Islands Trust Mandate
The Islands Trust is a unique federation of local island governments with a mandate (from the Islands Trust Act) to make land use decisions that will "preserve and protect" British Columbia's Gulf Islands. The object of the Islands 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."
The Local Trust Committee has an uncomplicated governance role as “guardian”, with no financial incentive to rezone or develop. When voting on a rezoning application, only the Islands Trust preserve-and-protect mandate is considered, since the Local Trust Committee receives no tax benefit by saying yes (i.e., elected officials will not have more money to spread around somewhere else). It is perhaps the only government structure anywhere that has the singular task of land-use planning; the only governance structure that heeds author Jane Jacobs’ advice to separate guardianship from commerce. It is perfectly suited to the Gulf Islands environment, and I believe our community is fortunate to have government representatives with this focused mandate.
I have lived on Gabriola for seventeen years. Employed in an energy and environmental research foundation before moving here, I've worked since as manager for Gabriola Cycle & Kayak, Wavelength Paddling Magazine and HouseMaster Home Inspections (all real Gabriola success stories). I also do resource management and facilitation work.
- ♦ Nine years as Local Islands Trustee; member of Islands Trust Council; member of the Islands Trust Local Planning Committee, Financial Planning & Audit Committee, and Trust Programs Committee
- ♦ Chair, Islands Trust Fund Board (the Islands Trust Land Conservancy), which increased conservation covenants & land donations by 50% since 2002, to 750 hectares protected
- ♦Chair, Islands Trust Council
- ♦ BA Degree in Environmental & Resource Studies
- ♦ Professional experience in project management; tourism operations and administration; environmental advocacy, regulation and public hearings; analysis of legislation and legal documents. Sheila's resume (MS Word Format)
- ♦ Adept at presenting to (and negotiating with) government ministers and corporations at the Board level. I'm a clear communicator, writer, and analyst
- ♦ Engaged in the community, with a broad view of opinions and perspectives
I was first motivated to run for office by:
- ♦ The opportunity to maintain our island's character, and uphold the Trust principles of preservation and protection, specifically through reviewing Gabriola’s Official Community Plan
- ♦ The wealth of talents on our island, and my desire to tap that enthusiasm and experience
- ♦ The potential to develop constructive relationships with neighbouring First Nations
I have enjoyed working with the community for the past nine years. I have deeply appreciated the advice I have received on each decision the Local Trust Committee has made, and would be honoured to be elected for a fourth term as Trustee to continue my commitment to this process.
Newspaper articles I've written to summarize past terms' work:
Sheila's Vision for the Term Ahead
As a Gabriola trustee since 2002, I’ve been honoured to serve in a conservation-oriented government to protect these precious Gulf Islands. I rely on balanced, inclusive community process. As Chair of Trust Council, I draw strength from, and am informed by, the shared wisdom and experience of islanders from all over the Salish Sea.
I love the islands as they are, and will work to sustain our community.
Next term, I’ll employ new media to engage all ages, voices, and perspectives on:
- ♦ New energy and water conservation zoning tools;
- ♦ Building resilience in farming and economy;
- ♦ New affordable housing development proposals;
- ♦ New subdivision design to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
- ♦ Deeper engagement with Snuneymuxw First Nations.
The rising challenges of climate change, shifting economies, and development pressure, on all the islands, require experienced trustees.
With your support, I’ll Preserve and Protect Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy Islands.
Sheila's Statement of Solidarity with "Occupy" Movement
The Occupy movement has done many things already, but perhaps amongst the most important is shining light on the serious issues of corporate power and income inequality, and how unbridled wealth undermines our democracies, while driving environmental destruction and social injustice.
Though these are things over which local government has little or no direct control, I believe the mandate of the Islands Trust to “preserve & protect for the benefit of all” provides a democratic foundation for a more equitable relationship to public resources. Islands Trust decision-making is de-linked from money. It is the only government structure I know that separates guardianship from commerce, so environment and people are in the fore of every decision. As it should be…. Not to say that I won't as a politician get it wrong sometimes, but it isn't the Islands Trust structure that is wrong.
I do want to find more ways to get the best advice from people with new ideas about community and governance; that is vital for how we move together as a community. The Occupy movement is a refreshing reminder that democracy is a progressive idea: an idea that starts with citizens caring about one another and acting responsibly on that sense of care, taking responsibility both for oneself and for one's family, community, people in general, and the planet. In many ways, Gabriolans and Gulf Islanders are already deeply rooted in these precepts, well before any place was ever “occupied”. Thank you all for your continued commitment to this movement.
Gabriola Island Local Trustee
October 22, 2011
- ♦ Unspoiled environment for habitat and recreation;
- ♦ Empowerment for positive change;
- ♦ Engaging imagination and ingenuity for societal benefit
Inclusive process is vital to Gabriola's ability to prevent and solve problems. I support community processes that allow dialogue, debate and decision-making without making it personal, allowing all to speak without intimidation. The more individual views I receive on an issue, the easier and clearer my decision is... With good process, more people can actively participate in decision-making, and change outcomes.
I’m excited about two new Advisory Committees: Agriculture, and Transportation. Getting such specialized advice will be helpful to the Trust and outside agencies. The OCP Volunteer Review Committee did great work this past term, and I will continue to rely on Advisory Planning Commissions from Mudge and Gabriola for advice. I'm very grateful to residents who donate their time to the community in this way.
I want to find more ways to get the best advice from people with new ideas about community and governance; that is vital for how we move together into the future.
I look forward to engaging with islanders more broadly, using new media better to reach all ages and perspectives. Salt Spring’s high school elects shadow-trustees, and other local governments have inspiring youth engagement programs.
This will help with Gabriola’s Community Plan Review, but we’ll also need innovative, extensive public process to review the Islands Trust Policy Statement, the foundational document meant to interpret the Islands Trust Act mandate of Preserve and Protect. It lays out broad principles that affect all island Community Plans (e.g. no to bridges, and yes to economic opportunities compatible with community character). Renewing the 1994 Policy Statement will give all islanders a chance to shape the future vision for the Trust.
Newspaper articles I've written about our APCs: