Community Coordinator
Safe Island Land Alliance
 

P.S. One final point I’ll touch on briefly, concerns statements being made with respect to my personal and professional integrity.  In 2001 I went out on a limb and took some calculated risks in a professional capacity which, I believed at the time, would end favourably for both myself and my partners.  This did not turn out to be the case.  Instead, I found myself unwittingly facing the British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC).  It was a deeply regrettable situation for all involved and I will personally carry the hard lessons learned for the remainder of my lifetime.  The internet can be a volatile place.  To my ongoing detriment, several inaccuracies that were published online at the time, remain prominent in searches associated with my name.  My only course is to focus on the subsequent years of successful ventures and assure those with genuine concerns that my settlement agreement with the BCSC does not, in anyway, preclude me from marketing real estate.   

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