Is­lands Trust needs to have greater power

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Re: “De­vel­op­ment has put Gulf Is­lands in death spi­ral,” com­men­tary, Au­gust 2.

Thank good­ness Frants At­torp has the courage to speak up about the sad and di­vi­sive sit­u­a­tion on the Gulf Is­lands.

The Gulf Is­lands are pro­tected for all of B.C., yet is­land res­i­dents are ex­pected to meet so­cial and en­vi­ron­men­tal obli­ga­tions with fewer pow­ers and fi­nan­cial resources than ur­ban cen­tres.

In ad­di­tion to the hous­ing crunch, chal­lenges in­clude spi­ralling prop­erty taxes; by­law en­force­ment so weak that zon­ing is be­com­ing a joke; and clear-cutting that threat­ens al­ready scarce ground and sur­face drink­ing wa­ter sources.

If the is­lands are to be rec­og­niz­able in the fu­ture as a unique and won­drous place, the prov­ince needs to step up with fund­ing as it did when the pro­tected area was cre­ated half a cen­tury ago, and to pro­vide the Is­lands Trust with greater pow­ers to des­ig­nate hous­ing for spe­cific local needs and reg­u­late log­ging on pri­vate land.

Maxine Le­ichter Salt Spring Is­land

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